Driver support for older devices

Questions and answers about 3Dconnexion devices on Windows.

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dnashj33
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Driver support for older devices

Post by dnashj33 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:13 pm

I am still happily using the SpacePilot I bought almost a decade ago. Sure I could use some of the newer bells and whistles of the current flagship device, but no company should purposefully disable a product of theirs (by way of dropping minimal software/driver support) in order to compel past customers to upgrade to a newer device. There is something kind of unethical about that practice. Let the customer decide on their own if a newer model is worth the added expense, without trying to coerce them by dropping minimal driver support. To be fair, Wacom does this, too, and I'm not happy about that, either. If what we have meets our needs we should be able to continue using it as long as we choose to.

I work for a 3D software company, creating tutorials and I often promote the use of 3DConnexion devices because our software supports them, and it makes a huge difference in my opinion. Here is part one of a SpacePilot demonstration I posted on our Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_O3yLp9Kek

I haven't asked for nor received anything from 3dconnexion for helping to (co)promote their product, but I would like to ask that you reconsider your policy. To you, the SpacePilot may seem obsolete and outdated, but to many users, like myself, it suits our needs the same today as it did then. Plus, paying $400+ for an input device is too big of an investment to only have 5yrs of shelf life (driver support). If I upgrade to the current SpaceMouse Enterprise, I have no confidence that it won't likewise be deprecated and made by 3DConnexion to be an expensive paperweight, soon.

There is just no excuse why my SpacePilot shouldn't be able to use the most current drivers (it was able to up until 3ds Max 2017 and now the newer drivers won't work in any capacity, at all). So, here I am, happy with the SpacePilot, but I'm being FORCED to buy a new device just because I cannot use 3ds Max with 2018 or 2019. The older drivers still work fine with 3DCoat, Blender, Houdini and Modo, but I'm totally stuck out when using 3ds Max, and Maya would probably be the same.

For this reason, I won't be recommending 3dconnexion devices like I used to...because the company purposefully makes that expensive flagship device a huge, dust gathering paperweight within 5yrs or less. And for this same reason, I am really struggling with the decision to buy the current flagship model. A few years ago, I considered moving up to the SpacePilot Pro, but it, too became discontinued, so buying one then meant I would only get support for it for a few years, before it is a big paperweight. You aren't compelling people to buy. You're giving them a major reason not to.

UtaSH
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by UtaSH » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:36 am

Hello dnashj33,

that's a nice video that you created. Thanks for that.

The video shows a SpacePilot Pro, not the SpacePilot. Are you referring to the SpacePilot? The device that we stopped producing 8 years ago?

We are sorry you are disappointed with the driver availability for your SpacePilot.

We would like to clarify that SpacePilot was discontinued in March 2010 and software support was maintained for three years. This means we continued to test the product with all new drivers until March 31st 2013.

After this date, we did not take any steps to stop SpacePilot working in all drivers up to 3DxWare 10.4.10, but did not test the SpacePilot with these drivers. You can go to our driver archive, select a more recent device, e.g. the SpaceMouse Pro and you will get 3DxWare 10.4.10. In driver versions after 10.4.10 we cannot provide support for the SpacePilot anymore due to major changes in the driver where the legacy devices could not be integrated.

dnashj33
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by dnashj33 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:14 am

Yes, as a follow up to that 1st video, I recorded another one (Pt.2). I used the press materials from the 3dconnexion website, and I showed a reference image of the most current models, then. However, for the actual demonstration, I was using the SpacePilot, rather than the SpacePilot Pro.

Even now, the older SpacePilot is considerably more feature-rich and thus useful than the current 2nd and 3rd tier models. That is why it seems the flagship models are arbitrarily deprecated and made obsolete well before they actually are, in everyday, practical usage. I realize it's a bit of a dilemma for 3dconnexion to continue supporting devices you no longer sell, for an extended period of time, and have to stop at some point.

But consider this; even today, if someone buys the current flagship model (it's been on the market for a few years now) it means that model is due to be replaced soon and driver support stopped in 3yrs. That's a notable concern for anyone considering an upgrade to a newer premium model. I just wanted to reflect the customer's perspective on this topic, so you understand what we are thinking when considering a newer model.

https://youtu.be/pi02qkPyT7U

jwick
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by jwick » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:02 am

Those are some great videos!

dnashj33
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by dnashj33 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:19 am

jwick wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:02 am
Those are some great videos!
Thanks. I plan to create an updated and improved one soon.

SpaceRob
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by SpaceRob » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:07 am

Hello, I just registered.
Recently, I obtained a Spaceball 5000 serial from a local donation shop, and would love to use it on modern systems.

I can understand 3Dconnexion's position regarding 'obsolete' products that provide them no revenues, but these older device lines are perfectly usable, and, for some, provide(d) superior functionality for their needs.
I think 3Dconnexion should consider a crowdfunding campaign for older drivers. Even if it is one single update, it would be great, and 3DC would be able to get paid for their endeavor.
I certainly don't expect this to ever come to pass, but I think it could turn out to be a successful funding campaign. Ultimately, it would be a benefit to all who want to use 6DOF devices.

mgibeault@gmail.com
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by mgibeault@gmail.com » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:24 am

That means we can't buy any 3Dconnexion product anymore.
Imagine buying the top-of-the-line SpaceMouseEnterprise while knowing in won't work anymore in 2022! Nobody can justify that!
Apple is currently being sued for planned obsolescence and they support and test new Mac OS against more than a thousand product configurations!

kdk_warhead
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by kdk_warhead » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:11 pm

UtaSH wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:36 am
...
After this date, we did not take any steps to stop SpacePilot working in all drivers up to 3DxWare 10.4.10, but did not test the SpacePilot with these drivers. You can go to our driver archive, select a more recent device, e.g. the SpaceMouse Pro and you will get 3DxWare 10.4.10. In driver versions after 10.4.10 we cannot provide support for the SpacePilot anymore due to major changes in the driver where the legacy devices could not be integrated.
Hi,
I cant find 3DxWare 10.4.10 on the archived-drivers page and I cant get 3DxWare 10.4.3 (2016/05/06) to work for my SpacePilot (win10).
I found 3DxWare 10.4.10 under SpaceMouse Pro, and SpacePilot Pro.
Driver 3.16.3 (2013-03-28) kind of works but it is a very old driver.

Is it possible to send me 3DxWare 10.4.10 or to add it to the legacy drivers?

UtaSH
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by UtaSH » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:51 am

Hi,

please contact our Technical Support Team. They can help you to get the driver version you are requesting.

nateliv
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by nateliv » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:19 am

Download the Vista drivers and install them in compabilty mode "Vista" and as an administrator (right click and choose compabilitytab on the setup file for settings mentioned).

This works for me with my old ATI x1600 in Windows 7, 8.0 and 8.1.

I assume this works in Windows 10 to.

bsballfn172
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Re: Driver support for older devices

Post by bsballfn172 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:44 pm

Would it be possible to publish anticipated end-of-production dates?

Up until this past week when we upgraded our CAD software I was also using an old SpacePilot at work. I had a SpaceMouse Compact at home that I've brought in to get me by, but I really miss having the keyboard modifiers. I would like to upgrade to a SpaceMouse Pro, or possibly even Enterprise, but I'm hesitant to pull the trigger because I don't know how long it will be before a newer model replaces it - for all I know it could be 6 months or 6 years.

I understand that you can't support old devices indefinitely, but even having a ballpark estimate of how long I can expect a current device to work properly would be extremely helpful.

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