Well, we are about to start our first “real” SuperLab experiment next week. In our lab, there are three testing stations, and for this study, we want to test three subjects at a time. Each station is based on a MacBook Pro. It occurred to me that rather than have the experimenter or the subjects wandering around starting and stopping experiments and blocks using the keyboard of the macbooks, we do it using Chicken of the VNC from the iMac on the exerimenter’s desk. This would also allow the experimenter to monitor the status of each subject’s screen in a separate window while the experiment is running, again without disturbing the subject.
I have done only enough testing to verify that I can use COTVNC on one machine to control a SuperLab experiment on another one, and that it is convenient to do so. SuperLab even accepts keystrokes as subject input over VNC. The only negative is that COTVNC apparently can’t reduce the size of the screen, so at any given moment, a COTVNC window can only show a portion of the full display on the subject machines.
My concern is that it will add so much overhead to the macbook that the timing will degrade. Based on appearances, it doesn’t seem to change the timing.
It is possible to reduce the screen auto-refresh frequency to a minimum. That might help with the timing, but it makes the interface somewhat harder to use.
Our experiment uses only text strings as stimuli and USB keyboard input as responses, with no multimedia.
It might be possible to get Apple’s remote desktop program instead of COTVNC if that made a signficant difference in the timing accuracy.
What is the official Cedrus position on this: To VNC or not to VNC?