[Chimera-users] Chimera with 3d (6-axis) mouse?

Dougherty, Matthew T. matthewd at bcm.tmc.edu
Tue Apr 8 16:39:09 PDT 2008

I have a n52 as part of my control surfaces.  I use it in conjunction with controllermate.
For the mac, it all works pretty good.  But controllermate only runs on the mac.

One of the critical infrastructure problems is integration.  
With the development of X11, the mouse and keyboard were developed with a consistent interface across applications, along with OS management and expected application response.

This has been an ongoing stumbling block for most human interfaces since.

In regards to USB, this has been partially addressed by the USB/HID specification.
But vendors may optionally implement standard USB/HID OS drivers, or develop their own USB/private kernel modifications.

With n52, it uses USB-HID, so it can theoretically work across all computers; but that only gets the signals appropriately cued by the OS; to make it integrate into application software requires more software, like which application gets the input.

In the mac this is frequently done in the system prefs; but n52 does not provide any software for this because typical user games directly go to the USB-HID as a sole user of the hardware.

Also the game apps map the keys and may not allow for them to be user definable except for right/left hand options.
For a single game use, this is ok.  For a complex scientific viz environment using multiple application software, this not the way to go in the long term.  If you have a killer app that requires a $15k haptic device, say for medical surgery, that is an exception.  Generally it would be desirable for
average research situations to keep the Human Interface Devices down to $25-$2k and use them across various applications.

Parallel user communities dealing with similar problems are audio recording and video editing.  The way they have dealt with this is through the MIDI spcification; now midi/usb interfaces are available using USB/private methods and are not USB-HID compliant. 

There are some control surfaces using ethernet that may have solve the problem, but are not open source; I am researching this now.

As for the space navigator, it is USB=HID compliant, as well as the space pilot (except the the LCD output which is USB/private).

Matthew Dougherty
National Center for Macromolecular Imaging
Baylor College of Medicine/Houston Texas USA

-----Original Message-----
From: chimera-users-bounces at cgl.ucsf.edu on behalf of Andrew Fant
Sent: Tue 4/8/2008 3:06 PM
To: chimera-users at cgl.ucsf.edu
Subject: Re: [Chimera-users] Chimera with 3d (6-axis) mouse?
At the risk of sticking my nose into a discussion, has anyone in cgl  
looked at the nostromo n52 as a potential input device?  it's a USB  
device with a 8 way thumb pad, a trigger button, a scroll wheel, and  
14 function keys arranged in three rows under the finger tips that can  
shift into 3 different states.  I've been thinking that it could be
combined with a mouse or track-ball to control the functions in a  
modeling program without having to use pull-down menus or typing as  
many commands, much like the old button box on SGI workstations.  Of  
course, the
big question would be setting up a sane command scheme.  I have a  
couple kicking around here if anyone else is interested in this sort  
of a scheme.

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