I have this great little Wacom Bamboo tablet which I use when I’m on my desktop at home and need to handwrite something. The only problem is finding a suitable program to write IN with the peripheral tablet. I could activate the pen tools in Adobe Acrobat – but that’s not exactly my program of choice for handwriting digitally.

The program I really like to use is Windows Journal because it’s really simple and easy to use. However, I was never able to find anyone who could figure out how to activate Windows Journal on a regular PC running Windows XP (it was only available with Windows XP Tablet, which was only available if you actually had a tablet PC).

So here’s a truly compelling reason to switch over to Windows Vista (besides the release of the first Service Pack to Vista): Windows Journal IS installed with Vista Home Premium (but not basic). The trick is just FINDING the program, which is hidden away somewhere … not in the standard program menu.

First, use the Vista Search box to search for the word “Journal” and … ping … there it is on your screen. At this point, you should be able to go back into your list of programs and move Journal from the “recently used” programs to the “permanent” list of programs by dragging and dropping it into the other list.

Next, you’ll want to turn on the color palette toolbar:

And voila! Now you can use Windows Journal with your Bamboo tablet on your regular PC. So, if you’ve been waiting for a reason to go from XP to Vista, I guess this is it (at least, if you have a Bamboo).

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