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Old 10-02-2005, 12:15 AM   #1
longtex
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Dude, Where's My Touchscreen?


Are you using a touchscreen?

Which one? What computer? Any particular application?
 
Old 10-03-2005, 06:49 AM   #2
maroonbaboon
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I guess not many people are using touchscreens. But I was curious and did some searching. The Touchscreen HOWTO

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree86-To...een-HOWTO.html

is probably a bit out of date, and covers only serial devices. The current kernel lists

Compaq iPAQ H3600 (Bitsy) touchscreen
Corgi touchscreen (for Sharp SL-C7xx)
Gunze AHL-51S touchscreen
Elo serial touchscreens
MicroTouch serial touchscreens
ICS MicroClock MK712 touchscreen
HP Jornada 680/690 touchscreen

as supported. Maybe most interesting are the 12 projects listed on freshmeat

http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=touch...&Go.x=0&Go.y=0

which cover some USB devices also.
 
Old 10-03-2005, 09:41 AM   #3
longtex
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Quote:
Originally posted by maroonbaboon
I guess not many people are using touchscreens.


Sure looks that way, but how about you - are YOU using a touchscreen?

Quote:
But I was curious and did some searching. The Touchscreen HOWTO

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree86-To...een-HOWTO.html

is probably a bit out of date, and covers only serial devices. The current kernel lists

Compaq iPAQ H3600 (Bitsy) touchscreen
Corgi touchscreen (for Sharp SL-C7xx)
Gunze AHL-51S touchscreen
Elo serial touchscreens
MicroTouch serial touchscreens
ICS MicroClock MK712 touchscreen
HP Jornada 680/690 touchscreen

as supported. Maybe most interesting are the 12 projects listed on freshmeat

http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=touch...&Go.x=0&Go.y=0

which cover some USB devices also.
You're right, the RS232 interfaces are kind of dated - it's getting harder to walk into a store and buy a computer with a RS232 port on it at all, although there are some USB-to-RS232 converter cables available.

I just wanted to see if any forum members actually use touchscreens, and if so, for what? But it appears that either no one's doing it, or they don't want to talk about it!

I've got touchscreens on Dell POS systems working - those are 3M (formerly MIcrotouch) USB devices. I have a new project going using PartnerTech POS systems that have something called eGalax touch screens - also USB interface - which I haven't got working yet - but haven't tried real hard, since the primary app on those is keyboard and scanner driven...

3M actually has Linux drivers on their website for some RedHat and SuSE distros, which means they probably work for others, too.

eGalax actually ships Linux drivers on their CD (along with 37 flavors of WinDos), but they want XFree86 to install and the OS we're putting on them is SuSE 9.2, which is Xorg - that's the part I have to find a way around... most of the newer distros are Xorg. Hopefully, the drivers will work, but the rpm's won't install unless they see XFree86, and XFree86 won't install unless you override conflicts, which I haven't done because (a) it might screw up the Xorg and (b) the client isn't planning on using touchscreen anytime soon.
 
Old 10-03-2005, 09:39 PM   #4
maroonbaboon
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Hi - I have no experience with touchscreens. There are a few on the consumer market here. Standard-looking 15"/17" displays are about double the regular price without any indication of linux support.

There are also smaller units around 8" which I think may be based on the eGalax screens you mention. I am curious about the linux interface. There are separate VGA and USB connections, right? The USB interface is mentioned as being supported by the hiddev driver. My understanding is that if the device is picked up by hiddev then you only need a user-space driver to use it.

I found out about this when I experimentally plugged in a USB IR dongle, which triggered the hiddev driver. Since then the IR remote LIRC project has provided full support for this, which could be a model of how to use hiddev with other devices.
 
Old 10-04-2005, 02:07 PM   #5
longtex
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Quote:
Originally posted by maroonbaboon
Hi - I have no experience with touchscreens. There are a few on the consumer market here. Standard-looking 15"/17" displays are about double the regular price without any indication of linux support.

There are also smaller units around 8" which I think may be based on the eGalax screens you mention. I am curious about the linux interface. There are separate VGA and USB connections, right? The USB interface is mentioned as being supported by the hiddev driver. My understanding is that if the device is picked up by hiddev then you only need a user-space driver to use it.

I found out about this when I experimentally plugged in a USB IR dongle, which triggered the hiddev driver. Since then the IR remote LIRC project has provided full support for this, which could be a model of how to use hiddev with other devices.
Touchscreens come in the same sizes the visual screens do, they're add-ons to detect touch, that's all.

While there are a number of touchscreen manufacturers, the only ones I have any familiarity with at all are ELO, 3M (formerly MicroTouch, bought by 3M), and now eGalax.

ELO and 3M are used by a number of different monitor manufacturers to add touchscreen functionality to their monitors. Since I've only seen eGalax built into a POS system I'm working with right now, I don't know much about them.

There are at least two different mechanisms for detecting a touch (capacitive and resistive), and some different ports used for transmitting the information to the computer, including RS232 and USB, and others.

The particular system I'm seeing eGalax on has a 15" LCD screen, and it and the touchscreen are connected internally. This particular motherboard has two VGA ports, one internal and one external, and they can both be used at the same time, or either one can be turned off. I haven't got far enough with it to know if they can have different images.

Touchscreens are essentially mouse-like, in that they report motion, but they also report location. which the mouse does not, and they do not have buttons to click or a wheel to spin, so these latter functions have to be carried out by software (or firmware in special cases).

Basically, though, the purpose of a touchscreen is to provide a pointing method to replace the mouse.

Yes, a USB touchscreen "only needs a user-space driver", but... someone has to write that driver, so that when the thing's plugged in, the system can find the right driver and install it so it can act as another (or the only) mouse. To my simple understanding, what happens when you plug in a USB device for the first time, your computer's USB-detection software is alerted, and begins a dialog with the device, part of which includes the device giving the computer two four-digit numbers, which are its manufacturer ID number, and the device's ID number. The computer then scans its USB drivers for one that matches those two numbers. If there is such a driver, then it's the one; if not, the software tries to match it up according to what class (kind of a device) it is, and then it launches the installation process where you pick the right driver or an acceptable substitute, or tell it where to find the driver (or give up). Once one is installed, that's the one the software loads the next time it sees that device plugged in.

I'm hoping others will jump in with information and/or experiences (good and bad) with touchscreens...
 
Old 12-28-2005, 12:34 PM   #6
astr0wiz
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Registered: Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtex
Are you using a touchscreen?

Which one? What computer? Any particular application?
Well, I work for a company that is trying to put together kiosks for their sites, and I was asked to come up with a cheap solution (does management want any other?). Anyway, I have a DELL Optiplex GX270 with an ELO ET1525L touchscreen. As of this moment, the furthest I have gotten is to successfully load the elographics_drv module. It fails, however, because the touchscreen has a USB connection for the mouse input, and I get this after running startx:

Quote:
Originally Posted by longtex
(EE) xf86OpenSerial: Cannot open device /dev/usb/mouse1
BTW, I am running the latest Debian release with the KDE desktop manager.

I know that the system sees the USB input, because it reports a valid connection on device 00:1d.1-2. It also says "assigned address 3", which changes every time I pull the plug. In other words, on boot, it will assign address 1 to the input, then 2 if I pull it and plug it in again, etc. What remains constant is the device identifier.

*My* problem is trying to figure out how I can get the driver to recognize the USB connection. Even if I assumed that it would always be plugged into the same bus/port, I still don't know how to tell XF86Config which device the touchscreen input uses.

ELO is absolutely no help. They have a "public" driver that doesn't even load. My guess is that I would have to recompile the code on my machine. And, even then, I don't know that it would work without modification.
 
  


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