Just bought a PocketC.H.I.P. last week and I have already parted with it. I made it into an interactive business card sort of thing and brought it to a job interview.
In this post I’ll describe the steps I went through to modify it. I didn’t have time to document properly my steps as I went along so some of this is from memory, so please ask if you try something and it doesn’t work.
What I wanted
I wanted a self contained unit with video and audio and a customized interface for playing the files. I made a short introductory video for the unit as well as a longer one where I went a little more in depth with my thoughts on the position I am applying for (not a technical position, but as a content created/researcher in the technology field).
How I made it
First I installed Marshmallows Pocket-home, in order to be able to customize the home layout.
I also had to find a media player for video (I rendered my video out in 480x272) and one for audio (since I could not find one that did both things well).
I went with the Gnome-Player for video, as is the norm for the pocketC.H.I.P I think. I made a launch script in the home directory with the following content:
gnome-mplayer --fullscreen --quit_on_complete --showcontrols=0 --autostart=1 /link/to/my/file.mp4
This combination of parameters was the only one that gave me what I was looking for: A full screen video that auto played and returned to the home screen when finished. If I used showcontrols=1 there would be a black bar on top for some reason.
Audio was more tricky. I host a weekly podcast and wanted to put a couple of episodes on the machine. I went through a host of programs - smplayer, gnome-player, VLC, audacious, MPV etc. but all of them either crashed or their interface acted up. I ended up using Quod Libet (follow Debian install method from here. I had to make one tweak to make this work or I would get no sound:
~/.quodlibet/config you need to set the the backend option to
And it was also necessary to install gstramer by running
sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0alsa
from command line.
I edited the home screen from
/home/chip/.pocket-home/config.json and copied the new icons to
All in all I think this worked out really great. It is not very fast and the speaker I soldered on is hanky as hell, but still I hope it can help me get the job.
- Free icons: https://dribbble.com/shots/2354334-Free-vector-icons-Retro-Volume-1
- GUI customization: Personalization of GUI
- Set brightness to 10 on boot: [PROBLEM] Pocket C.H.I.P brightness is really low
- Hide cursor (using uncluttered method I think): http://askubuntu.com/questions/157134/how-to-hide-the-mouse-cursor
- Marshmallow mod: [APT] Pocket Home (Marshmallow edition)