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PlayStation Touch Screen for Your Linux Box

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the fun-with-hardware-hacking dept.

Hardware Hacking 136

hebertrich writes to tell us that IBM DeveloperWorks has an interesting article about how to modify a PlayStation LCD for use as a touch screen panel for your Linux box. From the article: "Historically, the lack of friendly interfaces has been an obstacle to making Linux® a commercially viable product for end users, but with available GUIs, that's yesterday's news. What's the next step in creating an easy-to-use Linux-based product for consumers? Imagine adding a user-oriented LCD touchscreen. A touchscreen facade can make back-end Linux applications very usable in such devices as custom digital media centers (either in the home or in automobiles), DVRs and PVRs, and even control interfaces for household robots."

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136 comments

Frist pots! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205688)

Frist pots!

Cool (-1, Offtopic)

TarrySingh (916400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205711)

that's all I can say!

Re:Cool (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205748)

I, for one, welcome our new PlayStation LCD touch screen-controlled robot overlords?

Re:Cool (1)

danzormczor (933867) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205769)

how was that a question?

Re:Cool (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205799)

It had a question mark at the end?

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205803)

It clearly has a question mark at the very end of the sentence, therefore it is a question.

You know, just like if there's a vulnerability in Google Desktop and it runs on Windows, it must clearly be Microsoft's fault, since they allow companies to develop for Windows.

Re:Cool (1)

MrSquishy (916581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205966)

At IBM, only old people use touch screens to control robot overlords. Everyone else just lets their Beowulf cluster do it.

Re:Cool (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206510)

I, for one, welcome our new PlayStation LCD touch screen-controlled robot overlords?

I don't. The single biggest problem with this project is that it requires a Sony product, and I aint gonna buy Sony products no more. I'll be doing my best to discourage others from buying them too.

Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205714)

If lack of a touchscreen was holding linux back, a procedure that requires cracking something else open, cabling and soldering will not be winning you new converts or my grandmother.

Re:Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (3, Insightful)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205758)

If lack of a touchscreen was holding linux back, a procedure that requires cracking something else open, cabling and soldering will not be winning you new converts or my grandmother.
Ding, ding, ding. I fail to see how adding a kludged together touch-screen would be the tipping-point in making Linux have a friendly interface. Is it cool? Yes. Is it the holy grail to making an interface user-friendly? No. That task is still up to application designers.

Re:Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205978)

I fail to see how adding a kludged together touch-screen would be the tipping-point in making Linux have a friendly interface.

It can increase the number of software developers who work on touch-screen interfaces.

Oh, I don't know (1, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205816)

I for one Welcome our new Touchscreen enabled Linux using Grandmother overlords.

. I've always wanted to say that :).

Re:Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206130)

Duh...

I don't think he was advocating that Grandma do this herself... this is something for technical nerd type people to do and sell to Grandma.

Re:Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (5, Insightful)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206148)

Things like this were best summed up by Rasterman (author of enlightenment) when he was asked if he felt linux would be "ready for the desktop". He said something to the effect of, "No, the desktop battle is over, linux didn't win. Don't waste your time trying to fight the desktop battle. Instead, put linux on people's cell phones, their toasters, on their PDAs. The future is in embedded systems. That's where linux can win." He's right. I think IBM understands this too. What things like this article do is, instead of helping a company sell something, they help a developer build something. That developer can then take a working prototype to potential investors without having to go to the trouble of finding parts distributor's and whatnot before testing their idea. They can just buy a PS1 at a junk store and strip it for parts. Once the investors give them an investment, thanks to the help of the working prototype, they can drop the big cash on custom components if need be and even buy in bulk.

So yes, this is a huge help. Developers don't just write office software after all.

Re:Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (2, Insightful)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206642)

Well, I suppose that if one invests hundreds of man-hours into a project without seeing it take off and accepted by a huge number of people, then one might tend to generalize that all similar projects are doomed to fail.

On the other hand, similar projects have been doing releases constantly and attracted a developer following of that the enlightenment community could only dream of.

Please don't understand me wrong. I am not bashing rasterman or the Enlightenment project. It just seems to me that the E. project has been making mistakes that they shouldn't have done; but I can't put my finger on what exactly they did wrong. :)

Re:Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14207137)

Enlightenment screwed up by not releasing any software for years and isolating themselves from everybody else.

Now they have a great product that nobody can realy use except as fancy a window manager.

Re:Obstacle to making Linux commercially viable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206757)

Rasterman has a point... But as for Linux on the desktop, I hope the battle continues for as long as we need desktops!

So what do you do at IBM? (5, Funny)

kyoko21 (198413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205718)

I write articles such as the one mentioned above. I get payed to think and work on things that are eventually free.

Man, what a job.

Re:So what do you do at IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205880)

You get 'payed' to write articles? No wonder IBM sucks.

Re:So what do you do at IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206158)

So how much do you get 'payed'? Did you get 'learned' to write as 'good' as you do?

lasix (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205721)

geiseckx?

Hmmm... (4, Interesting)

setirw (854029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205722)

I wonder if touchscreens such as this could function on ADC (Apple Display Connection), which integrates both DVI-I and USB into one plug... That way, a separate serial/USB cable for transmitting HID data wouldn't be necessary.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205826)

Apple's depreciated ADC because it created more inconveniences than it solved, ie. no powerbook compatibility, hence the necessity for an DVI -> ADC adaptor which you would also need if you had 2 displays. If you wanted to connect 2 non-apple displays, you needed a ADC -> DVI adaptor. If you wanted to connect a VGA display, you needed another (and somewhat rare/expensive) adaptor.

Oh, and it created all hell if you wanted to use one of apple's (very nice) LCD panels on a PC (not to mention that the early cinema displays & DVI adaptors didn't conform to the proper DVI spec)

And thus, I think all current-model macs ship with DVI ports instead. Creating a new ADC device would be completely pointless

power requirements, ADC adaptors and such (3, Informative)

green pizza (159161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206357)

ADC also carried the power for the display. Having analog+dvi+usb+power on one connector really cut down on cable clutter. Even Apple's 17" CRT was powered by the ADC connector!

But it was hell for the graphics card! Apple had to add a card edge power and usb connector just past the end of the AGP connector on its graphics cards, meaning not only did they have to have their own firmware and video connector for the ATI and NVIDIA cards they used, but also their own special printed circuit board to route the power and USB to the ADC connector as well. BTW, the ADC->VGA adaptors were pretty common, ADC macs used to ship with such an adapter and they sold new for $10 - $30, it's just a little thing that routes the analog RGBHV pins from the ADC connector to a VGA connector, much like the "Mac"->VGA adapters back when Apple used DB15 for video.

Apple ditched ADC about two years ago when they switched to DVI for their aluminum skinned LCD monitors... more specifically, dual link (DDL) DVI to suppor the resolution of their 30" monitor (ADC only supported single link DVI).

This wasn't the first time Steve Jobs tried this, back in 1988 his NeXT computers used a single cable to carry power, video, audio, and keyboard/mouse data to the snazzy black monitor. This became a headache when NeXT went color, requiring a combination speaker box and splitter cable.

Re:power requirements, ADC adaptors and such (1)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206550)

Actually, the extra edge connector is just for ADC power; the USB signals are carried in the normal AGP connector - USB pins are actually part of the AGP standard pinout!

Think of the possibilities (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205725)

Nethack Touch Screen Edition, you could... finger finger, finger bash, finger fsck... you get the point.

Re:Think of the possibilities (1)

setirw (854029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205907)

In other news, usage of Port 79 (finger port) went up 200% among Linux users following IBM's announcement :)

Re:Think of the possibilities (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205949)

Only for users of one specific Linux distribution -- Polax.

Re:Think of the possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206587)

Not to mention assuming we don't know which port finger uses kind of makes the joke, well... not funny.

Ah ha and now as I preview my post I see some moron modded parent informative thinking Polax was an actual distribution and not an ethnic joke. Good ol' /.

Option: Siemens simpad (0, Troll)

PromptZero (936799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205730)

The Siemens simpad can run linux, thanks to open simpad [opensimpad.org] [opensimpad.org]. I run Qtopia [trolltech.com] [trolltech.com] on mine, but it can also run Opie [handhelds.org] [handhelds.org] and X11 if you want that. This screen is an actual touchscreen, so I don't even need a stylus, I can use my finger.

Re:Option: Siemens simpad (4, Informative)

AEton (654737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206210)

Dude, when you're using Anti-Slash's Database Tool [anti-slash.org] to rip comments, please remember to strip the second layer of [link references]. Otherwise everybody notices that you're plagiarizing [slashdot.org] and you ruin the game.

Hint: hit the "HTML" link on the right side to get text you can copy & paste easily. Just paste it in, post in mode "HTML Formatted", and you're good to go and you've avoided this problem.

Also note that you can "lock out" comments if you're logged in to Anti-Slash, so people can't just search the DB for Qtopia to see where you copied your comment from. (In this case, it wouldn't have helped, since I Googled first.)

Thanks for trying!

Re:Option: Siemens simpad (1)

utlemming (654269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206252)

I was thinking about taking an old Linux box, Apache, Firefox, mySQL and then some touch screen for a Christmas present for my wife. She is a fantastic cook, and I was thinking about taking her recipes and putting them onto the computer, with the touch screen in the kitchen. That'll information will make the project much, much easier. Thanks.

Re:Option: Siemens simpad (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206290)

Cool, but doesn't help if the SIMPad is nowhere to be found. One link on the Siemens site, and it doesn't work..

Not much of a connection... (3, Insightful)

Funakoshi (925826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205746)

to Linux really.

While the article has a point that touch-activated LCDs would indeed increase the usability of custom aps, Im not sure how it implies "...easy-to-use Linux-based product for consumers..." that would be a benefit solely to Linux. The operating system is really irrelevant, it's the LCDs that are the key technology.

Nifty project if you have the time on your hands I suppose.

or just buy a 7" touchscreen (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205763)


its not like they are expensive (150$), plus you get to choose between resistive or capacitance touch and get the benefits of modern TFT manufacturing and a warranty, seems like a no brainer really, or of course you can trash a PS1

Re:or just buy a 7" touchscreen (1)

osopolar (826106) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207176)

Dont trash your ps1, donate it to me. I am working in Peru and ps1s are still worth 70 dollars or so. Here in Lima there are console cafes (like internet cafes) where people pay one Nuevo Sole or (about 40 cents in US dollars) an hour to play. So please dont throw it away mail it to me and I will find it a good home.

Touchscreens holding Linux back? (1, Insightful)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205792)

Whoa... wait a minute... I thought it was a lack of a good email client that was holding Linux back.

Re:Touchscreens holding Linux back? (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205923)

The problem is that user gets a headless linux server and doesn't know how SSH into the box from another machine to use the PINE email client. Presto! A touchscreen LCD solves the problem. It's what known as an IBM solution. :P

Re:Touchscreens holding Linux back? (1)

Lord Maud'Dib (611577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205980)

You're absolutely right. Evolution sucks so much, so does thunderbird, mutt and er... pine.

Re:Touchscreens holding Linux back? (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206201)

Right... that is why I telnet directly into my smtp server for everything.

What about industry??? (2, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205819)

There are a lot of factory shop floors that could benefit from cheap touch screen input to Linux boxes.

Linux? (1)

eurleif (613257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205822)

Does it really have anything to do with Linux? Wouldn't the touchscreen work just as well under another operating system?

Grandma (2, Insightful)

MasterPi (896501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205828)

This'd probably be good for older people who lack the mouse skills to get interested in computers. I've watched older folks be frustrated with not being able to click something and just give up without experiencing the functionality of a computer. Young kids as well, although they learn new skills easier so this isn't as much of a barrier. (yes, lack of motor skills plays a role but there isn't too much a kid that age can do on a computer except play the newest edition of Blue's Clues). I'm not sure how much it would catch on in the mainstream, because mice tend to be more accurate, but I can see this as good for those who can't use mice yet. Of course as soon as Linux does it Microsoft will too and claim they had it first, but whatever so long as it enables more people to enhance their lives using computers. Now, how much of an enhancement using Windows is is debatable....

Re:Grandma (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205947)

Of course as soon as Linux does it Microsoft will too and claim they had it first...

Won't have to work hard to back up that claim [microsoft.com] .

Re:Grandma (2, Insightful)

G60 (937025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206189)

FWIW, little kids generally don't have any problems using a mouse. In fact they seem to pick it up almost immediately - possibly given that they have no preconceived expectations, as opposed to old folks who are somewhat prone to expect it to be difficult and new-fangled, which kind of sets them up for failure.

For the old folks, I think the idea of a touchscreen-driven web browsing device has legs, and Linux would be the perfect base for something like that (as long as nobody ever saw it, a la TiVo). If you made it relatively pleasant to look at and could stand it up on an end table, you could sell it as an 'ever-changing picture frame' as well - the digital camera-toting generation down could send pictures to it, and it would display them as a screensaver.

One fairly important thing missing is how to handle hover/mouseover type links, given that there is no touchscreen equivalent for that - of course there are few other elements that would need to be set up right for touchscreen.

Now if only there was a relatively mature, well-supported, extensible open-source browser out there somewhere.

Oh. Right. So there is.

Re:Grandma (1)

h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206723)

Young kids as well, although they learn new skills easier so this isn't as much of a barrier. (yes, lack of motor skills plays a role but there isn't too much a kid that age can do on a computer except play the newest edition of Blue's Clues).

You were a bit vague about what you mean by young kids, but I feel obligated to point out that (some) kids aged four or five can use computers to a greater degree than many adults can imagine.

For example, my school district [cantonusd.org] was fortunate enough to have a special program for gifted children from first through fifth grade. This program was held each Monday at the town's junior high school, which also happened to be fortunate enough to have a computer lab which was provided by Apple Computer. At the age of five, I was initially typing simple (four or five line) programs into an Apple ][ and seeing them run and playing with Logo [wikipedia.org] ; eventually I was modifying these programs and beginning to read through some programming manuals that were developed by the school's faculty. At about the same time, my father brought home a TRS-80 (Color Computer) and I began playing with that: initially just the games on ROM cartridges, then my Dad got a monthly subscription to CoCo magazine which included a cassette tape with all of the programs on it and I started playing those and learning how to operate the tape drive. A few years later, I was writing my own text adventure games and messing around with early floppy drives and OS-9 [wikipedia.org] .

With proper support and age appropriate learning materials, even very young children can learn to operate and program sophisticated devices. It's really all about fostering a love of learning and discovery at a young age.

kind of interesting. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205848)

You could use the cheap PSOne screen+touch screen as a control panel for a mythTV box.
Add a second card to run the PSOne lcd and your main card for the video out.

Re:kind of interesting. (1)

Luminary Crush (109477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206182)

Great idea. Now, if MythTV only *SUPPORTED* mouse interaction (and, therefore, touchscreens) I'd be well on my way to "MythCAR".

MythTV 18.1 adds a few mouse functions, but the primary interface navigation is still keyboard only. The GTK widgets aren't written to accept mouse events and need a total rewrite, from what I've read.

Re:kind of interesting. (1)

Surye (580125) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206625)

One, there's no GTK involved, it's ALL QT. Second, the mouse works for pretty much everything, the cursor is just hidden, so it makes mouse usage pointless (but touch screen usage perfect).

Re:kind of interesting. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207188)

"If MythTV only *SUPPORTED* mouse interaction (and, therefore, touchscreens)" Ummm... You have the source so fix it. That is what OSS is about. I am thinking more of an auxiliary control panel your car idea could work also.

Interesting, but not practical (4, Informative)

snookumz (919796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205854)

Touchscreens are only useful when they are on handheld devices. For your average home computer, they make no real sense. For one thing, a desktop pc will always have it's screen perpendicular to the hands natural orientation. That creates unnecessary strain. Another thing is that touching doesn't work well with the office metaphor to which most os, including linux, adhere. The ideal touch interface would have a flat screen embedded face up or maybe at a 35 angle in a table. It could have a square section representing your out/in box, a list of icons on the side representing such things as calendar or notes, etc. Think how easy it would be to have ebooks or architectural schematics on an entire desktop. Of course this would probably require some sort of cheap e-paper, but I think the possibilities are endless.

Re:Interesting, but not practical (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205885)

Special case, I realize, but I would really like a touchscreen on my (music) keyboard rig. Unfortunately, I know the touchscreen idiom as implemented, only allows for a single touchpoint at a time. So UI ideas like "grabbing a row of faders" or "tweaking multiple knobs with the side of your palm", or "piano keyboard" are not available anyway.

Actually, practical and interesting (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206173)

Actually, a touchscreen is also very useful on a wall-mounted display, like one for a home or commercial building automation control system. And Linux could make a fine platform for that purpose.

Touchscreen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205856)

Am I just missing it or does it not mention at all how the PS1 screen magically becomes a touch screen?

The PsOne LCD dose NOT have a touch screen? (2, Insightful)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205875)

I have a PSOne LCD screen and as far as I amaware it does not have any touch screen functioanlity, only display and sound. I have hacked mine up already and since many Nvidia cards do not have the right type of VGA sync signal I use the S-VIDEO TV out of my Nvidia card instead. If you run with TV out then select the native resolution of the pannel (320x240) as your TV res mode it is pixel perfect. Please could someone correct me if I am wrong about the touch screen functionailty of the Psone LCD screen?

Re:The PsOne LCD dose NOT have a touch screen? (2, Informative)

snookumz (919796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205912)

Your not wrong. They're putting a touch screen overlay over the PSone lcd.

Interfaces are still inadequate (4, Insightful)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205888)

"Historically, the lack of friendly interfaces has been an obstacle to making Linux a commercially viable product for end users, but with available GUIs, that's yesterday's news"

It might be yesterday's news, but that isn't to say that it's less current today. Try making sense of the clipboard in apps on the linux platform:

First test:
- copy text containing 'Windows characters' (eg: stupid quotation marks - 'long' dash)
- try to paste into gnome-terminal
-> does nothing, which would be even worse for people who don't understand the issues around Windows characters (why can't it just filter the characters?)

Second test:
- copy text in gnome-terminal or gedit
- close the window
- try pasting somewhere
-> doesn't work (the clipboard data has disappeared)

They're just off-the-cuff examples of usability problems in a linux platform, and they are neither user- nor idiot-friendly. I'm on my gentoo workstation at work at the moment but am pretty sure Badger suffers identical problems.

Re:Interfaces are still inadequate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206044)

"Windows Characters" ?

If you mean the extended characters, they're the ISO 8859/8859-1 character set, and most of the problems people have with it aren't with the proprietary windows "extensions" to it at all, it's the people that try to convert characters from there to ANSI without doing table conversion. Characters 128-158 in ASCII (rendered as funny things in Windows) can easily be converted to the graphic equivilents in 8859-1 with a table lookup (which would result in standard values)

Instead of dumping data or writing a filter for the application, why not just write the application so it's capable of using ISO character sets instead of just ANSI? Wouldn't take much more coding (unless the developer hard-coded characters to be one-byte-per-character, which implies a lack of foresight, I'm afraid) to allow for word/dword-sized characters.

Re:Interfaces are still inadequate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14207151)

KDE's Klipper application (which runs upon startup by default) addresses both of the aforementioned problems. It doesn't matter which application you copy from/paste to, Klipper retains the contents even after successive pastes.

Re:Interfaces are still inadequate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14207184)

Erm... I just did both of those things. They worked. I am using KDE, but it does work. It might be a deficiancy in GNOME, but why would anybody have the proverbial `grandmother` use gnome anyway?

Oh, and another point: If you are trying to use a terminal at all, you have probably just surpased the grandmother level.

Katana's Law of Linux Articles (1, Insightful)

katana (122232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205894)

The more the article emphasizes Linux "ease of use" or "desktop readiness", the higher the likelihood that a user will be hand-editing X config files.

Touchscreen used (1)

The Joe Kewl (532609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205919)

Is it just me, or did the author fail completly to specify exactly what brand & model touchscreen he used for the PSOne lcd?

GUIs (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205928)

Historically, the lack of friendly interfaces has been an obstacle to making Linux® a commercially viable product for end users, but with available GUIs, that's yesterday's news.

indeed, now that Linux has a GUI, all usability issues have been solved!

Mission Accomplished! (3, Funny)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205934)

Historically, the lack of friendly interfaces has been an obstacle to making Linux® a commercially viable product for end users, but with available GUIs, that's yesterday's news.

This sounds a lot like (and is about as accurate as) Bush on the U.S.S. Lincoln claiming "Mission Accomplished."

Re:Mission Accomplished! (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207334)

Bash Linux and George Bush in the same post to avoid downmods! It's so crazy, it just might work!

The #1 thing holding back *nix from home PCs... (2, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205937)

From TFA:

"Historically, the lack of friendly interfaces has been an obstacle to making Linux® a commercially viable product for end users..."

I would switch to Linux on my home PC /today/ except for one thing. The primary purpose of my home PC is entertainment. Until I can run my games on it, and I'm talking maintstream-buy-at-Walmart games, it's just never going to happen for me.

I want to be on the Linux bandwagon in a big way. I'd switch instantly. But that is the showstopper for me.

Steve

Re:The #1 thing holding back *nix from home PCs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206225)

Buy a PS3 or a Nerdtendo when it comes out... seriously.

Look at the costs.. You have a 400 dollar initial purchase cost and most games will be designed to work on it for the next 5 years.

You'll have decent graphics (hdtv) on a big monitor and all that hoopla. You have hundreds of titles from PS2 era that are fun and will run on it. You'll have 90% of most popular new titles that will run on it.

Compare that to the PC which will have less games, have more expensive games, and you'll have to spend a extra 200-400 dollars a year upgrading it.

Then you have the extra hassle of having to run Windows and the costs associated with that system.

How much fun is that?

For the odd title out there that is a 'must have' on the PC.. you have a 70% chance that it will run in Linux.

Halflife2.. runs in Linux.
Doom3.. runs in Linux
Counterstrike source.. runs in Linux
World of Warcraft.. runs in Linux
Day of Defeat source.. runs in Linux
Battlefeild 2.. runs in Linux
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.. runs in Linux
Sid Meirs: Pirates! (new one, and old ones).. runs in Linux
Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided.. runs in Linux
Guild Wars.. runs in Linux
Command & Conquer: Generals.. runs in Linux.
UT2004... runs in Linux.

now the pain in the rear things for these games is that:
1. you have to be running Nvidia card with Nvidia propriatory drivers to play them
2. you have to subscribe to Cedega Win32/DirectX compatability layer. (except for a couple things like Doom3/Quake4)

It's 5 bucks a month, you install "Point2Play" and use that to manage all the different Cedega versions and install cedega, as well as installing and running windows games.

Here is there gameDB.
http://transgaming.org/gamesdb/ [transgaming.org]

The rating system is:
3 stars -- playable with a few serious not-going-to-stop you bugs. (like you can't watch cutscreens or something)
4 stars -- no major bugs, maybe a few visual blemishes
5 stars -- no bugs, perfect compatability.

Some 3 star games are questionable, but don't bother with 2 star or 1 star games.

Re:The #1 thing holding back *nix from home PCs... (1)

G60 (937025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206253)

There are lots of people in the same boat, and hence lots of solutions: primarily dual-boot machines and multiple machines. You can't be a PC gamer for very long without accumulating enough obsolete parts to build at least one extra computer. Dig out that old mobo, video card and 'too small' HD, buy a cheap case and a KVM. You're set.

Or, if you just wanna play, download Knoppix [knopper.net] and be a Linux user tonight!

IBM, Linux, gimmicks and real needs... (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205957)

Could IBM please install this gimmick on some of their xSeries servers... they could then be sold as "the xSeries for Linux, with cool touch display".
...and now we are talking IBM and Linux: We still need a Lotus Notes Client for Linux, pls!!
Yes, I know it runs fine on wine... and so do I but my wife prefere me in sober condition.

Notes On Linux... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206049)

As much as I think IBM should just compile Notes with the WineLib (they already run Notes on Wine internally), I don't expect it to happen. Back in the 4.6 days, R5 was promised to be a complete rewrite of Notes with every component being a Java applet. This would have made Notes a write once, run anywhere application. (even in a browser) Well, Java didn't pan out as expected, and Lotus pulled back on the cross platformness of their client.

*****I know that Java has come a long way. I am speaking historically.

Well, I believe that when IBM made another push for the the Notes client rewrite in Java, they promised less and coded more. They knew that a complete rewrite was a HUGE job, so they started Workplace. (Now called the Workplace Managed Client) It is being released for Linux, and has a Notes Client plugin. So Notes will be availible for Linux, it will just be called Workplace.

Interesting to see the responses here (3, Interesting)

FoamingToad (904595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205973)

given the amount of /.ers who were stating quite vehemently their intent to never buy any Sony products ever a couple of weeks back [slashdot.org] [Slashdot, passim].

A bit expensive but ... (2, Interesting)

Ricochet (16874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206017)

I've been working with the Nokia 770 (http://www.nokiausa.com/770 [nokiausa.com] ) and it's a nice small wireless (802.11b) ARM PC running Linux. It has a 800x400 touch screen that I'm comfortable with. It has a streaming music app, email, a browser (Opera) and a couple of other apps on it as well as storage for adding more. I plan on using it for my HA interface (running http://www.misterhouse.com/ [misterhouse.com] ) so the browser is important. So far it works rather well and beats bringing a book into the bathroom for reading. :-) This will be used to replace my my 3COM Audrey, which is hardwired. If they can get the price down I think this device has a chance.

Re:A bit expensive but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206166)

If they can get the price down I think this device has a chance.

Isn't it like $400 or so? I think that's a pretty good price. What would be a better price? (Yeah, I know, FREE :-) It's a cool device, I've been wishing for something like that for a while (actually I was hoping Apple would do it).

Re:A bit expensive but ... (1)

Ricochet (16874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206788)

Actually I think that if the device could be dropped to around $250 (US) then it would be a huge hit. I've run the streamer app and gone surfing at the same time. I used a set of head phones as the tiny speaker is not very good to listen to. It may be possible to use the device as an IP phone but I'm not sure of it's battery life running such an app. Still very nice, powerful and flexible. I need to get it upgraded as it crashes (and reboots). Typically this is because it's run out of memory (I'm running too many apps at one time).

Simultaneous xservers on linux? (2, Interesting)

evilad (87480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206135)

I recently tried and failed to add a touchscreen to my media server. The stumbling block was finding a way to have a simultaneous xservers (Ubuntu Breezy x.org 6.8) running on different video cards. No matter what I do, only one will be active at a time (one per virtual console), and I'm forced to switch between them with the Alt-Fkeys.

A little searching found the ancient Backstreet Ruby project, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do it with a modern kernel and xserver.

Anyone managed to accomplish this recently?

Re:Simultaneous xservers on linux? (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206297)

I ran two XServers on my Alpha... about a hundred years ago with RedHat 5... One on the mobo card, one on a Trident 9860 or something like that plugged into the PCI bus.

Now, you get two *displays* doing this, not one big screen, or a display with two screens.

All I had to two was fire up a different X Server, with a different X config file. Oh, and I had to set the keyboard and mouse on one of them to non-existant.. I used x2x to get mouse and keyboard on the other monitor.

Why not spare yourself the agony (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206217)

...and throw your money on these linux guys http://damnsmalllinux.org/store/TFT_LCD [damnsmalllinux.org] ? After you're done, THEN you decide whether the car or the house gets the lil box...

Linux has more obstacles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206221)

To get linux to connect to my wireless network (on an OS newer than the laptop hardware itself) required hacking the wireless drivers OUT of the kernel, downloading new drivers from a sourceforge project, downloading firmware from the manufacturer, downloading some wpa_supplicant, scouring the web for days reading forum posts and looking at other people who had similar problems, repeated rebuilding and testing wpa_supplicant drivers, and finally figuring out that wpa_supplicant, while packaged with drivers for my network card, must be used with the generic linux wireless extensions. Next I had to put the new drivers into the kernel and reboot.

With all that said, the only thing keeping the masses from converting to linux is a touch screen? Does this magical touch screen make compiling programs from a command prompt easier?

You know it's sad (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206281)

When the original poster doesn't even bother to RTFA.

If you actually read the article, it becomes painfully clear that there is no "PSOne touchscreen" - The PSOne display is simply a cheap small display that he is placing behind a touchscreen that didn't come built in to a display. He does not make a SINGLE mention as to exactly what model of touchscreen he used, nor where to get it, and there is nothing preventing you from getting a touchscreen large enough to put on a normal LCD monitor (or a CRT for that matter), other than possibly cost. (He does mention the brand indirectly, apparently the touchscreens are made by eGalax, although looking at eGalax's website gives me the impression that they only make controller ICs for touch screens, not complete touchscreen units. They also do not have any U.S. based distributors listed.)

PS1 Server? (1)

ShaunC1000 (928875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206385)

I'm thinking... combine this with a nano-itx board - large HD and you got yourself a nice little server.. possibly even putting the parts into a hollowed out PS1

Already covered back in February (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206516)

While this article may bring some new ideas (hoping for it to be the panecea for converts is kinda silly) a very similar article was out in Feb 2005: Hacking a PSOne Screen [extremetech.com]

What is wrong with EPSON and IBM P.O.S. terminals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206673)

Why bother when there are so many Point Of Sale terminals out there already? Most of these are made by well known companies such as the Entity Now Known As Lenovo, EPSON and SQUiRREL, to name a few 'household' brands... If you need to get an engineer out on-site to re-image the H.D.D., fix the till drawer or get that screen recalibrated then you can find a third party able to do this for the customer and charge them a service contract with call-out fees, continual upgrades and all the other moneyspinners.
It is all there for you already with a P.O.S. terminal that is just a PC, with a touchscreen and the keyboard not normally plugged in. Networking is built in and I doubt there is much to stop you upgrading the Windows Whatever to the custom application of your chosing on your preferred operating system. With the units made by the company now known as Lenovo you might even be able to go the OS/2 Warp way...
Touchscreens are not much fun though. Try pressing the start button on a 10" touch display, navigating to Control Panel and changing something. Very fiddly. You have to get a child with small fingers to do it, assuming you have 'banana' style hands... I haven't worked out how to do the right clicks yet, I cannot see how you get to the calibration for different fingers.
All touchscreens get filthy really quickly. You need to have a supply of 'wet-wipes' on hand, particularly after a KFC eating meat-eater has had a prod. P.O.S. terminals are generally more robust than regular PC's. The Lenovo-style units would probably survive a Karcher clean, but it might be best to power off first, just to be on the safe side.
If you are looking to get a reconditioned POS unit for the home at bargain prices, go for the cash drawer and have fun setting 'cron' jobs that keep you and the rest of the world including potential burglars out of the 'safe'. You could put your savings in there until 'retirement' or your stash until next weekend. Most units can be bolted to something that is bolted to something concrete, so if you want the perfect setup for a server that is very difficult to steal then P.O.S. has it all.
To complement the P.O.S. unit you also need to get a printer that does kitchen orders, till receipts and such like. Who wants a huge slab of A4 when you can print off what you need from one convenient roll, cut to size by the inbuilt printer mechanism? These nifty printers are easy to get parts and paper for, and none of them take up the whole desk.

Linux Based Car PC (1)

EBFoxbat (897297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14206766)

If there was a viable option for a touchscreen to emulate a mouse. I would convery mt car PC to linux based. I would LOVE to have a small distro load to RAM and run from there as I'm running a ~900 Mhz EPIA w/a 4200 RPM HDD and this would (or could and should) boost performance. A dream becoming a bit closer to reality. Oh, and it's nice for those Knoppix Kiosk lovers.

Palm Touchscreen for a mythtv box? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14206943)

Why not use an old Palm for a touchscreen to provide buttons and display for a myth TV box?

Does anyone actually know of a cheap touchscreen? (1)

tsangc (177574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207209)

I have a few of the PSone type touchscreens (the Sony one is the nicest, mine are generics with an inferior OEM panel) but have no idea where to source a touchscreen film/digitizer and controller.

I know they make 7" and 8" LCD panels with touchscreen, but I don't want to pay that kind of money for an integrated product. Any ideas?
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