teaching machines

Deskdrawer

Problem: I wanted to record my drawings and derivations on my Android tablet. However, no tools that I could find recorded an Android display at a reasonable speed. Solution: I wrote Deskdrawer to provide a drawing surface that I could mirror on my desktop, where I can record.

Check out and download the app at Google Play.

If there’s a feature you’d like to see added, please contact me through Google Play.

Installation

Windows

  1. Install and run Deskdrawer on your device.
  2. Install the Android SDK.
  3. Install the Android platform tools.
  4. Add an environment variable to point to the Android SDK. To do so, go to Control Panel, click on Advanced System Settings, selected the Advanced tab, and click on Environment Variables. Make a new system variable named ANDROID_HOME with the SDK directory as its value.

  5. Download the Deskdrawer client. (You’ll need to have Java installed.) Double-click on it to run it. If your device is not listed, you probably do not have drivers for it installed. Post in the comments and we can sort out any issues.

Linux

  1. Install and run Deskdrawer on your device.
  2. Install the Android SDK.
  3. Install the Android platform tools.
  4. Add an environment variable to point to the Android SDK. To do so, edit $HOME/.profile and add a line like “export ANDROID_HOME=$HOME/path/to/android/sdk”.
  5. Download the Deskdrawer client. (You’ll need to have Java installed.) Double-click on it to run it. Post in the comments and we can sort out any issues.

Macintosh

  1. Install and run Deskdrawer on your device.
  2. Install the Android SDK.
  3. Install the Android platform tools.
  4. Open Terminal. Make a directory $HOME/.MacOSX by entering the command
    mkdir $HOME/.MacOSX

    Sadly, it’s not easy to do this step through the Finder.

  5. Add an environment variable pointing to the location where you installed the SDK. Do this by first creating an empty file:
    echo "" > $HOME/.MacOSX/environment.plist

    Now, open TextEdit. You had to make the empty file at the command-line first, because TextEdit won’t let you create new files with a .plist extension. Hit Command-O to bring up the open file dialog box, hit Command-Shift-Period to show hidden files, double click on .MacOSX to enter that directory, and open environment.plist. Paste the following:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
     <key>ANDROID_HOME</key>
     <string>/Users/<YOU>/path/to/android-sdk-macosx</string>
    </dict>
    </plist>

    Adjust the <YOU>/path/to line to reflect the path of the SDK you installed. Log out and log back in to make your changes effective.

  6. Download the Deskdrawer client. (You’ll need to have Java installed.) Double-click on it to run it. Post in the comments and we can sort out any issues.

Recording Software

Deskdrawer’s job is to get your drawing surface on your desktop or notebook. From there, you can use existing tools to record your drawings. I’ve had good success with recordMyDesktop and Kazam on Linux and Camtasia on Windows.

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