Our actual eyetracker is a bit backordered, so we’ve got a rental for the moment. It’s astoundingly unassuming looking, just (as they picture on their web site) basically a small black bar at the bottom of a 22” monitor, plus the laptop to run the programs. When I took it out of the box, it fires up the operating system and there are the icons just sitting on the desktop, with a little warning that we shouldn’t mess with any settings, install a firewall or anti-virus software for risk of messing up the primary function. They have branded the screen with a little decal from their company, but otherwise, it’s just a laptop with an attached monitor.
The actual getting started is a bit complicated. I’m usually the one to pooh-pooh the need for “readme” documents, but I would have liked one here to tell me which program is which. That’s the thing – the software is powerful, but it has a bit of a steep learning curve. The “quick start” guide has several steps before you even think about calibrating a subject. We got stuck on the requirement to get Ethernet hooked up since we tried to set up in a tech closet and OSU otherwise has pretty widespread wireless coverage. Harrison had to run a 50’ cable from Mark’s office down the hallway to the closet.
Looks like the next step is some pretty intense work understanding how to set up an experiment in a different software program. This is where a “test” experiment just to start learning how to use the system would be good. That’s the sort of icon I need in the middle of the desktop. It reminds me of my first job as a research assistant, where I was registering brain images to a standard. The researchers had written a program to rotate the images to line up and then match certain features to the standard to stretch or compact the images as necessary, but there was no manual or quick start. My supervisor had to show me all the steps, what button did what, which order, etc. It was a fairly routine process, but it was all kept in someone’s head until I wrote it down. The pdfs here are a great start, but there still seems to be a step missing. Stay tuned!