Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ambx notes and plans

Mostly some links here for ideas on alternative transducers.

This is funny, "The light bulbs in my house are constantly burning out. This didn't happen before I installed my tactile array. What can I do?"


  • Look at the API and what it offers, although with all the driver problems this might be a waste of time. Ideally we'd want to make our own drivers, possibly even our own replacement hardware. (qDot already has a similar system already built)
  • Look into how the game provides hooks into the drivers and make a sample app that acts like a real ambx and outputs what the game is expecting. (Which light, what color, intensity, saturation, rumble (on/off/or intensity), fan speed, etc) This will give a lot of insight into how much effort game developers are putting into actually supporting this hardware. (If I had to guess, very few man hours)
  • Emulate the device entirely in software, mostly done by first part of 2nd bullet.
  • Support MAX/MSP, Wiring libs, for DIY artists etc.
  • (long term) Eliminate the commercial platform altogether, for non-gamer croud mostly. on your own hardware. Somehow, the freetrack guys got away with this, I don't know the legalites. http://www.free-track.net/english/ (since if the commercial platform fails, so does everything else.) DIY, open source hardware for everyone. Possibly make wrapper to allow homebrew hardware to use old AmbX game features

Thats all for now. Time to bring this thing down stairs onto the bench and spend an hour trying to get the !@# drivers to work so I can make some pinouts.

PS, for those having problems with the drivers, visit the ambx forums. You'll find lots of people just like you and just as pissed off. If they JUST released the separate components as EXE files, we'd be a lot better off. The updater thing seems to jack everything up.

Here is a dump of what the updater did for me, just now. Replace .dat with .exe and you can get the file. The dat contains xml that is a description of what 'it' is.

http://www.ambx.com/updates/update.xml < look inside of here for the exe urls for latest stuff

http://www.ambx.com/updates/NativeSoftwareInformation.xml < no idea, updater requested it but got 404

contents of update 4/28/09:

Update status (ie what version you have) is stored in:


If you delete the GUID's in there, the updater will at least get them again and reinstall them for you. But try to install the things manually, it seems to work better. If you are fast, you can catch what the updater downloaded in your TEMP directory, but i just gave you all the urls, so downloading them shouldn't be too hard. :) Remember for the latest drivers, peep on that update.xml

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