View Full Version : OT: Another cool little gadget

06-10-2004, 09:06 PM
I just picked up a Nostromo SpeedPad n52 - programmable USB keyboard accessory thing-a-ma-bob by Belkin.

It's pretty friggin sweet. With a properly programmed set of functions, you can Model/Animate/Work, etc... without ever taking your hand off the mouse and doohicky (ie: never having to touch the computers keyboard except for numeric entry). It's very nice, especially if you're using a laptop.

I've got a custom key setup for LW & Maya, if any of you kids have one of these gadgets, I'll send you over my key profiles if you want.

PS - It also works pretty cool in Final Cut Pro (and VT3 I'm sure), but I'm still building those key profiles.

06-10-2004, 09:08 PM
PPS - They're only like $30 if you're interested. It's the next best thing to having a SpaceBall!!!

06-10-2004, 09:10 PM
doood... I want one! I can use my spaceball with my left hand and this doohickey with my right. Now all I need is a sewing machine-like footpedal that will allow me to send smartas$ remarks to this forum, and I'm SET! ;)



p.s. Spaceballs on ebay, under $10. That's how I got mine!


06-10-2004, 09:13 PM
I'll buy you one, if you let me try out your Cintiq for a few minutes. ;)

How do you like your SpaceBall? I've only used them a few times, but they seem to be pretty groovy.

06-10-2004, 09:14 PM
I just ammended my last post... look quick!


06-10-2004, 09:16 PM
The Lightwave drivers for the Spaceball (I think John Gross wrote 'em?) are a bit old, but worked OK. Works really well with Maya, though. You almost get seasick flying around at first...


06-10-2004, 09:26 PM
doh!!! Missed the bid by a fraction of a second.

I'll bid on the next one though.

Dude...this is seriously the most fun I've had animating in a long time. The best $30 I've spent, since that hooke...oh I forgot...clean it up!!! ;)

Speaking of John Gross he's a pretty bad-*** dude as well.

06-10-2004, 10:00 PM
can i buy it at fry's? can you show me how to use it.

i'm borderline retarded you know.

06-10-2004, 10:03 PM
does the space ball work on a mac?

06-11-2004, 12:58 AM
hahaha...I'm loving this stupid thing. This & a SpaceBall, and you'd feel like you're flying some sort of aircraft rather than working.

06-11-2004, 12:59 AM
I picked this one up at CompUSA as a "spontaneous" purchase when out making a cigarette run.

06-11-2004, 03:26 AM
Okay...I'm completely obsessed with programming this thing.

My "Modeler" config alone has like 60 different functions broken up in 3 levels according to tasks (ie: Creation Tools, Sculpting Tools, & Construction Tools - with tumb-based viewport navigation controls available at all times) - blah blah blah...this thing rocks.

One cool trick is having a single button perform the following task (Shift-F, Right Click, t). So it essentially smooth shifts the selected poly, and then enters the move (translate) mode with the smooth shifted selection in tact.

Once you get the key locations down - you can model away in a very natural flow without even thinking.

06-11-2004, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by harlan
Once you get the key locations down - you can model away in a very natural flow without even thinking.

That's the way you like it, eh Harlan? ;)

I'll grab one tomorrow. Say, if you're free next Friday evening, you should come by Sony. We're opening our new bar... Red Square.


06-11-2004, 12:45 PM
Get one, and I'll send you the configs that I setup. I'm a total tool, so I spent valuable work time last night making up PDF files with descriptions of all the keys in Modeler, Layout, etc.. ;)

I'll be there or I'll be red square.... ;) - said with a "foofy" german type accent like Hans & Frans.


06-12-2004, 02:19 AM
Hi harlan,
Thinking of getting one of those Nostromo SpeedPad n52 this morning any chance of you emailing me your configs may save loads of time in setting up :)

Sounds an excellent tool ideal of lightwave and maybe Prem Pro used to use my four button mouse the normal buttons set to normal functions and the two extras to move and rotate just love it until Microsoft updated the drivers so you can no longer program the two extras to any key board short cut but just the set windows ones :rolleyes:

heres my email if you get chance [email protected]

cheers :)

06-12-2004, 03:00 AM
No problem...I'll drop 'em in your mail tomorrow.

06-12-2004, 09:09 AM
Wow that looks too neat. I may get one myself. Is it comfortable to the hands? I spend about 10 hours a day on the mouse so comfort is important to me.

BTW the programing of more than one keystroke is just great. looks like a real time saver. :)

06-12-2004, 10:11 AM
harlan, you could make little lscript to do most of this :p

But it's a cool looking tool, wish I had the money to buy one.

06-12-2004, 03:32 PM
will this work for left handed mouse users???....probably not!
...if it's too ergonomic it will be uncomfortable in the right hand if the moulding is for a left hand only....


06-12-2004, 04:07 PM

you're on the mac, right? no glitches to speak of? I'm on the mac and always have my spider sense amped up for platform inconsistencies.


06-12-2004, 04:58 PM
Hi gents well I picked mine up today and just about got the first set of buttons set up :)
Windows xp keeps trying to find the drivers for the mouse?? On start up but apart from that this thing is sweet!

Basically here my Modeler setup left to right (buttons top row first)

Move , Rotate, Numeric Window, Weld, Booleon (5 buttons)
Copy, Paste, Display (settings), Surface, Presets (5 buttons)
Image Editor, Layer Browser, Window Open/Close, Cycle Shift state (4 buttons)

Mouse wheel = zoom+ (forward), Centre all views (press down) zoom- (roll back)

Fire button = Full Screen (equal to numeric pad 0)

joy pad control set to views
Up = Front/Back
Down = Top/Bottom
Right = Perspective/UV
Left = Left/Right

still to set up the other keys yet :D

The cycle shift state allow you to access 3 other full sets of key functions besides the ones on the orginal set up. You can set it up with any type of key function so should prove useful well beyond Lightwave.

Cresshead you are right about the hand problem :( I'm right handed so using the mouse with my right and this with my left which is cool (and proveing VERY productive!) I wonder if they may make a right handed version?? For the UK people I bought mine for just over 20.00 brand new from MicroDirect

Any Lightwave dads out there you now know what to ask for farthers day, beats the hell out of socks and slippers anyway :D

06-12-2004, 05:07 PM
Hehehe...I'm glad to see you're all interested in this thing, because its sure been a blast to use.

si - Yeah it's surprising comfortable - there's only one row of buttons in an awkward position (but that could just be due to my fat a s s fingers.)

Hey Cress, unfortunately, you're probably right. It was one of my questions as well - I'm a bit ambidextrous - so I was gonna see which hand worked best for each gadget. The Nostromo is another product which gives no thought to the bi-handual.

mbaldwin - works great on the mac, and on the PC. I'm 98% Mac around here with the remaining boxes being Linux & Win (kind of funny as no more than 2 1/2 years ago it was the exact opposite). I've not had a single problem with the Nostromo or it's drivers on the Mac. In fact, I've added it to my backpack workstation - which consists of a 17" PowerBook, a Logitech 3 Button, and now the Nostromo.

06-12-2004, 05:16 PM
Hey Andy,

I highly recommend assigning the thumb button (15) to Single View On/Off (num-0), while using the trigger button as a Ctrl-Shift combo (as it makes the mouse menus much more friendly).

Also, try assigning the "Down" button on the D-Pad to Rotate the Persp. View. it's much more "immersive" - awww shiznit - I'll just have to post these configs.

Uno momento

06-12-2004, 05:35 PM
cheers harlen I'll give that a try :)

06-12-2004, 05:39 PM
Ok. So is it only for the left hand? Also does it work like a mouse. i.e. move around or is it just stationary like a small keyboard? Sounds neat though.

06-12-2004, 07:14 PM
It's stationary Si.

06-12-2004, 07:32 PM
Ok thanks harlan. :)

06-12-2004, 07:55 PM
How the h e l l do you post zip files here?

The configs are almost complete, but I'm still finalizing a few things. They'll come with a set of LW cfg's in addition to the different setups for the Nostromo - these LW cfg's give you a much more intuitive workflow between Nostromo & LW (ie: Better mouse menu layout, etc...) makes the mouse menus a little more like the hotbox in Maya