In the Forums...
Posted: October 1, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Tweaking Your Joystick
We won't even go into the puns that are associated with this most astute of computer peripherals… because if we did, well, who could stop!?! Joysticks, and their lowly cousins, the gamepads, are one of the more interesting ways to play games on the computer. Most good joysticks and gamepads come with their own special control applets, but there are a few settings that are common that I will cover here. The first setting is sensitivity (oh God, the puns…). It controls how responsive the joystick or analog control (if you have one on your gamepad) is to your movements. If you have a particularly steady hand, you might be able to work with a higher than normal sensitivity setting (making it easier to make fast movements within a game), but if you are like me and don't quite have the artists rock steady hand, you might want to set this lower so you have more control over what is happening.
Another common feature of controller programs is programmable keys - this allows you to specify which keys do what within a particular game - a very handy tool if you are a customization buff and want to make sure you are getting the most out of your controller. Also, if your controller has force feedback capabilities or some other kind of special feature, you can most likely use the program to enable and tweak that to some extent. Don't go overboard though, because you are still going to want some flexibility within games (which will most likely also have their own settings for your controller) so that you aren't always going back out to the controller's program for each game you play.
Digital Cameras / Digital Video Cameras
Okay, I know, this doesn't seem to have many gaming applications as of yet, but I'm going to cover it for two reasons - first, gamers aren't the only people that read my guides (although they are definitely the vast majority); and second, I see this becoming one of the big peripherals in the next few years as people get more and more high bandwidth connections. Now, depending on the kind of camera you have, you may or may not be able to do all of the following things:
- Take still pictures and save them to the camera's memory
- Take full motion video and save it to the camera
- Take still pictures and save them to the computer directly
- Take full motion video and save it directly to the computer
- Connect using a serial port
- Connect using USB or some other high-bandwidth connection