Space Ball

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Revision as of 15:51, 6 October 2011 by Regan russell (Talk | contribs) (Programming notes)

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What is a SpaceBall ...?

Spaceball1.jpg

The Spaceball was a series of 3D input devices made by Labtec and that is used on a variety of workstations, of course including Silicon Graphics systems.

Configuration under IRIX

Spaceball2.jpg
Spaceball3.jpg
Spaceball4.jpg
Spaceball5.jpg
Spaceball6.jpg
Spaceball7.jpg
6dof.gif

At least on IRIX 6.5, you need eoe.sw.optinput installed. The confidence tests do show button responses for my sb2003, but that's the only piece of software I've seen that has built-in support for it. They've been supported in IRIX since at least 3.3.2, but I guess nobody bothered incorporating native support into Performer or ivview, etc!

It was written: Configured it according to input(7) on my Octane runing IRIX 6.5.20m, pluged it in, restarted the Xserver, run confidence(1) and it worked. I started powerflip and I can move the model around with the Spaceball.


Check that eoe.sw.optinput is installed... In a shell paste the text:

  versions eoe.sw | grep optinput

You might see something like:

  I  eoe.sw.optinput      03/10/2010  Optional Input Devices

If you see nothing, then you need to install optinput with inst or swmgr (Software manager from ToolChest) ... You need to install it from 6.5 foundation 1 and from overlay 1 of 3...
Spaceball-step1.jpg


Once you have Optional Input installed, open System manager from ToolChest and go to Hardware manager and then to Serial Devices.
Spaceball-step4.jpg

Add a new serial device, choose "Other Devices" follow the prompts and choose Next and then finally "OK".
Spaceball-step5.jpg


From ToolChest choose confidence tests.
Spaceball-step2.jpg

Choose Spaceball
Spaceball-step3.jpg

Zoom around with it.

Applications that use it

The confidence tests in ToolBox do show button responses

  • Blender
 The is rumors of some support of SpaceBalls in Blender, possibly a custom build of Blender.
  • Pro/E

Spacer 5000 with a serial connection here, known to work with

  • Pro/E

Listed in the 3D Connexion driver :

  • CADDs5
  • Catia
  • I-DEAS
  • IcemSurf
  • Unigraphics
  • Proe/Engineer

... a bunch of other CAD apps

the ones more people here might be interested in :

  • Maya
  • Studio Paint
  • Alias 8.5
  • Animator 5.3

here's the really interesting one :

X Window driver version 3 That seems like if the application has spaceball support in X-Window then it should work ?


Applications which support the Spaceball (via LibSBall code)

  • FreeWRL:

VRML/X3D browser, FreeWRL input device driver

  • VMD:

The molecular visualization program VMD uses libsball for all of its Unix versions.

  • White Dune VRML97 Editor:

White Dune Home Page

  • VRPN:

VRPN Home Page

  • FreeVR library:

FreeVR Home Page

  • NCSA CAVE library:

The NCSA version of the CAVE library incorporates a modified version of the libsball code.

  • Tachyon parallel ray tracer:

An OpenGL previewer and a spaceball-fly feature for Tachyon which allows you to fly around in a scene using the Spaceball. Its done using a first-person view, and was the code that was simplified in order to write the "sballfly" demo which is included with libsball.

Programming notes

There is some support in GLUT.

There is a libsball in the See Also section.


There is a SBallFly program include in the libsball library.

Change the /usr/lib to /usr/lib32 in the Makefile and compile with the MIPS Pro compiler.


SBallFly.jpg

Warning: its really twitchy..

See Also

SBWithOtherDevs.jpg
  • at least some later models of Spaceball) are available from http://www.3dconnexion.com/service/drivers.html. Be sure to check the box next to "Also show archived* software" when searching for IRIX drivers. You also may need to register first (whatever that may entail) before you can actually download anything.