Sunday, December 23, 2007

Neat stuff, digital picture frames

Happy holidays to those that celebrate and a Happy New Year!

Right now I'm a little busy with Christmas preparations, some software projects (home automation of course) and a nice little Atmel Mega128 board/JTAGICE setup I have for a HA hardware/software project I'm working on. I always have too many things to do ;-). Development under Linux, of course. Anyway besides having fun with the hardware I've been thinking about digital picture frames and how the majority of what's available is pretty expensive for what we're given (~$200 to just show pictures). For a little bit more money I should be able to get a really small embedded board that runs Linux and some networking (wireless prefered). With no fans so it's quiet, a wall wart PS so there's no heat, 2G CF instead of a hard disk, USB, Ethernet and thin. This comes close (except for the price): RedPost/Kit - Linux-based, a do-it-yourself home picture frame that seeks hackers/tinkerers/great photographers. It's not exactly thin but it's thinner than a hacked up laptop. At $500 (US?) it's not the least expensive picture frame but it does give you networking and of course with Linux comes all the open source tools like the ftp daemon, Apache, Perl ... and lots more. It shouldn't be too difficult to post not just pictures that rotate through but even video and even text. You should be able to embed text over the pictures like closed caption or something fancier and better looking.


At 12/25/2007 6:10 PM, Anonymous DarioG said...

True indeed; if you get the "device" done, I'd consider reading PowerPoint SlideShows (among the rest at least) since it's kind of standard. Maybe OpenOffice is good enough at it.

At 12/26/2007 3:54 PM, Blogger Neil Cherry said...

I might take this one step further, one step back (and a step to the side, now we're dancing ;-). I have serveral motherboards that I might try with my wife's spare 19" LCD monitor. A small WiFi card (USB perhaps), a 2G CF disk and I pretty much have the above hardware just not in a nice package. Add an IR interface and some Tivo menus and I've got something to work with. On the software side a light weight X window manager, sshd, busy box, and the multimedia support are needed. I'll need a browser so it's either Konquere or Opera (which ever is lighter of the two). I'm not sure sure about using Open Office on the prototype PC setup it wouldn't be a problem but I want light weight and Open Office is not light weight. Extending this further, one could use file sharing (NFS, SMB or even UPnP) to access storage outside the 'Frames' CF storage. Good thing I have all the parts.

Dang, wish I hadn't thought of this, now another todo on the todo pile. ;-

At 12/17/2008 1:33 AM, Blogger Neil Cherry said...

Well, almost a year later and I have two posts that can kind of be tied to the digital picture frame blog entry. First the Asus EEE B202, this might be a little overkill for a digital picture frame. ;-) Then there is the iGala WiFi Linux Photoframe and Touchscreen. Now we're talking! With a Windows CE touchscreen running for a whole lot more this could be interesting.


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