Mobileread
Onyx Boox as monitor
#1  mdp 03-14-2016, 07:32 PM
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.
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#2  Hiradur 03-19-2016, 09:50 AM
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: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=18 )
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#3  seltzered 03-19-2016, 01:22 PM
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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#4  Lbooker 03-20-2016, 04:51 PM
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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#5  joblack 03-22-2016, 01:14 PM
Quote Lbooker
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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#6  Hiradur 03-23-2016, 12:06 PM
Quote seltzered
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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#7  Lbooker 03-23-2016, 04:04 PM
Quote joblack
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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#8  mdp 03-28-2016, 05:55 AM
Quote Lbooker
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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#9  mdp 03-28-2016, 06:01 AM
Quote seltzered
[...]

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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#10  seltzered 04-04-2016, 05:46 PM
Quote mdp
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.
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