Many years ago I started playing Stepmania, the PC game based on Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution. I was pretty good. I bought a metallic dance pad and trained daily. I was pretty good at that, too. I lost about 10 kgs, and I met some awesome people due to the Swedish Bemani community.
A few years ago I borrowed a Cobalt Flux (pictured above) and… well, he never asked for it back, so I still have it here! It’s a great pad, real expensive, very close to that real arcade feeling. It’s made for Playstation 2 however, so you need a Playstation2- to-USB converter for it to work with a PC.
When I first borrowed it from my friend I was still using Windows XP, I reckon, and it worked with no hassle at all. Of course, I haven’t been using Windows XP for a long time now and my gaming laptop is running Windows 7 (Which, of course, I hope to change in the future when gaming takes off on Linux).
So when I plugged the converter into my Windows laptop, the computer couldn’t find any drivers. No problem, downloaded some drivers from the manufacturer’s website and installed them. Nothing. Messed around a little with the settings and device manager, got one step closer, but not far enough. Couldn’t get it to work. After 30 minutes of confusion and anger, I found a forum comment from the manufacturer saying my particular model doesn’t work on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista/7.
I felt both anger and relief. I couldn’t get it to work, but then again, it wasn’t… supposed to. So, in a moment of desperation, I plugged it into my Arch laptop.
Like magic, it worked instantly. I checked dmesg, saw it being recognized as a gaming device and got a successful response from the joypad-program. I was astonished. For the first time in my experience, a piece of hardware was compatible with Linux, when it was NOT compatible with Windows. This, this is where Linux bypassed Windows in every way for me.
Then, of course, I had to install Stepmania. Well, with the AUR, it was installed in no time.