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Flash for the win?
August 16, 2008 12:17 PM   Subscribe

Meeting question, take II. Full screen sentance display in a presentation room.

I posted a question a few days ago regarding a meeting that our non-profit is running, but I ran off before I could interact with responses.

The basic premise here is I will have (n+1) laptops, where the +1 is dedicated to displaying data, and the n laptops will interface somehow to the +1.

What I am trying to achieve is this: A laptop somehow will display things on the screen in say a 20pt font. It will keep three things on the screen, the newest replacing the oldest.

The n laptops (which will be 1-3) will wirelessly network to the projector laptop, and feed it data.

In my mind I am thinking something like the Apple OSX RSS screensaver, but even stupider (no flying effects). A flash based RSS reader that runs full screen would be perfect. I would write a small webbased front end for the field PC's with XAMPP or something, and make a custom RSS feed.

Basically, I can totally manage the data collection -- but I dont have a working knowledge of anything to make the front end work. Even a simple AJAXY webpage setup might work; but I dont know what to search for to find such a system that would achieve what I am looking for.

Thoughts? I can make everything except the "show three sentances on the screen from a database/xml/rss/etc file"...
posted by SirStan to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
 
i've never used twitter, but isn't this what it does?
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 12:27 PM on August 16, 2008


Oooh! Very interesting idea! I would like the "projector" computer to be unmanned however. I seem to remember DIGG having this "live " feature that might be close to what I want.. it scrolled new stories using Ajax.
posted by SirStan at 12:34 PM on August 16, 2008


How about a Twitter feed piped through onto a page that is set to refresh every 5 seconds?
posted by perpetualstroll at 2:29 PM on August 16, 2008


Argh! A simple full screen webpage with a meta refresh!

select * from notes order by id limit 3!!

It wont be pretty.. but it will work!
posted by SirStan at 2:29 PM on August 16, 2008


I am pretty sure we wont have ANY internet connectivity, only network connectivity.
posted by SirStan at 2:30 PM on August 16, 2008


There's a Firefox extension called ReloadEvery that does the same thing with even less work on your part. Couple this with instructions to run firefox in fullscreen (basically, F11, but there're some other automated options on that page). You can point Firefox at Twitter, or a web backend of your own design.
posted by Alterscape at 2:32 PM on August 16, 2008


This is really neat challenge that has gotten me thinking... trying to do this without internet connectivity...

Perhaps someone else can build on this idea, but how about a full screen webpage with meta refresh using iframes? And each of the three laptops are updating separate files that loads up in each of the iframes? It doesn't exactly pull the last 3 though, only the latest from each of the files that people are updating and saving.

The other thing that came to mind was doing php includes, but I don't know enough about that to install that on your machine and what you would write to pull the last 3 files.
posted by perpetualstroll at 3:30 PM on August 16, 2008


http://labs.digg.com/bigspy/ << This is essentially what I have in my mind.. except all ~22pt. Wheres my flash decompiler.
posted by SirStan at 3:35 PM on August 16, 2008


The simplest way you could accomplish this would be using a Bonjour chat client and have the other computers send an instant message to the computer hooked to the projector. You could zoom in and resize the window to show only the last three lines. If you want to get really fancy, you could build some CSS sheet or webapp that would stylize and customize the chat-log and then display it any way you'd like to and have it auto-refresh.
posted by cgomez at 3:36 PM on August 16, 2008


cgomez: any suggestions for something that will run on (preferably for now) Windows?
posted by SirStan at 3:59 PM on August 16, 2008


Oh -- I think I love you cgomez! I think the EASIEST solution might be an IRC daemon! It can run locally, and clients are trivial to configure!
posted by SirStan at 4:00 PM on August 16, 2008


This went off amazingly well! Here is what I did:

Created an ad-hoc network on my Windows XP laptop, set an IP of 192.168.1.1 manually. I used bircd which is a free cross-platform IRC daemon. I then actually used 2 laptops running Ubuntu 8.04 and Pidgin. I configured each instance of Pidgin with the user's name.

On the XP laptop I connected with MIRC, set a REALLY BIG font (30pt), set the screen resolution to 800x600, and all went off without a hitch. Thanks SO much for everyones ideas--especially cgomez for the chat client idea.
posted by SirStan at 2:57 PM on August 18, 2008


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