I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.
I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.
Building a StepMania machine
My social demographic consists almost entirely of geeks. When I go to parties, activities intend to include Wii Tennis, boardgames, and physics debates. They usually don't involve much in the way of dancing. Overall, that's a good thing, because if I were to dance then anyone nearby with a camera is likely to record the moment in an attempt to squeeze $500 out of Australia's Funniest Home Videos. That's why I love the Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) style games so much; I can still look like a fool, but I can get points for doing so.
The simple addition of a couple of dance mats and a scoring system results in an amazing behavioural change. Songs which would previously had one silence the radio with a sledgehammer suddenly become "cool" and "groovy" with "interesting footwork" and "awesome combos". As such, I've been putting together my own StepMania setup. This post is primarily to record two painful experiences that I'd rather not have anyone else encounter.
The first involves video drivers. I'm using a mobile GeForce 7800 Go graphics card, and all the official drivers are ancient. Using drivers from Laptop Video 2 Go have always provided me with some relief here, however the more recent versions would install fine, but break the control panel. It seems this is a well-known problem, and an
The second involves my purchase of a Super Joy Box 5 Pro, which are readily available on eBay, and sound awesome, allowing four playstation controllers to be converted to USB using a single box.
Do not buy the Super Joy Box 5 Pro. It is not awesome. It allows only a single controller to be attached; any more and they start interfering with each other, which makes all controllers but one effectively unusable. It appears that this isn't unique to this particular device; a number of the items from MayFlash have similar problems. I'd be very cautious before buying anything in the Super Joy Box series.
Instead of paying for some crapola from eBay that doesn't work, go read the StepMania page on USB adaptors and ignore the ticks. The ticks lie. Read the user comments; all USB adaptors suck, but some of them suck less. Play-Asia delivers to Australia and seems to have reasonable prices and postage. I've just ordered a EMS dual shooter from them, which seem to be highly recommended.