Rasberry Pi LCD Vesa-Mounted Screens

Posted in: Ryan Kopf's Blog
I got a raspberry pi today, and, no, I don't mean from McDonald's. I mean the tiny microcomputer that fits in your hand and costs less than $40. These little machines can run linux and do almost anything you want them to - albeit slowly, for obvious reasons.

I got mine with a case to mount it to any monitor/LCD/TV with Vesa-mount holes, hoping to use them to connect to Wi-Fi and display convention updates on TVs around the convention center during cons.

What's a Raspberry Pi?
A Raspberry Pi is a small computer. Very small. It's just about the size of your hand, and includes: some ram, a CPU, an HDMI port, and a couple USB ports. That's not everything, as the out-of-the-box configuration can't connect to Wi-Fi, but it's enough to do a lot of tasks with minimal space.

What can it do?
Anything a computer can do. Browse the web. Open files. Run programs. However it's limited by the processing speed of a single 800 Mhz, which is about 1/8th of what a modern, yet super cheap, computer has. Watching videos and surfing Facebook is likely to be a painful experience, but if you need specific, singular, and simple tasks done, then it's perfect. Examples might include: connecting a webcam to the internet, connecting a door lock mechanism to the internet, displaying text from the internet. Simple, one-application things.

What I hope to do.
It would be nice to connect these to about 4 monitors around any of the conventions - the total cost for each would be about $80 (have to buy a Wi-Fi dongle and a case), assuming we already have the TVs. They could then connect to a URL which would display the latest convention update or alert.

"Date Auction at 4pm. 10 minutes! Main Events!"
"Lost keyring. Eight keys, one to a Ford Taurus. Please return to Ops."
"Volunteers Needed. Signup Upstairs."

I think I would try to style them as simply as possible, like Adult Swim's old bumps.
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