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Old 09-15-2007, 05:20 PM   #1
ProphetOfReason
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X fowarding?

Greetings,
I've been lurking about for the past several months contemplating whether or not to buy an Iliad. The pros are certainly outnumbering the cons at this point in time, but there's one question I have which I haven't seen a satisfactory answer to: can you use the Iliad as a terminal to display forwarded X programs? I work at a nuclear accelerator facility and I would like to be able to use the Iliad to access a control system so that I can change settings, say, while looking at an oscilloscope when I'm not near a computer. Yes, I could do this with a tablet PC, but if I could also do with the Iliad, then I'd have to buy it (and write it off as a work expense).

So, has anyone tried this? Does the Iliad have a fully functional X server?
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:16 PM   #2
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I am pretty sure there's an x server, but the screen refresh rate might not support something like an oscilloscope. As a more or less static screen display, it works well, but not for content that needs to change dynamically.

You may be able to justify it as a display method for any manuals or documentation you would normally be carrying around, though, potentially including checklist documents if you use those.
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:23 PM   #3
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It looks as though I wasn't completely transparent in my describing my intentions. I wouldn't be using the Iliad to watch the scope, I would have it in front of me and use the Iliad to work the control system, which is fairly static...just some sliders and text edit boxes. This way I wouldn't have to run long cables from some random piece of equipment so that I could have the scope near a computer so that I could simultaneously fiddle with the controls and watch what happens on the scope.

The main question is has anyone tried to do anything similar to this, even opening a remote xemacs and editing a file?
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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It should be possible. The iLiad does have a small scaled down X server.

I can do some testing when I get my iLiad back. I'm sure it would display a remote X window, but I'm not sure how it would handle screen refreshes, if at all.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:42 PM   #5
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File editing on the iLiad is painful at best. The slow screen refresh really does get in the way. Minor edits might be ok, though.

Sliders don't work very well, either, for the same reason. Checkboxes are pretty usable, though.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:59 PM   #6
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I've always wondered if each pixel could be toggled independently on an eInk display. If only a relatively small number of pixels have changed, then just do pixel-level updating rather than redrawing the whole frame buffer. For all I know, the iLiad already does that since I've only seen a few videos of it in action.
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:06 PM   #7
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I've always wondered if each pixel could be toggled independently on an eInk display. If only a relatively small number of pixels have changed, then just do pixel-level updating rather than redrawing the whole frame buffer. For all I know, the iLiad already does that since I've only seen a few videos of it in action.
My understanding is that you can set individual pixels darker, but to get it back to white takes a full screen refresh.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:56 AM   #8
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My understanding is that you can set individual pixels darker, but to get it back to white takes a full screen refresh.
I don't think so-- I think the full screen refresh is used when you need to get rid of ghosting. The individual pixel sets tend to leave traces on the screen.
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:20 AM   #9
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I think you'd be far better off with something like a Tablet PC for an application such as the one you describe. The iLiad works best for apps whose display is "static", like the page of a book.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:18 AM   #10
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Another possibility is the Nokia 770 or N800. These are much smaller than the iLiad, but remote X11 applications are one of their strengths. Rather than a conventional tablet, a UMPC might also work. The Pepper Pad 3 is the only one that currently comes with Linux pre-loaded, but there are X11 servers for Windows too.

However, if your primary application is reading then the iLiad is your best bet.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:14 AM   #11
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Yes, I will use the Iliad primarily for reading, taking notes/correcting scientific journal articles, etc. I just thought that it would be a nice plus if I could do that, as well. A colleague of mine has a N800, but the screen is a little too small for my liking. Anyway, I placed my order last night, so if I discover anything of use in this vein I'll be sure to post it. Thanks for your comments!
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:44 PM   #12
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Anyway, I placed my order last night, so if I discover anything of use in this vein I'll be sure to post it. Thanks for your comments!
I've just become aware of this thread. For doing what you request (using the iliad as a remote X display), a port of the vnc server and vnc viewer would be requiered (the vncviewer using the hacked libX11 or modified for updating the display, as it should be somewhat easy in that case). It would be as simple as running both the server (for example as display :1) and the viewer (displaying :1 in :0) at the same time, as a way to incorporate the update instructions. I've used this some time ago in the zaurus while using pocketworkstation http://pocketworkstation.org/

Perhaps you can convince Adam to make the port for you... ;-).
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:27 PM   #13
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I opened a thread here about X forwarding *without* vnc. Check if it can help (and also help if you can!).
Regards, Gil
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