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Old 12-04-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
Prospect
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The Kindle as information screen

I have mounted a Kindle 4 next to my entrance door showing updated public transportation and weather information. The setup is simple: I disabled the screensaver and pointed the Kindle's browser to a page that auto updates the information. The Kindle is connected to power and it all seems to be very stable. I am quite satisfied with the solution since an epaper screen is good esthetics for such purpose and the total setup is quite inexpensive ($89!)
compared to other solutions. I am also considering setting up an extra screen (kindle) in my kitchen to show images by simply using a webpage that shows a full screen slideshow that updates i.e every 2 hours.

The only issue is that the information is that the Kindle browser also shows the address bar and the status bar and I am not able to turn them off and enter true full screen mode. I have looked around and my conclusion is that it is neither possible on the Kindle as shipped from Amazon and nor is there any hack available to enable a true full screen browser on the Kindle.

Does anybody have any solutions for the full screen issue? Have anybody build an application or anything that can do the same, but in full screen mode?

I know that there is a VNC client for the Kindle, but then I would need to set up a computer serving as a VNC host. That would add to both the cost and the complexity, and I am also concerned about the stability of VNC (this needs to run for months without interruption)

Alternatively is there any other epaper device with wifi and a stable full screen browser?
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:58 AM   #2
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someone did something similar, not using the web browser:
http://www.mpetroff.net/archives/201...ather-display/
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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I would use Kindle picture viewer in full screen mode for that purpose:
Have more than one picture in /mnt/us/pictures/<any name>/, launch picture viewer in full screen mode, launch a script (i.e. with launchpad) that uses wget to download updated images time to time and generates "next page" events periodically.
On server side you need something that renders the images instead of HTML pages (ImageMagick ?, PHP GD ?).
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:58 AM   #4
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Thank you for the link Hippy Dale. I was not aware of this great project. However I am not sure how well it would work for my purposes since the real-time public transportation information needs to be updated at least with 2 minute intervals to be useful.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prospect View Post
Thank you for the link Hippy Dale. I was not aware of this great project. However I am not sure how well it would work for my purposes since the real-time public transportation information needs to be updated at least with 2 minute intervals to be useful.
ermmm...
well reading the comments...

http://www.shatteredhaven.com/2012/1...r-display.html

Looks to have a time display? That would require a fairly regular update no?

ON CRON:
Quote:
NOTE: I DO NOT RECOMMENDED SETTING THIS TO A LOWER INTERVAL FOR TESTING PURPOSES. As soon as you restart cron (either rebooting the Kindle or from the command line) The display launches at the designated time. If you set this too low (for example 1 or 2 minutes) and reboot the kindle, you will be unable to access the cron and adjust the time. This is because a reboot causes you to lose access to SSH (requiring the ;debug command to be re-entered). If the script is set to run every minute or 2 minutes, that is likely not enough time for you to enter the command, SSH into the device, and edit cron.
However having a task that ran for 4 minutes triggered every five minutes or something would be a possible workaround. That kind of thing.

Anyways. Good luck. Oh and I use JPG's with eips... but you have to mangle them to fit first... (since eips is a bit flaky)

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=145

HTH. GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobob View Post
http://www.shatteredhaven.com/2012/1...r-display.html
Looks to have a time display? That would require a fairly regular update no?
Thanks twobob. As I understand it the time display in Jennifers project shows the time for the last update, not current time.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:12 AM   #7
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Right. What is the issue? Cant you just do a partial screen update for the time

The custom screensaver thread (That no longer works but meh) discussed adding times and stuff. What kind of update frequency do you need?

Every two minutes? That hardly sound infeasible by any means. Is it the processing overhead that is killing you? I am obviously missing the point. Will read the post again (yours)


Use skipstone? ah you have a 4... hmm... thinking..

Would a working X server be helpful? That could happen.

Or: Possibly could hack a debian together to provide all your bits and pieces that the 4 is obviously lacking.

Could probably jerry-rig that together. Assuming you have power to the device all the time it probably will "just run" forever... or until the battery dies.
(I have done some grind-kindles-into-the-floor test)

Thoughts?

Last edited by twobob; 12-05-2012 at 09:20 AM. Reason: X maybe, debian? both doable now
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:07 AM   #8
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You might also want to look at the similar thing that was done on the Kobo (don't have the link right now, check the Kobo dev forum).

IIRC, it's using Python, but that's not really a problem, you should be able to use the Python package used by the ScreenSavers hack. (And, in the event it's missing some extra modules/packages, don't hesitate to poke me ).
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:10 PM   #9
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I believe that googling for "kindle as an additional PC screen" could be very fruitful.
Just keep all rendering at the PC/host side ...

Other approaches are possible, but most of them require native programming..

Kindle devices make great outdoor indicators, just because the picture is clear and
visible in direct sun light. I know several technicians who were successfully using Kindle devices
as specialized indicators in a field (i.e. sitting on a pole and tunning up the microwave antenna).
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