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Old 03-14-2016, 07:32 PM   #1
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Onyx Boox as monitor

Has anybody played with using an Onyx Boox tablet as computer monitor (primary/cloned or secondary/extended)?
I am planning to test a VNC through USB connection and see the result.
Only, I clearly foresee that a "force screen refresh" will be needed to clean the ghosting whenever needed; this calls for a software method - it would be impractical to force full redraw using the hardware buttons.

The idea comes from the "low" resolution of the current/first hardware configuration of the new Onyx Boox Max. If 150dpi may not be enough for tablet use to the most demanding eyes, it should be noted that it is a density two-and-a-half times the one of a standard desktop monitor. And the size is comparable to those used for laptops. It would be interesting to see how good the Onyx Boox Max would be for monitor use.

Last edited by mdp; 03-15-2016 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:50 AM   #2
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From my experience with the web browser on the Boox I don't think you'd want to use the Boox as a monitor for longer sessions except for reading text documents.

However, I believe if you are willing to use text-mode based applications which run in a console/terminal the experience would be much better. The reason is that these applications are very static, the screen doesn't change as much as with GUI based applications. They are also controlled via keyboard only - no mouse cursor which could create ugly trails on the screen.
Another advantage of a text-mode-only setup is that the bandwidth requirement is much lower than with VNC (much lower battery drain!).

Here is my plan:
- Set up a GNU/Linux server which runs all the applications (e.g. a Raspberry Pi)
- Connect to the server via ssh from the Boox (e.g. with ConnectBot app from F-Droid)

Some applications I'd run on the server which cover almost everything I need:
- terminal multiplexer/session manager: tmux
- web browser: lynx
- music player: cmus
- text editor: vim
- IRC client: irssi
- email client: mutt

Unfortunately though I've not been able to set up a key point of the setup: The USB keyboard. It looks like the kernel used by the Boox has OTG disabled (also see my other post here: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=18 )
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:22 PM   #3
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I've been wondering about this too, my guess is one of the limiting factors could be the display controller too. Watching some of the dasung monitor (which i think uses the same 13.3 panel as the onyx boox max) makes me wonder if they did some small differences to improve the refresh time (they have a button called 'A5' mode which I've been curious about).

I've tried typing with my i86 with a bluetooth keyboard within a terminal app, the eink just didn't quite feel responsive enough for my writing needs. Pretty sure I tried it with A2 mode on too. I'm picky about response time though - I spend much of my time trying to play with interactive animation code for the mac.
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Old 03-20-2016, 04:51 PM   #4
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For it to work well, you would need a reader with Carta and Regal technologies, powered by the latest chip from Freescale : the i.MX 7. And a front light.
I would happily buy such a reader, especially if the screen were really large : 20" or more.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lbooker View Post
For it to work well, you would need a reader with Carta and Regal technologies, powered by the latest chip from Freescale : the i.MX 7. And a front light.
I would happily buy such a reader, especially if the screen were really large : 20" or more.
Why would you need a front light for that?
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seltzered View Post
I've tried typing with my i86 with a bluetooth keyboard within a terminal app, the eink just didn't quite feel responsive enough for my writing needs. Pretty sure I tried it with A2 mode on too. I'm picky about response time though - I spend much of my time trying to play with interactive animation code for the mac.
Thanks for the input, I fear I would also end up not liking the performance but I still find it an interesting use case worth exploring. All the monitors which are used by system administrators to monitor systems came to my mind when thinking about this. These are usually turned on 24/7 but often show static/rarely changing content so this could be a potential market for epaper screens.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:04 PM   #7
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Why would you need a front light for that?
A majority of people want a front light with e-ink nowadays, whatever the size of the screen.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lbooker View Post
For it to work well, you would need a reader with Carta and Regal technologies, powered by the latest chip from Freescale : the i.MX 7. And a front light.
I would happily buy such a reader, especially if the screen were really large : 20" or more.
Lbooker, I do it exactly for the situation in which the front-light is not relevant / utterly not wanted (you use a traditional monitor if you do not mind the torch in your face, and in the environmental situations in which your monitor would be unreadable, also the front-light would be barely visible...) ; )
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seltzered View Post
[...]

I've tried typing with my i86 with a bluetooth keyboard within a terminal app, the eink just didn't quite feel responsive enough for my writing needs. Pretty sure I tried it with A2 mode on too. I'm picky about response time though - I spend much of my time trying to play with interactive animation code for the mac.
Seltzered, it could be that you tried with a faulty firmware: are you using the original, 1.7.1? In that case, it suffered from screen update jitter. I see the effect certainly changed with 1.7.4 (note: responsiveness felt perfect on the original T68 firmwares. For lack of time, I could not test the newest i86 firmware and the original T68 side by side).
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp View Post
Seltzered, it could be that you tried with a faulty firmware: are you using the original, 1.7.1? In that case, it suffered from screen update jitter. I see the effect certainly changed with 1.7.4 (note: responsiveness felt perfect on the original T68 firmwares. For lack of time, I could not test the newest i86 firmware and the original T68 side by side).
Interesting, thanks! Yes, I'm still on 1.7.1 - as noted in the i86 thread I briefly tried installing the firmware updates (wasn't successful) but have only tried via the sd card method so far, not the beta release+windows loader tool method.

I've been crazy busy but will try to find a chance in the coming weeks to upgrade and see if the update improves things. Would really love to see if responsiveness is improved at least for command line stuff - it'd definately make me use the i86 more.

Last edited by seltzered; 04-04-2016 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:15 AM   #11
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Just to comment on the original question, I've been using my t68 as a little monitor via a vnc viewer app - bvnc seems to be the most resource efficient one I've found so far. This way i can either connect to any other Linux computer (i guess win and osx have vnc servers as well), but also use a Linux chroot on the device itself, e.g. to type with your favorite editor (i like gedit). It's obviously a bit sluggish with its single core cpu, but typing actually works quite ok.
My main problem with that setup is actually key mapping, as I'd like to use a German qwertz layout, but bvnc doesn't seem to handle that well. Still trying to figure out workarounds, but if you're used to a standard qwerty layout anyway this shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lbooker View Post
A majority of people want a front light with e-ink nowadays, whatever the size of the screen.
And I always wonder why. Books also have no light. So I think they whant it, because other tell them they would need it.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by faltradl View Post
And I always wonder why. Books also have no light. So I think they whant it, because other tell them they would need it.
I didn't think I'd want it until I got it. It's nice to have just the surface you're reading lit up to a comfortable level, and not be reliant on having a good source of light from elsewhere. It is definitely an advantage, especially because e-ink background is still grey.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:04 AM   #14
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There are a few Android APPs available for this purpose, such as air display, idisplay, Spashtop.

Their approaches are quite similar: install and run the app (pc version) on your PC, and install and run app (android version) on your Onyx ereader. The ereader and pc must be connected to the network. Then Onyx erader can act as either the mirror of the pc or as the second screen for the pc.

Currently I am trying Spashtop: http://www.splashtop.com/.

The reason why I am trying this one is that it is free for personal use (Wifi), while others are charging fee.

So far I am able to mirror my pc (window 10) to Onyx ereader by using Spashtop. But the contract rate on Onyx ereader is so poor and I can hardly read it. Maybe it is something wrong with my setting.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by nanningbear View Post
There are a few Android APPs available for this purpose, such as air display, idisplay, Spashtop.

Their approaches are quite similar: install and run the app (pc version) on your PC, and install and run app (android version) on your Onyx ereader. The ereader and pc must be connected to the network. Then Onyx erader can act as either the mirror of the pc or as the second screen for the pc.

Currently I am trying Spashtop: http://www.splashtop.com/.

The reason why I am trying this one is that it is free for personal use (Wifi), while others are charging fee.

So far I am able to mirror my pc (window 10) to Onyx ereader by using Spashtop. But the contract rate on Onyx ereader is so poor and I can hardly read it. Maybe it is something wrong with my setting.
I tried Splashtop app,too! Unfortunately, once connection starts, the Onyx only visualizes a black screen while I can move the pointer on pc with the pen on Onyx. Do you have the same problem?
I also tried Splashtop wired display and Twomon USB monitor that use usb connection but I can't make the app work correctly. As soon as possible I'll contact splashtop support to get further explanation.
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