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A PC parallel port button box provides millisecond response time accuracy under Linux

By Neil Stewart


For psychologists, it is sometimes necessary to measure people's reaction times to the nearest millisecond. This article describes how to use the PC parallel port to receive signals from a button box to achieve millisecond response time accuracy. The workings of the parallel port, the corresponding port addresses, and a simple Linux program for controlling the port are described. A test of the speed and reliability of button box signal detection is reported. If the reader is moderately familiar with Linux, this article should provide sufficient instruction for him or her to build and test his or her own parallel port button box. This article also describes how the parallel port could be used to control an external apparatus. \ud \u

Topics: BF, QA76
Publisher: Psychonomic Society, Inc.
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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