Raspberry Pi Digital Signage

There have been many different attempts at inexpensive digital signage over the years.  My favorite, one that I use regularly where I work, is Raspberry Pi for digital signage.  Put simply, I set up a Raspberry Pi to load a continuous loop of a Google Slideshow.  This refreshes once every 15 minutes to load new content.

Here’s how we do it.

First, run all updates on your new Pi. (sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get upgrade).  I like to also run sudo apt-get dist-upgrade and sudo autoremove to fully upgrade plus clean things up.

Next, install clutter and automation (sudo apt-get install clutter and sudo apt-get install automation).

Set your auto config to keep the Pi from going to screensaver as well as load the slideshow automatically on boot.  The file you need to edit is /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart.  You’ll want it to look like this:

@lxpanel –profile LXDE-pi
@pcmanfm –desktop –profile LXDE-pi
point-rpi
@xset s off
@xset -dpms
@xset s noblank
chromium-browser –noerrdialogs –disable-infobars –incognito –kiosk http://web.address.com

Now edit crontab to refresh every 15 minutes (crontab -e):

#Refresh every 15 minutes
*/15 * * * * xte “key F5” -x:0

That’s it!  Enjoy your new digital signage!

Posted in Computers and Hardware, Technology | Comments Off on Raspberry Pi Digital Signage

Truer words

“We are made to persist, to complete the whole tour.  That’s how we find out who we are.”
– Tobias Wolff

Posted in Personal, Ponderings | Comments Off on Truer words

555 Metronome

My 555 metronome, all boxed up.

I wanted to make a metronome and decided on the venerable “555” chip. In this case I used an LM555CN. I had all components needed except the IC itself, so I ordered a handful (they are only about $0.75/each) and started the process. This was my first time playing with a 555, and it was great fun!

I started with this circuit from Jameco. Then I breadboarded and made changes until I was happy. The original circuit gave roughly 25-550 BPM which was pretty wild – standard metronomes are 40-208 BPM. My circuit as adjusted gives me 35-200 BPM which is close enough for my purposes.

I used Krita to edit the original schematic after making my changes to “dial in” this metronome circuit.
This is my layout for my modified 555 metronome circuit. I created this layout using DIYLC from Bancika.
Posted in Circuits and Electronics, Music, Projects | Comments Off on 555 Metronome

Original iPod Shuffle – on Linux

That’s right, I’ve finally found a way to use my old 512mb Shuffle on Linux. Thanks to keyj for making a simple python script in 2006. How it works is you put whatever you want for mp3s onto the shuffle (after mounting it in linux) then move the python script onto the root of the ipod. Then run the script in terminal after navigating to the root of the mounted iPod:

$ python rebuild_db.py

Here is a link to the python file on sourceforge.

Thank you internet!

Posted in Computers and Hardware, Hobbies, Music, Personal, Projects, Technology, Web/Internet | Comments Off on Original iPod Shuffle – on Linux

Current thoughts

“No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.”

– Plutarch

It is sometimes hard to remember that we cannot just simply start a process and then leave it be and assume it will finish of its own volition. Whether referring to child rearing, gardening, politics, or any other number of things – once you start something, you must finish it.

Posted in Personal | Comments Off on Current thoughts