[chuck-users] odd hid issue (touchpad)

Hans Aberg haberg at math.su.se
Sat Jul 18 17:12:21 EDT 2009

On 18 Jul 2009, at 22:08, Kassen wrote:

>> That is an interesting use. If one does not have a turntable to  
>> scratch, I checked one can use the top of a matte CD or DVD - I  
>> only tried without print, and the underside (that carries the data)  
>> didn't work. So that might serve as an interface to scratch some  
>> audio-file
> Yes, it's a very interesting way to create a expressive interface  
> with little cost or fuzz. I've seen videos online of people simply  
> sticking a optical mouse into a pizza box they had cut up. My friend  
> Rob Bothof went a bit further than that;
> http://forum.itchymuzik.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=53
> (some docs and a example video)
> I simply hooked that up to LiSa and had it control the .rate() while  
> continuously recording. This simple setup was already a lot of fun,  
> far better than the toy turntable for Playstation that I've been  
> using. The experience is very tactile and intuitive.

He says he has problems with recording constant turn velocity. There  
is no information about the surface the mouse reads off - if that is  
uneven, that may cause problems.

For recording turns, one should use a Hall sensor, like this one:

This is inexpensive though not USB, but netsearching for words like  
"USB rotary joystick Hall effect controller" may produce some results.

>> These are called "extended keyboards", or full size, at least on  
>> the Mac side
>>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_keyboard
>> I have an old Mac one, where the function keys are without gaps and  
>> no space the other keys. This was very good for the diatonic key  
>> map, as it becomes enlarged. But I found it difficult to do  
>> ornaments on it: the keys are a bit too chevy. It is A1048 here:
>>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Keyboard#Apple_Keyboard
>> I have for couple of months used the A1242 - it is much better on  
>> ornaments, but not as good as a musical instrument. The rather  
>> short action takes some time to get used to.
> Yes, I see. Personally I don't care that much about ornaments ...

They are important in melodic development to provide character and  

> ...but I do care about the tactile feel which is where I feel the  
> Model M really shines. Of course there are also many who detest it  
> for the weight, the noise, the size and the heavy feel.

This is pretty much and individual preference - some like heavy  
weighted keys, and even think it helps playing faster, others the  
reverse. All typing keyboards seem to have an unpredictable depressing  
point which makes them less suitable for music interpretation.

>>> To me these seem like under-appreciated factors. If we are going  
>>> to use devices like these for music then tactile feel matters for  
>>> expressiveness and it will pay off to find one that suits our  
>>> tastes.
>> There was a adding cards to the computer also on the Mac, but they  
>> are mostly gone now, because the CPU/GPU are so powerful, it is not  
>> needed.
> I meant that some people may want to add exotic devices, like  
> hookups to cash registers or industrial machines or sensor arrays or  
> vending machines or.... It seems to me that some drivers, some of  
> the time, will be unavoidable. Take for instance video editing; that  
> require a rather largge video card with many in and outputs. We can  
> hardly make vendors of such devices wait for a new OS update before  
> shiping a new model. Video cards seem a exception in general, Ati  
> and Nvidea like their strange drivers to access their own features  
> so well they even made Linux ones Aside from that this would give a  
> bit too much power to OS makers for my tastes.

These are the GPUs I mentioned. Mac OS X is developing special  
language support for these. So the exact driver thing will be  
transparent. Learning a new way to program fro every device requires  
too much of an effort. So this is probably the trend for the future.

>> One reason to avoid custom supplied drivers is that they do low  
>> level things that may cause the computer to crash. On Macs, that is  
>> called "kernel panic". Basically, it means that the kernel running  
>> the processes gets some code that it cannot handle. Often, there is  
>> a driver for a piece of hardware involved. The hardware, the OS and  
>> the computer, though, are fine.
> Yes, I agree. On Windows I already took to ignoring most driver  
> discs and having the more stable default ones sort it out. On Linux  
> the default ones are often all we have and I have to say they work  
> very well. Without aiming to get too political; I don't think the  
> issue is with users installing their own drivers, I feel the issue  
> is with vendors that create buggy ones, often without good reason  
> because the standard ones do the exact same thing. I've seen that  
> many times with joypads and joypad adapters. That need not be a  
> matter of platform, I have little doubt that a exotic device in need  
> of special drivers could bring OSX or Linux to it's knees as well if  
> it had a bad driver.

On the Mac, I noticed that the printer drivers now all seem very  
small, except for HP, which was huge, like 1 GB.


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