Tag Archives: Embedded

GiST Linux

Custom linux distribution that started out as a heavily customised Slackware build, which transitioned over to a completely new Linux based on the Linux From Scratch project. Designed to run from CD and provide a number of different interfaces depending on the intended use:

  • an instant useable desktop with common applications
  • web-based touchscreen interface for car & multimedia use
  • server with web-based configuration area for firewall/proxy/file storage use

The system was able to be run “live” direct from a CD or usb key, or installed from the “live” environment to the systems harddrive.  Each instance could be pre-configured by way of a global config file to match the systems intended use (eg. Car PC installs would run the multimedia touchscreen interface by default).

GiST contained automatic build scripts (Bash) which built the entire system for a chosen architecture (i386 for compatibility with VIA Eden boards) automatically, resulting in a bootable ISO over a period of around 8 hours (circa 2006).  This built all facets of the system from the sources of the applications, including all libraries, chroot bootstrap environment, & highly optimised SMP kernel.

Features include:

  • Desktop Interface (Gnome)
    • Evolution
    • OpenOffice
    • Gimp
    • Inkscape
    • Firefox
    • VideoLan
    • Etc
  • Multimedia Interface
    • Internet connectivity via bluetooth enabled mobile phone
    • Digital TV
    • Media playback of all common formats
    • Weather & Clock display
    • Web browsing
    • TV guide
    • WIFI connectivity
    • On-screen volume controls
  • Server
    • iptables firewall
    • squid proxy
    • ppp / isdn / adsl internet connection manager with auto-redial
    • dns forwarding with cache
    • dyndns
    • samba / smbd fileshares
    • ftp server
    • printer sharing
    • DHCP/BootP/tftp server (allowing for instant diskless computer labs)

Development stalled once a shift to i686 architecture became increasingly necessary & other ‘easy’ distributions such as Smoothwall & SME Server became more mainstream.

Signchro

Cloud connected digital content distribution platform for digital signage, digital menu boards, & custom developed information panels (apps).  All developed with a few primary goals:

  • Bring amazing features to the client that previously required custom development for each scenario.
  • Synchronise real-time content across multiple players & sites automatically – with no technical knowledge needed.
  • Make it easier for everyone by reducing complexity that plagues other systems, resulting in much lower costs to the client & the business

Signchro consists of 3 primary components – Media Player, Cloud CMS (signchro.net), Remote Control – which are detailed below:

Media Player
Compact yet powerful embedded system based around the Intel NUC, running a highly customised version of Slackware Linux 64bit.  The player is completely autonomous and is configured via the signchro.net cloud CMS.  It is an object oriented digital media system meaning components can be placed anywhere on the screen – not restricted like zone or template based systems.  Multiple channels can be loaded so it can act just like a regular tv service.  The primary technologies used are Dojo, JSON, Javascript, AJAX, & PHP.

Remote Control
Mobile & Tablet optimised application allowing the client to control various aspects of their associated Media Players.  Some of these activities are editing menu items, drawing members badge draws across multiple sites simultaneously, & switching the currently running channels.  Primary technologies used are Dojo, JSON, Javascript, AJAX.

Cloud CMS (signchro.net)
Content creation & player management interface for the client to create their own shows.  Based around the WYSIWYG idea, clients can drag components to where they require within their displays.  A built in content library allows for rapid content creation with very little training or graphic knowledge.  Hosted on a server cluster powered by MariaDB Galera & GlusterFS.

If you are using Signchro (or any digital signage system) please visit signagebank.com for pre-made stock slides and animations for your displays.

For more information please visit www.signchro.com