I had a plan to create a Ambient dashboard, that is to have some analog meters that would convey some digital information. In an non obtrusive way, i think it has a very fine name, peripheral awareness.
I found it easy to code the arduino and to work with, so far that is. Using ubuntu I for some peculiar reason had to uninstall braille support, as it automatically recognizes it a braille device.
In order to communicate with the arduino it uses a usb serial connection, that is its connected to the usb port, but it behaves like a serialport. The simple way to send data to the arduino is setting up stty and then you can do stuff from bash like echo “data” >/dev/ttyUSB0 and voila it receives the data.
Here is the prototype setup in all is lousy light condition for mobile cam glory.
There are 5 different meters and they all use PWM, without any capicitors or filters, and it just works, most of the time. Its coded so that when its send a string like 23#34#23#34#34 terminated by a newline, it adjust the displays to the values.(0-254).
Now the next part is to make some kind of script to read relevant information and pass it along to the dashboard, since i use linux some information is available trough acpi as virtual files. But the hunt for easy accessible and relevant data has started, i would really like to display bandwidth usage but so far i haven’t had any luck figuring out where it resides.