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Multiple touchscreens on one PC

posted Apr 13, 2013 02:36:02 by kevinr325
I was wondering if anyone has had any luck using several touchscreens on one PC running several instances of Artemis. I imagine they will display fine, but I can't get a definitive answer about their ability to allow independent and simultaneous input from several touchscreens at once. For that matter, has anyone had any luck running more than one mouse on one PC? (i.e. 2 or more mouse pointers capable of independent use on one PC.)

I'm guessing my best bet is going to be vmware. I've also considered wyse winterms or some other thin client, but I'm not sure I can get dx9 to work over a terminal server.

Has anyone else thought of this stuff? I searched the forum, but I'm not having much luck.
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7 replies
JamesDunnem said Apr 13, 2013 03:20:21
In a standard environment (Windows, OS/X, Ubuntu) there is only a single mouse pointer on the screen at any given time, you may plug in a handful of mice, and each would have influence on that one cursor, the same would go for touchscreens.
Terminal sessions, even if configured to capture the cursor, would still be limited by the host's limit of a single cursor if connecting locally.

I had not given thought to running dumb terminals as consoles attaching to a Terminal Server running multiple sessions of Artemis. That should alleviate the majority of the network congestion and help keep everyone synchronized.
Running multiple bridges would require a sufficiently beefy Server to host it all with a fast enough connection speed to update all the attached consoles simultaneously.

I have run the Server and all the consoles on my PC to play around with, 4GB RAM in use and 35% of all 4 cores of an old Q6600. Building a machine to centrally handle 6 bridges would be a respectable piece of hardware.
"There is an old Celtic saying: "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."
-Beware of the anger of a patient man.
kevinr325 said Apr 13, 2013 03:41:50
Thanks for your input James.

I realize there is only one mouse pointer. I want to add more, using software. I don't see why it shouldn't be possible. Game consoles have been running with multiple independent input devices for years. The only existing software I can think of that might do it is vmware, assuming each virtual machine can be set to only see one of the mice that are actually plugged in.

As for the terminal solution, the main thing I'm looking at is cheap cost. You can get old terms for next to nothing, but will they be sufficient. I was using them to browse web pages back in '97. I'm pretty sure brand new terminals would work (given a proper server, as you mentioned) but they are about the same price as a netbook, which provides it's own screen. I'm, of course, hoping for something in the middle.
michael said Apr 14, 2013 03:01:10
My experience with Terminal Server would point away from anything above light web browsing. Honestly, you're better off with the netbooks. I had great success with a 4 year old ASUS, VGA out, full size keyboard and mouse with WinXP running sciences and engineering. The fact that they are tiny and portable is all the better.
kevinr325 said Apr 14, 2013 03:49:22
Thanks Michael. I think you are right about the terminals, but if I do find anything, I'll post it.

I use my MSI Wind netbook for an Artemis server all the time, so they are certainly an option.
kevinr325 said Apr 14, 2013 03:49:44
Thanks Michael. I think you are right about the terminals, but if I do find anything, I'll post it.

I use my MSI Wind netbook for an Artemis server all the time, so they are certainly an option.
LawsonThompson said Apr 14, 2013 18:27:29
Warning: possible geeky content!

I've tried this. You can have multiple touchscreens on a single PC, but the resulting effect is similar to having a mouse which instantly "clicks" at the touch point. This means if you have two people trying to make inputs at the same time, results are not what you expect.

A MUCH more reliable method is to use VMware Player or VMware Workstation, as KevinR mentioned in the original question. When a USB device (such as a touchscreen digitizer) is connected to the physical PC, you may optionally tell a running VMware session to "take over" the USB device. The device disappears from the USB device list on the host PC, and shows up as a new device only inside the VMware machine. You can connect USB keyboards and mice and "lock" then to a single VMware machine too. If there are drivers for the touchscreen, you'll need to install them inside the virtual machine--not the host PC.

To run Artemis well in multiple VMware sessions on a single PC, you'll probably want 1GB RAM and 1 CPU core per VM--and a video card with pretty substantial horsepower.
kevinr325 said Apr 14, 2013 20:19:00
Thanks Troy. I'm going to give the VMware solution a shot. We'll be using the dual-vid system below, to hopefully "serve" 4-8 21" monitors. I'll let you know how many I manage to get running.

AMD FX 4.0Ghz eight-core
32Gb 1600Mhz RAM
2x 120Gb SSDs for the system drive (in RAID0, for ludicrous speed)
2x Radeon 7950 video cards
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