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Portables Software Hardware Linux

3D Linux Laptop Available 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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3D Linux Laptop Available

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  • by BodyCount07 ( 260070 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @04:54PM (#9456689) Homepage
    3-D displays first hand? Care to give a quick honest review?
  • by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:00PM (#9456763) Homepage Journal

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

  • by freeduke ( 786783 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:25PM (#9456987) Journal
    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.
  • 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.
  • This is great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by callipygian-showsyst ( 631222 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:32PM (#9457046) Homepage
    We've been supplying 3D products, like our 3D WebCam [] 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.

  • My Substitute (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blunte ( 183182 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:33PM (#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.
  • by n__0 ( 605442 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:38PM (#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.
  • Re:terrible! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Iconoplast ( 14611 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:39PM (#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.
  • Viewable Angle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tyler_larson ( 558763 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:44PM (#9457154) Homepage
    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.

  • software? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ( 783783 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @05:49PM (#9457196) Homepage Journal
    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?
  • Re:3D??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by I(rispee_I(reme ( 310391 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @06:10PM (#9457380) Journal
    First, I am confused. GI Joes came with two different varieties of flashy things that you might be referring to:

    1) Polarized plastic with an two images drawn in alternating lines behind it, so that when tilted, animation is viewed. I believe the action figure Crystal Ball used one of these as a weapon. These are not 3d.

    2) Actual holographs printed on the stickers that came with vehicles, etc. These are 3d, in the sense that you can, to a degree limited by perspective, see behind objects depicted in these holographs; there is actual depth.

    I am reminded of the scene in The Little Prince where the character from outer space looks at a drawing of a box and states that it is a picture of a sheep. When the narrator corrects him, the alien says, "Well, there's a sheep sleeping in the box."

    Probably mangled the quote, but you get the drift. Holograms allow you to see their contents from many perspectives within 3d space. And as long as that definitition is met, then they qualify as 3d.
    Even if the viewing medium is 2d.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17, 2004 @06:46PM (#9457762)
    Moving your head does do something you donut.

    Each eye is getting a slightly different view because they are in different positions, so moving your head along the horizonal axis does indeed change the view - that is what is special about this; the eyes get a different view based on location!

    It's a bit like looking at a stereogram, but without the funny swirly pictures or crossed eyes.
  • by stripe ( 680068 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:03PM (#9457926)
    The 3D displays work. I have a DTI2018XLQ at home. It works by creating sepearate "zones". You place your head so that each eye is in a different zone. What happens is that each eye sees a diffrent image. I have only used the monitor for 2 games (MC2 & NWN) as I am not into FPS games.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:20PM (#9458069)
    OpenGL has to render two frames for each 3D frame you see this way, one left and one right. there are some development kits / 3D widgets that do this already (libqglviewer). You get half the framerate unless you've got doubled-up hardware (yeah right).

    You still need app changes.
  • by dshea ( 789187 ) <> on Thursday June 17, 2004 @08:17PM (#9458444)
    My personal experience with the RD3D is that, yes, it is very particular about your position. You need to position your head in the center of the display area and particular distance away from the monitor in order to see anything. There's a little colored bar at the bottom of the screen that turns red as you get closer to help you find this spot.

    Glasses may allow a bit more leeway in this respect, but if not using the happy headache-inducing shutters mentioned in another comment, the display method would need to be similar (i.e., two interlaced images at different angles), and you'd still need to carry around extra hardware. The RD3D is proabably the simplest way to get a 3D display to the average user.

  • Re:3D??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sugar and acid ( 88555 ) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @10:01PM (#9459082)
    It is not true 3d as there is no depth of field effect. Yes there is a 3d effect from the left right info, but your eyes are focused on the flat screen even when you are concentrating on a near or far object. This is the main cause of the sick feeling and headache that this type of display can cause, as the focus of your eyes is not corresponding to what you are actually looking at.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.