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Before embarking on the tests per se, here's my test-bench for reference:-
- 01 x PIII700 at 933MHz (7 x 133MHz) + Alpha PFH6035MUC Heatsink cum Cooler
- 02 x 64MB Hyundai PC133 SDRAM (DIMM 1/2) + 01 x 64MB TwinMos PC133 SDRAM (DIMM 0)
- 01 x Iwill WOR-2 motherboard (I815E chipset)
- 01 x MS-8815 GF2 GTS 32MB; Official Nvidia 6.50 Win2K drivers
- Attached to RAID ATA-100 IDE slots (IDE 2/3): 02 x 30.5GB IBM 75GXP ATA-100 drives; AMI HyperDisk 100 v2.4.1024.0 drivers;
- Attached to standard ATA-100 IDE slots (IDE 0/1): 01 x 30.5GB Maxtor Diamond Max 45 ATA-100 drive (Primary Master) + 01 x 28.5GB Seagate Barracuda II ATA-66 drive (Primary Slave) + 01 x AOpen 48X IDE CD-ROM drive (Secondary Master); Intel Ultra-ATA Storage 6.1.8 drivers;
- 01 x 19” Sony G400 monitor
- 01 x 10/100 INTEL Pro Express NIC (connected to Cable Modem)
- 01 x Edimax Ethernet 10/100 NIC (using Realtek’s chipset)
- 01 x Mitsumi 1.44MB FDD
- 01 x Enermax EG451 P-VE ATX PSU
- 01 x Logitech IFeel Optical USB Mouse (Mouseware 9.2F; Immersion Desktop 2.029)
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Installation is simply a breeze. Just run the setup software and it installs both Mouseware and Immersion's Desktop onto your PC. The installation process also prompts you afterward, for generic mouse settings. Upon reboot, 2 control applets are placed within your tray icon in Win2K. But let's explore each of them in detail.
One of the applets provide quick access to the Immersion Desktop control panel. The controls provided within this panel, truly exploit the capabilities of the IFeel mouse's vibration module. Typically, one can customize his/her own IFeel experience by specifying in intricate detail, the actions to associate each vibration with, as well as its type of vibration required.
The Immersion Desktop Control Panel
As seen above, the Desktop software provides a comprehensive list of actions in Windows that the mouse responds to. Whether it be maneuvering Window panes, scrolling via vertical bars and icon roll-overs, each action can have a different vibration attached. Furthermore, each individual action may be modified in 3 ways: Texture, Pop and Impulse. Each effect is self-explanatory in their vibrational representation (Texture - "grating" feeling; Pop and Impulse are similar, but "Pop" includes direction, whereas "Impulse" usually has a sharper fade-off). An accompanying slider bar is also availed for each effect, to alter their strength or presence. Notably, another slider-bar also controls the overall feedback strength of all actions.
But if each control still seems too rudimentary for your taste, be rest assured that each effect may be further customised. In fact, the level of adjustments is nothing short of astounding, with settings for attack times, loadable waveforms (to alter impulse characteristics), duration, fade levels, etc!! Just check out the following screenshots:-
If any of the above seems too detailed for you, Immersion has also bundled several preset profiles (e.g. SteelDrum, Metallic, Spongy, etc) for convenient configuration. Each are represented by vibrations bearing some semblance to its respective profile. My personal favourite is "Metallic", trademarked by its "light hum" attached to each vibration.
In addition to Immersion's TouchSense technology, Logitech's standard MouseWare 9.2F software is also installed. Apart from handling basic functions / settings of the mouse, this latest version also includes generic support for the IFeel.