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Thread: palm as a terminal?

  1. #11
    Newbie Syridian's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #12
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    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.

  3. #13
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    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.

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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...

  4. #14
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    Quote 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.

    Quote 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.

  5. #15
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    Quote 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.

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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

    Quote 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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