Showcase Appliance for Schools
in my region there is an increasing amount of schools who start
displaying their daily informations on large TFT screens (40 inch).
There has been a marketing campaign by some reseller aiming directly at
schools, and also myself was to install such info point.
Short version: Trying to tame the pre-installed "XP embedded" was not
really a joy, and as most of you, I would like to implement free and
working software (faws) as much as possible. Plus, I could imagine that
shipping such feature out of the box, could give us further advantages.
1. Content server: Samsung syncmaster 400 PXn host a built in PC with
4GB flash disk, running XP by default. There is some MagicInfo-Software
Client which tries to fetch content or schedules from a corresponding
server software (which must be purchased as well).
However, we managed to set up some free CMS (yoomla!) including some
nice extensions. Administrative members were trained to edit articles.
2. Display Client: All we do by now, is auto-starting Firefox in
fullscreen mode, displaying our (password protected) yoomla!page.
Now, there is two further ways to go:
(a) Either try to replace proprietary content servers by free software
(this would enable schools to just display any content with the given
software). Likewise the schedule server would be very helpfull to save
energy during lessons/over night.
(b) Or provide a usb-drive ready live system that auto starts firefox
(PXE-boot is also possible, of course). But still, this systems needs a
way to schedule shutting down/resume (maybe just for the screen).
What do you think? Do you know of any free content display system that
is fed by some kind of stream (like rtp/rtsp) and thus made to download
a sequence of pictures, texts (pdf?), and presenting them in a kind of
slide show? I've seen commercial solutions in "sophisticated" bars.