ffmpeg encode for Powerpoint Viewer 2010

You setup a powerpoint presentation on your normal work machine, the encodes you did in mp4 worked just fine in the presentation. Save out to a stick and take it to the machine (an all in one touch screen 65″ with powerpoint viewer only) and all you see is a black screen where your video should be.

Scoured the interweb and tried three different encoding solutions, all of which resulted in a black screen.

I then upgraded the powerpoint viewer on the display machine from 2007 to 2010 (or the latest one I could find on the Microsoft pages). Bingo, the video started working.

Here is the encode I used which worked best, allowing proper full screen video, no black bars, etc.


Digital Signage with Google Slides and Chromium in Kiosk Mode

Another solution to digital signage, this time using Google Slides and Chromium (or Chrome) in Kiosk mode.

I am using the base of a linux install (Crunchbang) and Chromium, but the basics transfer across to Chrome and other OS platforms with some tweaking.


  • Kiosk Syntax
  • Fullscreen
  • The Google Slides Toolbar or Transport
  • Web Page Presentation
  • Updating the Slides
  • Sharing the Slides
  • Locking Down if keyboard/touchscreen in use

Am grateful for the work done by Mark Pajak at Bristol Museums on setting up Chrome/Chromium in kiosk mode, and to Google Slides users on the google groups forums and good old StackOverflow for other snippets.

As an overview, one needs to publish the google slides presentation, then pull this into an iframe on a web page. Then call chromium in kiosk mode to load that web page. Once the slides are loaded they will not update with new content unless the call to the slides is reset (page reload) so some html/javascript is required to refresh things. This all may seem a little disjointed at first but be patient, i will put it all together at the end with a workflow and example 😉 Continue reading

Prevent: Waiting for Network Configuration Delays on cli boot

This is a dirty hack that tidies things up a bit, depending on how your cli system is set up. I was too lazy to hand configure my wireless card, so I used wicd-curses. However, this doesn’t kick in until I am booted up. So I get the waiting for network delays of @ 1.5 minutes on the plymouth screen. To remove these, I had to edit a file:

and then comment out the two sleep commands related to these messages, and comment out the resultant message about booting with no network. The segment in question should end up looking like this:

Just remember you have done this if you decide to change your networking approach!

Automating Framebuffer Digital Photo Frame

dpf6We have seen in my previous post how I setup the DPF to work against the framebuffer. Now it was time to automate things a bit.

Task List:

  • Autologin on Startup
  • Start gnu screen on Boot
  • Uploading New Images
  • Screen On/Off Timer
  • Reboot Timer
  • Shutdown Timer
  • Unique names/shuffle for file list
  • Cycle Colour Change for Clock ?

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Digital Picture Frame & Clock on the Framebuffer!

dpfBeen wanting to have a go at this for a long time, and finally found some time to sit down and hack my way through it. Everyone else on the web seems to have used X to do this, but encouraged by all the work done on the cli and framebuffer by KMandla I felt this could be done. Now I’ve done all the hard work, I am happy to share it with you!

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Rolling Video Player

Here is a nice little bash script that will keep repeating the same video over and over. I guess with a bit more work you could have more than one. In this case I used test.mp4 as the video, and as it was only 2 minutes long set a sleep time of 90 seconds. Amend these two parameters to suit

HTML Auto Slideshow using Javascript and php with dynamically generated array of Images

Another holy grail for me, to be able to just add images to a directory and have the slideshow automatically pick them up and display them withoput having to edit html /javascript code. Most scripts I had found for an html slideshow required the array created inside the script, this way you use php to generate the array and then the javascript runs with it. Only downside is you will need php up and running, but most web servers online have this by default now.

My blog is a bit broken at the moment so will have to link the files to Ubuntuforums


  1. Images will be shown at their actual size, so you may need to add some html code to the tag in the to restrict the images size.
  2. On your server, go to the place where you want the html file to be and upload the index.html file there, then create a sub-directory called pics and upload the getimages.php file to the pics directory.
  3. Next upload all your images to the pics directory.
  4. Done.

Acknowledgements to all the clever people who wrote the original scripts and files

Auto Web Page Changer using iframe

Oh I like this. In seeking to setup a rolling web browser display display at work, I came upon this small but very clever bit of javascript, which on a timer will change the web page being viewed inside an iframe. Just edit the defaults to you preferred pages and timings and away you go:

 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd”>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ />
<title>Changing Pages… Please Wait</title>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
var frames = Array(‘http://www.google.com/’, 15,
‘http://www.yahoo.com/’, 15,
‘http://www.ask.com/’, 15,
‘http://www.dogpile.com/’, 15);
var i = 0, len = frames.length;
function ChangeSrc()
if (i >= len) { i = 0; } // start over
document.getElementById(‘frame’).src = frames[i++];
setTimeout(‘ChangeSrc()’, (frames[i++]*1000));
window.onload = ChangeSrc;
<iframe src=”” name=”frame” id=”frame” width=”100%” height=”100%”></iframe>

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Simple Linux Slideshows

For running in X:

Use feh

sudo apt-get install feh

Set up a directory with photos in it, e.g. ~/photos or ~/Pictures and then run this command:

feh -zZxF -D 10 ~/photos

(-z for random, -Z for autozoom, -x for borderless windows, -F for fullscreen, -D for time on screen)

You might try using unclutter to get rid of the mouse cursor, but on some setups this doesn’t work well with feh, alternatively just move the mouse down into a corner somewhere

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