Wacom ADB iMate Tablet Driver for Mac OS X

The code referenced here can be found at http://code.google.com/p/imate-osx/ and http://code.google.com/p/waxbee/

The death...

The ADB Port invented by Steve WozniakWacom tablets with ADB connectors have never been supported by TabletMagic because until recently no one –not even Apple– had provided complete ADB support in OS X. The Griffin iMate ADB adapter supported Wacom tablets in their Mac OS 9 drivers so I hoped it would be easy to support iMate in TabletMagic. But Griffin left out the necessary hooks to support fast-polled devices (like tablets) in their OS X driver. My conversations with Wacom and Griffin convinced me finally that it was a dead end.

Inevitably with updates to OS X, Griffin's iMate driver became obsolete. It isn't compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and higher, and Griffin won't be providing any driver updates in spite of having sold quite a lot of iMates.

...and resurrection...

In response to this situation Simon Stapleton developed a free open source driver for the iMate in June of 2009 to supplant Griffin's obsolete driver. In proper open source fashion, the driver is a complete implementation of the ADB specification, allowing for faster polled devices like tablets to work just fine with Mac OS X.

As an added bonus the driver includes basic support for some Wacom tablet models. Though this driver is fully functional and reliable with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard, the driver isn't quite ideal even on those systems. Installation requires some Terminal commands, and it doesn't include any way to change tablet settings. For 10.6 Snow Leopard and up the driver has never been functional, and no one has bothered to update it to work with the latest kernels.

...and resurrection again...

In early 2011 software engineer Bernard Poulin posted the code and specification for an open source hardware kit that can convert most older ADB and RS232 Wacom tablets into USB tablets that the latest Wacom drivers will respect. The project is called Waxbee, and it's built on a tiny microcontroller called the Teensy USB Development Board. If you've got an old Wacom tablet and are looking for the cleanest solution, Waxbee might be just what you need. As of this writing ADB Intuos tablets are still non-functional, but the project claims success with other models.

Close-up of a Wacom ArtZ-II converted with Waxbee