Idiots Blasted By Reader Mail, But Still Snag MacWorld Tipoff. July 3rd, 2001
Randy: Hey Gary. Why the handcuffs and the chicken suit? Some bizarre setup for a joke or perhaps your heading off to an Apple promotional event?
Gary: Nope. It's just the last thing that's clean in my closet until I do laundry.
Randy: Now that's pathetic. When is the big laundry day?
Randy: Wow! That's a long time to wear the chicken suite.
Gary: Nah, not so long.
Randy: Today is Tuesday dude.
Gary: Ask me about a little time period called my entire freshman year in college in some other column.
Randy: Yikes! How about the handcuffs?
Gary: Oh. I have a dinner date later.
Randy: The poor lady.
Gary: Hey, she's no lady. She's my wife. Hey! Thanks for coming everybody. You've been great!
Randy: All right! What did I tell you about the rim shot jokes?
Gary: (Sigh) That the editor said there's no budget for a drummer on the writing staff.
Randy: Right. So lay off the vaudeville humor.
Gary: Humor? I don't even know her cause I got nothing.
Randy: It's okay. I know you get a little crazy when MacWorld Expo season rolls around. I have come to expect these spells.
Gary: Okay so I may be a little unfocused but I ready to pitch in on the column. I say we dig in and try to get through our embarrassingly large backlog of unanswered mail. Then I have a strange craving for a big bag of birdseed.
Randy: A fantastic idea my fine-feathered friend.
Gary: Okay, okay! I'll lay off the vaudeville shtick and you drop the cheesy alliteration jokes.
I got one (Thrustmaster Pro Digital 2 steering wheel) after reading your article and doing some research. Plug and Play it ain't (I didn't expect it). I got it for my 6 year old to use for a myriad of old and new games. (Input sprocket ones and non-sprocket) I'm looking to USB Overdrive to help me out.
Question: The Input Sprocket extension that came with the wheel (the only thing that makes it "Mac" BTW, which is pathetic), do I need to keep that thing installed and enabled even with USB Overdrive? When you configured your wheel, did you use joystick settings? Does simply pushing the various wheel buttons cause them to be chosen in the Overdrive control panel for you?
Please tell me I will be able to replicate for my son (and me) what you have done!
Randy: Contrary to Gary's experience, my wheel was not plug and play either. In fact I discovered that with the Tmprodigital2 extension in my System, games like Terminal Reality's 4x4 Evolution would not even see input from the Thrustmaster Pro Digital 2 wheel during configuration in the game. After some digging I found a recommendation from a user who said not to load the extension that came with the wheel at all, and sure enough, after removing it from the System Folder, I got 4x4 Evo to see it in the configuration screen.
However with other games like MacSoft's Driver, I had to have the Tmprodigital2 extension in my Extension Folder when I started the game or the wheel would not be recognized.
Gary: You really shouldn't need USB Overdrive for Sprockets aware games. But it may come in handy for configuring the wheel to work with older non-sprockets games.
When you try to set up 4x4 Evo specifically, be sure to choose input type-wheel (Not Keyboard). Then configure each control by first clicking the desired control with your mouse you wish to change (or choosing it with the arrow keys), then hitting your return key to enter the press input screen and then finally pushing a button or pulling the wheel to assign the control. The setup screen in confusing.
Randy: When we wrote the column we had only used the wheel on Gary's machine. The Thrustmaster extension works great on his beige G3 with a USB PCI card. I would think that my G4 with built in USB would work better but it doesn't seem that way.
Gary: Hey this next letter is from you Randy?
Randy: Well, actually this is a follow up to a column we did on The VR Works software package. I had dropped a letter to the makers of The VR Works with some questions and the reply came too late to be included in the original column. However they did pass on some interesting information.
What do you guys have in store for The VR Works package with the imminent release of QuickTime 5?
Will there be an updater or new version to include the capability to do cubic VR panoramas?
We will be releasing version3.0 at MACWORLD New York in July, perhaps sooner. It will have the ability to compose Cubic VRs with the 6 basic images of the Cube (4 walls and ceiling and floor), for slit back scanning cameras (like Panoscan), and also have a multirow stitcher for Cubic VR.
Vice President for Marketing
VR Toolbox, Inc.
Gary: Killer! Nice to hear some great software is going to get some must-have new features.
Randy: This next letter is for you Gary.
Gary: Aww, shucks. A fan letter.
u r a loser
Gary: Hey! That doesn't have my name on it.
Randy: Well if the shoe fits.
Randy: As long as we are on the hate mail vibe let's do one more.
This is just a short note to let you know this is the last time I click on something from you. Apart from the format being "Sesame Street" style your vicious (sick) religious jokes were really offensive. Your [sic] in the wrong business!
Gary: Except for a touch of bad grammar, you are right on there Mark. I have been telling Randy for years now that we need to open a bagel shop. Something with a cute name, like "Bagel your Pardon!"
Randy: Seriously Mark, sorry you don't enjoy our particularly lamentable brand of humor, but please keep in mind that all it is meant to be, humor. We only hope that should we ever meet in person, you won't really restrain yourself from clicking on something of ours.
Gary: Hey but I like that "Sesame Street style" thing. At least we have a style now.
Randy: We'll see you folks at MacWorld!
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .