Digging up old projects: FreeWheel

I received an email a few days ago asking whether I still support the FreeWheel utility. This is something I wrote back in the mists of time to provide mouse wheel support for the Amiga. It wasn’t a mouse driver as such, instead it set up an input handler that watched for “Newmouse” events, and attempted to translate them into keypresses or slider nudges, or whatever was appropriate for the window currently under the cursor.

The other nice thing FreeWheel could do was to adjust the mouse speed in very fine increments. Instead of merely multiplying mouse movements by an integer constant, it multiplied by a fractional amount, and maintained a remainder, so if you wanted your mouse to be 23% faster, FreeWheel could oblige.

The requested change was simply to provide a 68000-compatible build, since the build on Aminet was for 68020+ only, and as it happens this was a really easy request to fulfil, so… some 14 years after the first release on Aminet, a new build is now available!

7 thoughts on “Digging up old projects: FreeWheel

  1. Ummm…. that’s kinda interesting…

    A few years ago I built myself a few PCBs for an Amiga PS/2 adapter designed by Denis Sotchenko. I made a few more and built them up and sold them on eBay (crediting Denis for the original design). In fact, I’ve still got a dozen or so that I need to finish testing and put on eBay again…

    Anyway, together with the PCB I send some doco pointing people to the drivers, including FreeWheel on aminet. Now, I’m pretty sure I tested this on both a stock A500 and A1000, and it worked fine?!? What gives???

    • Back in 2004 I released an updated version (2.2.1) that fixed a bug with fifth-button settings. At the time Aminet was down, so I simply placed it on my own website and then forgot about it. A couple of years after that someone found it and uploaded it to Aminet for me. Maybe the original version had been built with 68000 support but I’d changed my default compilation settings by the time 2.2.1 was built? So maybe you tested before 2.2.1 hit Aminet?

      Being based on gadtools and commodities.library, though, FreeWheel would need kickstart 2 at least, yes?

  2. pretty sweet, i must have missed this down the line, then again in my amiga days i never once used a mouse with scrollwheel, different story now im using the chameleon tho.


    • FreeWheel isn’t a mouse driver, so you still need some way of getting wheel events into the Amiga in the first place – that’s not *yet* possible with the Chameleon, but it’s on my ToDo list 😀

      • i think theres some MUI programs ive used recently that seemed to work with a scrollwheel, tho it didnt seem to work on all mui scrollers.

        when you think that theres reaction/mui/vanilla/other GUI types, must be hard to tailor something like that to work on some or all of them.

        still, theres never been a shortage of damned clever wb hacks/patches.

  3. Hi, even if I write it 2 years late, thank you for this update that permits me to use Freewheel on my CDTV with KS2.04/WB2.10.

    But it remains a problem to solve for OCS/ECS Amiga based users with KS2.x/WB2.10. Freewheel preferences window is using GadTools. When I try to popup this window, I’ve got a Software Faillure. Freewheel preference window seems needing 40.x version of Gadtools only available on KS.3.x/WB3.x.

    Do you think it should be possible to make Freewheel preference window compatible with Gadtools v37 available on KS2.x/WB2.10 ?

    • I’m not sure how difficult this would be, actually – it’s been a *long* time since I did any gadtools programming! I’ll investigate when time allows.

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