There are several options to send TTL triggers out using OS X or Linux.
Parallel ports are cheap and fast.
make a range of cheap and functional USB DAQ devices. The modern variants (U3, U6 and U9), use a cross-platform shared exodriver
that works on both OS X and Linux, built on the current libusb
has built an interface to link the PTB and Plexon Omniplex via a LabJack
U3, using both single TTL triggers and 12-bit strobed words for communication. Please contact him if this would be of help. See the LabJack
page for more details.
allows very fast TTL triggers and strobed words which are guaranteed to be be precisely locked to the video refresh, irrespective of any non-deterministic timing of the display machine.
FTDI make USB->Serial adapters with cross-platform drivers that are known to work well with IOPort in PTB. The fastest way to toggle a single line is to set DTR high / low, and works quickly and reliably under OS X at least.
The bitwhacker is a cheap yet powerful USB device, which supports serial over USB control to toggle I/O lines:
-- details OS X / Linux support
Though less powerful, the wonderful Arduino
may also work, though timing needs to be confirmed (IanA
has tried this briefly but didn't achieve reliable timing, but this needs retesting). Matlab interface to the Arduino is found here: http://www.mathworks.com/academia/arduino-software/arduino-matlab.html
USB-1208 and 1608 has HID support and thus is usable under OS X at least: http://docs.psychtoolbox.org/Daq