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Chris Bourne


THE DATAPEN, from Datapen Microtechnology Limited, is completely self-contained, all interface electronics being stored within the main body of the light pen.

A light pen is an input device which can be used instead of the keyboard. By using it to point to areas on the screen changes can be made to a display such as option menus. A pen can also be used to draw pictures on the screen and saves time when trying to produce accurate screen diagrams.

The manual supplied with the Datapen is technical in some parts but the information provided should allow most people to get to grips with it. It explains that if you want to use the pen in your own programs you will have to know something about machine code.

One problem found when fitting the light pen was that the interface is dead ended. That means that you will not be able to add other peripherals onto the back of it.

The Datapen is different from other light pens as it incorporates a switch which enables you to use the pen without having to look at the keyboard for guidance. There is also an indicator which when lit tells you that the pen is looking at a light area of the screen and when unlit it is pointing at a dark area.

There are several programs supplied with the instrument the first of which gives an introduction to the mechanics of the pen and how to use it. The other programs show how the Datapen is capable of drawing graphic shapes and the type of accuracy that it can achieve when producing diagrams on the screen.

The Datapen is one of the best light pens on the market and we suggest you check it out before buying anything else. It is available from Datapen Microtechnology Ltd, Kingsclere Road, Overton, Hampshire, RG25 3JB for £29.00.

Not Rated