by Matt | Dec 31, 2005 | Games
In case anyone has stumbled across this page in Google, I’m writing this in hopes of sparing you from some of the fustration I felt when I learned that my brand new Logitech G5 laser mouse’s extra buttons weren’t natively supported in Battlefield 2. As an avid computer gamer, I frequently bind my wheel mouse button to “zoom” or “alternate fire” as games sometimes call it. I also bind my thumb button to something handy. I do this because usually I use the right mouse button as “jump”. I’ve never been a big spacebar fan for jumping.
Regardless of my personal preferences, the point here is that those two buttons on the G5 are considered “buttons 4 and 5” to a game. BF2 isn’t known for supporting many mice buttons beyond the standard 3. After some digging and a little coaxing, I figured out a work around to get those buttons to work until such time as EA includes updated mouse support in one of their patches.
What we’re going to do is configure the mouse buttons to be something else, keyboard keys to be exact.
Here’s how. Oh, and click the thumbnails for a larger view.
1. Get the latest SetPoint drivers from Logitech. As of Jan 1, 2006, this should be current: Setpoint 2.47 (English)
2. After installing SetPoint, open the settings dialog. (Mine was: Start -> Logitech -> Mouse and Keyboard – >Settings)
3. On the very first screen (top tab if you’re looking at the tabs on the left), towards the bottom, select “Manage Programs”. We’re doing this so that your normal day-to-day desktop settings won’t get messed up and our changes will apply only to BF2 (or any other game that has this problem, I hear CS:S has the same issue).
4. Select “Add” and browse to your BF2 game folder. Select BF2.exe. Click “Open”, then “Ok” on the list screen.
5. Select the newly added “BF2.exe” from the dropdown box.
Now it’s time to change some button behavior. Keep in mind that you can do this for any of the mouse buttons (though it’s probably wise to leave “left click” and “right click” alone), even the tilt wheel. In this example, I’ve chosen to only modify the thumb button and the wheel button since thats all I’ll be using.
6. Select the button you want to change. In my case, this is button 3 (the wheel). Next, check “Keystroke Assignment” from the options. Next, pick a key that you know you DON’T USE IN GAME. This is important. I chose the “right bracket”.
7. Repeat step 6 with any addition buttons you want to change. This time I selected the thumb button and changed it to “apostrophe”.
8. Click “Apply” and “Ok”
9. Next, fire up BF2, or whatever game you’re trying to get these to work in. Find the appropriate options menu. I’m changing my Alt-Fire button, so that’s what I have highlighted in the example.
10. Rebind the action to the KEYBOARD KEY (not mouse button) you just used in the mouse config. In my case, ” ‘ ” and ” ] “. Notice in the screenshot I’ve bound them both to the same action. This is not nessisary, it was only for illustration purposes. (I later rebound apostrophe to “parachute” in case you’re wondering).
11. Click “apply” and you’re ready to play.
What you’re just done is made BF2 THINK you’re using ” ‘ ” and ” ] ” to do those actions, when infact, with the mouse software, you’ve set up your mouse to emulate those keys. You press your wheel button and the game thinks you’re hitting ” ] ” , which you’ve just bound to the game action.
I hope this prevents people from throwing your mice against the wall like I almost did. Happy gaming. 🙂
by Matt | Dec 27, 2005 | Web
Just a quick little list for the new year. I’ve tried hundred and hundreds of extensions since I started using FireFox and there’s 5 that I keep reinstalling/updating whenever there’s a major FF release.
Adblock – Name says it all. Adblocker that’s unmatched. The best part is that it blocks multiple levels of iframes, so those annoying multilevel flash ads are gone in a single click. It also uses wildcards so if you put in something like “*.doubleclick.*” it’ll block anything and everything from that domain. I spent 20-30 minutes browing ad-laden pages, blocking everything. Afterwards 90% of the ads on the web were blocked.
“Once installed, it’s a snap to filter elements at their source-address. Just right-click: Adblock: done. Filters use either the wildcard character (*) or full Regular Expression syntax. Hit the status-element and see what has or hasn’t been blocked.”
AbstractMouse Shared Bookmarks – Service and extension in one. Completely free and private bookmark sync. I use it to sync bookmarks from home and work to each other.
“Keep your firefox bookmarks in sync between multiple computers (think ‘CVS’ for your bookmarks) and the web. This extension works with the browser’s native bookmark storage so you don’t have to learn any new interface.”
GreaseMonkey – Userscript Paradise. Control the web how YOU want with tiny bits of java-script. Pre-determined pages load your code in place of their own, meaning, you can rearrange, block, manipulate pages that you surf regularly. You really need to check this one out. Also check out UserScripts for all the script goodness.
FasterFox – Performance and speed tweaks for FF. Nice and simple.
“Fasterfox allows you to tweak many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache, DNS cache, and initial paint delay.”
Download Them All – Like Getright or Flashget only as an extension and not an ad-ridden piece of crap spyware. Easy to use. Very powerful.
“DownThemAll lets you filter and download – literally in a click – all the links contained in any web-page, increasing download speed up to 600%, and letting you pause and resume the files any time you want!”
by Matt | Dec 24, 2005 | Personal
Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.
Thanks for the wings!
by Matt | Dec 23, 2005 | Culture, Tech
Given my recent mouse trouble (link), I was feverishly wanting to put my new Logitech G5 laser mouse through it’s passes the moment I unwrapped it. Having used what I consider to be the pinacle of mouse technology for 5+ years, I was skeptical about the new mouse living up to my fairly high expectations. Last night after some Christmas present wrapping I had a chance to put the G5 through it’s passes. To be perfectly honest, with one exception (which I’ll get to shortly), it’s probably the smoothest and most accurate gaming mouse I’ve ever used.
The mouse itself is adorned in rust orange and gun metal gray/silver. Looking a bit like it belongs in the world of Half Life instead of on my desk. The orange LEDs embeded within it’s surface reinforce that notion as well. The mouse is also well textured, going with more of a tactile feel that would closely approximate very fine grit sandpaper. It’s not hard sleek plastic at all. This definatly won’t be sliding around on you and “sweaty mouse palm” is a thing of the past. The thumb-rest on the left side is a soft textured rubber so that you can grip the mouse easier. It a very comfortable mouse to use.
The underside sports teflon coated pads for easy glide on desktops or in my case, a RatzPad “gaming surface”. It’s also home to one of the two unique features of this mouse, the weight cartridge. A small eject button in the bottom exposes a removable orange tray with 8 small holes. Each of these can be fitted with a small weight that comes in a nice metal tin. There’s 16 weights, eight 4.5 gram weights and eight more 1.7g weights. These can be used to make the mouse heavier or lighter depending on your gaming style. If you’re a “pick up the mouse and slam it back down” sort of person, you might want to load it up with the 4.5g weights to minimize that. If you’re a “quick jerk” kind of person you might make it lighter to make your left/right movements faster. I’m more of the latter. I actually prefer a “smooth” movement sort of style that lends itself to weight somewhere in the middle. I’m experimenting with different combonations to see what I like the best. At the moment, very light seems to be working.
The second unique aspect of the mouse is the sensativity settings. Using two buttons immediatly beneith the mouse wheel you can increase/decrease the sensativity of the laser and thereby change the “speed” of the mouse. By default the mouse uses three settings for high/med/low. 2000dpi, 800dpi and 400dpi. The real genious of this is that these 3 settings are available at all times, in-game or on your desktop. Meaning, if you play games with different situations like I do, you can switch back and forth on the fly. Here’s an example scenario, in BF2 of course. You start out as a sniper, running around, probably needed quick action so you set your mouse to the middle setting. You find a nice place to snipe from, zooming in for a shot, you dial down the mouse to make you movements slow and smooth. Having taken out your target you spy an vacant enemy tank nearby. Stealing it, you switch your sensativity all the way up because the turrent turns slowly and you need all the side-to-side speed you can get. That my friends, is a beautiful thing.
Logitech even provides a software interface for changing, customizing and saving these three levels into profiles that are activated when a perticular game is launched. That’s a handy little feature indeed.
All the while all these things are displayed ON the mouse, as almost a battery level indicator, with glowing orange LED display. Very handy when playing the dark (as I do with matches).
This brings us to the single short coming of the mouse: The wheel.
As a frequent wheel user, for scrolling as well as in-game menu navigation/weapon selection, I found that the wheel is a bit stiff. It’s not loose like the new MS mouse (thank goodness) but it’s a bit to hard to crank up and down quickly. It take a very deliberate movement. The worst feature is the combonation of tilt-wheel and scroll wheel button press. By adding the “feature” of a tilt wheel, which I’ve still yet to use, they’ve consequently made it VERY hard to push strait down on the wheel as a button. 99% of the time you end up inadvertently scrolling it or, if you finger aim is even slightly off, pushing it from side to side. The tilt over-powers the button. I had to physically press extremely hard to even get the button to work. Using for a “zoom” as I normally do is now no longer an option. I’ve considered mapping “zoom” to the thumb button but have yet to play with it. It seems a waste to have not only the wheel button but the two tilt sides (which are considered seperate buttons) completely unused in a game situation. This will probably require me to “break in” the mouse a little and keep working at the middle mouse button until it meets my satisfaction.
As a whole, this is a VERY solid mouse. Beautiful action, perfect “glide”, smooth, smooth, smooth. The speed features, the weight tray, it’s all gravy on top of a brillaint piece of hardware. If it weren’t for that middle button, I’d be praising this mouse from the rooftops. As it is, it’s gets a solid 9/10, and hopefully that button will improve over time.
by Matt | Dec 21, 2005 | Personal
Damon leaves Sox for Yankees
And on my birthday too. Thanks Johnny. You could have gone anywhere. Was money THAT important to you? The WS bonus check not enough? Way to go. Hey, here’s an idea, go ask Clemens what it was like to walk back into Fenway in pinstripes. Yeah, have fun with that one.