Raspberry Pi tricks for exhibitions – glitches

So, there are some glitches to make omxplayer loop with a script on a Raspberry Pi. When the script loops a very short file, it starts to crash quite quickly. I want to reproduce these errors and look for a solution later.

One potential solution was to make the files being played bigger. So I looked for some commandline magic of glueing the same file to a copy of itself. This mencoder code looks for all mp4 files and sticks them together.

$ mencoder -oac pcm -ovc copy -o merged_file.mp4 `ls *.mp4`

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Raspberry Pi tricks for exhibitions

I wanted to use Raspberry Pi’s to show a few .mp4 films, especially on old televisions & analog screens

Here’s a list of tips and tricks:

– Default (a reminder): login = pi, password = raspberry

– sudo just works – no password –> you need it to halt & to reboot (and lots more, of course)

– I installed the system with Noobs, the easy way to install Raspbian.
This did force hdmi to be default screen output. The analog video out just stayed dormant.
–> So I edited the config file:
$ sudo nano /boot/config.txt
Scroll down to the bottom and hash/comment out (add a #) the bottom part, added by Noobs, with regard to hdmi.

– To play the video’s, use omxplayer –> it is a mediaplayer adapted to the Raspberry Pi (semiclosed) Hardware.

– The omxplayer controls do not have man pages in my version of Raspbian. Here you can find them online.

– The omxplayer -b –loop did not work for my video’s
So, with some help some time later, here’s a little bash script that you can run in the terminal (even without startx).

while true
omxplayer lala.mp4

–> call it omxplayer4ever.sh and launch it with
$ bash omxplayer4ever.sh

The script needs to be in the same folder your film is.
You do still see the terminal lurking behind the video..


In the meantime I have found this excellent post by Julien Deswaef, right on topic!

Thanks ;-)

– Taking Julien’s advice on hiding the terminal
–> add setterm -blank 1 to your /etc/rc.local file

$sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Write it before the line exit 0, keeping that command at the end, then save the file and exit.
What you are doing here is hiding the terminal after 1 minute of inactivity. Just nudging a key on your keyboard revives it. If you add something/instructions/a command in the /etc/rc.local file, it launches it at start-up.

– to stop the video’s from playing -> do ctrl+c a few times quickly

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DD killed my partition table – Raspberry Pi woe’s

This post is a small mental note – a solution for a problem.
For the third time I have killed an sd card by using the command dd.
(they say something about donkeys – ezels in Dutch)

You use dd to copy – but it can destroy without mercy.
I followed the instructions on how to put Raspbian on Pi and I managed to ruin my empty sd cards..

I wiped off their partition table – gparted did not want to make a new one.
Luckily this detailed post on repairing your partition table revived the cards!


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eTextile Summercamp

title_4From July 27th to August 2nd in Poncé sur le Loir, Claire Williams and I participated in the eTextile Summercamp.

Along the week there were workshops and some talks – the reports & tutorials are still growing – including the recipes of the delicous food at Paillard:
Screen printing circuits
Energy Harvesting

And lots more here..

Driving back to Brussels we ran into very dramatic weather, very low visibility, driving 40km/h on the motorway for half an hour.


This was, alas, a symptom for August to come..
To deal with our August-post-summercamp-too-much-rain blues, we decided to make some Stuffed Vine Leaves, according to the recipe of Ebru.

Locally found ingredients (Brussels):


Drum Roll::DSC_2672


Low and behold, clouds retreated – the dolmades were lovely..

So, this is a little blog post to all – to say Thanks! Wow! It was great! Wonderful! More! Bis! & to share some info in general..


I just ran into this great word in German – if you are familiar with the concept of Schnaps:
Etextile summer camp.. Kein Schnapsidee..


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Three-part WIRED series on the net neutrality debate

Here’s already part 1 and part 2.

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Software & Open Hardware – reprogramming MakeyMakey on Linux

Often in Open Hardware projects you have a direct link with software. Depending on the project, the connected software is more or less multiplatform. The more “public friendly’ your open hardware project, apparently the harder it becomes to get support for Linux. Or your project is so specific, it runs only on particular systems, under specific conditions.

I have run into the barrier of obscure/non-existing Linux support a couple of times recently (Adafruit Flora for example – an Arduino based eTextile microcontroller).
Does being a Linux user imply a certain tech savviness? (is this a rhetorical question?)

Same goes for Makey Makey, an relatively easy to use microcontroller.

That’s where little treasures of shared knowledge pop up in blogs and fora.
If you want to re-programme a MakeyMakey: here’s a nice combination of a forum, a manual and a blogpost.

Perhaps, wandering about on the www via search engines, someone can find this post, to then find…

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APT – TAFTA – TTIP – YNP (formally known as ACTA)

Bilingual (English and French) webcomic on the new acronym formally known as Acta http://treatthetreaty.org/en?v=1

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Acta becomes TTIP

And protestors are getting blasted by water cannons..
Via BoingBoing

TTIP protest
Website on TTIP

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images Online for Non-Commercial Use

A small article and some fabulous images here

Julia Jackson by Julia Margaret Cameron

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Public Domain Review new website

* microblog*

Public Domain review has a new website full of treasures..

Founded in 2011, The Public Domain Review is an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to promoting and celebrating the public domain in all its richness and variety.
All works eventually fall out of copyright – from classics works of art to absentminded doodles – and in doing so they enter the public domain, a vast commons of material that everyone is free to enjoy, share and build upon without restriction. Our aim is to help our readers explore this rich terrain – like a small exhibition gallery at the entrance to an immense network of archives and storage rooms that lie beyond.

With a focus on the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful, we hope to provide an ever-growing cabinet of curiosities for the digital age, a kind of hyperlinked Wunderkammer – an archive of materials which truly celebrates the breadth and variety of our shared cultural commons and the minds that have made it.

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