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  • ultra tiny interface

    this is a bit off topic but i have thrown everything i can think of into with no luck so i figured i would ask.

    ok here it goes, i do alot of gaming (lan parties and what not) and i have a bit of a security problem with my game server, so i got the idea to run it in a box with no monitor, no mouse, no keyboard. Only problem is that i did not want any remote connections enabled so i now have 2 problems.

    1) computer must have a keyboard to boot
    2) need a way to interface with computer

    i decided to build a custom interface in a tiny case that i have

    on the top there will be a small lcd from earth lcd

    on the lower part will be a small touch pointer for a mouse and a pda keyboard so that i have a portable keyboard/video/mouse interface that i can plug in to boot the computer, do what i need to, and walk away with.

    anyway after i passed this idea around some of my buds found some good uses for it and we are thinking about using it as our diagnostic interface for the carputers we are building next summer. also we would like to have them for computer repairs and what not (carry a monitor, keyboard, and mouse in your pocket that you know work)

    enough running my mouth, the problem i have is that for security purposes (game server) i would like to wire up a custom plug that only my interface will plug into and have a breakout cable that i can plug it into other computers, i can handled redoing the plugs but i am having a hard time finding a way to wire any pda keyboards to a ps2 port so i can use them on the computer.

    thanks for any help and if you think my idea is retarded, go ahead and say it, won't bother me

  • #2
    My computer dosn't need a keyboard to boot, why does yours?
    http://www.arizonasportcompacts.com

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    • #3
      These are two device you might want to look into. And both is a playstation controllers.

      There's a PSX controller that has a keyboard and another that has a screen.

      The screen uses RCA so resolution isn't that great. The keyboard is a full keyed thumbpad with the windows keys.

      I'll say rip these controller out and only use the one u want (screen and keyboard) and combine them back into one device. I'm not entirely sure what to use as a mouse, but you can alway use a touchpad and combine all 3 into 1 device. All are very small to carry with 1 hand.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cherub211
        My computer dosn't need a keyboard to boot, why does yours?
        He probably had halt on error for keyboard. Usually it will tell them to press F1 to continue. o.O Now how would he be able to press F1 when there's no keyboard? Try disable that in Bios first and you should be fine.

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        • #5
          i actuly don't want it to boot without keyboard so that there is no way someone can boot the computer without this interface (for the game server at least, i won't have that set up on my carputer)

          i will look into those controllers, they seem like they might make it easier then trying to wire up a pda keyboard and the earthlcd screen. i am planning on using something like this for the mouse any other suggestions are very welcome

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          • #6
            when you say security ? I dont quite understand what you mean ? there are already some secure devices about.. software wise try 'safehouse'. This can use very high encryption.. everytime your reboot you have to enter a password, then the shows as a extra drive. Theres also another thing I saw in a laptop mag.. its a usb security pen, this works by having to be in the usb port for the user to have access. If its not, then there's no chance of getting in.

            On our game servers we run, they arent really passworded as such, we just have them in a enclosed area. Also I was thinking of co-locating them say in a small secure room and terminal services into them when needed like we already do with our online server in London

            CdR
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            http://www.FreeICE.co.uk

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            • #7
              Originally posted by skullman
              i actuly don't want it to boot without keyboard so that there is no way someone can boot the computer without this interface (for the game server at least, i won't have that set up on my carputer)

              i will look into those controllers, they seem like they might make it easier then trying to wire up a pda keyboard and the earthlcd screen. i am planning on using something like this for the mouse any other suggestions are very welcome
              Oh my...that Micromodule Mouse is an excellent device. Everybody thinking of using a touchpad or mouse should look at it. Think of the possibility...installing this thing on the armrest of the door... or on the steering wheel. or even on the dash. The possibility is endless. And for $10 I might just get one.

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              • #8
                I thought about putting this in my center console and using their My Gesture Editor to remap the keys and gestures.

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                • #9
                  let me clear up the game server

                  the overall effect i am looking for (in the game server, not the carputer) is that i wire a custom plug (1 plug with keypad,mouse,and screen wired into it) so that you can't plug normal keyboards into the computer, then make sure it will not boot without a keyboard. (i am also going to make sure there is NO FORM of remote access to the computer)

                  the final effect is i can put my game server anywhere i want at a lan party, plug in the interface, boot and start the server, unplug the interface, put it in my pocket and walk away. there is no way for someone to control the computer (and through that the server) without my interface.

                  i am also going to make a breakout cable to go from my custom plug to standard plugs (and maybe one that goes the other way so i can interface with my game server if something happens to the interface.

                  the security thing does not apply to using it for my carputer so it is not relivent here i just thought i would clear up what i ment by secure. several of my friends and i are going to be putting in systems in our cars soon and i would also like to be able to use this to be able to plug a TINY keyboard mouse and monitor into the computer from a single plug without having to get to the computer (plan on hidding the computers away in simi hard to access places)

                  and as i was typing this i got another idea, wire the powerbutton to the interface so that you can not even turn the computer off without the interface (could still unplug it though )

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                  • #10
                    I had to do something similiar for a firewall that I made for a customer. What I ended up doing was putting the bootloader onto a USB thumbdrive and then having the mobo set to only boot from USB. Not sure if the EPIAs can be configured to do that. I used linux for the firewall in question, but you should be able to load windows onto a harddrive, then just put lilo or grub onto a thumbdrive and configure it to boot your windows partition. Remove the drive after its booted and viola.
                    Jason
                    It gimme the jibblies

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                    • #11
                      overkill

                      thanks, that is a great suggestion and i will definately look into it, but first i would like to investigate the possible use of an ibutton as the power button, basicly i am planning on chopping up one of the door locks that outputs 12v when it detects the right ibutton, i just gotta figure out a way to make this turn the computer on, but i know it can be done.

                      for any of you that are interested (probly none) i have come up with the 'perfect' secure game server for lan parties. The case is secured with screw locks (easy to come by) to prevent the case from being opened. For a nic it runs on a wi-fi adaptor completely contained in the case to prevent tampering. A usp (uninteruptable power supply) is built inside the case and the powersupply is run through it so that you cannot unplug the psu only the ups from the wall. Keyboard video and mouse are handled by the above mentioned interface, the hacked up door lock i mentioned in this post will be used for power button. As the final (and really not nessissary) point of security is a program that refuses to accept keyboard and mouse input and locks the computer at a screensaver unless an ibutton is currently interfaced with the computer.

                      I know this is massivly overkill but i am going to submit it to a small design challange run by some local lan party host and i think this system will beat anything else there in the catagory of preventing unauthorized access to the game server.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skullman
                        thanks, that is a great suggestion and i will definately look into it, but first i would like to investigate the possible use of an ibutton as the power button, basicly i am planning on chopping up one of the door locks that outputs 12v when it detects the right ibutton, i just gotta figure out a way to make this turn the computer on, but i know it can be done.

                        for any of you that are interested (probly none) i have come up with the 'perfect' secure game server for lan parties. The case is secured with screw locks (easy to come by) to prevent the case from being opened. For a nic it runs on a wi-fi adaptor completely contained in the case to prevent tampering. A usp (uninteruptable power supply) is built inside the case and the powersupply is run through it so that you cannot unplug the psu only the ups from the wall. Keyboard video and mouse are handled by the above mentioned interface, the hacked up door lock i mentioned in this post will be used for power button. As the final (and really not nessissary) point of security is a program that refuses to accept keyboard and mouse input and locks the computer at a screensaver unless an ibutton is currently interfaced with the computer.

                        I know this is massivly overkill but i am going to submit it to a small design challange run by some local lan party host and i think this system will beat anything else there in the catagory of preventing unauthorized access to the game server.
                        About the IButton, Iím sure that you can use a relay to replace the power button.

                        For the interface, and for the game server, did you thought about embedding one off our great lilliput monitors on the case itself?? It would give you video, mouse and a serious wow factor. Then, put the keyboard in a locked tray? The IButton would power the touch screen and unlock the keyboard tray of course

                        Brave
                        Ikea Case. Epia M10000.M1-ATX. 512 Mb. 2,5" 80 GB HDD. 7" Lilliput. BU-303 GPS. Sony Joystick.
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                        • #13
                          i consitered that option but decided against it because i would like to use the interface for other things including as the only keyboard for my carputer.
                          I think i know what i have to do now but until this summer i won't have access to the parts i need to try it (if i can get some stuff sent to me maybe i can make a protype in early april) i will let you guys know how it works and if it is worth the effort, who knows maybe i will even sell them if they are good enough to have a market

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