An Update from the Phelps Memorial Hospital

David Guest was one of the first users of Pi Presents. He described his experiences here. He recently sent me an update which focuses on the remote management of his growing family of Raspberry Pi’s.

“The hospital now has 11 waiting rooms running electronic signage using 40 inch TV’s and Raspberry Pi’s running Pi Presents. They are all running a 1 gig movie. We have ordered another 13 TV sets and Raspberry Pi’s for other installations….

The hospital's new lobby

The hospital’s new lobby

In our brand new lobby, we have an 80 inch TV showing a different movie. People are blown away by it…

Its great that you can create electronic signage for $300 for a TV and about $50 for a Pi and its accessories.

With so many TV’s to support I had the problem of how to update them all across a network in an efficient manner. I have written a program that has a database of the Pi’s and their static IP addresses. I check off one or more Pi’s and then upload a new movie to them or reboot them…. The program uses WinSCP and its scripting language to do its work.

I generate the script in the program. I get the IP address, log into the Pi, Kill all the python jobs, put the new movie in the media file with the same name as the old movie, and then reboot. The Pi then comes up and starts the Pi Presents program. It works beautifully. It takes about five minutes to load a 1 gig movie…

WinSCP does not have a copy directory command, unfortunately, so if I were to move a standard profile and its media, I would have to iterate through the files and generate a bunch of put statements… Not a big deal…”

A bit more from Ken:
The latest update of Pi Presents Gapless now shuts down Pi Presents cleanly, including any sub-processes such as omxplayer when it receives the Kill command. It should now be possible to be less drastic, by having a script that shuts down Pi Presents, modifies the profile, and then restarts Pi Presents.

David’s solution is great if you are managing many RPi’s. If you have only one to manage, or a few each with a different profile then the browser based manager and editor introduced in Gapless – Version 1.3.1f might be more suitable.

2 Responses to An Update from the Phelps Memorial Hospital

  1. nicco11a says:

    He could use PSCP or PSFTP and keyfiles to login without password and transfer the files to the RPI’s from his Windows admin box from. I would have used CygWin since it gives more GNU power commands for all the jobs he needs to do.

  2. Ryan B says:

    Resin.io would probably be a great solution for issue of keeping the devices and applications updated.

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