C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
The average PC gamer likely has one controller they use for certain games. They connect that controller to their PC, launch a game, and then play. There’s not much extra thought put into it. However, if you’ve ever wondered what you could be doing with your controller and how you could make an experience specifically tailored to the games you play and the way you game, then let me introduce you to reWASD.
If you’ve never heard of reWASD, I’m not surprised. The company is relatively small in the gaming world — the reWASD subreddit only has 625 members as of writing. However, I have absolutely no clue why that is the case. I took a chance on the app earlier this year, and now I wonder how I ever lived without it.
To fully understand what this software can do, let me explain what it is, my specific use case, and how reWASD has made everything so much better.
About this article: I bought the deluxe reWASD license for my own use and have been using it for 10 months.
What exactly is reWASD?
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
At its core, reWASD is a full customization suite for pretty much every major gaming controller. If you can connect your controller to a PC, the chances are high that this software will give you the ability to customize it to your heart’s content.
And when I say “customize,” I don’t mean swapping buttons around or writing in some macros. I mean customize, as in making your controller do pretty much anything. Do you want to hit the “B” button and have your computer launch Microsoft Word, type “Hello, world, I am typing in Microsoft Word,” and then email the document to your mom? You can do that. I have no idea why you would do that, but reWASD essentially turns your controller into whatever you need, whether that’s a keyboard, a mouse, another controller, a gyro controller, or any input method you can imagine.
reWASD is like god mode but for controllers.
Beyond the comprehensive customization options, you can also set your controller to function differently in different scenarios and auto-switch between them. For example, let’s say you have unique custom controller layouts for Game A and Game B. When you launch Game A, you’ll get one layout, and when you swap to Game B, you’ll switch to its unique layout automatically. Have two different layouts for Game B? You can hotswap between them with a button combo. What’s more, if you switch back to your desktop between the two games, you can have a specific config for that as well.
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Those of you with multiple controllers for different situations will appreciate the power of reWASD. The software lets you customize specific controllers for specific actions. In other words, if you have two Sony DualSense controllers, you can create specific macros for each one rather than be limited to both controllers having the same customizations.
Granted, a lot of these functions are possible with other pieces of software, including the Steam controller overlay. However, reWASD is platform agnostic, so you don’t need Steam (or anything else) to be open for it to work. It also has pretty much every controller option I’ve ever seen in one suite, so you don’t need to bounce between different programs to get what you need. Finally, I have never come across controller software that looks as good, functions as well, and is updated as frequently.
Do you customize your controller to improve your PC gaming?
How I use it: PC games, emulation, and mouse functions
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
For my general PC gaming, I use reWASD to remap my Sony DualSense controllers to Xbox One controllers. I do this primarily for on-screen button-matching on older titles. In fact, I even swapped out the buttons on my DualSense to make them match the ABXY face buttons of an Xbox controller. With the custom buttons and reWASD, older games think I’m playing with an Xbox controller and show me Xbox buttons on the screen. Those buttons will match what I see on the controller.
Why drag a keyboard and mouse to the couch when I can just use reWASD and control everything from the controller?
Why don’t I just use an Xbox controller for real? Xbox controllers don’t have gyro support or a touchpad, making the DualSense far superior for PC gaming, in my opinion. With the DualSense, I can game from the couch and use the touchpad as a mouse if necessary. This allows for a full-on couch experience, without me ever needing to touch a keyboard or mouse. I can also use gyro controls if needed. For example, I could make it so my character jumps if I jerk the controller upward or crouch if I thrust it downward.
I also do a lot of retro console emulation. For that, I primarily use an 8bitdo SN30 Pro Plus controller so I get that Nintendo feel (and Japanese-style face buttons). Since the SN30 Pro Plus has all the buttons that appear on every Nintendo console, I can customize the controller to function differently in each emulator. For example, although the Gamecube controller has the traditional ABXY buttons, they are not in the usual layout. I can swap those around if needed for Gamecube games but then automatically swap them back when playing Super Nintendo games. Likewise, the gyro controls in the SN30 Pro Plus make emulating a Wiimote possible (although I just use real Wiimotes for this, thanks to Dolphin). reWASD also makes it easy to perform touchscreen functions on a TV, which is especially convenient for Nintendo DS and 3DS emulation.
Emulation guide: Everything you need to know
I also use a popular emulation frontend called LaunchBox (which has an Android version now, if you didn’t know). reWASD makes it easy to swap from LaunchBox to an emulator and control each program with separate setups. This, once again, allows me to fully control my PC from the couch without ever touching a keyboard or mouse.
With reWASD, I am able to sit down in my living room, turn on my PC, and game. I can jump from PC games to emulation without getting up or using anything but the controller. I can swap to my desktop to open new programs, change settings, or even shut down the PC from the controller alone. I can hot-swap controllers in the middle of a game if needed. For every problem I’ve dreamed up so far, reWASD has had a solution.
reWASD is cheap, has terrific support, and a sweet Android app
You can get started with reWASD for seven days for free. During that trial, you have access to all the features of a basic license. The basic license allows you to do all the important stuff and costs $7.00 — which is a one-time fee, not a monthly bill.
After about an hour of playing with the different settings during my trial, I immediately bought the deluxe lifetime pass. The deluxe package gives you access to advanced mapping, more save slots, and a few other cool features. It costs a little over $40, but it goes on sale frequently (at the time of writing, it’s just $25.99). Now that I know how much its enhanced my gaming life, I would gladly have paid $100 for this software, so $40 is a steal, to say nothing about the $7 basic license.
For what this software offers, paying just $7 is a steal.
There’s also a mobile app for Android and iOS. If you use it while on the same network as your PC, you can view and control your mappings from the app without using the PC software. This could allow you to, for example, swap a controller macro on-the-fly without exiting your game. The reWASD mobile app also lets you turn your phone into a controller, which could give you both gyro and touchscreen support in games and emulators. This mobile app is free if you have a license for the PC app.
reWASD also gets updated very frequently with new features. In the ten months I’ve been using it, I’ve seen new controller support added, including for the Xbox Elite Series 2. Customer support is also off the charts, with reps responding very quickly to Reddit posts and support tickets. I had some trouble in the beginning getting things going, and a rep helped me every step of the way in the reWASD subreddit.
You get excellent software, good pricing, and stellar support, as long as you’re OK with the learning curve.
That, unfortunately, brings me to the one big problem with reWASD: the learning curve. With so many options, learning how everything works can be quite overwhelming. It’s good that reps are around to walk you through, but this is not a plug-and-play solution. Expect to spend a few hours learning how to do everything the suite offers. But that will be hours well spent if you want total control over your gaming experience.
I honestly don’t know why reWASD isn’t more popular. I can only hope that more people will check it out after reading this, as it’s been a literal game-changer for me.
A Quick Guide to Better CMM Maintenance
A coordinate-measuring machine, also known as a CMM, is a specialized piece of equipment common in high-precision manufacturing. It uses coordinate technology to measure and replicate the dimensions of particular objects.
CMMs are a lot more accurate than regular measurement gauges. This characteristic makes them the equipment of choice for quality assurance in certain industries, like aerospace, defense, and medical manufacturing.
Despite being a powerful piece of equipment and the most versatile measuring tool in the metrology industry, CMMs can also be quite delicate. They require the right environment and proper maintenance practices to maintain accuracy and reliability.
The Importance of Proper CMM Maintenance
It’s essential to clean and inspect each part of your machine to ensure it stays efficient and accurate. Preventative maintenance ensures that your CMM remains accurate and performs at its best. It also improves your machine’s longevity.
Without proper CMM maintenance, you could risk damaging your CMM. Repairs would involve operational delays and additional costs.
CMM Preventative Maintenance Tips
Preventative maintenance practices are ones your team could do by yourselves. It’s best to schedule regular maintenance checks for your CMM daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. These checks can alert you immediately to possible problems with your CMM.
Remove dust and dirt regularly
Clean and well-maintained air bearings ensure your CMM works as it should. These frictionless and stable bearings help ensure accuracy and efficiency. Dust and dirt can clog your machine’s air bearings, affecting its overall performance.
Aside from your machine’s air bearings, dust could also get into other surfaces and crevices. These tiny particles could affect your machine’s accuracy.
Handle Stylus Tips Properly
The stylus is the tip that makes contact with the object you want to measure with your CMM. Despite this significant role, the stylus can be fragile and require careful handling. Too much force could cause it to bend or break.
Clean your stylus with a cleaning agent and a lint-free cloth. Make sure to remove any residue from workplace materials.
Ensure Good Air Quality
Most CMMs use air bearings, and good air quality is essential to keep them running smoothly. Various air quality issues could affect machine performance and even burn out machine motors.
For air quality maintenance, ask and address the following questions:
- Do the lines have condensation, oil, or other contaminants?
- Is the airflow constant?
- Are you using the proper pressure?
When To Call a Professional
Most preventative maintenance practices are simple enough to be performed internally. However, some issues require professional attention. You can also conduct regular professional maintenance checks to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Below are some procedures that require professional assistance. Many CMM suppliers also offer maintenance services alongside their machinery.
Conducting CMM Training
CMMs are highly specialized pieces of equipment. To handle them properly, your staff needs professional training.
Training courses allow you to get trained by CMM experts on the tools and knowledge necessary within your industry. Regular training sessions also help keep you updated on industry trends and standards.
CMM sensors are critical to your machine’s speed and accuracy. They should be professionally inspected and calibrated annually.
Routine sensor maintenance can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of your machine. CMM sensors include the following:
- Scanning probe
- Single point laser
- Line laser
- Electronic touch trigger probe
- Video camera
Neglected air bearings could cause them to falter in their accuracy and stability. Properly maintained air bearings ensure a smooth, stable, and accurate measurement process.
A professional metrology company can thoroughly inspect your air bearings to prevent further machine damage.
A CMM is a significant investment for any business. Good maintenance practices help your machine last and perform at its best, thus making the most out of this investment.
Nintendo’s discounted Switch game vouchers are back
Nintendo’s Switch Online service has become a better deal over time, offering more perks than just the ability to play games online. On top of getting access to SNES and NES classics, and cloud save backups (for most games, save a couple dozen), Nintendo announced an even bigger perk yesterday: discounted game vouchers.
All subscribers can buy a two-pack of these vouchers for $99.98, and a huge range of first-party (in other words, typically discount-averse) Nintendo games are looped in. I encourage you to check out the full list, but some highlights include the brand-new Fire Emblem Engage, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, Metroid Dread, Splatoon 3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Important note: you both have to be a subscriber to buy and use these vouchers.
It’s great that this list is more expansive than Nintendo’s first swing at this deal in 2019. But this perk could actually turn Switch Online into a must-have service because it allows you to pre-purchase up to four sets of vouchers (totaling eight games), and keep them for 12 months from the date of purchase. With $20 in savings with each pair of vouchers, buying four bundles will save you up to $80, assuming that each title normally costs $59.99. If you buy a lot of games, this is a smart way to save a little bit of money on every forthcoming purchase.
I know what you might be thinking: “Can I use one on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?” Nintendo has not currently listed the deliriously anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild, which is set to release on May 12th, 2023. Polygon has reached out to Nintendo to see if it’ll eventually become eligible, but did not hear back in time for publication.
You can get a free seven-day trial for Switch Online here, and you can easily subscribe to the service directly from the Switch’s eShop (it costs $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 per year). However, you can purchase (or gift) a one-year subscription with a digital code via Best Buy for $19.99. With a family subscription that costs $34.99 per year, up to eight Switch accounts can reap the perks of Switch Online.
For players who want all the perks, access to Goldeneye 007 and other N64 and Sega Genesis games, and complimentary DLC for some Switch games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you’ll need Nintendo’s Switch Online plus the Expansion Pack tier, which costs $49.99 per year for one account, or $79.99 per year for a family subscription.
Canadian discovery could help batteries last longer
A chance discovery in a Canadian laboratory could help extend the life of laptop, phone and electric car batteries.
According to scientists from Dalhousie University in Halifax, common adhesive tape in batteries may be the reason many devices lose some of their power while off or not being used, which is a phenomenon known as self-discharge.
“In our laboratory we do many highly complex experiments to improve batteries, but this time we discovered a very simple thing,” Michael Metzger, an assistant professor in Dalhousie University’s physics and atmospheric science department, said in a news release. “In commercial battery cells there is tape—like Scotch tape—that holds the electrodes together and there is a chemical decomposition of this tape, which creates a molecule that leads to the self-discharge.”
The solution is simple, too, Metzger says: replace the polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, plastic tape commonly used inside batteries with something more durable and stable.
“It’s a commercially relevant discovery,” Metzger said. “It’s a small thing but it can definitely help improve battery cells.”
Metzger and his team have been trying to understand why lithium-ion battery cells in inactive devices tend to lose some of their power and self-discharge, something that has long frustrated consumers and manufacturers alike.
“Every manufacturer of lithium-ion cells in the world wants to make self-discharge as small as possible,” Metzger told CTVNews.ca in a joint statement with graduate student Anu Adamson. “In every battery there is a small rate of self-discharge that slowly drains the battery. This is very inconvenient for users and a big headache for industry.”
The electrodes that power batteries are separated by an electrolyte solution that is usually a form of lithium. After exposing several battery cells to different temperatures, researchers were surprised to see that electrolyte solution had turned bright red when it normally should be clear, which was something they had never encountered. The discovery was made by Adamson and two other students.
Chemical analysis of the red electrolyte solution revealed that at higher temperatures, a new molecule had been created inside the battery through the decomposition of common PET adhesive tape, which is often used to hold components together inside batteries. Strong and lightweight, PET is also frequently used for plastic packaging, drink bottles, clothing fibres and more.
Researchers realized that the red molecule, dimethyl terephthalate, was acting as a redox shuttle, meaning that it can transport electrons between a battery’s positive and negative electrodes, creating self-discharge and depleting power even when a battery is not in use. Ideally, the shuttling of electrons within a battery should only happen when a device is on.
“It’s a very simple thing—it is in every plastic bottle and no one would have thought that this has such a huge impact on how the lithium-ion cells degrade,” Metzger said in the news release. “It’s something we never expected because no one looks at these inactive components, these tapes and plastic foils in the battery cell, but it really needs to be considered if you want to limit side-reactions in the battery cell.”
“Since the PET in the tape is the culprit that creates the redox shuttle, we need to replace it with a polymer that is more stable and does not decompose in the harsh chemistry of a lithium-ion battery,” Metzger and Adamson told CTVNews.ca. “So far, the results look very promising, and we plan to publish a new research paper on improved polymers for lithium-ion battery tapes soon.”
According to the researchers, their work has been attracting interest from “some of the world’s largest computer hardware companies and electric vehicle manufacturers,” which are eager to reduce self-discharge and improve battery performance.
“We visited some of these companies and they are planning to implement more stable polymers in their battery cells,” Metzger said.
In the release, Metzger noted: “One of the engineers said, ‘I heard you guys found out something is wrong with PET tape.’ So, I explained to him that it’s causing this self-discharge and asked him, ‘What are you using in your cells?’ He said, ‘PET tape.'”
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