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172 posts

Master Geek

#277051 23-Sep-2020 16:16
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I've just Googled this, but if you don't enter the exact key words then you get a lot of rubbish. So, hopefully the LAN forum will help me figure out the best way to link two computers onto which I can display daily notices. I have two Optiplex 9010's I want to place right next to each other and above a door. I can provide power and ethernet. I want to display notices that would show either on one screen (so two separate notices - one on each screen), or one notice that extends across both screens.


I want to be able to control these from elsewhere on the local network, so the display PC's don't need mice/keyboard.


Can members please advise me of the software and hardware I would need to do this please, preferably open source. Thank you

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556 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2572921 23-Sep-2020 16:20
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put up a super basic website (too many options to list here - hosted, or local many free options and many open source ones) and run a browser full screen on both machines?

6651 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2572966 23-Sep-2020 16:25
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Better off using Raspberry Pi's.  Cheap, low power, flexible.  We use them for our wall display boards at work.  Then just browse them to a webpage that we update centrally with the info we want displayed. 


5011 posts

Uber Geek

  #2572968 23-Sep-2020 16:29
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Set the background as an image file somewhere on the network?


extending the notice across the  two machine is a bit tricker but should be able to done by cutting the image in half with a rudimentary graphics programme, (paint etc)

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Uber Geek

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  #2572993 23-Sep-2020 19:04
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You could use a screensaver to do it....  have the PCs display a 'photo slideshow' screensaver.


Create your daily notices in any format you like so it looks the way you want on screen.  Do a PRINT SCREEN and save the screen capture to a folder which the PCs will read their photo slideshow images from.  It could be a slideshow of 1 image that changes/updates every 60 minutes.  You could swap colourful funny images in and out as well, which might make people more inclined to glance up at them?


AIO machines are heavy-ish.  Please them very securely, or consider something lighter.

"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

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Uber Geek

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  #2572996 23-Sep-2020 19:07
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Also...  think about ease of use. Who is going to do this when you are away on leave?

"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

1418 posts

Uber Geek

  #2573006 23-Sep-2020 19:20
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I have something similar setup for a small museum.


In the current iteration, I use OpenKiosk (Firefox) on a ComputeStick clone and a simple jQuery script to request information from a Web server. The Web server used to run a CGI application, but it's now a standalone service. All it does (at least when it comes to serving text - it handles video and formatted information as well) is read lines from a file and return JSON containing a duration and text to display. The text is formatted using a third party jQuery add-on called bigtext which automatically resizes text to fit on the screen. When the duration is up, it simply passes a parameter in the URL indicating the position it is upto, and the Web server returns the next line.


As the data comes from a file, anyone with access to the host can simply double click a link on the desktop and edit the file.

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