Thursday, February 11, 2010

Installing Space Navigator

Hey, so I just wrote a bit of an instructional for a client for installing a Space Navigator to Windows. Was pretty simple actually as I hadn't installed it since I formatted my computer, so I just documented what I did, as i did it.

The Space Navigator is a pretty funky bit of kit. In short, its a 6 axis joystick and it lets you move your avatar or your camera around in Second Life or several other 3D programs really easily and intuitively. And its lotsa fun :)

Torley talks about it in one of his vids, let me find the link...
Actually a heap of videos on there about it, handy :)

Below is the instructional bit that I wrote for the client. Just a casual bit of script, nothing major.

1. Plug it in. Windows will probably try to install some drivers for you, if you lucky it might find some, but they're unlikely to work. Just wait till it does its thing, then go to step 2 when it doesn't work. (i found that mine sort of works for some programs, but doesn't work properly)
2. Go to and make the choices as appropriate for your space nav and your version of Windows (pick anything if your not sure which version you have, it'll show you a photo) and click search.
3. Click the little floppy disc icon on what the search gives you. (i only got one option, and the download is over 100mb, so this will take a few minutes, maybe go make a cuppa)
4. Run the file that you just downloaded to install the software. All the default options should be fine, but i opted not to install the control panel thing and the starting when windows starts thing. When it actually installs it takes a bit longer than expected.
5. Great, its all installed. Just a couple of settings to check in Second Life now, I'll run through what I do, but you might choose to do something a little different, its up to you. Log into Second Life.
6. Open Preferences (CTRL+P) and go to the 'Input & Camera' tab. Click on the 'joystick setup' button.
7. In there, click the 'SpaceNavigator Defaults' button, and SL will reconfigure everything automatically.
8. This step is optional, and worth noting to change later as you get familiar with using your Space Navigator. On the same screen as before, you'll see the three 'Control Modes' check boxes, one each for Avatar, Build, and Flycam. I don't like using my Space Navigator for controlling my avatar, and especially not for building. I untick both of those, and have Flycam on only.
9. Click OK on both open windows.
10. Your done. Just click the little button on the left hand side of your Space Navigator to enable FlyCam mode, and you can zoom your camera around everywhere. With that Avatar Control Mode enabled, pushing your Space Navigator will move your avatar by default. Pushting the button on the Right of the Space Navigator opens the options window for the Space Navigator. I press it by accident all the time, just press it a 2nd time to make it go away.

Your done, congrats, and enjoy. :)

P.S. If you have Google Earth installed, its heaps of fun to fly around that with your Space Navigator. You'll discover the controls are slightly different, but you'll get used to them.

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