Rant: SpaceTraveler better than SpaceNavigator, etc.

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Rant: SpaceTraveler better than SpaceNavigator, etc.

Post by qhorque » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:49 am

I just bought a new SpaceNavigator because I was forced to due to 3DConnexion and Logitech's business model of no longer "supporting" old devices and forcing customers to always buy new devices. I can understand not supporting older SERIAL devices but to no longer support USB devices??? Come on. I've had to do this same money wasting exercise with several perfectly usable Logitech mice over the last year after moving to Windows 7.

What makes this so annoying is that, typically, the mouse or 3D devices DO WORK in Windows 7 albeit in a default way which means the devices are indeed sending the proper signals to the OS and applications though with reduced or basic functionality. Left, Right, Middle, buttons and scroll wheels all work in a default configuration but you can't reassign buttons or modify settings unless you use the default Microsoft (or sometimes Logitech) GUI. If you want total defaults, you might be able to get by but if you want to make that scroll wheel button a double-click, you're out of luck unless you buy another mouse. SetPoint and 3DConnexion control panels don't recognize the old device and won't configure them at all.

Then there's the 3D world where our serial port Spaceballs don't work so you have to buy a new USB device which works fine (and still works fine) but it doesn't work in W7. Why not? It's just the same signals being sent through a UNIVERSAL serial bus. Nope, they changed something and refuse to "support" it by updating their drivers. As if it's sooooo time consuming and expensive to do. Probably not a big deal yet they refuse.

So I had to buy ANOTHER $100+ device that's "better" and "newer" and is oh so wonderful. But it's not. No, it's worse. How?

The SpaceNavigator for Notebooks is smaller than the standard SpaceNavigator sure. That's a selling point. At 68mm it's smaller than the 78mm larger one BUT it's still BIGGER than the Traveler which is 64mm. Considering the two devices are so similar to each other, why did they even change the base size? Refused to use old molds or castings? Wouldn't that have been cheaper? Instead you made the new ones bigger. So the Space Traveler is better in this regard.

The SpaceNavigator has only TWO buttons, not 8 like the Traveler. If you had previously used the Traveler for years with specific buttons or macros set, you are now out of luck. Since they used more aluminum for the base and had to pay for new tooling, they must have run out of money for 6 more buttons. That's totally lame. So the Space Traveler is better here too.

A little thing but the SpaceNavigator comes with a soft travel bag, not a hard travel case like the Traveler did. This places undue pressure on the light spring loaded puck no matter what you do. The zippered bag is also too small for the SpaceNavigator and it clearly bends the cord at the base more than it should. This will indeed fail over time. The Traveler had a spacious case that allowed the cord to rest extended straight out of the base and did not put undue fatigue on the cord. Again, the Space Traveler is better. Unfortunately, the larger Navigator can not fit in the Traveler's case. Too bad. If I can't use the Traveler and will simply toss it, it would have been nice to use the better hard case. But I can't do that either. I guess it's not supported.

The only two things I can see where the Navigator is better are the slightly thicker cord and a larger footprint of rubber material on the bottom that keeps it a little more stable. Neither are reasons to need to change to a new device.

So the older unsupported legacy historic already-paid-for Space Traveler is still a better device than the new almost exactly the same, larger, poorly cased, fewer-buttoned SpaceNavigator and the only reason to buy one is because you force us to and give a lame reason that the older devices are just older and not supported. That's not a reason. That's a cop out.

I've never seen a real reason why old devices, especially USB ones, are not supported or why you won't write drivers for them. USB is a standard so there's no real reason I can see why you need to change anything. A pan, rotate, or zoom signal and a button 1-8 signal are no different today than they were yesterday. That's proven when the devices happen to work in a default manner. So what's the real reason? As far as I'm concerned it's just greed. Force customers to buy new devices no matter what. That's your mantra. It's annoying.

Stop messing with your customers and support old perfectly good devices and stop making new ones that are clearly inferior.

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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:16 pm

Hear hear

Post by agonyii » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:34 pm

Thank you for speaking out the truth! I have exactly the same device and exactly the same problem so I feel cheated as well. Every single toilet paper holder now feels much more usable than this device without the driver. The best part is that driver actually recognizes the device as you have mentioned. It really looks like that support for the device was deliberately taken out. I had to make registration on the forum just that everybody else know what this company is doing against people who are just their customers. It is up to you to support it or not but before that it is your right to know the company real policy.

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Post by Sad Sack » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:44 pm

I have a Space Traveler3 that I'm still able to use with solid modeling, but it's not without it's 8 button design flaws. All 8 buttons push parallel to table surface so they are useless as a "hold down" ctrl key. Try as I might, if I hold down a "ctrl" programed button and spin-pan-zoom to pick multiple surfaces, the puck wants to slide across the desk top.

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