Last week my 3Dconnexion space navigator mouse arrived in the mail and I finally had an opportunity to play with it today. After a simple software install the mouse connected to my Mac without a problem, I’m running 10.5.2.
I was pretty excited to try it out with Second Life so I logged in. Tried to fly…nothing happened. I tried to rez a box…nothing happened. I looked up the 3Dconnexion space navigator webpage and it said the software is only compliant with Second Life 1.20 (7). I needed to download the the release candidate, which I’m glad did (the release candidate works so much better on my machine than the current SL download).
The space mouse was hard to use at first. It really is a different way to navigate the world. To fly, you pull the mouse up and to land you push the mouse down. To pan you twist the mouse to the left or right . I found it easy to fly around a sim and to land but it was difficult to simply walk up to an avatar and have a conversation. I kept bumping into people….user error
Building wise the space navigator was a bit overwhelming at first. It was amazing to watch as I was effortlessly twirling prims around on their various axis. Be sure to lock all the surrounding objects including your attached items when you first use the space navigator. If you accidently select an object you are wearing and touch the space navigator your object will get tilted, twisted or flipped pretty quickly. See the picture below. I was wearing wings while I was rotating a box and at some point I clicked my wings which then got all twisted and out of line (this will make no sense to a non SL user). The 3Dconnexion space navigator worked very well with Google Sketchup, in fact it made the tool easier to use. I’m looking forward to learning how to work with the new tool.