ISO OS X advice needed

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by cleo, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. cleo, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2010

    cleo macrumors 65816

    cleo

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    #1
    I've got a thread going in another part of the forums discussing my problem in-depth (here), but here's the short version:

    I'm in a power wheelchair. The wheelchair has a bluetooth module that lets me put the electronics in "mouse mode," whereby the joystick becomes the mouse. It can right-and-left-click, but it cannot drag.

    You don't realize how much you use drag & drop (or drag to select, etc) till you can't!

    I want to have my "right click" be read as "drag lock." If this were a USB connection, I'd use USB Overdrive... but it's not, so I can't.

    (I'll be away from the computer for the next 18 hours or so, but you'll definitely hear back from me tomorrow if you reply, no worries. :))
     
  2. JoshBoy macrumors 6502

    JoshBoy

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    This is not a solution but rather a question, could you use a magic track pad at all? not sure what your limitations are but it is small in size and multi touch.
     
  3. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
  4. cleo, Dec 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2010

    cleo thread starter macrumors 65816

    cleo

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    #4
    Thanks for the reply, Josh! I'm actually semi-exploring that option now. I can use touch devices to a degree, although some of the more complex actions are pretty difficult (no three finger swipes; pinches can be challenging). I don't really want to use a Magic Pad for logistical reasons; it would involve mounting another component to my chair, and not a multifunction one (that's what's awesome about my bluetooth joystick & wireless switch: they're not taking up space when not in use for the Mac, as they do different stuff then).

    However, a friend of mine told me today that there are iOS apps that basically act like a trackpad. I don't have either my iPhone or iPad mounted yet, but that's definitely a possibility. Not sure how tiring it might get, but if all else fails it's worth exploring. :)

    Hansr, my hero(ine)! I have searched high and low and never saw this before — the chair is in the shop having some tweaks applied, but I will try it as soon as I can. This might be the ticket! Yippee!
     
  5. vocaro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    #5
    Have you actually tried USB Overdrive? It should work with Bluetooth devices as well. There is also ControllerMate.
     
  6. JoshBoy macrumors 6502

    JoshBoy

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    Be sure to let us know how it goes for you!!! Not sure what the demand is on here but if there is it would be a good category to start up in regards to mods applied to mac based products for accesability, I am sure there are mass amounts of people out there in a similar position need advise and or help in relation to software and hardware that can help make every day tasks that little bit more fluid and manageable.

    I must say I love this - "the chair is in the shop having some tweaks applied" I am picturing Xzibit pimping your wheels there, customer sound system with integrated mac OSX server and 10 inch spinner wheels LOL :D
     
  7. cleo thread starter macrumors 65816

    cleo

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    #7
    Success!

    Hello, gang! I want to thank you all for your help — I was truly at wits end. I'm posting to report complete, 100%, unqualified success with the suggestion of Hansr, an app called SteerMouse. Not sure how I didn't stumble on it in my hours of googling, but it's absolutely spot-on. (It even has the thing where it'll automagically move your mouse to the button in a dialogue box — nice.)

    Even better, in trying to set it up, we stumbled on an even more awesome win (the following long paragraph is detailed and geeky; feel free to skip):

    So how it works is the geek at the wheelchair shop plugs my Omni (computer brains) into his PC (they don't let end users do this, which is crap, but I understand; you can hack all the speed & acceleration settings, possibly flipping the chair). For the mouse module, we have four triggers (nudge up, down, left, & right), and four possible actions (left click, right click, scroll up, scroll down). You can assign those however you want, as well as set the nudge time, etc. So we started with: left nudge = right click, right nudge = left click. (Right nudge is slightly less difficult for my physically, so the most common action should be on it.) Right nudge (regular click) worked great, left nudge: nada. We tried making up nudge & down nudge right clicks also. Also, nada. So then we were thinking, ok, maybe there's something about the signal it sends for "right click" that Macs can't read. Hm. So we swapped it, and found that right click worked fine when assigned to right nudge. Other 3 nudges wouldn't do left clicks. So it's an issue with the nudges. We give up and call Permobil tech support. The guy had us do some troubleshooting, none of which helped. He finally suggested we recalibrate the joystick as a hail mary. We go through the recalibration process, which I'd never done on this new chair and found to be a total PITA. And then... ta-da! All mouse nudges magically work! Turns out the joystick calibration was, for some reason, basically phase-shifted to the right, so it was sending stronger voltage signals when it went to the right than any other direction, and the Omni couldn't effectively read it all. This also affected actually driving the chair; I'd found it difficult & always pulling to the right, but thought it was just a combo of my new posture & a new chair, and that I'd eventually have to adapt.

    Which means that, in helping me drag-and-drop, MR'ers have helped me literally drive the wheelchair easier and better! The difference was immediate and huge; already I feel like I don't have to think about driving, or using the mouse, which is awesome. This process of getting this new chair has been long & difficult, but you guys helped create a serious bright spot. Thank you, and happy holidays!
     

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