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17″ Wide screen Sun Ray Photo Frame

November 6, 2007

I’ve briefly mentioned before that we have had the builders in recently and at last we are reaching the final few steps. This includes an LCD TV for the kitchen mounted on the wall. I’m sure you all know, modern LCD TV’s all have an input for a computer. So I must be the last of millions to turn my LCD TV into a 17” photo frame powered by a Sun Ray 1 and some ethernet over mains plugs.

With SRSS 4.0 I can, although so far have not, have kiosk mode running just on this one Sun Ray although since everyone in the house has a smart card there is not really any need.

The “photo frame” software is no more than a proof of concept. A script that finds all my photos (about 3000) and uses display(1) to display them. Still need to confirm I have turned off he screen saver, no point in waiting for keyboard or mouse input as the Sun Ray has none and is quite well hidden. Also ideally it needs to have better transitions for the pictures and a way of controlling it. I can see a USB infra red receiver and remote control so that I can select that bike porn channel on demand.

The upgrade of the SRSS software would have been so much simpler if I had:

  1. Read the manual first.

  2. Rebooted when the documentation told me to. I hate rebooting, it is just so Windows but it really did seem to be required.

  3. Read the manual first.

There are however one issue. Kiosk mode does not seem to work with JDS on build 76, which I think is a know bug.

Given that a Sun Ray 1 on ebay is £25, this has to be a really cheap photo frame and this is a 17” wide screen photo frame. In fact the ethernet plug was more than the Sun Ray.

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4 Comments
  1. You may find transitions pretty hard to do right and look good, given the speed at which a Sun Ray 1 can display things. I set up Sun Ray kiosk machines for a student conference last month, using the wonderful SRSS4 kiosk mode, and xscreensaver. It looked fine, but the image refreshing was notably slow.
    Photo of our setup here:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2105/1558712543_9f9dd3e748_o.jpg

  2. I’m still wonder if the Sun Ray 2 I have is actually faster, which I will know after a few minutes of watching the kiosk mode on it.
    There are other tweaks I need to do, like stop the slide show at night and switch the screen into power saving mode so that the disks can spin down and also use utaction to stop it when a user inserts their card into the Sun Ray.
    But even so as a POC it is pretty cool.

  3. ThinGuy permalink

    Hi Chris,
    You could have dropped into single user, but it’s easier to just instruct folks to reboot. We have a similar concept deployed at a lot of customers using xli. See http://blogs.sun.com/ThinkThin/entry/idle_sun_ray_as_an
    Also, SRSS 4 U2 supports JDS3 for Kiosk. NV has JDS4, but you really don’t need a windowing manager at all for what you are doing. See the add ons here to just get a blank X canvas.
    http://wiki.sun-rays.org/index.php/SRSS_Addon:_Kiosk_Mode_Generic_Session
    Regards,
    CB

  4. Thank you ThinGuy. The Kiosk mode generic session is exactly the thing I needed.
    The pictures are now displayed on the background using display(1), and I can have a clock via xclock. However I am now having some troubles with the ethernet over mains dropping the connection that is not a Sun Ray issue.

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