Brilliant, ivman looks to be exactly what I was after.
I tried working with HAL - I found a python script that supposedly interacts with HAL 0.4 at http://people.redhat.com/davidz/hal-...c.html#AEN2152
but I have 0.5 I think so this wasn't giving me any joy.
ivman seems to be controlled by a configuration file so this might possibly be the answer but I haven't dug around for any documentation yet
... if not lsusb will do as my clumsy backup option!
Thank you both!