One of the seeming obstacles to having scheduled informal seminars on chat is the extra work, probably mostly for the leader of the discussion (should there be one), in presenting ideas on the chat page. One person comapred this to Latexing seminar notes, pointing out this was not much fun.

My friend Dmitry pointed out that there are what he called "scribblers," a pad with a stylus, where one can just write or draw, then create a pdf or jpeg and post that. This may or may not be pleasant enough to induce established mathematicians to agree to participate in such a thing. Evidently Jon Beardsley has a tablet that can do this, including color, and put a couple of sample items on Homotopy Chat. One of them said "it'd be better if chat had a whiteboard area"

What are other devices/services that might make, say, real time posting to Chat less of a chore?

For that matter, has anyone used such a scribbler, and can give an impression of the usefulness of that device for this purpose?

Hmmm. I bought an inexpensive single-page scanner. I could certainly write out pretty much anything by hand that would fit on one piece of paper, not excluding pasting in photocopied excerpts from books I might have, and post that...the thing makes jpegs, for reasons I do not know those work better on SE. Mine is a Canon CanoScan LiDE 210.

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  • $\begingroup$ sigh. ${}{}{}{}$ $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ What's wrong? I hope it was not my tag-edit (but I thought now we have them it'd be good to use them). Sorry, I had nothing more substantive to contribute. But perhaps it is just the lack of responses that makes you unhappy. But then meta is not very active at this time, only 10 people saw the post, so there is still hope for good suggestions in the future. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 21:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @quid, it is the lack of (granted, early) responses. Time will tell. I got very involved with the idea of chat as a useful extension, but there seem to be as many obstacles as opportunities. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 21:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I hope it will work out in the end. The homotopy room you helped to start seems to be doing alright. A lot more going on then in the general room. Perhaps I should have posted this rather in chat to create some traffic there :-) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @quid, after I put the jpeg here I put the same one in Homotopy Chat. They were initially impressed by my artwork, but then there was some disagreement about the color, named after the flower named after en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhart_Fuchs as opposed to the mathematician en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_Fuchs $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 23:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Tangentially related: mathoverflow.net/questions/49384/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 11:24
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    $\begingroup$ @WillJagy Oh dear Lord! I can't believe they were arguing over who was the namesake of the flower Fuchsia! Is that why you said sigh? I don't know what to say; I'm kind of appalled. They should ask about that on English Language & Usage SE, and tag it etymology. You are trying to do a good deed, behave in a constructive, helpful manner for the greater good of the MO community. I wish I could chastise them, and hug you, or give you a gold star or something. You are a good person for trying to help others. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 21:35
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    $\begingroup$ @FeralOink, the sigh was for the lack of early response. To be honest, they did not argue about the flower for very long. However, you are correct that my attempts to push this idea along are no longer being met with much enthusiasm, so I think i will call it a day, and let the kids who are using the chat room work out if and how they wish to extend operations. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ Hey @willJagy we should def talk about this some point. I think it'd be best if you sent me an email. I have some thoughts, and I hate to think that you might feel your efforts have gone unappreciated. I've just been kind of stupid busy with stupid stuff recently. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @JonBeardsley, yes, I will find your email and send you something. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps some of the links I've collected in the comments here might be interesting for you. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak, thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 15:24


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