braille terminal

Mario Lang mlang at
Wed May 25 09:44:04 UTC 2005

David Poehlman <david.poehlman at> writes:

> actually versa braille was smarter than the displays out there
> because they all now depend on external software to drive them.  If
> you have the right drivers, some displays can do this for you though.

This reminds me about a cute idea I once had.  Maybe someone has
some hardware building background to take it to something:  I imagine
a little device with two serial ports and a USB port and a PS/2 connector.
On one end, you'd connect it to a standard vt100 console port of some UN*X
machine, and at the other end you'd connect either a serial display or a USB
display and optionally a keyboard.
The little thing would just need to speak vt100 on one port, and
implement some braille display protocols for the other end.
This would be massively useful in the sysadmin area.  It is just
lots more simpler to configure a UNIX box to run a getty at a serial port
than to setup BRLTTY or some equivalent screen reader.  I could use this
for the occasional debug work at our Linux cluster for instance...
Or you could use it to completely independently setup systems like SPARC or
whatever (all good UNIX variants have console on serial per default)

Anyone into small embedded system design (and cross-compilation for
simple CPUs)?  Ideally the thing would be battery powered and not much larger
than an adaptor.  We've got lots of GPL code for driving displays
already, we'd just need to hack up a vt100 interpreter, put
it all together for cross compilation and build a kind of firmware image.  If the
device is built smart enough, one could even do firmware upgrade to for instance,
add support for new display models.  This project is double-interesting
for me, on one hand, I'd like to help build it, and on the other
hand I'd really like to have one.

> On May 21, 2005, at 7:04 AM, Brian Tew wrote:
> My old versabrailler looks like it is about to croak.
> I want a display that will just act as an ascii terminal.
> I would rather not have to mess with a screen reader.
> Do yall know if any modern displays are simple enough to do that now?

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