18 November, 2010

Slow down your gaming mouse in Linux!

Last week I updated/added Ubuntu 10.10 to my gaming machine. But when trying to play some games via wine, I realized that my Sharkoon Fireglider was still too fast, even at the lowest settings. The Ubuntu mouse settings did not allow me to push the slider further down.

After some research I decided to write a little script that would allow me to do this manually. It sets the sensitivity and the acceleration to a desired number and outputs the current settings.

Here it is:

# bash script to slow down gaming mice even below the
# lowest values supported in XServer mouse config dialogs
# author: Uwe Jugel
# contact:
# license: creative commons, http://
# usage: ./slow-mouse [sensitivity] [acceleration]
# useful values for my Sharkoon Fireglider: 5,1


id=`xinput --list --short | grep -m1 $device_str | sed 's/.*id=//' | sed 's/\s*\[.*\].*//'`

echo "---------------------"
echo "old settings:"
xinput --list-props $id | grep -E Decel\|Scali
echo "---------------------"

echo "setting sens/accel to $sens/$accel"

`xinput --set-prop $id "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" $sens`
`xinput --set-prop $id "Device Accel Velocity Scaling" $accel`

echo "---------------------"
echo "new settings:"
xinput --list-props $id | grep -E Decel\|Scali
echo "---------------------"

09 August, 2010

Put all your Apps on SD Card or USB stick!

Putting your games and other software on an removable USB storage might seem useless to some of you, but I am currently doing it for some games and software. I am now mainly doing it to free some space on my SSD and still have the runnable application at hand. But it could also be very handy in other cases.

I'm playing WoW on a private server and wanted my girlfriend to easily join the game, even though she had no distinct gaming PC/Laptop then.

Private servers might also not work with the latest WoW-client version and might need some manual upgrading/fixing. Since I didn't want to reinstall/upgrade the game's client software after every client update on all potential machines, I was looking for an easy an pragmatic solution.

Fortunately, the WoW-client software is less than 20GB in size. And it did fit nicely on my 32GB USB stick, thus I could always have an up-to-date version of the client at hand, independently of which machine it should be run on. The performance of the stick was more than sufficient and we never had problems with it. I even have the feeling that the stick is faster than the old HDD that now resides in my girlfriend's "new" gaming PC.

I'd really like this easy plugging and removing without having to fight myself through any installers and upgrade tools. And since I have so much my stuff on flash now, it really hurts me now if I hear an ancient mechanical HDD crunching it's wheels.

Check out SSD and Flash if you can afford it. It's worth every penny!

18 February, 2010

SSD Turbo

I just bought an SSD for my Gaming-PC at home.

It is a big difference. Everything feels to load three times faster and is responsive instantly. Windows (no Linux :( since it's a gaming-machine) boots in 50 seconds including all stuff loaded in the background/to the tray (anti-virus, hardware-tools, styler, etc.)

I did some basic measurement that shows the subjective improvement is much bigger than the real-world numbers:
  • Game save state loading times are "only" reduced by 50-100%
  • Windows boot is "only" 70% faster
  • But Firefoxs (16 Tabs) really starts three times faster, and is responsive after less than 10 seconds. This did take 30 seconds before!
This really impressed me so much, that I even felt like blogging it to the world again ;)
If you plan to upgrade your PC someday, don't forget to add an SSD, it's worth every Cent.

Ahh, what you actually might want to know is, which SSD I bought:
Its an 80GB Intel X25-M G2 Postville 2,5" SATA II drive that I bought for 185€.