Am I to own an eyetracker to use Eye and Pen ?

No. To record handwriting data, Eye and Pen only require a graphic tablet. Moreover, using an eyetracking device allow to record eye mouvements data. Obviously, no device is required to analyse data.

 Can I use Eye and Pen on a Macintosh ?

Yes, with some conditions.
You may use BootCamp to install a true Windows on your MacIntosh, but you won’t be able to use the Mac and Windows environment at the same time.
To use both at the same time, you’ll have to use a Windows virtual machine like VMWare Fusion, Parallels Desktop or Virtual Box (free). Be aware that virtual machines may have some known trouble with devices (VMWare Fusion has problem with USB, for example), but workaround may be found on the Internet.
We cannot warranty that a vitualized environment will be efficient enough for data acquisition.

 Am I to display handwriting on the screen ?

No, you’re not.
Some tablet manufacturer (including Wacom) also sells true inking pen (“InkPen”) for their devices.
Thus, you may use a sheet of paper (or even a booklet made of many pages) on the tablet. Handwriting situation is then very “natural”, with a subject writing with a true pencil on a true sheet of paper, the tablet The tablet serves as a “place mat” the subject can set in any direction.

 E&P seems to start, then nothing happens..

Sometimes when updating Adobe Flash Player, the updater software does not unload from memory, which prevent Eye and Pen from starting (don’t ask me why).
Re-starting the computer clears the problem.


 Which tablet should I use ?

Eye and Pen supprots each tablet supplied with the WIntab32.dll interface (WINTAB32 industrial norm; for details, please see the manual).
Next, it depends on what you want to do. The following table shows some prototypical situations.

 paradigm tablet size  writing advantages drawbacks
Writing on a paper  A4 (regular)
on a sheet of paper with an “InkPen” type pen – looks like a “natural” writing situation

– costless for simple production situations(without  eyetracker)

– the eyetracker calibration can become uneasy

– if the subject is to look at a screen, using an eyetracker becomes delicate to setup

 Writing on a paper with “menus” zones  A4+ (oversize)
 on a sheet of paper with an “InkPen” type pen – looks like a “natural” writing situation

– costless for simple production situations(without  eyetracker)

– the eyetracker calibration can become uneasy

– if the subject is to look at a screen, using an eyetracker becomes delicate to setup

Wiritng on a screen  17 to 22″


“plastic” pen  – calibrating an eyetracker is easy (on the screen wher the subject is to write)

– it is possible to change what the subject sees

– reading and writing on a single surface

– low sampling rate (100-133 Hz)
– expensive

 Since I plugged a second tablet in, everything has gone wrong.

WACOM tablet drivers prior to version 4.78.6 may cause problems if too many tablets are connected. De-install the current driver (in Windows, Configuration panel, Add/Remove programs), then install the latest version.

 Eye and Pen tells me “Wintab32.dll not found”, but my tablet still seems to work in Windows.

Wintab32.dll is an interface library that is needed for Eye and Pen to communicate with your tablet’s driver. Usually, this file is installed when you install the tablet’s software provided by its manufacturer. When in doubt, reinstall the driver.

 I move the pen on the tablet (Tablet/Test menus), but nothing happens…

Check if the pen you are using is compatible with the tablet. For example, Wacom Intuos2 pencils are not compatible with other tablets from the same manufacturer. Also check if the tablet’s driver is correctly installed and configured. Check if you have selected the tablet you actually want to use (File/Configuration/Acquisition/Tablet menu)

 hen I click on the ?/Manual menu nothing is displayed.

Either the EPManuel_EN.pdf file is not in the documents subdirectory of Eye and Pen, or you do not own the software required to read this document (Adobe Reader®), which you can download for free from the Website http ://www.adobe.fr/products/acrobat/).

 When I lauch Eye and Pen, a message complains about Safenet Sentinel dongle

he USB key is not plugged or the driver doesn’t recognize the key. Re-install the driver (in the /SafeNetSentinel directory on the CD).

 I selected my tablet but it doesn’t seem to work

The trouble was faced with Wacom tablets: after having plugged and unplugged different tablets models, you may not be able to select the good one in Eye and Pen.
The problem arouse because the Wacom configuration panel records every tablet preference, be it plugged or not. Then, one may have 2 or 3 tablet configurations declared to Eye and Pen although only one is plugged. Moreover, if the tablet is plugged as number 1, its configuration may be stored as number 2 or 3 in the preferences “memory”, without any mean to link both.
Solution: go to Windows Configuration panel / add/remove programs / Tablet, a “modify” button allows to delete the preference files. Then, you just have to setup your tablet in the Configuration panel / Tablet panel.

 How do I use a Wacom Intuos4 tablet with Eye and Pen 1

In the Wacom Intuos 4 control panel (version 6.1.2-5) click the “Options” button. An option has been added to keep the pressure scale compatibility with 1024 pressure levels applications, which is the case of Eye and Pen 1.


 Is there some measures to take before acquiring data ?

Yes. Here is a quote from the Eyelink Programmer’s manual best explains what it is about: Minimizing Windows Delays

Just how serious is the problem, and what can you do to minimize it? Under Windows 95/98/Me, there was nothing you could do to prevent Windows from stealing time – usually the delays were relatively short (less than 5 milliseconds), and occurred only a few times a second. Under Windows NT, these delays were much longer and unpredictable. Under Windows 2000 and XP, however, some changes to the Windows kernel and the addition of new real-time priority levels have allowed near-realtime programming while allowing graphics and Ethernet to work – just right for EyeLink applications.
To minimize Windows delays:
• You should always ensure that no other time-critical programs, especially games, are running.
• Shut down all other applications (browser windows, chat clients, email programs, etc) prior to running an EyeLink experiment. These applications are listed in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
• Shut down any programs (Norton Antivirus, volume controller, Windows Messenger, etc) running
in the notification area of the taskbar where you usually see the current time displayed (lower-right
corner of the screen).
• Make sure no scheduled tasks (e.g., data backup, virus checking) are active.
• Remove unnecessary devices (e.g., DV converter, flash disk, external hard drive) connected through
the USB or firewire ports.
• Shut down screen-saver management. Click the right mouse button at a blank space on the display
PC desktop to open a dialog box for display properties settings. On the “Screen Saver” tab, set the screen saver to “None”.
• Shut down power management. Select the “Screen Saver” tab of the “Display Properties” dialog
box and click on the “Power …” button. In the “Power Options Properties” dialog box, turn off all features related to power management (hibernation, advanced power management support, turning off monitors or hard drives).
• For a computer with multiple Ethernet cards installed, use theWindows Control Panel to temporarily disable all network connections except for the one dedicated for EyeLink connection. The user should disable the firewall for the EyeLink Ethernet connection as well.
Even with no other programs running, the Windows kernel will try to steal some time about once a second for maintenance tasks: this cannot be shut off under Windows 95/98/Me.
SR Research Ltd. (2006). EyeLink Programmer’s Guide (Version 3.0). Osgoode, Ontario, Canada: Author.

 How can I optimize Windows ?

In general, to prepare Windows for an experiment:
• deactivate the anti-virus (eats processor time, memory and slow down accesses)
• deactivate network connections, unless strictly necessary (e.g. to communicate with an eyetracking device)
• deactivate each software using network connections(like MSN etc.), unless if usefulness is evident (e.g. to communicate with a measure equipment)
• deactivate all planed updates functions (system, anti-virus etc.) which can start-up while recording subjects
• deacitvate automatic screen savers, energy saving etc…)
• no more experiment under Windows 98

Applications running in the background (updates, anti-virus etc.) eats resources and may interfere with time measurements because they add more or less unpredictable delays to the computer response times. Optimize the computer configuration with MSCONFIG
Windows Vista adds a lot of novelties… and incompatibilities with real times measurements. More precisely:

By default, Windows Vista automatically defragments hard disks. The problem is that Windows Vista decide by himself when it is the most appropirate time to do this, whether the PC is turned on or not. Deactivate automated defragmentation.
Files and messages indexing eats resources. Deactivate files and messages indexation, save 20Mb of memory and get better performance under Windows Vista.
Aero interface brings a bunch of ergonomy and transparency, but it is also a very big resources consumer. Deactivate the Aero interface to save performance and resources under Windows Vista.
Deactivate Hibernate (or Hybrid Sleep Mode) option.
Windows Sidebar and Gadgets eats a lot of resources and the more you have gadgets, the more you use network passband because each gadget frequently accesses its referenced server on the net. Deactivate Windows Sidebar and Gadgets.
The User Account Control (UAC) is a new functionnality in Vista, designed to enforce the system security. But it can become a hassle because each action requiring privilege(install a software, acess to protected informations, directory etc.) will require a manual validation via a dialog box poping up. Deactivate the UAC.

 I want to display a picture in the calibration window, but I don’t know how to calculate its position in pixels.

If your picture is to be displayed in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, it is simplicity itself, as the coordinates are 0 and 0.
However, I actually want to place the picture 10 cm away from the left edge of the window. My screen has a 1024×768 pixels resolution. I measure (with a ruler) the horizontal width of the display surface (the display area of the screen, not the plastic frame, etc.). On my 15″ LCD, this comes to 30.4 cm. As my horizontal resolution is 1024, 10 cm represents (1024 / 30.4) x 10 = 336.84, i.e. approx. 337 pixels.

 I want to display a video file, but it is not in a supported AVI format.

Use video conversion software (encoding software) to convert your video into AVI with MS-RLE compression (you can find reliable software for free on the Web).

 I want to play an audio file, but it is not in a supported WAV format.

Try using audio encoder/decoder software to convert your file into wave file format (you can find reliable software for free on the Web).

 When does the recording timer start?

The recording timer starts immediately (or is reset to zero) when the command OpenRec is activated or when recording commands driving the “simple” protocol (RecStandard, etc.) is executed. Therefore, each new data file starts at time zero.
To gain an overview of the session, check the session log file (.LOG) which contain the time when each event occurs. The session has its own timer, where “zero time” corresponds to the click on the “Go” button.

 I manage a first acquisition, but the software seems to crash on a second one

Given the version of your tablet’s driver interface (wintab32.dll), the driver may not be correctly released when stopping the acquisition. Try to get the latest version of your tablet’s driver (for example on the tablet manufacturer’s web site). Otherwise, the only efficient method is (unfortunately) to reboot the computer to re-initialize the tablet’s driver.

 I want to start an acquisition, but Eye and Pen complains about the acquisition device been already in use

If there is no other Eye and Pen running and using the tablet, restarting Eye and Pen should solve the problem.
If it doesn’t succeed, destroy the file named “~EP.TMP” found in the “C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temp” folder (or c:\users\\Local Settings\Temp).
Please note that the “Local Settings” folder is hidden (to show it, see in the Windows Explorer Tools / Folder options).


 I have an annoying item of data in my protocol, how can I get rid of it ?

You can manually assign the “-1” code to an item of data. That way, it will not be taken into account when editing, etc. This is a simple way of discarding “poor” or “unwanted” data.

 I can’t remember all the transformations I’ve carried out on my protocol…

Consult the history (Protocol/History menu) to find out if you have already built fixations, shifted layers, aggregated data, etc.

 In the case of “All events/Pauses and fixations” extractions, some data are mentioned more than once. Is this normal ?

As you may have guessed, it is. This edition shows the state of concomitant events. Accordingly, if several fixations take place during a single pause, this pause will be mentioned several times, once for each fixation.

 Is there an optimal order for eye data processing ?

Yes, some treatments must be applied before others.
I advise to:
1- Shift layers (if required)
2- Build fixations
3- code -1 out-of-field eye data
4- Aggregate redundant codes (select Eye, set value to -1)

Fixations have to be calculated before eliminating out-of-field eye data. If not, the risk is to include out-of-field (or at field limit) aggregated eye data into true fixations, which would create an artefact.

 I want to calculate the distance between fixations

A fixation represents a duration with no eye movement. Then, X_beg / Y_beg is the only valid reference for each fixation. X_end / Y_end represents the beginning of the next event (movement start).

 I want to calculate the distance between pauses

For “pen up” pauses, the locations where the pen left the tablet and where it has been laid down again are known, but they may be different places.
Beginning and end of “up” pause have a not so straightforward meaning to attribute: it is advisable to think about what they mean before choosing one of them as a calculation reference.
“Down” pauses means that the pen doesn’t move, so the X/Y_Beg is a valid reference for calculations in this case.

 How to get rid of the watermark on display ?

To hide the watermark, just choose the same color as the background color. To show/hide the circle and the line around pauses, just select the same color as the background color.

 We are doing a number writing task and we want to analyze each digit separately inside a numeral. When we do the word segmentation, it identifies the whole number and i have to manually change to each digit.

When starting a new word separation, you can adjust some values in the first panel, such as the horizontal margin. this is the minimum distance between two items. Below this distance, the two items are “sum-up”. So, lowering this value may help to separate digits in a number. Just clic on the Test button to see if it works. Coding and sequences options are displayed in the second panel.

Hints and tips

 Sentinel Protection Server eats too much CPU

From the SafeNet newsletter (03-26-2007):
How can you reduce the high CPU usage caused by the “Sentinel Protection Server” (spnsrvnt.exe)?
You can manage and decrease the CPU usage resources by following the steps below:
– Go to C:\Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel Protection Server folder.
– Double click Loadserv.exe. This program will add or remove the Sentinel Protection from the windows System Service registry. You must have Administrator security privileges to use this program effectively.
– Confirm that the Executable Path field reflects the correct path to the executable File (spnsrvnt.exe) Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel Protection Server\Winnt\spnsrvnt.exe
– Click on “Remove Service” button. This action will remove the existing spnsrvnt.exe (see executable path) located in Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel Protection Server\WinNT.
– Confirm the message pop up “the Sentinel Protection Server license management system service has been removed” Click “OK”
– Launch loadserv.exe in Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel Protection Server folder
– Confirm that the Executable Path field reflects the correct path to the executable file”spnsrvnt.exe” Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel Protection Server\Winnt\spnsrvnt.exe
– Click on “Install Service” button. This action adds the “Sentinel Protection Server” as a System Service called “SentinelProtectionServer”.
– Confirm the message pop up “the Sentinel Protection Server license management system service has been removed” Click “OK”
Note that CPU Usage is reduced dramatically.
Note that you may totally remove the protection server.

 The Eye and Pen logo fades out too slowly

It seems to be linked with the simultaneous presence of another USB device (such as a USB memory stick) and the Safenet Sentinel dongle. Unplug the device solves the problem.

 How to use a file name including spaces in a command line

To use a file name including spaces in a command line, surround the file name with quotation marks. For example:EP.exe “my file.tab”

 Script: how to use a stimulus file not located inside the stimuli folder

For reasons that are yours, you may want to to use a file that is not inside the default foder. There is a solution: the relative path.

Example : SetUnmaskFile(..\cursorsMask_oval_asym_right170.bmp)
The image file is not located inside the stimuli folder, but inside the cursors folder. The relative path will be build from the “stimuli” default folder:
1. ” .. ” allows to go up one level in the folders tree structure, i.e. getting out of the “Stimuli” folder to stand into the “eyeandpen” folder.
2. ” cursors ” allows to go down into the “cursors” sub-folder.
3. ” ” allows to specify a file into the ” cursors ” subfolder.
Using a relative path from a default folder is possible anywhere a file must be loaded from a default folder.

 Change decimal separator

Eye and Pen uses the local decimal separator of the system (Windows).
With a french Windows this will be a coma, with an english version of Windows, it should be a dot.
you can change you system’s decimal separator. Open Windows control panel, select “Clock, Language, and Region”.
Under “Region and Language”, select “Change the date, time, or number format”.
In the “Format” tab, click the “Additional settings” button. In the “Number” tab, change the value of the “Decimal separator” field.


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