ETC - Touchscreen Control for home control, music players, or any project




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Installing the ETC (Extensible Touchscreen Controller) software on the Citadel 386sx computer

Mark Farver
August 13, 2001

This explains the "easy" way to get the ETC software running by downloading and installing the binary images. If you're interested in doing it from scratch or contributing you'll want to download the full source release in and read the included instructions.

My apologies to the Linux folks, you can build the bootdisk, but converting the bootdisk to a flash image and installing into flash requires DOS (AFAIK), WinNT and 2000 probably won't work.

What you'll need: 2 floppy disks (ideally a 720kb, and a 1.44M, but 2 1.44M will do), a spare AT power supply, (ATX supplies don't work without a motherboard AFAIK), ISA ethernet card (NE2000 compatible recommended) and the Citadel touchscreen. The Linux kernel distributed with ETC supports NE2000, AMD LANCE (AM1500) and 3COM 509, cards but if you send me an email we can discuss adding other cards.

Creating the bootdisk:

Go to the ETC download page and grab the ETC binary distribution and the Flash Utils.

Unpack both archives into a temp directory. Format a 720kb floppy. If you don't have any 720kb floppies, use a 1.44M floppy and cover the other hole (not the write protect one) with a piece of tape.

From the temp directory install the Syslinux Boot Loader: "tools/ a:"

Copy the files in the bootfloppy/ subdirectory to the floppy (syslinux.cfg, bzImage, initrd.img and boot.msg).

Edit the syslinux.cfg file. Change the ether= statement in the append line to the io and irq address of your card. If you have a NE2000 at IO address 300h and IRQ 10 it should read "ether=0x300,10".

Set the IP=, NETMASK= and GATEWAY= lines as needed for your network. (You can leave the gateway entry blank if the touchscreen is on the same subnet as the webserver). Set ETC_BIN_URL= to the full URL to the etc.bin file on your webserver. ie:


Set URL= to the URL of the script that will drive the touchscreen: URL=

Set SCREENTIMEOUT= to the number of seconds to wait before blanking the screen, setting it to 0 should disable screen blanking.

Change the SRVROOT to be the URL of the directory of your webserver. IP addresses only. My webserver is and the etc.bin file is in the touch subdirectory of the webroot. So my line reads "SRVROOT="

Double check that all the variables are still on append line, if your text editor wraps them to the next line it won't work.

Copy the etc.bin files into the webserver directory you configured in the previous step. If you want an simple demo copy the demo.php file in as well.

Test the boot floppy:

Open the back of the Citadel unit if you haven't already. The 12 screws around the perimeter, not the four toward the center. Remove the Token ring card from the ISA slot (its probably screwed down) and install your ethernet card.

Put the cover back on temporarily, hook up a floppy drive to the connector on the back and power the floppy off your spare power supply. Insert the 720kb boot floppy you made in the previous step.

Plug in the Citadel, it should boot normally, go into BIOS, enable the floppy drive and set it to 1.44M. Save changes and exit When the touchscreen reboots hit Ctrl-Alt-F when the loading ROM text prints out, it should then say "bypassing ROM" and boot your floppy.

As a hint you can press Alt-F2 and view a root console on the touchscreen. The commands ifconfig, dmesg and ping are all available to help you diagnose your problem. You can also post to the mailing list ( ). Once everything is working you can proceed to the next step.

Create the flash image:

With the 720kb floppy in the DOS machine's A drive. cd to your temp directory. type "util linux". You'll get a nice progrss meter.

Remove the 720kb floppy and put in the 1.44M. Make the 1.44M floppy bootable: "format a: /s".

Copy the flash.exe and linux.loa (generated by the util linux step above) files onto the 1.44MB floppy.

Remove the ethernet card temporarily, some Ethernet cards conflict with the flash operation.

Boot the floppy in the touchscreen. At the touchscreen's DOS prompt type "flash linux.loa". If it completes successfully the touchscreen is ready.

Install your Ethernet card (you can remove the Token ring connector from the back and run an Ethernet cord out the hole).

That's it.