The joystick is the most wonderful of the peripherals to describe. This is because it is the simplest. It has two devices attached to the stick. They are like the volume controls on a radio. One way is higher, the other lower. When you take the joystick to the top left, device one is high and device two is high. At bottom right, both are low. In the middle, they are about half way between. Simple. Just add one or more on/off buttons and you are in business. Well, almost.
An analog to digital converter takes the high-to-low signals and turns them into high numbers-to-low numbers. That way the computer can deal with them.
Games that calibrate joysticks are unsure what that joystick's high, middle and low are so they find out. That's it.
Updated January 24, 1998, 10:52pm. firstname.lastname@example.org