This page describes a pet project that I researched in 2007 but never implemented.  With the Bit Whackers and Arduinos on the market today, it would be trivial!

When I bought my Dell 2405FPW in 2005, I was stoked to see that it could work like one of my favorite monitors of all time, the Radius Pivot.

The 2405 pivoted beautifully, and Linux could change the orientation of the desktop at any time.  Surprisingly, the monitor didn't have any switch or sensor to determine what position it's in.

Nowadays, in 2010, that would be trivial.  Just connect a mercury switch or accelerometer to a USB Bit Whacker, knock out a userspace libusb driver to tell xrandr that it's time to rotate, glue it to the back of the monitor, and call it a day.

In 2007, however, it would have required a more expensive device, both in cost and development time.  I tried to find some shortcuts but none that were short enough that the project would stay fun.

Ultimately, I discovered that I wouldn't have used it much anyway.  My desk tends to be too cluttered to allow easy pivoting, apps work better in landscape anyway, and I've since purchased a 3007WFP -- a truly awesome monitor but it doesn't pivot.  Owell!  Glad I didn't try too hard.

 

Notes from 2007:

Looks like the DLP-TILT is the way to go.

DLP-TILT: $50: small, integrated, bus-powered, linux-compatible

http://www.saelig.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=U028&Category_Code=UB
http://www.mouser.com/search/productdetail.aspx?R=DLP-TILTvirtualkey62620000virtualkey626-DLP-TILT

Serial Accelerometer: $50+

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=408

Watchport/A: $200, scarce

http://www.digistoreonline.com/product.asp?sku=2534225
http://www.bb-elec.com/product_family.asp?FamilyId=307