SymbOS and Trackball

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By JX10p

Supporter (11)

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10-12-2007, 19:21

Hi

My Trackball don't work with SymbOS Crying
Symbol: COBAUSE (HTB-30) HAL Laboratory

Please help me

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By djh1697

Paragon (1694)

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09-10-2022, 22:34

I was going to ask the same question, mine is a Sony Trackball, I know it works ok because the HID utility. Please help? I got the trackball due to limited deskspace and wanting to try SymbOS.

By gflorez

Resident (55)

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11-10-2022, 01:40

Just ask Prodatron to implement it.

You know that MSX trackballs have same hardware but different protocol than MSX mice, don't you?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1827)

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11-10-2022, 11:39

Interesting, I never had a look at this.
I found this information at the end of this page...
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Mouse/Trackball
...and will check, if I can add this.

By djh1697

Paragon (1694)

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11-10-2022, 14:47

Prodatron wrote:

Interesting, I never had a look at this.
I found this information at the end of this page...
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Mouse/Trackball
...and will check, if I can add this.

Thank you, I didn't realise the protocol was different between the trackball and the mouse.

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (6011)

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11-10-2022, 20:11

Oh, the trackballs are problematic on so many ways...

First of all they are slow... 50 DPI or so... Because of this users tend to rotate them pretty fast. If the program is meant to be used with a mouse this usually causes internal counters to overflow pretty fast so that the cursor just jumps around rather than moves to the direction where the trackball was moved. (Causes more frustration to both user and programmer) Now only way around this problem is to increase the poll interval of the device, On mouse driven systems it is typically 50 or 60 times / second, but that is not enough for trackball when it is moved fast... How ever standard MSX has no timer to get enough interrupts to read trackball fast enough, so practically mouse read speed is best that you can get on multitasking environment like SymbOS. (In theory some specific software can perform very much better, if they don't rely to interrupts)

So... My opinion is that in theory trackball can be easily supported... and with enough acceleration/speed adjustments done in control panel it can be even nearly bearable controller, but you will newer enjoy using SymbOS if you don't get a real mouse.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3609)

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12-10-2022, 06:17

NYYRIKKI wrote:

First of all they are slow... 50 DPI or so... Because of this users tend to rotate them pretty fast.

The MSX BIOS driver seems to have been done in a hurry. They forgot that trackballs require angular conversion to offsets so their movement become intuitive.

This is why it's important to follow the offsets as shown in the table at the end of the article. If you want to check/compare how better the trackball becomes with this method, you can use TRnewdrv or MSX2newdrv and your favorite program on MSX that has mouse/trackball support via BIOS.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3609)

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12-10-2022, 06:17

@Prodaton

Since we're at this topic, it would also be lovely to have touchpad support on SymbOS. ;)

And maybe light-pen support too? :D

By djh1697

Paragon (1694)

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12-10-2022, 14:57

sd_snatcher wrote:

@Prodaton
light-pen support too? :D

The lightpen works on the principle of sensing the current pixel the pen is depressed. However, the Sanyo MSX lightpen, and others if there where any, only work with CRT monitors, these are getting increasingly rarer as the years go on. Maybe a poll as too how many people need this implementation?

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3609)

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12-10-2022, 16:17

djh1697 wrote:

Maybe a poll as too how many people need this implementation?

No need for a poll, I just mentioned it to remember that this device exists. Wink

Then it's just up to him and if he feels interested to support this peculiar hardware, since it's his hobby time.

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (6011)

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12-10-2022, 21:37

sd_snatcher wrote:

@Prodaton

Since we're at this topic, it would also be lovely to have touchpad support on SymbOS. ;)

Seems that these touchpads were pretty popular in Netherlands... but I think best reason to support these would be emulation... Since touchpads use absolute coordinate system, you should be able to get the host OS cursor and SymbOS cursor to same place always. I don't really think that this is big problem, but emulation inside window + mouse emulation tends to cause extra hassle. With BlueMSX mouse emulation used to work quite nicely even when running on a window, but openMSX/WebMSX don't give quite that nice experience. Someone else might say that BlueMSX was too eager to steal your mouse cursor, but I liked it as best compromise that was intuitive to use.

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