So, the old DIGImend is dead. I’m no longer going to be doing much volunteer work on it, and although there were several people approaching me with the interest of taking over, nobody has really stepped up yet.
I thought about this situation for a while, feeling sad about all the unused skills I acquired through these years working on the project, and pondered my motivation. I couldn’t arrive at a solution. Then I got contacted by Neoblast Inc. and XP-Pen, saying they were alarmed by DIGImend shutting down and offering their financial support. Neoblast Inc. is a Japanese company building affordable creativity-oriented computers for moms and school PTAs, which run Linux and employ affordable graphics tablets. XP-Pen is one of graphics tablet makers, which Neoblast Inc. chose as a partner.
I secured a permission to do paid work in my free time from my employer, and after a while we worked out the financing terms. They sent me three tablets to make drivers for, and I started working. The work done so far, implementing support for two tablets, was streamed to YouTube:
That and seeing creative people on YouTube get funded through Patreon brought me into thinking that I can get some funding too, rationalize such work to myself and my family, get motivation, and perhaps even get funded enough to take some time off work for DIGImend.
Then I got contacted by ÖAMTC - apparently a car owner’s club or association (sorry, I don’t know German), working on a project using a signature pad. They wanted Linux drivers. I agreed and made the first version of the driver:
At the same time, people started asking for drivers for the refreshed Huion tablets. Apparently Huion switched to new hardware utilizing somewhat different initialization and report protocols, incompatible with the old ones, and they don’t work on Linux. Some people offered to buy me a beer or send donations. This sealed my resolve and I finally brought my self up to setup my own Patreon page. I’m still working out rewards and goals, but this should be good for the start. I’ll be glad to hear your comments and advice about it!
I hope, of course, to get enough funding to get some time off work and dedicate it to DIGImend eventually, but before that happens I’ll do the work proportional to the pledges I get, and do work on request from companies, in my free time. I’ll be contacting tablet manufacturers, again, to try to interest them in funding my work.
So, if you need driver for your tablet, or would just like to see more affordable tablets supported by Linux, consider pledging your support here:
If you’re a company and would like specific drivers done for you, a part of the Linux input stack improved, or bugs fixed, write to email@example.com.