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Thread: Codename: LlamaBox

  1. #51
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by blk02si
    wow that is freakin sweet! How does that VFD get hooked up? Is it a normal VGA or what? Kind of reminds me of my original gameboy, only much brighter. Thats such a cool little screen, how much do those run? That is a nice setup man. Do you still have the ability to run a simple GPS app? Sorry for all the questions but this is just hardcore computing and I LOVE IT, Nice little lama in your GUI!
    No, it runs over the parallel port. I had to write a Kernel module for linux that drives the display. Essencially, my user program (The frontend) interfaces with the module through memory mapping and ioctl calls. They are over $200, but you would be amazed at how clean it looks-- Especially in daylight. I do have the ability to run a simple GPS app, but I don't have a GPS so it doesn't really matter to me. I'm not much of a GPS man, I navigate with a rock tied to the end of a stick.

    I could do GPS on the VFD and it would probably work pretty well. Optionally- The player has a VGA output, so nothing is stopping me from adding a lilliput to the setup. I think If I really wanted GPS, I would just buy a contained GPS unit.

  2. #52
    High Voltage blk02si's Avatar
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    I was expecting the screen to be a little cheaper, thats how much the 7" touchscreens are! But at the same time this has advantages and disadvantages over a lcd screen. Are you doing your software developing on the actual lama box or are you doing it on a desktop or something and transferring it over? Hows your minimal kernal running? fast and responsive I assume
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  3. #53
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by blk02si
    I was expecting the screen to be a little cheaper, thats how much the 7" touchscreens are! But at the same time this has advantages and disadvantages over a lcd screen. Are you doing your software developing on the actual lama box or are you doing it on a desktop or something and transferring it over? Hows your minimal kernal running? fast and responsive I assume
    Sure they cost the same (actually the VFD costs a little more). You must be forgetting some of the advantages. For one, The screen is very crisp, and completely digital. Unless your screen is running DVI, you don't have the same clarity. I have a better contrast ratio as well, my dark pixels are completely dark.. not washed out by a backlight. The ratio will be even better when I put a blue filter on the screen to eliminate the unlit phosphor. Second, viewing angle. The display is readable from all angles. Third, Daytime visibility- The screen remains viewable in most direct sunlight. In regards to input, I enjoy my buttons and knobs better than a touchscreen. I can reach for a knob or button and know what they do without looking down at the screen. You simply cannot "feel for" a graphical button on a touch screen. Combined with memorizing key-sequences, the only time you need to look at the screen is when select a specific artist/album/title or for getting song information.

    Now, I have some disadvantages as well, I cannot play movies. Well, I probably wouldn't be able to anyways on this 667MHz box. I don't have color- sure, but is that really a disadvantage? A higher contrast screen is better for this application. GPS, this is probably where you got me. I could write a GPS app (hack an existing one) to work on my screen. But hell, I'd rather keep my entertainment separate from Navigation and just get a separate Navigation unit. It's not like there is a great Linux GPS app yet. And remember, I have a SVGA output I can hook to an auxiliary LCD if I ever wanted to.

    As far as development, it is a mix. I developed the screen and input drivers on the LlamaBox. The Frontend is designed and tested on my desktop and simply copied over and recompiled when I throw it on the box. My graphical toolkit allows me to run the software in many environments. On my X Windows system I can actually click all the buttons and drag scrollbars, etc... On the LlamaBox it is controled via the hardware buttons/knobs.

    I do not have a minimal kernel running. I used to, but I had to reinstall the system and I haven't bothered optimising it yet. It will be stripped down and will use Software Suspend 2 in the future. It's about as fast as a 667MHz Via gets I suppose.

    Thanks for the questions and compliments.

  4. #54
    FLAC SnyperBob's Avatar
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    Damn man,
    Just wanted to say this looks great. Back in 2000 I was thinking about doing something just like this. Systems like this were the craze, and the VFD screens (back then) were so much cheaper than the LCD screens.

    I just read your news article. Did you get a grant thru NSF, or through your school or something? Did this start out as a graduate project, or just something to do, which ended up getting funded by school ?

    Hmmm, so many questions - that will do for now Keep us posted!
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  5. #55
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob
    Damn man,
    Just wanted to say this looks great. Back in 2000 I was thinking about doing something just like this. Systems like this were the craze, and the VFD screens (back then) were so much cheaper than the LCD screens.

    I just read your news article. Did you get a grant thru NSF, or through your school or something? Did this start out as a graduate project, or just something to do, which ended up getting funded by school ?

    Hmmm, so many questions - that will do for now Keep us posted!
    Yeah, That is basically when I had my Version 1 player (except it was a 160x64 instead of 256x128). The Lilliput and Xenarc really changed the preferred screen for carputers. I was actually high-rolling back then since most people had character displays (LCD or VFD). Now toasters have nicer looking OLED screens.

    Well, it started out as something to do then it became funded by the school. I'm not sure who the actual grant is through, but it was a "Student and Faculty Collaborative Research Grant".

  6. #56
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intuitionsys
    Sorry 'bout that dude. Been busy with SW2, work and just found out last week we have a new bundle of joy coming soon

    Lemme know if you need any space though and great work!
    I hope SW2 is going well. You should throw a demo my way some time. Congratulations with the new family member!

  7. #57
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    I see no pictures??
    Tidder

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  8. #58
    Variable Bitrate intuitionsys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLlama
    I hope SW2 is going well. You should throw a demo my way some time. Congratulations with the new family member!
    Thanks. I'll do that once I get the new QGraphics framework worked out. I was initially going to avoid it but I changed my mind again as it appears to work a fair bit faster than the painting engine I was using for displaying gigantic MP3 libraries quickly.
    Silverwolf 2 is dead.
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  9. #59
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tidder
    I see no pictures??
    Damn it. I thought my school server would stay up. Apparently not. I lost my password to yrean's account so, once again, I don't have storage.

    Too bad, you missed it

  10. #60
    Constant Bitrate Sharkbite86's Avatar
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    I got space you can use for pics... just pm me
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