As long as there is someone asking whether or not a particular gadget will run Doom, there will be someone else who wants to prove that, yes, it will Doom. This week’s installment: an ordinary-looking office phone!

It’s not truly an ordinary office phone — this is a CaptionCall, an accessible phone that features a large color display that can caption phone conversations in real time.

University of Washington grad student Josh Max got in touch with the crew at Hackaday to tell them about his adventures in tinkering with the CaptionCall hardware.

The CaptionCall runs Linux via aquad-core ARMv7 i.MX6 processor with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. Its 4GB of NAND storage seems like nothing by today’s standards, but I’m reminded how indulgent I felt upgrading to a 540MB hard drive when I got my first taste of Doom.

After cracking open the phone Josh managed to identify a UART header on the PCB. With a way in, Josh proceeded to dump the kernel partition over a 115k baud serial link. It wasn’t a smooth process by any means, but 9 hours later he was ready to find it whether the CaptionCall really would run Doom.

Unsurprisingly, the phone’s built-in OS isn’t really up to the task. Josh was undeterred and eventually managed to get Debian up and running. After that he moved on to configuring X11 and launching IceWM.

With a nice, lightweight Linux environment at the ready, it was time for the real test.

Even when shown in a GIF at modest quality, i’m pretty sure the results look just as good as they did on my 14-inch CRT.

Josh has generously shared all his code on a GitHub repository and he’s even pre-patched the kernel to make the process a little less frustrating. Grab a CaptionCall for $40 or so off eBay and you’ve go the perfect complement to the Doom-playing TRÅDFRI lightbulb in your desk lamp.

via Josh Max and Hackaday

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.