I Couldn't Help It, I Had To Get One: Linux Pico Projector With Re


torpor

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I just ordered one of these:

http://www.chinavasion.com/product_info.php/pName/mini-projector-with-wifi-wireless-remote/

One look at the remote keyboard, the onboard Linux features, the ability use it as a normal projector for my iPod, and the fact that its *cheap*, and I just had to get it ..

I hope I can port SDLMAME to it at least! :) I wonder what that keypad is going to be like, games-wise ..
 

Titcher

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That looks super cool! I hope you post a review/mini-review.
 

kingoddball

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Is it any good yet, or still waiting for an arrival (online purchase?)?

I'd love one of these. Can they take composite cables?
I wonder if the quality is any good, or if it's too light and poor quality in lighter areas.
 

torpor

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I haven't received it yet - tracking says it will arrive tomorrow - but I will do a full review when it comes in, don't worry.

Oh and per the specs, yes, it accepts composite input .. I'm going to hook up an Oric Atmos to it! :)
 

torpor

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Okay .. it arrived!

First thoughts:

1. Its a little bit loud .. there's a fan inside and its definitely not dead quiet. I guess that projector is going to get hot! Was disappointing to turn it on for the first time and be greeted with a loud "hrrrrr..." but okay, I guess it needs to be cool.

2. The Linux OS is wonderful - it boots in about 30 seconds and there's a menu screen that functions very smoothly, scrolls nicely and so on .. I put in a 1gig SD card full of pictures and movies and mp3's, and the menu's just plain work - I go to select "My Music", and all the tracks on the SD are located and available. My Pics, same deal .. fast and efficient menu with scrolling effects, looks very nice to be honest!

3. Display-wise, its not the greatest display in the room (I have IIYAMA 26" monitors) but its decent enough to watch a little movie on or maybe some TV show .. haven't gotten it connected to the Internet yet, but I will do that tonight and see about the online movie/music service thats included .. apparently its all pre-configured to just start watching shows, but we shall see about that ..

4. The keyboard/remote are IR! D'oh! I had really hoped they were bluetooth so I could use a better keyboard, but okay .. the keypad controller is chintzy but comfortable and works well enough .. I suppose its good that its light. Haven't had to type much on it yet, but for basic email it seems like it work work fine.

5. Well, its certainly a well-integrated OS (I guess its Debian something-or-other) and as a movie-watching/email-reading/web-browsing battery powered pico projector, it seems to be *quite* a good device for the job.

I'll post more on this when I've had a chance to get it connected to the Internet and worked out how to get into the OS internals so I can figure out if I can put a terminal, vim, cscope and a compiler on it or not .. ;)
 

kingoddball

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Can you post an image of the display (on wall or whatever you're displaying on)?
It sounds good so far... Especially having a build in Linux OS!!

What are the cpu/mem/rom sizs inside the box, or can someone point me to a link if it can be found?
 

torpor

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I'll do more of a review when I get home and have the time .. but for now I have no clue what Linux OS flavour its running, or what CPU its using .. so far I haven't found a way to drop to a Terminal .. anyway, a more in-depth review later.
 

torpor

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Okay I played with this new toy quite a bit last night and my conclusion is .. well .. its sort of "meh!" .. the reasons:

1. This thing is loud. The fan is really, really noisy.
2. The OS is great - it works as stated, but there is no built-in browser, and .. its pretty well locked down. Try as I might, I couldn't find any method to get into the OS at all .. seems like I'm going to have to disassemble and look for a serial console.
3. The IR-based keyboard is sorta hokey .. even if I get into the OS, I don't see myself running MAME games with this controller. A Pity. (Though, USB-Host does work, and I can plug in a gamepad, I suppose..)

Anyway, I'll hack some more on it this week and see if I can get in to find out more details about the OS and chipset and so on .. will update this thread as I make progress.
 

torpor

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Okay .. I really like this thing! In a darkened room I can easily cover a whole wall and watch a movie .. its really pretty decent (if there are no lights on).

Also spent some time hacking around on it .. turns out that its *quite* a hackable device. It has a VIA ARM processor running at 250mhz, 128megs of RAM, and is running what appears to be a Linux built using the MonteVista OEM kit .. busybox, linux 2.6 kernel, etc. I was expecting it to be quite an adventure to hack into this thing, but it turns out it is WIDE OPEN - simply put it on the WLAN, telnet to it, log in as root .. oila! Full access. Hmm ..

So tonight I'm going to try to find a compiler for the VIA ARM processor, or build one myself, and see if I can get an executable on the thing somehow, maybe build dropbear for it, and then try to work out how to port SCUMMVM or some other similar, fun, app .. there is no window manager, and no SDL, but there is /usr/lib/libdirectfb.so .. and I can cat /dev/urandom > /dev/fb0 with predictable results too (after killing the menu client app that runs by default of course), so I think there is hope that I can do more with this machine this weekend .. will update the thread as I find the time.

But, generally, its a very nice device! I wish it was running some other linux, though .. would be absolutely delicious to have Angstrom or Debian-ARM on the thing! :)
 

fade

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Hmm. I quite like the look of this. Could we have a pic of it covering the whole wall if possible to see what its like?
 

second exodous

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Great news, now the only problem is the fan. Do you know what size it is? Maybe it is a standard size computer fan, like a 40mm or a 60mm fan. It looks like a really small unit, hopefully though. . .
 
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