Non-ordinary states of consciousness and the NIA.

One of the reasons the NIA fascinated me so is due to the fact that it operates as a sort of poor-lifeform's EEG coupled with an EMG picking up the electrical activity of the muscles of the scalp and forehead. Another of my interests (of which I have far too many) is non-ordinary states of consciousness. I'm reasonably experienced with meditation and biofeedback techniques so once I got the data collection utility and visual analysis software working (yes, I keep linking to them; the one time I don't, I'll be flooded with requests for it the way my luck goes …

Read more...

A dataset to play with.

Just for fun, I captured a couple of minutes of electrical activity into a text file, which is suitable for running through nia_eeg_chart.py. I wasn't doing a whole lot, just listening to a podcast and flipping between e-mail and Firefox tabs, so it's not terribly interesting stuff. Either I'm more brainless than usual when browsing the Web, or it says something about exchanging one way of turning your mind off (television) for another (too many websites to keep track of at once).

Anyway, have some fun with that data set if you like.

Download it here.

nia_eeg_chart.py - Convert data captured from the NIA into an EEG chart.

Well, I finally got it working. After a lot of trial and error I was able to figure out how to set up a panel of six strip charts, one per channel of electrical activity in the brain that the OCZ NIA picks up. The application I wrote takes output captured from nia_number_dumper.py and displays it as one would expect an EEG to look. Python is required to run this software.

Next up: turning it into a realtime display from the NIA.

Here's a screenshot

of the app in action.

Download nia_eeg_chart.zip here

Test data set for nia_eeg_chart …

Read more...

Pirates, pants, pets, Python, and Push.

After many months of near misses and scheduling conflicts, Kyrin finally got Lyssa and I to join him for a Friday evening at Piratz Tavern (8402 Georgia Avenue; Silver Spring, MD; 20910; phone 301-588-9001 to cap off a long work week. Hasufin, Lyssa, and I piled into the TARDIS and set course for Silver Spring around 1900 EST5EDT, which we figured would be late enough to dodge weekend traffic on the Beltway.

It wasn't, actually, but we still made decent time without actually being fashionably late.

Piratz Tavern is a very small, unassuming place on a corner across the street …

Read more...

OCZ NIA hacking, now with Python!

Disclaimer the first: I don't know a whole lot about USB or device drivers. Those of you who do will no doubt point and laugh.

Disclaimer the second: Where applicable, I've given credit for and linked to the work of others. I've independently discovered a few things that others have already figured out, so one or two things may not be attributed. In that case, please let me know and I'll put a reference where applicable.

Over the past few weeks I've been playing with my OCZ NIA on and off. My first attempt at getting anything out of it …

Read more...

OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator notes and roll-up post.

While reading the files in /usr/src/linux/Documentation/usb/ I got it in my head to see if anyone else had spent any time reverse engineering the OCZ NIA, or at least had figured out how to get output from it. I spent some time a couple of days ago playing with it on Windbringer (running Gentoo Linux and all I was able to determine in the short time I worked on it was that it successfully registers itself with the Linux kernel's USB subsystem as an USB Human Interface Device (heh). After collecting some information I put the …

Read more...

The OCZ NIA and Linux.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I recieved as a Yule gift an OCZ NIA, a hardware device aimed at gamers which acts as one part EEG and one part biofeedback monitor. The idea behind it, in short, is that the user trains eirself using the included software to generate specific patterns of electrical activity in the brain and facial muscles that the drivers use to trigger certain system events. There's just one thing: there are no Linux drivers.

I love a challenge.

For the record, I'm using Windbringer as my testbed, running Gentoo Linux 2008.0 and …

Read more...

Now I get the hype about the NIA.

A couple of months back there was quite a bit of hype (which vanished rapidly as people forgot all about it when the next new thing came around) about the NIA brain-computer interface from OCZ Technology (which is also known for its build-your-own-laptop kits). Ostensibly, it's a consumer-grade, non-invasive EEG that you strap across your forehead and jack into a small interface unit which then plugs into a USB port on your computer. The unit comes with drivers that can map certain inputs from the dermatrodes (good call, Mr. Gibson) to keyboard and mouse events defined by the user.. the …

Read more...