a better surface pen





 call it a 1st Gen Surface Pro if you must.

call it a 1st Gen Surface Pro if you must.

i have a tinycomputer and i love it very much. it does what a laptop does, and it is very small. this is an essential feature.

tinycomputer ships with a tinypen (wacom!) which attaches magnetically to its charging port. so cute, so handy! so.. imperfect.

you see, the tinypen is apologetically plastic. it also has a single side button, which means no middle click :(

 i am sorry. i am plastic.

i am sorry. i am plastic.

the internet reveals that other wacom pens also work with a tinycomputer. some of them even have two side buttons! this one is the best.

 i am plastic! rawr.

i am plastic! rawr.

not only does it have two side buttons, they feel delightful. in fact, the whole pen feels delightful. it is crafted from plastic of the highest self-esteem.

this is not yet a slam-dunk. how do we add a magnetic connector, so that it hugs tinycomputer as charmingly as its forebear?

in three steps:

  1. acquire new pen and Surface charging cable
  2. butcher charging cable to extract magnetic connector
  3. attach magnetic connector to new pen.

Step 1 is easy. the pen can be had for $40/pair on eBay! as for the cable, Amazon provides.

Step 2 is easy. battle the cable with tin snips and sandpaper. the dust will settle, and you will emerge victorious.

Step 3 is where it gets complicated. the pen is made of polyethylene, which rejects most glues. superglue (cyanoacrylate) is known to simply fall off. i tried anyways. it fell off.

through exhaustive research, i finally found this stuff. it might be the only glue you can buy which can do this. there aren't many competitors.

so how do you glue a magnetic connector to your pen? sadly, i did not photograph the process. it goes like this:

  1. chop off the lanyard fin at the back of the pen.
  2. mask the area around the fin with kapton tape, to protect the plastic finish.
  3. sand down the base of the fin until it is flat.
  4. glue!

here is the result:

IMG_20140708_193648 fix.jpg

and does it attach to tinycomputer?

 yes it does

yes it does

 it totally does!

it totally does!

hooray!

the end.

 

Tshen2 2014