Millisecond timing on PCs and Macs

Joe MacInnes, T L Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A real-time, object-oriented solution for displaying stimuli on Windows 95/98, MacOS and Linux platforms is presented. The program, written in C++, utilizes a special-purpose window class (GLWindow), OpenGL, and 32-bit graphics acceleration; it avoids display timing uncertainty by substituting the new window class for the default window code for each system. We report the outcome of tests for real-time capability across PC and Mac platforms running a variety of operating systems. The test program, which can be used as a shell for programming real-time experiments and testing specific processors, is available at to macinnwj. We propose to provide researchers with a sense of the usefulness of our program, highlight the ability of many multitasking environments to achieve real time, as well as caution users about systems that may not achieve real time. even under optimal conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2001




Dive into the research topics of 'Millisecond timing on PCs and Macs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this