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  • palm as a terminal?

    Just curious,

    Anyone know if there's software available to make a palmpilot a terminal (preferably kde/X not just vt100)?

    Was driving around with the palm yesterday (trying to find an address in traffic) when it dawned on me - nice removable solution for a touchscreen/terminal...

  • #2
    how about palm vnc?

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    • #3
      Perfect... Don't suppose anyone has any experience using it - i.e. how the typical frontends or navigation software appears on the newer palm color screens?

      (Asking because I still haven't upgraded to the T|X yet, i'm already playing with it on my Vx)

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      • #4
        I like the sound of this too... The CarPC runs X and a media player and sends the video output to a PDA via an ad-hoc wireless LAN in the car... I wonder how cheap a palm with wireless can be had for these days.... And I wonder if this could be done with a 475MHz AMD laptop?

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        • #5
          Bandwidth becomes a trouble with VNC and video playback, so that won't work too well. Streaming videos to a media player, in the format that player likes, from the PC would be the best bet.

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          • #6
            Vnc is pretty slow - it's actually not too bad with my vx, mostly because I use an ethernet connection to the laptop. But playing with websites like google earth / google maps - not sure if it's the palm or the laptop - but one of em is down on it's knees begging for a break.

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            • #7
              I know I might be 'jacking this thread a bit, but I think I managed to give the wrong end of the stick with "The CarPC runs X and a media player and sends the video output to a PDA via an ad-hoc wireless LAN in the car".

              I am still just playing about with software, testing ideas etc. for my CarPC, but what I am planning is simply a laptop based MP3 jukebox, no movie playback, no sat nav, no DVD. It's all about the music, about 200gigs worth (you don't want to know how I plan to get that much storage into a laptop).

              VNC and X-Windows, when configured correctly, can send just an application to a remote screen (the PDA) from the "server" (the laptop). So I was thinking that I could use Amarok or XMMS etc. as my music player. It runs on the laptop, and when music is played it's read from the laptop's HDD and played out of the laptop's audio out, but the application itself is displayed on a PDA. And just the application, not the whole desktop.

              I know VNC can be slow, but what I was thinking shouldn't be too demanding (I hope!).

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              • #8
                VNC is pretty demanding on resources; try it out and see for yourself.

                Personally I'm moving in the direction of running an apache server on the laptop - using a basic webpage (easily brought up/shown on the palm) to provide the front end for control.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AndyLcgy View Post
                  VNC is pretty demanding on resources; try it out and see for yourself.
                  Yeah, VNC is pretty harsh, but in my expirience it's better with X11 than on other OSes. I am trying it out now, got Slackware 11 installed in VMware now, lets see if I can get an X app to the Windows VNC client. And if I only need to send 640x480 or so then even the POS machine I have lined up for my CarPC should be able to cope!

                  Originally posted by AndyLcgy View Post
                  Personally I'm moving in the direction of running an apache server on the laptop - using a basic webpage (easily brought up/shown on the palm) to provide the front end for control.
                  That's not a bad idea at all. It'd be nice if the browser can be set to be full screen, then you'd have complete control over the whole display through the web pages.

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                  • #10
                    Yep - it's a nice workable idea... Could be made to work on the palm pretty well; relatively easy to size everything so that it is workable even on the limited palm screens... But for now the coding is beyond my capabilities...

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                    • #11
                      Very nice idea!!!!!

                      I like the fact that screens then become as configurable as changing a website. Getting programs to run might be a little more problematic though wouldn't it? As it would be attempting to serve pages only... Would need some sort of server side scripting to handle the running of programs and things locally.

                      But just as a source of on-screen information and touch control that would be a fantastic idea.

                      I shall certainly be looking into that for my new setup.

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                      • #12
                        This is how I'm planning on doing mine, as well... eventually (been planning it for over a year now). Anyway, some things I've found that might help out. Sorry if they're obvious, but it might save someone some time.

                        For a simple web frontend for playlist control, check out glirnath:
                        http://glirnath.sourceforge.net/

                        I've tested it in our media center, and it works pretty well. It would take a bit of PHP knowledge to customize anything outside the logo/color scheme. Alternatively, check out mpd:
                        http://www.musicpd.org/

                        It's a daemon that handles the playback. Control is done through a number of frontends, and they have a lot, from command-line, X and a few different web ones. The nice thing about this is (they say) it can remember it's position between shutdowns, so it would make continuation after reboots easy.

                        PDA's with 802.11 built in are common now, so it's just a matter of what features you want (keypad, etc). Unless you can do Ad-Hoc, which I've never had much luck getting working reliably, you'll want to get the linux machine to act as an access point, so you don't have a separate AP in your car. If you're familiar with OpenBSD, this would be much much easier, but it can be done on Linux as well:
                        http://oob.freeshell.org/nzwireless/LWAP-HOWTO.html

                        Depending on the PDA you get, you can probably get an ssh client, but I don't consider it that important. Once set up, you shouldn't have to do much. The only task I see needing to be performed is getting new music into the collection. I'd just set up a Samba share for the mp3 directory, and a share for a USB thumb drive, and you can copy new music over easily from the PDA. Or set up a webpage that you can call to copy stuff from the thumb drive to the music directory. Most common functions could be handled this way. Anything else would require a shell, and if you have a laptop, you can bring that into the car with you, get on the network, and ssh in. I don't need X; if you do, well, it gets more complicated I guess ;-)

                        That's all I can think of for now.

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                        • #13
                          I've been working on my system like this.... A laptop running Linux and VNC server, and an X11 MP3 player. The display is then sent to a PDA, and I've found a nice VNC client written in dot net, so only for Windows handhelds (and 2000+), http://dotnetvnc.sourceforge.net. It can do rotation, so that is helpful for me, as I'm thinking of having the PDA turned round 90 degrees for a little widescreen display.

                          So far I've got Slack 11 running on a Tosh Portege 7020CT, a PII 366 with 192meg RAM, and have got Tight VNC compiled and working. Here's a screenshot of what I've got going so far.... You can see the dotnet VNC client running on XP with the client rotating an X desktop 90 degrees. There is no window manager running, just XMMS (set to double size). I'm probably gonna use Noatun though.

                          The KDE desktop is another user's (MP3Admin) desktop being viewed in the Windows Tight VNC client. This desktop would only be fired up occasionally.

                          Originally posted by Link420 View Post
                          PDA's with 802.11 built in are common now, so it's just a matter of what features you want (keypad, etc). Unless you can do Ad-Hoc, which I've never had much luck getting working reliably, you'll want to get the linux machine to act as an access point, so you don't have a separate AP in your car. If you're familiar with OpenBSD, this would be much much easier, but it can be done on Linux as well:
                          http://oob.freeshell.org/nzwireless/LWAP-HOWTO.html
                          I've watching Ebay a little, but PDAs with wireless go for quite a bit I'm keeping an eye out for a cheap one though.

                          I've got wireless partially working on my laptop, but haven't tried adhoc mode yet... Maybe a softAP is necessary.

                          Originally posted by Link420 View Post
                          The only task I see needing to be performed is getting new music into the collection. I'd just set up a Samba share for the mp3 directory, and a share for a USB thumb drive, and you can copy new music over easily from the PDA.
                          The way I'm thinking of updating music is to have the laptop boot in the night when parked at home. The BIOS supports powering on at a certain time, so I can have it boot up, and if it can see my home wireless LAN it fires up a script to connect to the WLAN, then using rsync or rsync over SSH it connects to a "server" with a folder of music to syncronise. When the script finishes, it shuts the laptop down.

                          I've gotta set up my own in-progress thread. Shame I need a new car now...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by internewt View Post
                            So far I've got Slack 11 running on a Tosh Portege 7020CT, a PII 366 with 192meg RAM, and have got Tight VNC compiled and working. Here's a screenshot of what I've got going so far.... You can see the dotnet VNC client running on XP with the client rotating an X desktop 90 degrees. There is no window manager running, just XMMS (set to double size). I'm probably gonna use Noatun though.
                            That's not bad. I'm a fan of XMMS, it's easy to use, has a simple layout, and works. Can you use the playlist window as well? The bad thing about XMMS is that the EQ and Playlist are completely separate windows, so if you're calling XMMS with X11 without a window manager, can you even open the playlist? If so, do you have to open two VNC sessions to do that? Does that cause problems?

                            I was planning on doing the apache method because I didn't want to mess with X, but I kind of like the idea of VNC'ing only the XMMS window and not a whole desktop. Part of the reason I want a PDA is so I can hand it to passengers and have them DJ, even those in the back seat (would give them something to do, people always feel left out in the back seat . Most people would be able to use XMMS easily, since most are familiar with Winamp.

                            Originally posted by internewt View Post
                            The way I'm thinking of updating music is to have the laptop boot in the night when parked at home. The BIOS supports powering on at a certain time, so I can have it boot up, and if it can see my home wireless LAN it fires up a script to connect to the WLAN, then using rsync or rsync over SSH it connects to a "server" with a folder of music to syncronise. When the script finishes, it shuts the laptop down.
                            Good idea, if you can park close enough to pick up the wireless signal. I can't park right next to my apartment, so that probably wouldn't work too well. That would definitely be easier than a USB solution though. I like when I can set things up to happen on their own without me doing anything.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Link420 View Post
                              That's not bad. I'm a fan of XMMS, it's easy to use, has a simple layout, and works. Can you use the playlist window as well? The bad thing about XMMS is that the EQ and Playlist are completely separate windows, so if you're calling XMMS with X11 without a window manager, can you even open the playlist? If so, do you have to open two VNC sessions to do that? Does that cause problems?
                              The playlist window does work, as does the EQ (see the attachment below, and getting the fonts in that to work was a pain), but I could imagine the playlist could be very tricky to try an use on a PDA screen - the x to close the playlist is right in the very top corner, and I don't know if it can be skinned to have bigger buttons. Adding files/folders to the playlist doesn't work too well either, as the dialogue boxes are bigger than the display. Similar issues with the EQ too.

                              Also, I don't think skins on XMMS do much more than change colours - I don't think you can't change sizes or positions of buttons, so I'm probably going to use the media player Noatun rather than XMMS, as Noatun appears to support more flexible skinning, and the playlist browser appears customisable too.

                              Originally posted by Link420 View Post
                              I was planning on doing the apache method because I didn't want to mess with X, but I kind of like the idea of VNC'ing only the XMMS window and not a whole desktop. Part of the reason I want a PDA is so I can hand it to passengers and have them DJ, even those in the back seat (would give them something to do, people always feel left out in the back seat . Most people would be able to use XMMS easily, since most are familiar with Winamp.
                              The passing round of the PDA is something I'm sure my friends will like too. I'm probably going to set something up so that other laptops can talk to the carPC too, so that music can be easily transferred or played from friend's machines too.

                              Originally posted by Link420 View Post
                              Good idea, if you can park close enough to pick up the wireless signal. I can't park right next to my apartment, so that probably wouldn't work too well. That would definitely be easier than a USB solution though.
                              I feel I've gotta suggest using a directional antenna pointed at where you park from your apartment? Might work

                              Originally posted by Link420 View Post
                              I like when I can set things up to happen on their own without me doing anything.
                              That's what computer's are for!
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