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3D Linux Laptop Available

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the cool-machines dept.

Portables 197

Anonymous Writer writes "EmperorLinux is distributing the Sharp Actius RD3D autostereo laptop with Linux pre-installed, dubbing it the 'Molecule'. Almost all the hardware features can be utilised under Linux; the autostereo 3D display (most importantly), CD-RW/DVD-RW combo drive, Ethernet port, audio hardware, PC Card slot, 4 USB 2.0 ports, FireWire port, Sony Memory Stick slot, Compact Flash slot, SD slot, and internal floppy dive. The only built-in feature unsupported is the internal 56 Kbps modem, however a supported 56 kbps PC Card modem is available as well as a WiFi PC Card."

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197 comments

Has anyone seen one of these... (5, Interesting)

BodyCount07 (260070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456689)

3-D displays first hand? Care to give a quick honest review?

Re:Has anyone seen one of these... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456843)

Like an unsharpened pencil. . .

. . . pointless.

Re:Has anyone seen one of these... (2, Interesting)

n__0 (605442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457100)

They're like anything only as good as the programs that utilise them. The ones I've seen didnt give much sense of depth from what I remember. Because it only ever gives one perspective the 3d nature of what I saw cant offer much more than simulated 3d on normal displays, moving your head still doesnt do anything, other than stopping the 3d working.

The only important question has to be.... (4, Funny)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457182)

what about Quake?

Re:Has anyone seen one of these... (5, Informative)

Anthracene (126183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457252)

I saw a demo of a molecular visualization program running on one of these at the American Chemical Society convention a couple months ago.

In general, I'd say the quality is quite good. The image I saw had about 6 or 8 inches of apparent "depth" between what appeared to be closest to me and what was furthest away. It was reasonably clear, although not quite as clear as the flat image. You seem to lose some resolution (horizontal resolution, at least) when it goes into 3D mode.

Of course, one of the big deals about it is that it doesn't require glasses, so nothing to lose, no flickering, etc. This does mean that there is a fairly small "sweet spot" that your head has to be in in order to see the 3D display. If you're positioned outside of this the display looks like a mess. I don't think more than one person can really see the image at a time when it's in 3D mode (there's a big button above the keyboard for switching between 2D/3D).

I'm not sure what the API is like for getting a program working with the 3D functions. It was being demoed by a software company, and the guy there gave me the impression that some amount of modification to their app had been necessary (ie that most 3D apps wouldn't work correctly without being adapted) but that it hadn't been too difficult. 'Course you've generally got to take tech info from salesfolk with a grain of salt.

Re:Has anyone seen one of these... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457288)

I have seen the auto-stereoscopic displays by sharp on a holography conference in San Jose, CA (2004). Basically: it works.

These devices use a thin grating over the screen to ensure that each eye sees only the pixels of one view. The viewing angle is constrained, but that is not an issue for laptops (there is probably only one person watching anyways).

If you have ever seen an IMAX 3D movie, it is a bit like that. There was a video clip where objects seemed to hover in front of the screen, and they had a funky stereoscopic UI (windows in the backgroud would seem to be further away from the viewer).

Obviously the main problem is resolution: they have to throw away half the pixels to provide two views...

I expect that many 3D applications would work out of the box. Standard hardware (NVIDIA quadbuffer cards) can already render stereoscopic scenes transparently (this is why you can hook up a pair of good old vr glasses to an NVIDIA card, and run any opengl app in stereo mode).

Linux? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456692)

"The autostereo 3D display (most importantly), CD-RW/DVD-RW combo drive, Ethernet port, audio hardware, PC Card slot, 4 USB 2.0 ports, FireWire port, Sony Memory Stick slot, Compact Flash slot, SD slot, and internal floppy dive"

Yeah but... does it run Linux? Oh wait...

Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456703)

$3600 is too much for that =8-)

Re:Price (3, Funny)

jcostantino (585892) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456747)

Especially when you consider that it's $2999 w/o Linux.

frosty pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456705)

pist frost

3D??? (-1, Troll)

cavebear42 (734821) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456706)

It says 3D but it still has a flat, 2D LCD screen. I wish people would quit throwing that word around until we have a true 3D display.

Re:3D??? (4, Informative)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456770)

Uhhh....

You may want to check the link, the screen allows actual stereo images without glasses.

Unless you're waiting for that holographic display...

Re:3D??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456801)

Yes, that was his point.

Re:3D??? (5, Informative)

nuOpus (463845) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456795)

It says 3D because it gives the perception of a 3D display. And yes, you can display 3D images on a flat LCD. It works by using "channels" which divert light to the other side at an angle so your eye percieves it as a different image.

You remember those 3D things you got when you were a kid? where you look at it from one side it has an image ... and if looked at on the other the picture is different yet? Giving you the appearance it was moving if you twitched it? Same concept? Only the light is emitted from the left and hitting the right side. The light emitted from the right is hitting your left side.

Both of your eyes recieve two different images and they are done in sync giving the impression of 3D so you can see depth.

Re:3D??? (1)

cavebear42 (734821) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456845)

The 3D things I got when I was a kid were GI Joes and such. The little holographic light shifting thingies are cool (in the sense that cool means gives you a headache) but are very much 2D. 3D means that there are 3 plains of reality. 2 with a cool way of reflecting the light simply isn't.

Re:3D??? (2, Insightful)

nuOpus (463845) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457256)

Point is ... the screen gives you the perception of depth. If the screen can fool your brain into thinking that there is an image in the foreground and others farther in the distance ... than the IMAGE is 3D no matter how you slice it and by difinition. It doesnt matter if you can't stick your hand though there and touch the background image. They never said 3D virtuality ... its 3D imagery .. and by that definition it is 3D.

Viewable Angle (2, Interesting)

tyler_larson (558763) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457154)

The viewable angle on these computers in 3-D mode has got to be awful. 10 degrees off and you lose your picture entirely, since they use "an optical parallax barrier" to control which eye sees which pixel.

I think my neck would start to hurt after more than 10 minutes of game play from trying to hold still.

Re:3D??? (3, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456882)

I wish people would quit throwing that word around until we have a true 3D display.

Absolutely. I can't wait to have a laptop that can project an animated 3D holographic shark that jumps out whenever I view a movie trailer.

Re:3D??? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457242)

"It says 3D but it still has a flat, 2D LCD screen. I wish people would quit throwing that word around until we have a true 3D display."

It is true 3D. It produces exactly what your eyes percieve as 3D imagery. The term you're really looking for is 'volumetric'. When somebody offers a volumetric display, then you got what you're hoping for.

(Note: This is one of the least impressive nitpicks I've seen in a long time. It is three dimensional if it does video. x, y, t. If it was what he was looking for, it'd be x, y, z, t. 4D. :P)

yaw (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456721)

whoop-ade-do-da

Porn just got a lot more interesting.. (5, Funny)

x.Draino.x (693782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456725)

So who's going to be the first to the market with a 3D-Enhanced porn site?

Re:Porn just got a lot more interesting.. (5, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456773)

They've had triple D's on porn sites for a long time already.

Ow my Eye! (4, Funny)

TBone (5692) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456789)

Gives a whole new meaning to "pop-up" doesn't it?

Re:Porn just got a lot more interesting.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456835)

So who's going to be the first to the market with a 3D-Enhanced porn site?

Your mom

Re:Porn just got a lot more interesting.. (2)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456919)

Re:Porn just got a lot more interesting.. (Score:-1, Offtopic)

So who's going to be the first to the market with a 3D-Enhanced porn site?

Your mom

This is not offtopic! Flamebait, maybe. Troll, yes. But not offtopic. He was answering a question that was posed in relation to the exciting super duper 3D laptops.

Re:Porn just got a lot more interesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456979)

No kidding. Moderators these days... I personally thought it was funny, but that's because I'm a fan of "your mom" jokes.

Re:Porn just got a lot more interesting.. (2, Funny)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457081)

Well, here's a 3D Live Webcam [robert.to] site! All you'd have to do is ask the guy on the other end to take his shirt off!

Integrated wifi would be good (4, Informative)

FrO (209915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456726)

you know, seeing integrated wifi that works with linux would be a real plus on a laptop like this. Especially if it were a non-centrino wifi card built in.

I have a Gateway 450SX non-centrino, and it runs linux really well. Everything works perfectly (except for the 56K modem, of course), but sadly I don't have internal wireless. My external WaveLAN card works great under any distro though. Rock stable laptop, not terribly expensive and everything runs great under any distro (I've tried Fedora Core 1, Gentoo and Debian).

Re:Integrated wifi would be good (1)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456985)

What do you mean non-centrino? They have had working drivers for months now [sourceforge.net]

Sure, they project is still in beta but they do work very well with the Intel Pro/Wireless 2100
The ipw2200 (wireless g) project is showing great progress after only a month

Yay for the display (0)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456730)

What kind of chipset is running it though? I don't see a fancy 3D display being much use if it's some piece of crap via chipset or an older radeon mobility.

Actually, I don't see it being of much use period.. A standalone display or something, perhaps, but what's the market for a 3D laptop? And why do I only hear of laptops and not a regular monitor I can hook up to my PC, you know, the one with the badass 3D card in it that could do something cool with such a display.

Actually it couldnt, there's no real stereoscopic support in ATi's cards, unless they snuck it in in the last month or so.. Owners of the lcd glasses have been fussing about this for quite some time on rage3d.com..

Which answers my first question, it must be an nVidia, or Matrox Parhelia or something in the laptop... Or some kludged ATi driver set..

Re:Yay for the display (3, Informative)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456752)

"Which answers my first question, it must be an nVidia, or Matrox Parhelia or something in the laptop... Or some kludged ATi driver set."

You're right...(from the parts listing):

-- 15.0" Active XGA TFT runs X@1024x768x24bpp w/ NVIDIA GeForce4 graphics.

Re:Yay for the display (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456826)

It's a GeForce 4 440 Go to be precise. You can grab the specs from this page [66.132.145.25] or look at the PDF [66.132.145.25] directly.

Blast from the Past (4, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456738)

Since $3,000+ is a bit outside my range (my range being closer my $35 PII Linux box [retrobox.com] ), I naturally checked out the Emperor Linux Jobs Page [emperorlinux.com] to see if I could suppliment my income. What a blast from the pre-bust past, mixed with a bit of post-bust reality:

Work at EmperorLinux: the most fun you can have with ...

EmperorLinux is not actively hiring.

However, we are always on the lookout for fun and knowledgeable people who like things Linux. If you like to:
ride your bike to work,
hike in the mountains,
recompile your kernel weekly,
drink Mountain Dew with extra sugar,
play in the dirt with your hands,
make fun and informative web pages,
use the "taste test" when debugging circuits,
run with scissors barefoot in the rain,
or anything similarly off-center,

send us an interesting mail telling us why you think we would like you.


I've done nearly all of those things, if you can substitute "hand-code Z80 machine code" for "recompile your kernel". But I think I'll stick with my boring but very stable job coding VB in the tax accounting business. I'll have time to lick random circuitry when I retire.

Re:Blast from the Past (1)

marol (734015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456765)

You code Z80 weekly?

Re:Blast from the Past (4, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456854)

You code Z80 weekly?

Yes, very weakly. [rimshot]

Since the description said "if you like to...", I figured I could include my mid-'80s TRS-80 coding skillz as the old-school equivalent of compiling your Linux kernel.

BTW, I'm not talking about using EDTASM (editor/assembler)... my first Z80 coding was in binary. You'd have an opcode like 101xxx11, where xxx depends on which register you're referencing, and I'd plug in the bits, convert to decimal, and POKE the routine into memory. Saving before running was essential, but painful -- all I had was cassette tape storage.

And I walked to school, too! In the snow! Uphill! Both ways!!!

Re:Blast from the Past (1)

marol (734015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457049)

I guess machine code can be rather complicated. What's more of a hassle though is coding at a low level, namely writing machine instructions using micro-ops, and then writing programs using said machine instructions. All in binary of course, although after a while you learn to think in terms of hex which makes it a lot easier to plot down on paper. Some of the things I've been enjoying during the spring. The snow had already melted though and my road is downhill (although windy) on the way back ;)

Re:Blast from the Past (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457189)

I did the same thing with my Spectrum (48k). The orange manual which came with it listed opcodes and their HEX/decimal values.

Without the means to buy an assembler, I'd write out my programs on paper, leving gaps to work out offsets for jumps afterwards.

Once I had it all coded up I'd POKE it into memory to run.

Debugging usually meant starting from scratch, or using small trampolines - as altering instructions was hard because all the offsets nearby had to be adjusted if the new code was bigger than the old.

Happy days ..

Re:Blast from the Past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456977)

Hmmm, the sucky VB programmers. If we had this crappy language killed at birth, we wont be having this attitude problem from programmers that have no real skill in programming.

Re:Blast from the Past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456982)

Damn, with all those computers on retrobox.com they should make a beowolf cluster of them. Would probably make one hella fast one, too.

My Substitute (2, Interesting)

blunte (183182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457055)

I'd have to take a substitution on the circuit licking myself.

I've sent suspected-bad UARTs to their fiery deaths with the aid of a tough little punch board and a variable power supply...

Did you know you can actually cause a small jet of flames to shoot out of the center of a heat-induced crack in a UART chip? It's most impressive, if only for 1.5 seconds.

And I'm sure you know that all UARTs go to heaven. For ours, heaven was the gpysum ceiling tiles in the lab. They punch down nicely, and they'll stay there for years if your professors are short and rarely look straight up.

3D? Great! (4, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456742)

My laptop is 2D. I hate the way it's so flat. It's horrible to type on because the keys have no travel. It's easy to bend and tear by accident. Sometimes it's really hard to see because when you look at it edge on it has no thickness. It disappears in piles of paper. A 3D laptop would be much better!

Re:3D? Great! (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456873)

And you should try to get a cd in the slot loading drive on the side. Talk about threading the needle!

Re:3D? Great! (1)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457080)

That reminded me of Flatland [alcyone.com] :)

Re:3D? Great! (3, Funny)

archen (447353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457282)

I used to have the same problem with a 2D Linux laptop until I installed Gentoo. I had so much time on my hands waiting for KDE to compile that I learned origami and now it's not flat anymore - it's sort of... crane shaped.

3D? (2, Funny)

dickeya (733264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456753)

Do we get free 3D glasses?

Re:3D? (1, Informative)

dshea (789187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456831)

You don't need 3D glasses; that's the point. There are essentially two displays on the one screen, and when you switch into "3D" mode, you can see a 3D image without glasses. It can be a bit difficult to see--you have to position your head just right in relation to the screen--but it's a pretty cool effect. It's about the same as watching a 3D movie but without the hardware. dshea@emperorlinux.com

Re:3D? (1)

dickeya (733264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456869)

You miss my point I still want free 3D glasses.

cha-ching! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456760)

Wow, and I thought Dell was overpriced!

/quits browser

SHARP recommends Microsoft® Windows® XP (2, Interesting)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456763)

No mention of Linux pre-installed on the Sharp website. [slashdot.org]

Re:SHARP recommends Microsoft® Windows® (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456999)

That's because its not Sharp thats selling these to you. And EmperorLinux even offers to install a dual boot of Windows XP at your request. Still not worth the $3600 IMHO but hey that's just me.

Re:SHARP recommends Microsoft® Windows® (2, Interesting)

VivianC (206472) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457019)

No mention of Linux pre-installed on the Sharp website.

That, and it's $600 cheaper with XP instaled. So much for the Microsoft tax.

Holy ripoff (2, Insightful)

fatwreckfan (322865) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456769)

Under "Recommended Accessories" they have a Logitech wheel mouse [emperorlinux.com] for $50. Insanity, considering the same mouse can be bought at any computer store for like $20CDN.

Re:Holy ripoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456855)

I got that exact same model for myself for $18.

$3800 US? (-1, Offtopic)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456772)

Why not spend ten minutes earching for a dell laptop review with fedora core 2 some recent 2.6 kernel release that works just as well and buy it for half the price. Is the 3D nonsense this comes with really worth the added price?

Re:$3800 US? (1)

Iconoplast (14611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456923)

If you need the hardware for scientific visualization or whatever, then yes it is worth the added price. If all you want is a laptop to toy around on, it's probably not worth it to you. It's all about the right tool for the job.

For the purposes of displaying images like this, no Dell laptop works just as well, because no Dell laptop has this feature.

56k modem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456775)


People still use those?

Re:56k modem? (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456820)

and what about the floppy dive? Better hope that laptop comes with a wetsuit...

Shit, are those American dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456781)

The Molecule by EmperorLinux - $3600.00

Optical Mouse - $50.00
3Com wifi b/g - $150.00
USB Key 256MB - $120.00

(If I've offended any Canadians with my use of "American", I don't care.)

Re:Shit, are those American dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457042)

(If I've offended any Canadians with my use of "American", I don't care.)

I don't get it. Why would Canadians be offended by the word "American"? Seriously.

Re:Shit, are those American dollars? (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457258)

I've seen this in some places, namely South America. Seeing as how we're all part of the New World and whatnot I suppose we all qualify as American. Since Canada is part of America (a good part IMO) and their currency is dollars as well I suppose they too have "American dollars". I can't see anyone being offended by the reference to the universal currency of the Underground as American dollars. Ahh them benjamins.

Re:Shit, are those American dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457270)

Canadians get seriously pissed off if you say you live in "America"

Wow (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456785)

Almost all the hardware features can be utilised under Linux

I bet the zealots have no problem overlooking the word "almost", but I'd expect to utilize all of the hardware features of a $3600 laptop.

What doesn't work in linux?

Re:Wow (1)

tricops (635353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456830)

"the only built-in feature unsupported is the internal 56 Kbps modem,"
That's right in the blurb....

Re:Wow (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456848)

RTFS(tory): The only built-in feature unsupported is the internal 56 Kbps modem

Now I can understand being too lazy to read the article, but the relevant information was actually in the story submission.

You, sir, win THE PRIZE.

Re:Wow (1)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456886)

Well, the modem doesn't work. If you need dial-up, the company selling these babies should provide a PC Card solution. For me, however, the important thing is whether or not the RJ-45 port works, so I can run Ethernet connectivity.

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

Tin Foil Hat (705308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456938)

Near as I can tell, it's just the 56K software modem that doesn't work.

The added value comes in the various tweaks they've made to their Linux OS. It also looks like you have to be a customer to get a copy of it, so you can't cheap out and buy a laptop for half the price of theirs.

Is it worth the extra 600 bucks? I think if I were going to pay 3 grand for a laptop, I might consider it. Linux can be difficult to get to work correctly on laptops, but $600 is nothing to sniff at.

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

dshea (789187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456994)

Well, you can "cheap out" and buy the laptop on your own then send it in for a Depot Install [emperorlinux.com] , but the prices come out to about the same as if you bought the laptop from us. The price includes not only the laptop and distro tweaks: it also includes a year of email and phone support. So not only do we help you get Linux, we help you keep it running.

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

Iconoplast (14611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457020)

You're not just paying for having Linux installed. You're paying for support - an actual human on the phone if the machine craps out, or someone to personally reply to your mail. It's also the research that went into making all the hardware work, tracking down drivers, etc.

What a lot of people don't understand here is that big companies, educational institutions, and research groups just don't care about the price. To them, the support, assurance that everything works, and time savings are worth the extra cost. What's $600 compared to the hourly rate of a guy in IT spending an entire week outfitting machines with Linux and verifying that they completely work? People who get their kicks sitting at home and banging on the machine until it works simply aren't the target market for a product like this.

Big fun (1)

msh104 (620136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456786)

this is all great fun, but why not first make some decent 2d linux laptops? it is very hard find yourself a laptop with linux installed and also with good specs (wireless, lan, long living batery, all the things you expect from a laptop). now I can say I don't give a damn about 3d and stuff. I just want to send my mail, read documents, share files, browse internet etc... are all those other features really needed? why can't I but a normal laptop and can I buy a 3d laptop? why?

3D was so yesterday (4, Funny)

Psymunn (778581) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456878)

2D, 3D, man that's so yesterday?
My laptop (supplemented with my flux capacitor powered N-Vidia card) has 4 dimensions. Thanks to this wonderful feature I can see it Crashing while it's booting up.

Re:3D was so yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456960)

I agree with out any of the standards like WiFi and good battery life, a laptop is useless. Linux or no Linux.

Memory Stick (2, Insightful)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456790)

Sony Memory Stick slot

This would be a good reason *NOT* to buy it.

Take a look at the accessories at the bottom. . . (2, Informative)

Rogue Leader (786192) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456807)

Notice the 256MB Lexar USB keychain drive; For $120.00. Same item is selling for under $50 on Newegg. Yeah, EmperorLinux seems like the kind of site I'd like to do business with. I wonder if they ever sold toilet seats to the Pentagon.

Re:Take a look at the accessories at the bottom. . (1)

dickeya (733264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456897)

I think I saw a $200 hammer somewhere on their site......... I'll take two.

What the rest of us want to know... (1, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456808)

Does it have drivers for Windows?

How about Sound/modem Drivers for DOS (you heard me!)?

coco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456814)

My Ten year old COCO Can run rings round that laptop. and Is alot more stable.

A bit expensive, but it has potential (4, Insightful)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456816)

At $3600, it will be something of a luxury laptop and a gizmo, considering the number of Linux users who are in disciplines that deal with 3D imaging. Except, perhaps, game and movie designers I think. Most molecular imaging people that I know use SUN, SGI or HP hardware still. I don't think that stuff like RasMol or Cn3D (for protein structure viewing) currently supports it. Knowing the Linux community, it pobably soon will be. Then, this machine can potentially be a great tool for scientists. You can go and view all of your proteins in 3D which will help immensely with the interpretation of mutations for instance, while avoiding the need for proprietary hardware and OSes. Then we can break free of friggin' MS. You won't believe how many times I cannot fill out a grant application because it's a .exe.. A vital app such as 3d molecular imaging should be a good place to start.

Re:A bit expensive, but it has potential (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456952)

Well I've seen the molecular imaging apps running on a fellow slashdotter's Apple G5 system about 6 months ago. (He's a bioinformatics PhD, but I'll keep is uid confidential for now) It was really sharp, and ran perfectly fine. Since Mac OS X uses a base similar to Linux, I don't see why you couldn't view these same molecular structures on Linux already. I would think at worst it'd be a matter of porting the source code for the display program which would take *some* time, but probably wouldn't be that difficult given that it already runs in a Mac OS X environment.

Still, $3600 is steep, but I'll be waiting for one of these systems to show up on ebay in 6-12 months. ;)

How 3D works (without the Glasses) (5, Informative)

startleman (567255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456839)

. . . is explained here [sharp3d.com] .

autostereo display (0, Redundant)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456844)

if you were wondering how it might work, here is a link on auto stereo displays

Holy crap! (1)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456858)

3D?! Wow! Never before have I seen a laptop that has width, length, AND depth. COOL!
BR *gently pushes corner of ThinkPad* O_O! DUDE! It looks like mine is compatible!

weks! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456859)

weks sez he luvs u all.....
so dont be hatign on teh weks....
n dont kick teh weks.....
or weks wil be angry wid u.........
ok??? gud!!

\@O@/

I see it as a step forward for Linux (4, Insightful)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456863)

I too go why 3D for that much money, but then again look at the benefits to the Linux community.

--Linux has been getting mainstream press thanks to SCO, and all the Window viruses; people have heard of it.

--Now you're in come public place with your nice ~$4000 laptop and someone sees the cool 3D effect (hopefully non-porn related).

"Cool, I wish my laptop could do that" (even though the person doesn't know why they wish their lappy could do it) "What version of Windows is that?"

"It's not Windows, it's Linux"

It may just be a small attention getter, but a lot of small attention getters can add up to a big boost of Linux awareness among the [general] public.

Not in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456879)

* 15.0" Active XGA TFT runs X@1024x768x24bpp w/ NVIDIA GeForce4 graphics. * 2800 MHz P4-M, 512 KB L2 cache * Weight: 10.1 Lbs * Power: 1 hr on Li-Ion battery

1 Hour Battery Life (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456959)

3 kilobucks for a laptop with 1 HOUR battery life? No thanks.

What Good is a 3D Laptop? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9456974)

Obvious Answer: pr0n!

"Almost" (-1, Troll)

Czernobog (588687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456981)

is not good enough and as such the product does not exist for the possible Linux buyer.

3D in front of the screen only ? (3, Interesting)

freeduke (786783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9456987)

I read about this technology when it was launched in Japan, but I have concerns about the viewing angle that allows to watch the screen in real 3D. In fact this technology is based on the same as the small cards made of plastic and paper, that allow you to see a kind of animated 3D caracters. And here, even with explanations on sharp site, I would say that there should be some problems when you are not exactly in front of your screen... If someone has got an answer about this accuracy. Moreover, this technology is not used for professional 3D computer visualization.

Re:3D in front of the screen only ? (4, Informative)

emorphien (770500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457007)

It's called a lenticular image, if I'm understanding you correctly. That grooved piece of plastic on the surface is a lenticle (a type of lens basically) and it allows vertical (or horizontal but in this case vertical) strips to carry different information. You could turn the laptop 90 degrees and just see a mess.

Re:3D in front of the screen only ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9457170)

A few years back, even 2D LCDs had such a restricted viewing angle.

terrible! (1)

tekunokurato (531385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457016)

10.1 pounds? an hour of battery life? Jesus, why bother? That's absolutely terrible.

Re:terrible! (2, Interesting)

Iconoplast (14611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457109)

Everything in a laptop is a tradeoff game. Want fancier graphics/more powerful CPU/wireless/faster hard drive? You're gonna pay for it in weight and power consumption. Want to lighten the machine a bit? You're gonna pay for that in display size and power consumption. This thing essentially has two video displays crammed on top of each other to provide the 3D effect, which really kills the battery life. But if the display is the most important aspect to you, you're probably going to toss it on a desk and plug it into the wall.

Yes it's a niche product, but not every piece of hardware can be good for every possible situation. If you want something with excellent battery life and is very lightweight, the Sharp MM20 or IBM X series are both good. The Dell X300 is pretty nice too.

Emperor Linux (5, Informative)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457017)

Keep in mind that Emperor Linux purchases name-brand laptops with windows and removes the windows. You're paying for windows you're not using . For a list of companies that sell linux laptops and do not do this check here [mcelrath.org] . -- Bob

Re:Emperor Linux (3, Informative)

dshea (789187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457106)

The companies on this list sell either used laptops or non-brandname laptops. As noted on the site, this isn't much of an issue as far as components, but it is for support. There will be no hardware or warranty support with these machines.

No attempt at deception is being made here. The laptops come with windows, and most people want them that way. If you don't want windows, we'll remove it for you. No lies, no smoke and mirrors. You simply aren't going to find a laptop from Sharp, IBM or Dell that doesn't come with a Windows license.

How does this 3D compare to others (1)

elgatozorbas (783538) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457022)

All ok and well that you don't need glasses, but I can imagine glasses are a bit more forgiving with respect to thje viewer's position. Do they give any info on that?

This is great! (2, Interesting)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457046)

We've been supplying 3D products, like our 3D WebCam [robert.to] for years now, but potential customers are put off by the viewing methods that require glasses.

I'm really hoping that autostereo displays will catch on, not just for gaming, but for natural appearance 3D photography.

Once you've seen how nice a 3D photo can appear (the best way is to view Realist 3D Slides on a polarized screen), you'll never want to go pack to "flat" photography again.

OpenGL rendered in 3D? (1)

Tekmage (17375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457086)

So, the Linux drivers [nvidia.com] exist, and I know they have hardware-accelerated OpenGL support built in... Does anyone know if this machine+display combo will work "out of the box" without any tweaks to applications?

An option or two applied to XF86Config is OK by me, but per-application mods would be a little excessive... Anyone tried UT2K4 [unrealtournament.com] on one yet?

software? (2, Interesting)

willCode4Beer.com (783783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457196)

I'm still waiting for a review of someone who's actually used one of these.

So, what linux software do we have that will take advantage of this? Are there Mesa or Glide extensions?

I'd love to try one of these but, if none of my apps use it then whats the point?

So, basically... (1)

shihonage (731699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457199)

... it's an LCD screen with zero-degree viewing angle. All those years of progress... erased.

The sucky part... (2, Insightful)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9457260)

Almost all the hardware features can be utilised under Linux;

I love linux. I do. But I hate reading about a linux company putting out a linux machine with the sentence "Almost all the hardware features can be utilised under Linux;" What's with the "almost"? Why can't ALL of the hardware features be "utilised" under linux. C'mon this isn't BeOS we're talking about.
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