Looking for an alternative Human Interface Device / what do you use besides mouse and keyboard?

Fionalein

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It looks like SL gave me an RSI from WASD-ing too much. So I now look to alternatives for movement controlls but the HID market seems to be smaller than it was years ago. I successfully got SL running with PS controller clones and Steampad - so I know analog controller input works. But when using my trusty mouse with the right hand, left hand only controller input is a bit awkward.

I looked into the Razer Orbweaver... but that one just has a cheap 8 direction pad and I do not feel very excited to spend 140 bucks on a product which needs me soldering another 30 bucks worth of microcontrollers and a real joystick into it (if I go the teensy microcontroller route I think I would be better off if I just build my own left hand device from scratch).

Basically what I want for SL movement would be:
  • an anlog joystick emulating the left controller joystick
  • a button for PgUp
  • a button for PgDwn
  • a button for space
  • a button for shift
additional an optional WASD would be neat but I can get my hands back on my keyboard for vehicle operations.

the Hori T.A.C Pro would look like it provides everything I want but sadly it does not come with Linux support* and the angle of the joystick position does not look very comfortable either.

*sigh*

So I am intrigued: what are your analog input devices and are they suitable for left hand use only?



*for those wondering: neither does the orbweaver come with Linux support - but there is 3rd party retroengineered control software for that thing.
 

Clara D.

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Hrms. The Logitech G13 might have been okay with the original $80us msrp, but they've become unobtanium for $300+
Linux support is a bit hacky.

There are joysticks with keypads, but they're not in the slightest bit ergonomic - like someone just stuck a keypad on an old Atari joystick.
 
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Ashiri

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FWIW, I usually use firestorm because it has the ability to control movement via the mouse. Other TPVs might have the same functionality.
 
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NeoBokrug Elytis

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SL supports these natively for camming around, moving, and building. I have an old first generation piece of hardware that still works and looks like the Compact version they sell now.


Old versions can probably be found on ebay, and are a little wider than the compact.

I can't live without mine.

Torley did a video about it:
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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Wasn't there some kind of trackball-ish controller that was all the rage a few years ago? I think Torley even once did a video about using it for SL.

I can't offer much more though; aside from actual joysticks and Xbox controllers, the only especial game controllers I'm familiar with are just basically truncated left-hand keypads that might have only a negligible advantage over just using the keyboard.
 

OrinB

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I actually use a wacom pen to navigate round everything! I still use the direction keys to move and/or the floating movement palette (yeah i'm not a gamer so i started with that and haven't stopped using that in 12yrs.) I use alt click to zoom in on things and manage to cope quite well... untill i drop my pen and then double click TP all over the place! (DOH!)

I hate mice... I don't get RSI using my pen as i move my wrist and arm a lot over the tablet just in normal use.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Ha yeah, I think I must've taken a while to finish posting that and didn't see Neo ninja'ing me. ^^
 

Fionalein

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Update: I bought a Hori tac pro V2 today (new version), here are my fiirst impressions:

it is a bit small (and that comes from me having small fingers on top)...
it works out of the box with Linux
custom key layouts must be configured via a smartphone app (I-OS or Android) and bluetooth

out of the box works almost fine for me, but i would like to remap the thumbpad to analog stick (is wasd) by default...
 

Imnotgoing Sideways

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Spacenav FTW! I have one at home and work! Solidworks + Spacenav = Kroztier modelling. DX

Regarding RSI in general, I've been a strong advocate to going to good mech keys and using them properly. By properly, I mean never ever ever ever bottom them out. I use Cherry MX-Blue at home and MX-Brown at work. When typing and WASD, I only ever push the keys past click (bump for brown). As such, I'm never applying enough pressure to really stress my joints.

Also, angle the keyboard away. I use an under-desk keyboard tray which allows me to slope rear-down to keep arm-wrist an alignment in a straight line.

That said, I have a Razor Tartarus that I may or may not give another chance. =^-^=
 

Myficals

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What about the in-built movement and camera floaters? No good if you need to use SL in 1st person, but for general trundling around I've always found them decent enough.
 

Kara Spengler

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I prefer trackballs. Logitech and Kensington have a few. If you use a mac you can also use an ipad as an input device now.
 
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Fionalein

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Just an update: I went with the Hori, which is fine, but not fully programable as promised.

I can either set it to PC keyboard mode which is only programable with keyboard keys (downgrading the analog stick to just as much usefulness as a Razer directional pads) or PS3 mode which is only programable with PS3 buttons...

English documentation of the device is sparce and you need either an Android or I-OS device with bluetooth capability to program it. Worse yet: there is no download for the configuration software outside the Apple or Google Play stores leaving customers to the mercy of Hori to keep the app available...
 

Fionalein

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And another update: I was helping one of my friends reconfiguring his controller inputs into SL this week and just had an epiphany.
The Hori Tac Pro in Xbox/PS3 mode gets recognized by Firestorm as input device right away... however it also has a PS4 mode - and PS4 controllers can be remapped as one pleases in the 3rd party open source sc-controller software. In default setup I had 4 buttons I could not get working (looks like they do fine control and cruise control on pad output) as well as the touchpad which is not recognized either... I think I need to borrow a ps4 controller to set up a ps4 profile to get that working (in sc-controller you can happily apply profiles from the wrong devices onto others and a real PS4-controller's touchpad is apparently recognized and map-able)
 
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CronoCloud Creeggan

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You might need some udev rules for the DS4, try modifying these if necessary:
 
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Fionalein

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You might need some udev rules for the DS4, try modifying these if necessary:
I hope not. PS4 controller support is supposed to be included in the latest kernels, it should be detected out of the box with software like ds4drv, steam or sc-controller allowing to picl up it's signals. But udev might be a place to look into if it does not work. I'll keep that in mind.