A co-worker was getting rid of some older computer items. I picked up a Wacom tablet. Plugged it in and it immediately started acting like another mouse input. That's nice but I at least want to get pressure sensitivity.
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In GIMP I found out that Edit -> Preferences -> Input Devices -> Configure Extended Input Devices showed me a "Wacom Graphire2 4x5" device. I switched the Mode for the device from Disabled to Screen. That got pressure sensitivity working, and the stylus can select drawing options distinct from the mouse.
In getting to this point, I discovered some people had the 'eraser' end working, so more work. I added to my xorg.conf, most of the code from comment #15 on http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=61993&page=2. Restarted X, configured the additional devices in GIMP, and things work as expected.
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So I am now using a Wacom tablet with presure sensitivity, and an 'eraser'. It would be nice if I hadn't needed to edit the Xorg config file to get the latter. But as far as I can tell, this device is now fully functional in Linux. Oh, and the kids all approve.