The installation of most 5.25" LED displays is definitely an easy task, and with the Matrix Orbital MX610, it’s no different. Simply insert the device into an available 5.25" drive bay and connect all of the wiring. Although the data and power for the display is transmitted through a single USB cable, a floppy drive connector is necessary if you plan on using the MX610 to control any case fans. As for the actual wiring, it's quite simple with connecting any thermal probes, LED bus indicator, and 3-pin fans to the actual device. Overall, the install process is quite simple and can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.
If you purchase the indicator LED bus separately, included is a mounting layout where holes will need to be drilled if attaching the 3 LEDs to a case. The purpose of the LED indicator bus is basically to improve the Matrix Orbital features by offering three additional LEDs as a visual indicator. In our situation, we simply connected the display externally to a USB port on one of our open air testbeds, along with connecting the thermal probes and LED bus.
After we had everything connected, we booted up the testbed to which the Matrix Orbital MX610 had been connected. During this process, Kudzu (Red Hat Linux hardware probing library) hadn't made any alerts during the boot process, but once we were booted up, we found the Matrix Orbital MX610 under System Devices in the Hardware browser. The actual entry we found stated Matrix Orbital MX2/MX3/MX6 as the title, with an unknown driver. Next, we inserted the Matrix Orbital CD and launched the HTML user's manual. Although the manual contains information regarding the Microsoft Windows drivers, it contained no documentation regarding Linux.
|Processor:||Intel Pentium 4 2.4C @ 3.24GHz|
|Memory:||512MB Corsair XMS PC4400|
|Graphics Card:||ATI 9200 128MB|
|Hard Drives:||Western Digital 80GB|
As LCDC offers no native Linux port at this time, we turned to Codeweaver's Crossover Office v4.1. Although the program ran perfectly fine under WINE/CXOFFICE after we had activated our copy of LCDC, the program was unable to find the device. Next, we tried LCDproc; we compiled the program and then attempted to run it, after configuring everything (LCDd.conf) for the Matrix Orbital MX610 device. After doing so we were able to type echo "<text here>" >> /dev/ttyUSB0 and the text would be displayed, as /dev/ttyUSB0 was the location of the USB display device. Now that the LCDproc server was running, we initiated an LCDproc v0.4.5 client. When launching this client, we specified it to display the CPU, memory, time, and load screens. We also downloaded and ran some other Linux programs which used LCDproc. Some of the other programs we ran on the Matrix Orbital MX610 included LCDNetstat, LCDstocks (at least now when we see a bear market we won't be swinging at our monitors :)), and LCDsensors. After spending a few more hours tampering with different LCDproc clients and configuring different things, we managed to get all of the function buttons working. We were even able to scroll through music files, while using an LCDproc music front-end client. As a whole, we were very satisfied with the Matrix Orbital MX610 display and its Linux compatibility, unlike the Scythe LCD Master that we reviewed a few weeks back. The LED display was very clear and we encountered no problems at all relating to the display during operation.