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.

Cobalt Flux

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.


Stefan Persson

Stefan is the owner, maintainer and writer of this website. Computer technology has been in his interest since forever, which has led him to studies and a career in the networking field.

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