Quantcast

Mini computer shit

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,875
6,176
Yakistan
@jonKranked where you at

Ya'll jabbering about mini computers in the random picture thread got me all interested.

I am a neanderthal with technology but it sounds so easy.

Do you plug one of these raspberry pi type devices into a larger computer and program them?

Do you plug them into a keyboard, mouse, and screen and run them like a stand alone computer?

How do they operate a TV set? Wtf
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,394
20,184
Sleazattle
Raspberry Pi is just a single board computer with a specific Linux OS. They do not come with an OS installed so you will need another computer to image the micro SD card. Beyond that just use it like a computer.

They have compact connectors on them so you may need adapter cables but you can connect a mouse, keyboard and HDMI to it.

There are a variety of hardware interface boards you can connect to them but probably not necessary for a TV.

I don't have any display or keyboard connected to mine but you can operate them remotely over wifi through a browser on your phone or other PC.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,421
19,431
Canaderp
We use a lot of mini computers in the plants here. Everything from powering display boards, operator computers, replacing busted shit on the manufacturing lines etc etc

These come at a premium, but over the years they've been great. We use the fanless sealed ones. Haven't had one shit the bed yet, other than from being physically damaged:

These ones are tiny

they have a raspberry pi one too.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,421
19,431
Canaderp
With our smart tv and the box from the cable company, we don't really have a need for any of this stuff anymore.

Both can do youtube, netflix, prime and the other majors. The tv software is from Roku, so it has a bunch of other stuff like redbull tv, plex etc.

The one thing neither can do, is stream or play any movie files that we have stored in the house. But I trashed that computer as it really wasn't needed anymore...
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,394
20,184
Sleazattle
If I remember correctly if you are just loading an image and using it as is, it is pretty straightforward.

If you wanted to add additional hardware or customize it will require a fair bit of research or knowledge. You need to know a bunch of Linux command line B.S. I added a digital signal processor to mine for my audio system. It was days of pouring over crappy documentation to get it to work, but the basic setup was pretty easy, I did it while on boring webex calls.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
85,839
24,423
media blackout
so i've got some pretty specific use requirements on what i'm trying to do. right now we use a white board for calendar stuff in our house, but we want to switch to something electronic that will sync with a gmail account. there's some turnkey solutions available (skylight, dakboard, etc) but they all require a monthly service fee on top of the initial hardware purchase, and most of them don't have screens large enough for what we want. so i've been pondering setting up something with a touchscreen monitor and a micro PC.

so the requirements i'm looking for are:

-touch screen display support. this is mandatory
-wifi. also mandatory.
-support for gmail / browser, optimized for a touch screen display. should be the easiest of the requirements.

the smaller the cheaper the better.

if i could find something that runs on windows or android that would be ideal. i'm not opposed to linux, but i haven't tinkered with it since college. plus i want my wife to be able to easily use it.

i want to be able to have a home calendar that my wife and i can sync to our phones, along with things like grocery lists, etc. doesn't need to do a ton of fancy stuff.

edit: should also add, i plan on wall mounting this, hence looking for the smallest form factor
 
Last edited:

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,394
20,184
Sleazattle
so i've got some pretty specific use requirements on what i'm trying to do. right now we use a white board for calendar stuff in our house, but we want to switch to something electronic that will sync with a gmail account. there's some turnkey solutions available (skylight, dakboard, etc) but they all require a monthly service fee on top of the initial hardware purchase, and most of them don't have screens large enough for what we want. so i've been pondering setting up something with a touchscreen monitor and a micro PC.

so the requirements i'm looking for are:

-touch screen display support. this is mandatory
-wifi. also mandatory.
-support for gmail / browser, optimized for a touch screen display. should be the easiest of the requirements.

the smaller the cheaper the better.

if i could find something that runs on windows or android that would be ideal. i'm not opposed to linux, but i haven't tinkered with it since college. plus i want my wife to be able to easily use it.

i want to be able to have a home calendar that my wife and i can sync to our phones, along with things like grocery lists, etc. doesn't need to do a ton of fancy stuff.

edit: should also add, i plan on wall mounting this, hence looking for the smallest form factor

Sounds like you want a cheap tablet and some double sided sticky tape
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
15,938
13,187
I've had a small silent/near silent PC hooked to the TV for download and playback of video files for the last 20+ years. Last 10 years has been a small Intel NUC, currently runs W10 and I control it via RDP. Then for playback I'll switch TV inputs to the computer HDMI and use a Logitech wireless keyboard/touchpad:

I only ever turn it on now to specifically use it. But the original passively cooled box I put together used to sit and idle in IRC channels for Counterstrike clan stuff and get used for torrents or XDCC downloading.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
85,839
24,423
media blackout
all joking aside i did actually look into whether or not i could just plug an old smartphone into a touchscreen monitor, but it doesn't seem like they can handle input and output via hdmi.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,421
19,431
Canaderp
BTW you can run Android apps from the Amazon App Store on a Windows 11 computer, might be something to consider. I haven't tried it out...

 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
15,938
13,187
IRC.... man. I wonder if some of my old e-friends are still hanging out on there. The server is probably long dead...

Did the dude from mIRC ever make a penny?
Ha, I was always a cracked version of mirc, but my current install has something else that I can't remember the name of. Not as good as mirc, but I'm not about to look for cracked software now :D

I'm sure quakenet still exists, but I doubt any of the channels I used to idle in still exist. Ahh the heady days of getting an L-bot and then Q.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,421
19,431
Canaderp
Does it work with a touchscreen monitor? Also, twice the price of the stick PC. Not going to rule it out tho
Hard to say, but I'd guess so. Don't most touch screens just emulate what a mouse does?

Maybe somewhere like Costco would be good for trying this stuff out. But it and if not satisfied just return it.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
22,098
1,144
NC
ChromeOS is probably the ticket for a small, reliable mini computer with the least amount of fussing.

It's linux under the covers (and is deployed on thousands of touch-capable laptops) so no problems on supporting touchscreens. I switched my mom to ChromeOS over 10 years ago and it's been bulletproof for her. ChromeOS can run Android apps and/or whatever else you want to run out of a web browser.

The Raspberry PI is cheaper, of course, and would ultimately work, but it may or may not be as fast as you want and will require more fiddling.

I suspect the issue you're having on phones is that HDMI simply doesn't operate as a USB device which is what most touchscreens use. A USB-C dock with both HDMI and USB ports might enable touchscreen functionality with no additional changes but I haven't tried it (and don't have a touchscreen display to test with).
 

JustMtnB44

Monkey
Sep 13, 2006
840
114
Pittsburgh, PA
I've had a small silent/near silent PC hooked to the TV for download and playback of video files for the last 20+ years. Last 10 years has been a small Intel NUC, currently runs W10 and I control it via RDP. Then for playback I'll switch TV inputs to the computer HDMI and use a Logitech wireless keyboard/touchpad:

I only ever turn it on now to specifically use it. But the original passively cooled box I put together used to sit and idle in IRC channels for Counterstrike clan stuff and get used for torrents or XDCC downloading.
Same, I've been using an Intel NUC running Win10 connected to my TV in the living room with a wireless keyboard and mouse since 2015ish and it has generally worked really well. We use it daily for web browsing, streaming Netflix/Hulu, and playing back downloaded content from my NAS and it is on most of the time. Recently it's starting to feel slow especially for YouTube (old Core i3 2.1ghz) so I've been thinking of upgrading it, but read recently that Intel is discontinuing their own line of NUC computers in favor of 3rd party companies.

With our smart tv and the box from the cable company, we don't really have a need for any of this stuff anymore.
Both can do youtube, netflix, prime and the other majors. The tv software is from Roku, so it has a bunch of other stuff like redbull tv, plex etc.

The one thing neither can do, is stream or play any movie files that we have stored in the house. But I trashed that computer as it really wasn't needed anymore...
I agree with that, depends on what you are trying to do. I got my parents a Chromecast and it can do a lot, everything most people need. But at home, I still want to be able to play back files from a computer and have a full web browser available.

We use a lot of mini computers in the plants here. Everything from powering display boards, operator computers, replacing busted shit on the manufacturing lines etc etc

These come at a premium, but over the years they've been great. We use the fanless sealed ones. Haven't had one shit the bed yet, other than from being physically damaged:

These ones are tiny

they have a raspberry pi one too.
Ha, we used the K300 model on a project here at work and it was ok but slightly finnicky and slow since it only has Atom processer options. We replaced it with a model from Neousys that has a better processor and more features we needed for our application. But in general yeah these would also be a good choice.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
85,839
24,423
media blackout
I suspect the issue you're having on phones is that HDMI simply doesn't operate as a USB device which is what most touchscreens use. A USB-C dock with both HDMI and USB ports might enable touchscreen functionality with no additional changes but I haven't tried it (and don't have a touchscreen display to test with).
that's my concern, and is why i can't just plug one of our old smartphones into a touchscreen monitor.

does the asus chromebox linked above support touchscreen monitors? i agree that ChromeOS would probably be ideal, but if the hardware doesn't / can't support a touchscreen monitor that it would unfortunately be a non-starter.

ChromeOS is probably the ticket for a small, reliable mini computer with the least amount of fussing.

It's linux under the covers (and is deployed on thousands of touch-capable laptops) so no problems on supporting touchscreens. I switched my mom to ChromeOS over 10 years ago and it's been bulletproof for her. ChromeOS can run Android apps and/or whatever else you want to run out of a web browser.

The Raspberry PI is cheaper, of course, and would ultimately work, but it may or may not be as fast as you want and will require more fiddling.

I suspect the issue you're having on phones is that HDMI simply doesn't operate as a USB device which is what most touchscreens use. A USB-C dock with both HDMI and USB ports might enable touchscreen functionality with no additional changes but I haven't tried it (and don't have a touchscreen display to test with).
i thought about raspberry pi, but yea, more fiddling than i want, especially for something my wife and I (and eventually our kids) will be sharing.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
22,098
1,144
NC
does the asus chromebox linked above support touchscreen monitors? i agree that ChromeOS would probably be ideal, but if the hardware doesn't / can't support a touchscreen monitor that it would unfortunately be a non-starter.
It's linux under the covers (and is deployed on thousands of touch-capable laptops) so no problems on supporting touchscreens.
The hardware isn't the problem with touchscreens. A touchscreen is two separate components - a display input, and a USB HID (human interface device) output. The question is only whether the right drivers for the HID exist on the machine. Like I said, I'm guessing you can plug one of your old touchscreens into a modern Android device with the right adapter, it just requires more than an HDMI connection.

ChromeOS already supports a myriad of touchscreens in its laptops and it's a very popular device for things like retail displays, so it's very likely to be plug-and-play. But without having actually done it or having official support from the screen vendor, it's still going to require you to try it out.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
22,098
1,144
NC
Would the touchscreen stuff work, if it was connected through displayport?
DisplayPort (the physical interface, not the protocol) and HDMI both have data channels, but I've never personally seen a touchscreen use them for that purpose; USB has a standard interface for it and that's what they use. USB-C is capable of doing both on a single connection, of course.
 

Montana rider

Turbo Monkey
Mar 14, 2005
1,748
2,186
that's my concern, and is why i can't just plug one of our old smartphones into a touchscreen monitor.

does the asus chromebox linked above support touchscreen monitors? i agree that ChromeOS would probably be ideal, but if the hardware doesn't / can't support a touchscreen monitor that it would unfortunately be a non-starter.



i thought about raspberry pi, but yea, more fiddling than i want, especially for something my wife and I (and eventually our kids) will be sharing.
Google News suggested this article I suppose because I clicked on this thread 3 weeks ago..