MultiPoint X Server

July 17, 2007

For maximum Linux geek-ness there now exists the Multi Pointer X Server, known as MPX as compared to just plain old X (which, other than providing an alternate windowing system to the Mac OS-X, shares only the letter X and not much else with Apple who has not yet managed to patent the letter X so we should be safe for a while)
Here’s what’s cool – Multi Pointer X allows multiple pointers to be used simultaneously on an X server. In more more plain non-geek English, you can use up to 18 mice or keyboards at the same time in Linux. All of those mice and keyboards operate independently of each other so you actually get 18 different cursors on the screen, or have multiple keyboards assigned to multiple windows and type in two different applications at the same time.

Even cooler – coupled with a touch screen you can use both of your hands at the same time to work together on a single machine AKA the Microsft Surface. This is a Free Open Source Software version of the same thing. And the way the X guys work, this won’t be a binary blob, it will be full open source. The source is not in the main branch of X but is available by git.

Watch the video and see for yourself.

The MPX Surface

There are a few other videos out there on Youtube that show better the collaborative features and benefits of multipoint. I chose this one because it just plain ol’ sexier. You can tell it’s still in its infancy with laggy response. Hey – 1. It’s alpha software, 2. It’s free. It definitely doesn’t stack up to the Microsoft Surface (yet) which itself doesn’t even come close to the PerceptivePixel system of Jeff Han.

If you are interested in multipoint technology I definitely suggest you go to the Jeff Han link above, the results will simply AMAZE you. I know I sat in stunned silence for the full length of the video.

Of course you could “roll your own” multipoint touch surface if you are up for it.


OpenGL in your Virtual Machine is here!

July 11, 2007

Several Virtual Machine developers have been promising OpenGL support for their VM’s in future releases. Well, the future is now thanks to Open Source programming with VMGL

From their site:

OpenGL apps running inside a Virtual Machine (VM) can use VMGL to take advantage of graphics hardware acceleration. VMGL can be used on VMware guests, Xen HVM domains (depending on hardware virtualization extensions) and Xen paravirtual domains, using XVnc or the virtual framebuffer. Although we haven’t tested it, VMGL should work for qemu, KVM, etc. VMGL is available for X11-based guest OS’s: Linux, FreeBSD and OpenSolaris. Finally, VMGL is GPU-independent: we support ATI, Nvidia and Intel GPUs.

Not really that interesting you say? I disagree – because this is open source and cross platform it means that we won’t necessarily be stuck with only one or two choices of VM software to support GL based apps. This is one of the final barriers to virtualized computing in my rather humble opinion…

Razer Boomslang to retail for $99.99 (USD)

July 2, 2007

As previously mentioned, the Boomslang is coming back. They don’t yet list a price but Google shows something different – $99.00…


The specs are now up on Razer’s product page:

  • 1800dpi Razer Precision™ 3G infrared sensor
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling™ / 1ms response
  • Five independently programmable Hyperesponse™ buttons
  • On-The-Fly Sensitivity™ adjustment
  • Always-On™ mode
  • 16-bit ultra-wide data path
  • Zero-acoustic Ultraslick™ Teflon feet
  • 32KB Razer Synapse™ onboard memory

And as I guessed, it’s closely based on the Razer DeathAdder internals:

  • 1800dpi Razer Precision™ 3G infrared sensor
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling™ / 1ms response
  • Five independently programmable Hyperesponse™ buttons
  • On-The-Fly Sensitivity™ adjustment
  • Always-On™ mode
  • 16-bit ultra-wide data path
  • Zero-acoustic Ultraslick™ Teflon feet
  • 6400 frames per second (5.8 megapixels per second)
  • Up to 60 inches per second and 15g of acceleration

The DeathAdder does not list 32KB of memory, but it’s there and supports profile switching. I notice that the Boomslang does not boast 5.8 megapixel and 15G of acceleration, though with the memory listing difference I wouldn’t be surprised if this similar rather than a different feature set.

Curious about 3G Infrared Sensor technology? Check out Razer’s 3G PR page

More on the new Boomslang, straight from the Razers Mouth

June 26, 2007 had a chance to sit down and interview Theo Sanders, the Product Director in charge of the release of the new Boomslang. It’s about 50% interesting and 50% corporate marketing hype with crapspeak like

Today, our technology has evolved to where we can engineer a worthy successor to the mouse that started it all. So it was high time we tossed our sales projections and marketing wisdom aside to bring the Boomslang back”

And as I guessed, it will be based on their 3G infrared sensor technology. Beancounters tossed aside my ass. Don’t get me wrong, I am really looking forward to this mouse, I just cant stand corporate doublespeak.

Read the whole thing here.

The New Microsoft Surface

June 23, 2007

Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe not – but here’s a pretty damn funny parody of their demo video:

Speaking of Razer… The Boomslang is coming back!

June 22, 2007

Razer has announced that the Boomslang is coming back, this time in an optical version with their trademark green glow feature. It will initially only be available to those going to Dreamhack 2007, which judging by the website, is some sort of Swedish gamers convention (I don’t read swedish, so I can’t really tell…). I don’t expect they’ll have 10,000 Swedes gaming in a weekend so we can probably expect to see these available at high end boutiques and websites not long after.

They are calling it the Boomslang Collectors Edition 2007 Titanium.


Read the full story here

Razer Krait first impressions

June 21, 2007

My Razer Krait showed up today and I’ve been using it for a few hours now so I thought I would share my first impressions of it.


I am specifically NOT going to review it in the standard “gee whiz bang new gaming mouse” fashion. I really don’t think you care what exactly the box looks like, I know I didn’t – you only look at the box for a second, then open it and toss it aside anyway. Nor do I care to have an itemized list of items included – every piece of hardware comes with a generic instruction book and a driver install CD.

To read the entire review click here