OpenArena is a cross-platform first person shooter (FPS) that works on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. OA has a slew of mods and models included, but is a fairly large download (approximately 430MB). This video takes a fairly quick look at OpenArena.
Recently I bought a Microsoft SideWinder USB joystick from work with the intention of using it for a future Linux project. Microsoft makes a number of joysticks including the Sidewinder 3D Pro, Precision Pro, Force Feedback Pro, Precision 2, Force Feedback 2, and the one I have which is just dubbed “SideWinder Joystick.”
My SideWinder Joystick has a part number of X05-63895 and a Product ID of: 52892-764-0090496-0000. My SideWinder doesn’t have the force feedback feature according to the really tiny article on Wikipedia. Microsoft maintains a hardware section, but sadly it doesn’t have any information on the SideWinder Joystick.
I found a SideWinder joystick that looks exactly like the one I have, but with a different product number on the Amazon web site. The Amazon listing indicates that it works with Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 Professional, XP Home and Professional, but I can say with certainty that it works with Ubuntu Linux as well by issuing the following command to activate the module:
sudo modprobe sidewinder
Carlos Santiago’s review of the SideWinder joystick is particularly helpful because he indicates that it’s best used as a joystick for flight simulators.
At this point my son walked in and mentioned the same thing. The design looks very much like a yoke would on an aircraft, so it makes good sense that we’re not talking about a joystick that would be generally used for non-flight simulator games (a gamepad is probably better).
My initial intent was to use the joystick as part of a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator project, but it might make more sense to build a flight simulator cabinet with multiple monitors running something like Flightgear.
Update: The Microsoft SideWinder Joystick does indeed work with Flightgear… now if only I could fly as easily as it was to install this joystick in Ubuntu and get it working with Flightgear.
Update #2: It works quite nicely with SuperTux 2 as well!
I’ve covered Microsoft Windows licensing here before, specifically as it applies from the computer refurbisher/reuse standpoint. Ruth Morton, Technical Advisor for Microsoft Canada, has written a more comprehensive overview of licensing for Technet. Ruth’s article breaks licensing down to: Full Package Product (what I often incorrectly call Retail boxed edition), OEM (original equipment manufacturer), and Volume Licensing.
When people purchase a PC with Microsoft Windows installed that PC license almost always falls into the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) licensing, meaning that when you get rid of the PC the license goes with it.
Of course there is the scenario where you might buy a PC with no software license. If you buy a “barebones system” or buy a system from a retail shop that does custom builds they may not have OEM licensing and might require you to pay the cost for a license.