MythTV Gaming – Happy Happy Joystick Luv

This weekend saw some serious exercise on the Myth box. Because of a fairly major snowstorm, we spent a fair amount of time indoors, trying not to get on top of each other and stave off cabin fever. The Myth box came in very handy as (at least in Ben’s case), it was the instrument of recall to his Super Bomberman days. This game, ancient though it is (the SNES version we’re running is 12+ years old), is still outstanding.
What really made it tasty was we got 3 joysticks + the keyboard working on the box. Two of the sticks are the Thrustmaster gamepads I mentioned earlier, one was a Logitech Rumblepad I had frankly forgotten I owned. These all come up on the USB bus under linux as /dev/js0 through /dev/js2 respectively. More on this shortly.
The game ran perfectly via the ZSNES emulator managed from the Myth front end. With 3 adults and 1 7 year old playing, it was quite the bit of fun.
But of course, there has to be at least one hassle. The USB hookup I’m using has a tendency to reset for no reason. We’re not sure if this is the hub, or the cabling, or the connectors, or what. The issue is, when it resets, the joysticks tend to be renumbered. If I’m running /dev/js0 and /dev/js1 gamepads, and the hub resets (from just moving around on the couch or the like), BING, those joysticks are now /dev/js2 and /dev/js3. Nice that it resets and reloads, not so nice in that now the main joystick I use for selecting games and controlling the Myth box is unavailable. I could use some input (so to speak) on this problem. Linux geeks may have suggestions on how to better control the dynamic device assignment in the USB system. Its workable when you have unique devices (Camera goes to /dev/camera, etc etc), but when you have multiples of the -same- device (say, 4 gamepads), I’m not sure if it’s possible.
The other good toy added recently was a wireless keyboard and mouse courtesy of This has helped a lot as it’ll allow us to push the box back under the shelving by the TV (the keyboard cable was VERY annoying to deal with). Next will be a USB extension cable to bring the joysticks nearer the players.
All in all, I continue to be fascinated with this machine and all it represents.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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One thought on “MythTV Gaming – Happy Happy Joystick Luv

  1. Meanwhile, I am coming to the conclusion that a Myth box may not be the best long term solution for me. I will be watching the rumored Apple PVR release very carefully. If it will let me burn DVDs and otherwise export taped content as AVI/DivX files I will likely leap on it.
    I do no have the time I used to to tinker endlessly with geektoys at home 🙂

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