peripherals - touchpad and video drivers?

peripherals - touchpad and video drivers?

Post by adrian_tur.. » Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:02:58



Hi.

I am shopping for a computer, which I plan to use at home for
office-type applications and a lot of internet browsing (with
images suppressed.)  This will be the first computer I've owned,
though I've used a fair number of computers belonging to employers
and housemates and such.  Please keep in mind that I'm a beginner,
here.

The real critical issues for me are that I need a monitor that
does not flicker at all, and I need a touchpad.  (Photosensitive
epilepsy, and also chronic hand pain that is badly aggravated by
mice.)  Too bad I can't afford a laptop!  I've been looking at
fairly basic desktops, and planning to attach a small LCD monitor
to make sure there's no flicker.  I won't be playing games or doing
animated stuff, but I want to make sure background stuff doesn't
flicker at all...is there something I need to do/install/arrange
to make sure this works?  I have RedHat7 in a box in the ba*t,
or I might get a system with Lindows.

My other concern is a touchpad.  I have a basic Fellowes touchpad
that I use on my housemates' computer at home...it's easy on my
hands, and it just plugs into the PS2 port, but I think the driver
needs Windows.  When I went looking for something similar, recently,
to use for work, I could only find a much more elaborate Fellowes
"internet touchpad," which has some annoying features I don't want,
but is still much less painful than a mouse.  Can anyone recommend
a touchpad and driver that work with Linux?  I'd like something I
can plug into a PS2 or USB port.  Preferrably something cheap and
simple.  

Thanks,
Adrian

sidewalk radical

 
 
 

peripherals - touchpad and video drivers?

Post by Dances With Crow » Wed, 26 Feb 2003 23:54:51



staggered into the Black Sun and said:

Quote:> The real critical issues for me are that I need a monitor that
> does not flicker at all, and I need a touchpad.  (Photosensitive
> epilepsy, and also chronic hand pain that is badly aggravated by
> mice.)  Too bad I can't afford a laptop!

Piffle.  http://www.veryComputer.com/, check their "not exactly new"
section for laptops.  That will be the best solution for you given the
requirements you mention.  I've bought several refurbished laptops (all
IBM Thinkpads, 'cause Trackpoints are better than touchpads for me) and
had only 1 mechanical problem with any of them.  A year ago, you could
get a very nice Thinkpad A22p (refurbished) for $1300, prices are lower
now.  If you posted your price range, people could make intelligent
recommendations.  Always remember that you get what you pay for, too, so
you will not get an ber-laptop for $300.

Quote:> but I want to make sure background stuff doesn't flicker at all

LCD = no flicker.

Quote:> I have RedHat7 in a box in the ba*t

Do *NOT* use Redhat 7.0.  It was the buggiest of all recent Redhat
releases.

Quote:> My other concern is a touchpad.  I have a basic Fellowes touchpad that
> I use on my housemates' computer at home...it's easy on my hands, and
> it just plugs into the PS2 port, but I think the driver needs Windows.

Not likely.  It probably uses the PS/2 or IMPS/2 protocol.

--
Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin /
http://www.veryComputer.com/     /  "He is a rhythmic movement of the
-----------------------------/    penguins, is Tux." --MegaHAL

 
 
 

peripherals - touchpad and video drivers?

Post by adrian_tur.. » Thu, 27 Feb 2003 02:19:25




>staggered into the Black Sun and said:
>> The real critical issues for me are that I need a monitor that
>> does not flicker at all, and I need a touchpad.  (Photosensitive
>> epilepsy, and also chronic hand pain that is badly aggravated by
>> mice.)  Too bad I can't afford a laptop!

>Piffle.  http://www.veryComputer.com/, check their "not exactly new"
>section for laptops.  That will be the best solution for you given the
>requirements you mention.  I've bought several refurbished laptops (all
>IBM Thinkpads, 'cause Trackpoints are better than touchpads for me) and
>had only 1 mechanical problem with any of them.  A year ago, you could
>get a very nice Thinkpad A22p (refurbished) for $1300, prices are lower
>now.  If you posted your price range, people could make intelligent
>recommendations.  Always remember that you get what you pay for, too, so
>you will not get an ber-laptop for $300.

Thanks for the pointer.  I'll check it out.  So far, the best
prices I've seen for refurbished laptops have been around $1000
for very minimalist models (no CD, no ethernet card, so I would
need to pay extra to add those on.)  The best prices I've found
for desktops are around $350-400, which seem to include ethernet,
and either CD-ROM and more memory than the laptops, or CDRW.  Then
another $250 for the LCD monitor.  So it looks like going for the
laptop option would cost me more than $400 just to get a built-in
touchpad...

As I understand it, the big advantage of a laptop is portability.
My computer will mostly sit on my desk at home.  On the rare
occasions I travel, being able to take the computer with me might
be nice, but not more than $100 worth of nice.  It's also my
understanding that laptops are often less robust than desktops.

Quote:>> but I want to make sure background stuff doesn't flicker at all

>LCD = no flicker.

Doesn't this depend on the video driver?  A local salesman who was
trying to steer me away from this whole plan (get cheap desktop with
LCD monitor, install Linux with Star Office) told me that Linux was
not compatible with a lot of video cards and that introduced flicker.
And I know I've seen a few laptops running Windows that flickered
enough to give me a headache...I'd like to avoid that in my new setup.

Quote:>> I have RedHat7 in a box in the ba*t

>Do *NOT* use Redhat 7.0.  It was the buggiest of all recent Redhat
>releases.

What would you recommend instead?

Quote:>> My other concern is a touchpad.  I have a basic Fellowes touchpad that
>> I use on my housemates' computer at home...it's easy on my hands, and
>> it just plugs into the PS2 port, but I think the driver needs Windows.

>Not likely.  It probably uses the PS/2 or IMPS/2 protocol.

Well, the Fellowes customer support webpage says it only runs under
Windows.  They might be mistaken.  Have one of you run it with Linux?
I don't care about voiding the warranty of a little touchpad.  I just
want to know if the thing works.

Thanks,
Adrian

 
 
 

peripherals - touchpad and video drivers?

Post by Dances With Crow » Thu, 27 Feb 2003 03:02:08



staggered into the Black Sun and said:



>>staggered into the Black Sun and said:
>>> The real critical issues for me are that I need a monitor that
>>> does not flicker at all, and I need a touchpad.  (Photosensitive
>>> epilepsy, and also chronic hand pain that is badly aggravated by
>>> mice.)  Too bad I can't afford a laptop!

>>Piffle.  http://www.pricewatch.com/ , check their "not exactly new"
>>section for laptops.  That will be the best solution for you given the
>>requirements you mention.  I've bought several refurbished laptops

> So far, the best prices I've seen for refurbished laptops have been
> around $1000 for very minimalist models (no CD, no ethernet card, so I
> would need to pay extra to add those on.)

You're looking in the wrong places then.  In early 2000, I bought a
Thinkpad 380D (32M, 2G, P150, 800x600) for $700.  You may not be able to
find a laptop with built-in NIC for under $1000, but PCMCIA NICs are
reasonably cheap.

Quote:> for desktops are around $350-400, which seem to include ethernet,
> and either CD-ROM and more memory than the laptops, or CDRW.  Then
> another $250 for the LCD monitor.

Only $250?  Sounds awfully cheap; a good 19" CRT is about that much.

Quote:> As I understand it, the big advantage of a laptop is portability.
> My computer will mostly sit on my desk at home.

Fair enough.  Laptops are smaller if space is a problem, though, and
they *always* have a digital videocard<->LCD connection.  This avoids
problems with bad analog<->digital conversion in the LCD monitor itself.
Most people don't have a problem with that, but you say you're
hypersensitive to picture quality.

Quote:>>LCD = no flicker.
> Doesn't this depend on the video driver?  A local salesman who was
> trying to steer me away from this whole plan (get cheap desktop with
> LCD monitor, install Linux with Star Office) told me that Linux was
> not compatible with a lot of video cards and that introduced flicker.

Q: What's the difference between a used car salesman and a computer
salesman?
A: The used car salesman at least *knows* he's lying.

The salesman was talking out his arse.  LCDs behave as if they have a
vertical refresh rate of 60 Hz.  Linux is compatible with all the widely
used video cards that are at least a couple of months old (nVidia,
Matrox, ATi) and most of the ones that are older than that.

Quote:> And I know I've seen a few laptops running Windows that flickered
> enough to give me a headache...I'd like to avoid that in my new setup.

?  I've *never* seen a flickering LCD except when the hardware was
damaged.

Quote:>>Do *NOT* use Redhat 7.0.  It was the buggiest of all recent Redhat
>>releases.
> What would you recommend instead?

Gentoo, but you may not be experienced enough to grok it.  If you must
use Redhat, use 7.3 or 8.0.  SuSE 8.0 or 8.1 would also be OK, or maybe
a recent Mandrake.  Remember, old distros may not support new hardware!

Quote:>>Not likely.  It probably uses the PS/2 or IMPS/2 protocol.
> Well, the Fellowes customer support webpage says it only runs under
> Windows.  They might be mistaken.  Have one of you run it with Linux?

A friend lent me a 2-button touchpad to play with once; I plugged it
into the PS/2 port, it was recognized under the PS/2 protocol, and
everything was happy.  I don't remember the manufacturer's name.  By
ancient convention, every pointing device that plugs into the PS/2 port
is supposed to be able to speak the bare PS/2 protocol.  Very few
devices flout that convention.  A USB touchpad will follow the HID
specifications, so it should be no problem.

--
Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin /
http://www.brainbench.com     /  "He is a rhythmic movement of the
-----------------------------/    penguins, is Tux." --MegaHAL

 
 
 

peripherals - touchpad and video drivers?

Post by adrian_tur.. » Fri, 28 Feb 2003 01:36:47




>staggered into the Black Sun and said:


>>>staggered into the Black Sun and said:
>>>> The real critical issues for me are that I need a monitor that
>>>> does not flicker at all, and I need a touchpad.  (Photosensitive
>>>> epilepsy, and also chronic hand pain that is badly aggravated by
>>>> mice.)  Too bad I can't afford a laptop!

>>>Piffle.  http://www.pricewatch.com/ , check their "not exactly new"
>>>section for laptops.  That will be the best solution for you given the
>>>requirements you mention.  I've bought several refurbished laptops

>> So far, the best prices I've seen for refurbished laptops have been
>> around $1000 for very minimalist models (no CD, no ethernet card, so I
>> would need to pay extra to add those on.)

>You're looking in the wrong places then.  In early 2000, I bought a
>Thinkpad 380D (32M, 2G, P150, 800x600) for $700.  You may not be able to
>find a laptop with built-in NIC for under $1000, but PCMCIA NICs are
>reasonably cheap.

I will do more shopping next week, and see what I can find.  It helps
to know there's stuff out there.  When the first few hundred things I
find are all way out of my price range, it's easy to conclude that
*everything* is.

Quote:>> for desktops are around $350-400, which seem to include ethernet,
>> and either CD-ROM and more memory than the laptops, or CDRW.  Then
>> another $250 for the LCD monitor.

>Only $250?  Sounds awfully cheap; a good 19" CRT is about that much.

I was going to get a 15" monitor.  That brings the price down quite
a bit.  I don't look at pictures more often than I have to, and never
look at anything animated, so I can convince myself that I don't really
need a larger screen.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:>> As I understand it, the big advantage of a laptop is portability.
>> My computer will mostly sit on my desk at home.

>Fair enough.  Laptops are smaller if space is a problem, though, and
>they *always* have a digital videocard<->LCD connection.  This avoids
>problems with bad analog<->digital conversion in the LCD monitor itself.
>Most people don't have a problem with that, but you say you're
>hypersensitive to picture quality.

>>>LCD = no flicker.
>> Doesn't this depend on the video driver?  A local salesman who was
>> trying to steer me away from this whole plan (get cheap desktop with
>> LCD monitor, install Linux with Star Office) told me that Linux was
>> not compatible with a lot of video cards and that introduced flicker.

>Q: What's the difference between a used car salesman and a computer
>salesman?
>A: The used car salesman at least *knows* he's lying.

>The salesman was talking out his arse.  LCDs behave as if they have a
>vertical refresh rate of 60 Hz.  Linux is compatible with all the widely
>used video cards that are at least a couple of months old (nVidia,
>Matrox, ATi) and most of the ones that are older than that.

On a CRT, 60Hz looks like a slight flicker to me.  Or moderate flicker,
depending on how it is in phase with fluorescent lights overhead (though
there would never be fluorescent lights in my apartment at all.)  For
a CRT, 85Hz refresh rate gives me zero flicker...but that gets pricey.

Quote:>> And I know I've seen a few laptops running Windows that flickered
>> enough to give me a headache...I'd like to avoid that in my new setup.

>?  I've *never* seen a flickering LCD except when the hardware was
>damaged.

Are you saying that LCD monitors all flicker at 60Hz and that you can't
see it, so you were thinking "flicker" meant the 30Hz stuff?  

Quote:>>>Do *NOT* use Redhat 7.0.  It was the buggiest of all recent Redhat
>>>releases.
>> What would you recommend instead?

>Gentoo, but you may not be experienced enough to grok it.  If you must
>use Redhat, use 7.3 or 8.0.  SuSE 8.0 or 8.1 would also be OK, or maybe
>a recent Mandrake.  Remember, old distros may not support new hardware!

I'm a total beginner, so Gentoo may be beyond me.  But you say the more
recent RedHats are reliable?  Why do you say, "If you must use?"  What's
wrong with them?

Quote:>>>Not likely.  It probably uses the PS/2 or IMPS/2 protocol.
>> Well, the Fellowes customer support webpage says it only runs under
>> Windows.  They might be mistaken.  Have one of you run it with Linux?

>A friend lent me a 2-button touchpad to play with once; I plugged it
>into the PS/2 port, it was recognized under the PS/2 protocol, and
>everything was happy.  I don't remember the manufacturer's name.  By
>ancient convention, every pointing device that plugs into the PS/2 port
>is supposed to be able to speak the bare PS/2 protocol.  Very few
>devices flout that convention.  A USB touchpad will follow the HID
>specifications, so it should be no problem.

Ah.  Thank you for the explanation.
 
 
 

peripherals - touchpad and video drivers?

Post by Dances With Crow » Fri, 28 Feb 2003 03:42:51



staggered into the Black Sun and said:


[snip]
>>The salesman was talking out his arse.  LCDs behave as if they have a
>>vertical refresh rate of 60 Hz.  Linux is compatible with all the
>>widely used video cards that are at least a couple of months old
>>(nVidia, Matrox, ATi) and most of the ones that are older than that.

> On a CRT, 60Hz looks like a slight flicker to me.  Or moderate
> flicker, depending on how it is in phase with fluorescent lights
> overhead (though there would never be fluorescent lights in my
> apartment at all.)  For a CRT, 85Hz refresh rate gives me zero
> flicker...but that gets pricey.

?  The $300 19" CRT I bought 2 years ago does 85Hz at 1280x1024, no
problems whatsoever.  NEC Multisync 95 was the model#.  A comparable CRT
would be about $200 today.

Quote:>>?  I've *never* seen a flickering LCD except when the hardware was
>>damaged.
> Are you saying that LCD monitors all flicker at 60Hz and that you
> can't see it, so you were thinking "flicker" meant the 30Hz stuff?  

No.  LCDs do not flicker in the same way as CRTs do, because of the way
they're constructed:

A CRT operates by moving an electron beam at very high speed over the
phosphor layer.  The number of times that electron beam can sweep over
the full width and height of the screen in a second is the "refresh
rate".  Some people find 60Hz upsets them and 85Hz doesn't.

An LCD has an always-on backlight, and several layers of LCDs that can
be opaque or transparent.  The light is always-on and relatively
diffuse, not scanning back and forth very quickly as in a CRT.  No
flicker is present from the light source.  The screen may appear to
flicker if the LCD is displaying fast movement--LCD layers cannot switch
as fast as electron beams, so fast movement can look bad.

Lowlevel video drivers (like XFree86's X servers) see an LCD monitor as
if it were capable of 60Hz vertical refresh.  This was a design decision
on LCD manufacturers' parts, since the standard VESA modes are all 60
Hz and they wanted their monitors to be able to handle those modes.  The
apparent 60Hz vertical refresh bears no relation to the actual vertical
refresh, and is mostly a backwards combatibility thing.  In 5 to 10
years, when every video card is digital and connected to an LCD, refresh
rates may be a quaint anachronism (like 3.5" floppies, or sector
interleaving.)

Quote:>>Gentoo, but you may not be experienced enough to grok it.  If you must
>>use Redhat, use 7.3 or 8.0.  SuSE 8.0 or 8.1 would also be OK, or
>>maybe a recent Mandrake.  Remember, old distros may not support new
>>hardware!
> I'm a total beginner, so Gentoo may be beyond me.  But you say the
> more recent RedHats are reliable?  Why do you say, "If you must use?"
> What's wrong with them?

I don't care for Redhat since they've made some things needlessly
complex, obfuscated some basic processes, and their RPM system leads to
dependency hell.  YMMV.

--
Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin /
http://www.brainbench.com     /  "He is a rhythmic movement of the
-----------------------------/    penguins, is Tux." --MegaHAL

 
 
 

1. Setting up - question about certain peripherals-drivers


I cannot help you with the rest, but if this keyboard is plugged into a
PS/2 port, you probably just tell install that you have a standard
keyboard and PS/2 mouse (if it does not find them automatically).  I use a
Y-cable to connect wireless keyboard and mouse to a single PS/2 port on my
laptop, which would effectively be the same thing to the computer as your
keyboard with built-in touchpad.

I am currently running SuSE 7.1 kernel 2.4.2, but it worked as well in
RH6.1 and Mdk7.0 with 2.2.x kernels.  I would have chosen an external
serial modem instead of USB, but USB support is constantly evolving.

--

http://www.autox.chicago.il.us/  http://www.berniesfloral.net/
http://cgi-help.virtualave.net/  http://hammer.prohosting.com/~cgi-wiz/

2. panic: tcp_close_detached - no mblk

3. help: PCI peripheral with Tundra Powerspan II - need to write driver for embedded linux side

4. Selecting DOS, NT and Linux at Boot time

5. Matrox Mystique ands X.

6. Which gdb version for ELF core dumps?

7. PS/2 Mouse-Touchpad on Laptop drivers for 'tapping' instead of clicking

8. IMAP software for the linux

9. Touchpad Drivers? Cirque Glidepoint Smart Cat 2G1 FC4

10. [2.5.68] [BUG #18] Add Synaptics touchpad tweaking to psmouse driver

11. 2.5 input drivers Synaptics touchpad

12. Drivers for serial touchpad?

13. ???-Anyone noticed a TouchPad Driver around-???