Control your USB Missile Launcher with Java on Linux (and other platform that supports JSR 80: Java USB API).
A guy at work gave me a link to a USB missile launcher at gadgets.no (English version here). It is probably one of the most useless gadgets I've ever seen, so I knew straight away that I had to have it.
After I had ordered the gadget I started thinking about how I could control the unit without using that not-so-very-good Windows application that comes a long with the unit. I did a bit of googling and found a few projects where people had made their own apps for controlling the USB missile launcher. None of them were written in Java, so I wanted to write my own Java version.
After a bit more googling I found out - to my suprise - that there are no free Windows implementations of a Java library for USB communication. There is actually a JSR for a USB API in Java, but no finished (or even close to finished if you ask me) implementations for Windows. It isn't like USB is something new, aren't there anyone else out there that need USB in their Java apps?
At least there's an implementation for the USB API for Linux. Actually it was pretty straight-forward to set up and soon I was able to communicate with my USB devices.
I used the HHD USB Monitor for USB sniffing. It is not freeware, but I downloaded and used a trial version that they offer. I really liked the program, it was easy to use and gave me what I wanted.