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88 comments

REPUBLICANS WIN! TEA PARTY WINS! GO AMERICA!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108744)

We are teh shit. FTW. Freedom and happiness and joy and prosperity and small government and lower taxes and jobs and world peace! WORLD FUCKIN' PEACE!

Re:REPUBLICANS WIN! TEA PARTY WINS! GO AMERICA!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108770)

and lower taxes and jobs

Yes, lower jobs. Just what we need. :\

Re:REPUBLICANS WIN! TEA PARTY WINS! GO AMERICA!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108792)

One leads to the other since fixing bridges before they collapse needs taxpayers money and generates jobs.

Re:REPUBLICANS WIN! TEA PARTY WINS! GO AMERICA!!!! (0, Offtopic)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109102)

Please mod parent off-topic, and not troll. The lack of nuance (where are the or tags? I can't perceive nuance without tags!) makes it very difficult to discern earnest honesty from troll-ishness.

A bit bulky eh? (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108762)

I personally would have designed it better. Maybe a USB port on the "serial" box so that it's not hanging off my iPad/iPhone.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108784)

Yeah, the entire point of having one of these is so you can get in serially to devices located in places where using/holding a laptop may be uncomfortable and/or difficult. If you make the ipad harder to hold than it does defeat the purpose a bit. Though since he seems to have posted the pinouts and whatnot I guess someone else could try taking a whack at making it better.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108814)

If you need to reach into a rack or whatnot then a long cable from your laptop should do the trick. For me the advantage of an iphone adapter is that you can reuse a device you will definitely have on you rather than having to carry the laptop everywhere.

This should work okay on my openmoko. It has a usb host mode and I have a usb-serial cable which I have used with a laptop as a console device.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (4, Interesting)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108830)

Though since he seems to have posted the pinouts and whatnot I guess someone else could try taking a whack at making it better.

Like a ... wireless BlueTooth to Serial port adapter? [google.com] So all you have, other than iPad, is a little serial port dongle thingy? That'd be my choice: rather than hacking Apple's proprietary data/power connecter (though it had to be done... but now that's out of the way), hack their bluetooth stack [google.com]

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108928)

then why not go android and not have to hack at all?
http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.magicandroidapps.bluetoothterm [appbrain.com]

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109046)

if you can't hack it, there's the camera connection kit and something like this [usbgear.com]... so long as it doesn't need drivers.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34117648)

Or just do it directly with this [engadget.com].

As I pointed out elsewhere, this is nothing new. People have been breaking out the serial port data lines in the dock connector for at least 4 or 5 years now.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109596)

Maybe because all the Android tablets seem to be 7 inch screens and 10 inches is much more readable and typing is easier. Quite important when you're configuring routers.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34116776)

Archos have the 101 on its way, and i think creative recently announced a 10 inch android device using their zii platform. And there could be others that i fail to recall the name of right now.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (2, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108930)

Bluetooth is prohibited in a lot of data centers, esp. when you are dealing with something as sensitive as a router.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108996)

Bluetooth is prohibited in a lot of data centers, esp. when you are dealing with something as sensitive as a router.

LMAO MOD UP FUNNAY what routers have Bluetooth??! In what universe is a router sensitive? The good ones are boat anchors... you have to tie your boat to it and drop it in the ocean to get it to stop working... and never really stops working, it's just doing something else

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109014)

LMAO MOD UP FUNNAY what routers have Bluetooth??! In what universe is a router sensitive? The good ones are boat anchors... you have to tie your boat to it and drop it in the ocean to get it to stop working... and never really stops working, it's just doing something else

Did you um, read the parent? He was talking about using a serial to bluetooth adaptor instead of a serial cable, thats why I mentioned bluetooth. I'm sure there aren't any heavy duty routers that use bluetooth.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109036)

geez, Napolean, you're as sensitive as a router

Re:A bit bulky eh? (2, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109616)

Most serial "adapters" are pretty doggy. I found most of them work great for a low speed console 9600bps. If you crank the speed up and try to say copy an IOS image to it you run into trouble. I have tried a couple different serial "chips" Linux and Windows on a few laptops. Its never fun, there is something to be said for a real PCI or ISA connected serial port. Considering all the issues I have had with USB adapters I can't imagine bluetooth would be any fun at all.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109814)

Have you considered tFTP and a path cable? That's what I use. Netbook + USB serial + Patch cable FTW.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1, Flamebait)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108834)

I guess I'm having trouble seeing the point.

We're not talking 11 Mbps USB 2.x. We're not talking about the 1.5 Mbps USB 1.x. We're talking the 19.2 Kbps 16550 UART RS-232 style 1980s era serial port!?!? That you have to get to by invalidating your warranty and putting a 6" "dongle" on the side of your 12" iPad?

As somebody who spent years dealing data rates, parity, word sizes, and stop bits, armed with a soldering iron and MILES of 4-lead telephone wire routed to the back of a DEC VAX 11/750, this just brings back nightmares...

(shudder)

Re:A bit bulky eh? (2, Funny)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108908)

I'm holding out for SCSI or an Amiga video slot. I want to track down a dusty Video Toaster 4000 card and do some genlockin'.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108924)

I'm holding out for SCSI or an Amiga video slot. I want to track down a dusty Video Toaster 4000 card and do some genlockin'.

Amiga video slot for genlocking?
Uh... Are you aware how promiscuous the relevant signals are to the Amiga chipset (in order to simplify genlock design)?

Re:A bit bulky eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34111276)

Maybe he likes the promiscuity...

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34116570)

I got an Amiga 2000 on the side and the down low. Keeping it very real. My 4000 is a freak though, she's all about the bridgeboard action.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108910)

But it's useful!

You can use it to program an Arduino (no, wait, those generally use USB these days). Or a TI MSP430 Launchpad (er, which actually also talk USB on the $4.30 dev kit).

I know: You can plug it into a random embedded system and debug it! (except, these days, such random embedded systems that are commercially produced have a Windows GUI or DOS front-end for configuration...)

Wait: I've got it! You can CONFIGURE A ROUTER WITH IT! Give me a router, some VT100 emulation and a serial connection to an iPad, and I will rule the world!

Or not. Chances are that if I'm doing that sort of work, I've got some manner of Real Computer which has an RS-232 port available other than a locked-down iPad.

To be perfectly honest, I'd rather edit Sendmail m4 scripts with SSH on my Droid than ever, ever fuck with RS-232 on an iPad with embedded things. And I'm not in any particular hurry to do that, either.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108998)

Spoken like someone who has never actually worked a tech job in someplace other than an office. Ever been in a data center? A factory? Or worked on a scientific outpost in the middle of nowhere? Worked with gear on the front lines? A laptop is not always very easy to use when you have to squeeze into tight spots. the ipad is much smaller and lighter than most notebooks and can be used while standing up, a huge bonus.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109024)

laptop is not always very easy to use when you have to squeeze into tight spots.

That's what a tiny netbook like the EEE 701 is for. I can hold it between two fingers, let alone in one hand. And it has a keyboard which is just barely big enough to touch-type on (I used it for six weeks in Panama and had to learn how to type all over again when I came home) yet with my big hands it's just small enough to thumb-type on if I have to.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (0, Flamebait)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114220)

Spoken like someone who has never actually tried using a laptop while standing. It works fine, though I've found that using longer cables works better if I'm going to be at it for awhile...

And there's no reason to be insulting, you miserable fuck. Almost all of my work is in the field in the places you describe, though I suppose you could scratch "scientific outpost" and replace it with "on top of a tower."

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109806)

I'm not much on the iPad aspect, but serial ports in general are still ubiquitous in datacenters. For all the madness of pinout jumbles and baud rates, it's among the most simple circuits an embedded device or facility can have that can output sufficiently rich data for initial configuration and emergency situations. Even when booting linux on a server and you want a text-based console (e.g. for logging), nothing is as robust as a serial connection.

Now you can propose any number of 'modern' alternatives using USB or Ethernet signalling, but nothing has the degree of 'near impossible to screw up' that a simple serial controller has and serial can push 115200 easy, good enough for any manual ASCII based interaction and even a lot of programattic interaction, though the latter really should be done using network after usng the serial to unscrew up what went wrong.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34111720)

I'm not much on the iPad aspect, but serial ports in general are still ubiquitous in datacenters. For all the madness of pinout jumbles and baud rates, it's among the most simple circuits an embedded device or facility can have that can output sufficiently rich data for initial configuration and emergency situations. Even when booting linux on a server and you want a text-based console (e.g. for logging), nothing is as robust as a serial connection.

Now you can propose any number of 'modern' alternatives using USB or Ethernet signalling, but nothing has the degree of 'near impossible to screw up' that a simple serial controller has and serial can push 115200 easy, good enough for any manual ASCII based interaction and even a lot of programattic interaction, though the latter really should be done using network after usng the serial to unscrew up what went wrong.

And those alternatives suck badly.

USB? Guess what, unless it's a bog-standard USB-serial adapter built in (FTDI, Prolific or other common one), you're gonna march into a data center, stick your USB cable in, and get "Insert driver CD" or somesuch nonsense sooner or later. Not to mention the manufacturer has provide Linux/Windows/MacOS X drivers. And those drivers will always be too old, because the equipment will run until it's obsolete, and there won't be drivers for Windows 8, Lion or Linux 2.8.

Ethernet - great, so I need to find out why it dies and have to reconfigure my network stack to the IP or other strange protocol that the device wants.

Serial sticks around because it really just works. At slow enough speeds (9600) USB adapters work fine and your laptop/etc can be pre-loaded with the necessary adapters. Or you just plug it straight in. Sure you need to know the configuration, but any decent admin would've put it on a label. If not, there's only really 4 speeds to test - 9600, 38400, 57600, 115200 that would cover pretty much 99.99% of the devices out there. And modern embedded UARTs are often autobaud.

Plus a serial port is dead-simple to program from the startup assembly code. Initialize the UART (fixed configuration), then just write to the base address to output a character. USB and Ethernet, not so much.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34115468)

Thanks for expounding on my point, though I will say that the biggest FUBAR in serial space are myriads of pinouts. Most of the time when you see D-SUB 9 *male* port, it's going to act predictably.

I have seen female DSUB9 ports with odd pinouts (understandable, bendable breakable pins coming off your expensive boards instead of cheap cables is bad, but the pinouts are remarkably varied). I have seen tip/ring/sleeve, I've seen RJ45, RJ11, completely proprietary connections, and even things like physical mini-usb that is electrically just the relevant portions RS-232 mapped to the USB pins. When dealing with a varied amount of equipment, you need a whole tone of adapters to ultimately get the right pins in the right places.

The people who dismiss serial simply because it is 'old' are irritating. It represents a rare example in computing where a purpose is so thoroughly fulfilled there is no advantage to be gained from going further, and everything to lose.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (3, Insightful)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108868)

It's a prototype. The finished dongle ought to be less than one inch across, if the guy designs it reasonably.

Re:A bit bulky eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108972)

Actually it says in the original blog post that it was just a prototype proof of concept, and was originally going to be a docking station for recording line-in audio from a mixing desk. There's a massive breakout board inside that box with all 31 pins spread out. Without that board it's about 1/4 the size; he mentions putting it into more cable-like case for final release.

Good, the election is over (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108764)

Now cut taxes, cut spending, cut regulation and get us OUT of the middle east.

Re:Good, the election is over (-1, Troll)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109434)

"and get us OUT of the middle east."

Can't. Chosen People live there and we have to get right with Gawd. President Palin will set us right, fear not. :)

Kind of archaic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108804)

It really needs an HDMI. The resolution is pretty low but at least I could play music through my big screen. I'd really like to see a laptop style port replicator made for an iPad or Touch with supporting software. You can adapt to USB devices but that and mini plug are your only options. The device is multipurpose but the output options are very limited. A proper port replicator seems simple enough and shouldn't threaten the closed nature of the device.

Boring (2, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108842)

iPods/Phones/Pads have had serial ports for the longest time - why do you think there's such a thing as the iPod Accessory Serial Control protocol?

What's interesting about this is that an app has been able to steal the serial port from the system for its own purposes, i.e.: a tty.

Re:Boring (2, Interesting)

TheUser0x58 (733947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109672)

Its even more boring than that. The jailbreaking developer community has been able to tap into the iPhone's serial port for some time now. I was interfacing with the iPhone over serial in early 2008, before the iPhone SDK was even released, using publicly available information from the jailbreaking community.

The real "news" here is that someone's found a use for this thats caught the attention of the mainstream online technology press.

son (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108848)

That's nice, son. But we really could've waited until the thing was completely finished before you submitted it.

Cool hack....but... (1)

Oceanplexian (807998) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108886)

It's a neat feat of reverse engineering but I don't really see the practicality here. I deal with serial on a daily basis and using an iPad would be a nightmare. Typing is OK for short emails, but you really need a physical keyboard for these sort of things. A autocorrected word or mistyped letter can be frustrating to no end.

Re:Cool hack....but... (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109286)

You know you can turn off the autocorrect, right? And that there's a backspace key just like a regular keyboard?

The iPad might not be the best tool for other reasons (check out the corresponding iPhone adapter linked in TFS), but it's not for the lack of a real keyboard.

Re:Cool hack....but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109424)

but you can pair a bluetooth keyboard if u want to do some serious router configs and use tab keys and the like to auto-complete router IOS commands

Re:Cool hack....but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109470)

The iPad might not be the best tool for other reasons (check out the corresponding iPhone adapter linked in TFS), but it's not only for the lack of a real keyboard.

FTFY

To me it just looks like the basic "ooh, shiny, must have!" and then when it doesn't smell fresh anymore you try to find new uses for it to motivate the spent money.
Tablet-PC's is not really new, they have their uses but very few have found that the extra usability in a few cases were enough to motivate the price. That is why they never took off until apple presented their new shiny version.
I expect that we will see a lot of similiar hacks from people who bought something they don't really have any use for the next few years.

Re:Cool hack....but... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109626)

The iPad might not be the best tool for other reasons (check out the corresponding iPhone adapter linked in TFS), but it's not for the lack of a real keyboard.

The iPad's onscreen keyboard is painful if you have to type anything that isn't straight alpha characters. Anything involving punctuation, special characters, or lots of numbers - *especially* when they're mixed in with regular alpha characters - is an exercise in frustration. I can't even imagine what would drive someone to prefer an iPad over a laptop or netbook for interacting with anything that's likely to be on the other end of a serial cable, but I'm sure it must have been deeply traumatising.

life could be easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34108888)

several older cell-phone serial cables could be adapted for this job. I did a 3.3v TTL(?) to RS232 hack a few years ago, someone should be able to do it again. I think it was a Nokia serial sync cable, used before USB became popular.

i think... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108896)

someone did something similar using a N810 and a ethernet to usb dongle.

Re:i think... (1)

badran (973386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109016)

I find the N810 much easier to use than an Ipad just because of the great keyboard attached to it. For me this small device replaced a laptop when I am on call. As I can RDP into windows and SSH into Linux from anywhere.

Re:i think... (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109284)

Why would they do that? The N810 has a true RS232 Serial port on it's back. Or if that isn't good enough, use a usb to serial adapter you can buy for cheap on ebay. Or a bluetooth serial adapter.

Although I'm curious, how did they manage to get rs232 out of an usb-ethernet dongle?

I have to say though, I love my n810, it's perfect for all my needs! It has everything I can think of, and a real Linux OS underneath it (Maemo, Debian based) where you have access to anything you want. It actually replaced my laptop for 70% of my portable uses. If only it could have its RAM upgraded! (the n900 has more ram, but no host USB, and a smaller screen, otherwise I'd get it).

I don't understand why people buy things like the iPhone then try to hack it to do stuff it isn't supposed to do. Well, there is the cool "hack value" which I get, but sometimes I feel like we should support companies that already give us everything, along with full access to the system.

On one hand we have Nokia discontinuing these all out Linux devices due to lack of interest (or so I heard, there will be no successor to the n900) while we have geeks spending big money on locked down apple hardware with a crippled OS, which they then have to spend more time and money hacking (and voiding their warranty) to do what the Nokia devices legitimately allow you to do.

Not for long (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108958)

3... 2... 1... how long until the company gets a C&D from Apple?

Re:Not for long (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109948)

how long until the company gets a C&D from Apple?

Never, this isn't a hack. Apple publishes the specs for the Dock Connector for exactly this purpose. There are even companies out there which are already producing cables that convert [engadget.com] the Dock Connector to serial and RJ-11 interface. In fact, people were publishing how to do this as early as 2006. [engadget.com]

Nothing to see here, really. This news is ancient.

I wish... (3, Interesting)

geogob (569250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108962)

all those "I don't need that, it's useless... I need that instead" commenter would realize that they are not alone in this world and that other people may have different need.

I personally don't need it because, as most tech users, I now only have a few, if any, devices with serial interface... but I can see how something like that may be totally useful.
There are still a lot of people who work with specialized equipment, often having serial port interfaces. Having a serial port interface for iPhone or iPad can become very interesting, as those device can be used very easily while standing hand holding them in the hand. With a laptop other than a tablet PC type laptop, I've always found doing this clumsy.

Re:I wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109032)

Yeah, but an HP200 from 20 years ago is still a better fit than the iPad, since it actually has a keyboard, with godlike battery life and a keyboard you can click -- important since most RS-232 devices involve as much typing as reading -- and should more resolution and/or color be needed, there's a host of VGA and WVGA tablets, handhelds, and UMPCs (Fujitsu U820 and Nokia N810 at the top of the list) that'll work with an OOTS USB adapter. Given the existing array of devices, I can't help thinking this is mostly done for hack-value.

I agree that the universal assumption that my needs=everyone's needs is lamentable, but in this case I can't see any scenario where this makes the most sense; it just makes more sense than a laptop...

Re:I wish... (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109154)

Yea, my Psion 5mx can be used for that too (with an appropriate adapter on the PC to Psion RS232 cable), but I imagine this would be useful for those who have an iPad but do not have a netbook or Psion 5mx - they can use the device they have instead of buying another one.

Re:I wish... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109356)

I wonder why do people bother converting a tightly locked down crippled device with no keyboard when they can have a n900 of similar size, fully open OS and a physical keyboard. If you want a screwdriver, trying to sharpen a hammer is a strange route.

Re:I wish... (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34110656)

Yeah, If you ignore the fact that the screen is only 3.5" and the entire device is basically the size of a really fat smartphone, yeah, it's a very similar size to an ipad.

Re:I wish... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34111532)

4", but since the iPad wastes half of its screen for the touch keyboard, it's not that worse off. And if you want a larger screen, an actual laptop will be so much cheaper and so much more powerful.

Re:I wish... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34116410)

Well if you are not typing it isn't there.
For surfing the web and reading email you get the bigger screen.
And why not a notebook? A not book with as nice of a screen and as long of a battery life is very expensive.
The N900 in an interesting machine but it doesn't replace the iPad. And notebooks are very nice for some uses but for a lot people an iPad is a better solution.

It really all depends on how you are going to use it. For watching video, and surfing the web the iPad is a very good solution.
Plus does the N900 have AngryBirds?

Re:I wish... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34116742)

For surfing the web and reading email you get the bigger screen.

Except we are talking solely about administrating routers and similar boxes here. Ie, work rather than play.

Plus does the N900 have AngryBirds?

Uhm, it does.
Plus, as games are concerned, you jest trying to claim iP{hone,ad} has more. There's just a few GOOD native titles, but try using emulators. I for one spend way too much time playing through DosBox recently -- does your iPad have DOS, NES, SNES, ~10 other consoles, Java, Flash, ...? There's so many orders of magnitudes more games available for those platforms that your claim makes me astounded.

Re:I wish... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34117050)

Well for administering a router then a netbook beats both the N900 and the iPad.
The AngryBirds comment was a joke. Wow the Nokia fanboys are the most rabid on the planet. They rival the Amiga users of which I was one.
Take a deep breath. I don't have an iPad, N900, or a netbook.

Re:I wish... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34117798)

Well for administering a router then a netbook beats both the N900 and the iPad.

Of course -- if you do lug one. A pocket size device has the advantage of always being with you -- to use a netbook/laptop you'd have to keep it in your car. I do 99.9% of work comfortably sshed in from a stationary computer, which in turns beats netbooks.

Wow the Nokia fanboys are the most rabid on the planet.

I admit that Nokia's software is abysmal. They went a long way to show how NOT to make a mobile Linux distribution, and how to make user interface crappy. The reason I use a n900 is that I can modify it -- Motorola's comparable hardware is as good or better but is locked down. And iJunk not only lacks a keyboard but is also so locked down it's useless as anything but a toy. Thus, I'm not a fanboy of Nokia but a hater of closed stuff.

Take a deep breath.

Ok, I'll try :p

Re:I wish... (1)

Molt (116343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34122282)

The iPad's not exactly a pocket sized device either though and whilst it may be thinner than a netbook it's certainly not as luggable, the extra care needed to not shatter that screen would be a serious pain in a lot of environments.

Re:I wish... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34123858)

Netbooks are so small that if did need to work on routers I would probably carry one with me.
Frankly for the serial hack on the iPad/iPhone I can see one great use.
The new IPhone has gyros to go along with the GPS and accelerometers. Throw in the camera and Cell interface and it makes one heck of an autopilot :)
I am just waiting for the iPhone 5 to come out and then pick up one cheap on ebay and jailbreak it.
Use the serial interface to talk to a servo controller board and you have a wifi sniffing war flying drone!
   

Re:I wish... (1)

54mc (897170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34111076)

I wish I had mod points. I was about to stop reading the thread but then a small sliver of sanity spoke up.

Re:I wish... (1)

Drivintin (917847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34132212)

As someone that had to build a console cable the other day, i would have paid good money for this thing! as i like to say, "Sometimes you have to say F$@# and grab the console cable."

About time! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34108980)

All I need now - besides an iPad - is an external U.S. Robotics 2400 baud modem to access all those old school BBSes that are still around. :P

Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gaming. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109006)

While people are decrying the pointlessness of a serial controller on the iPad/iPhone, instead imagine a tiny smd 8 to 1 or 16 to 1 multiplexer feeding this thing digital input from some connected switches.

Yes. I'm talking about a snap on joypad device. While people here are going to yell and scream about Apple's locked down nature, I'm going to yell about their short sightedness. Apple screwed the pooch with iPhone OS 3. When they announced compatibility with attaching devices to it's dock connector, they should've also written up a serial API for joypad like devices with a set number of buttons and released a joypad accessory.

Then again I thought the iPad could benefit greatly from a stylus, just because of it's sheer size and annotating pages with a pen is easier than typing, but, that's just my POV.

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109238)

Then again I thought the iPad could benefit greatly from a stylus, just because of it's sheer size and annotating pages with a pen is easier than typing, but, that's just my POV.

Want to take notes on an iPad? Here's your stylus [cnet.com]

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34110738)

I think Steve Jobs was absolutely 100% correct when he said styluses suck as a primary input source.

However, I think Steve Jobs was wrong in not *offering* a stylus as an addon accessory first party. I know about the pogo stylus, i wish apple had put out a first party solution.

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34111624)

This is the main issue with Apple: what the customer wants will always take a back seat to what Steve Jobs thinks the customer should have.

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34113966)

the main issue with everyone else:

The customer always wants *something*, they want more, more and more.

Between the options of merely lacking a first party stylus and instead lacking something like say, multitouch or smooth UI effects, or a real app infrastructure, or...

Given the options of satisfying an angry mob or an angry madman, I'd say that the angry mad man is more correct. Developers and managers suck at telling me what a good UI is. This is how we get shit like Symbian, Windows Mobile 6.5 and the inconsistent madness of Android(Although Android is leaps and bounds beyond Symbian and Windows Mobile, it's still got massive UI problems; notably the UI API SUCKS).

I'll take missing a first party stylus.

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109392)

You should have bought an eo. That came with a stylus [hembrow.eu].

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109464)

I don't think there's anything inherent in the iPad stopping a manufacturer from creating a joypad, although one would have to get developer support for such a device to work.

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34113730)

The reason why serial port access is the way it is on iOS (without jailbreaking) is so that when you have a external device, it speaks a known protocol with the iPhone, to help the user get it working.

Why is this a good thing?
1) Devices plugged in can be identified by the iPhone, so that as an app developer, you know where the device came from and what kind of features it might have (compared to previous revisions of the item)
2) Devices plugged in will automatically launch an app that knows how to use it
3) Devices plugged in without an app that knows how to use it will launch a search on the iTunes App Store.

If you sign up for the "made for iphone" program or whatever, you get the serial API specs as well as a list of vendors who already have dev kits ready to help build whatever you want.
Once you've made your device and started selling it, just make your custom protocol identifier and API public, and app developers can support your joypad or whatever you made.

Re:Neat, and pisses me off a little about iOS gami (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34114560)

There's precedent for what I'm advocating though, and that's the dock port remote interface. I've got an iTrip that talks to both my iPod classic and my iPhone 3GS.

Having an official API would make it easier to adopt than releasing an API and spec sheet. as a gamer, I want consistency. I plug it in, and it works.

Ouch (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34109420)

That's a lot of leverage hooked up to the iPad's dock connector.

They really ought to find a way to put a U-turn in there, and have most of the attached hardware sit close behind the iPad, perhaps built into a case.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34109574)

It's a prototype. Expect the production version to use much better and smaller packaging.

Its a solved problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34110378)

So why not just have a real terminal server (wired to each device's serial port), and just use a regular old AP to get IP connectivity to the terminal server?
Then any old terminal software on the ipad will work... as well as any other IP (wired or wireless) device.

As bonuses, you don't have to touch devices to move console connections and you can connect to as many devices simultaneously as your terminal server can handle.

Is it even possible ? (1)

IceGras (1887340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34110462)

Do we still have serial ports on nowadays computers ?

Re:Is it even possible ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121010)

Do we still have serial ports on nowadays computers ?

Nah, real nerds put the serial ports on their networks these days, and SSH, etc., to the connected devices over the network.

Re:Is it even possible ? (1)

Molt (116343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34122300)

On serious servers, yes. There's nothing as reliable and standardised for getting console access on a headless server which has just decided to drop off the network.
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