[u-u] Electronic signage...

Colin McGregor colin.mc151 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 09:37:49 EDT 2016

This is a topic I will plan on picking brains at during this evening's
UU meeting.

In summary I am looking for an easy way to program electronic signage
for a local sailing club (Humber Bay Sailing).

What I would like to have is a Raspberry Pi displaying at least the
following changing information (in no particular order):

- Current time
- Sunset time (calculated from time and location)
- Current temperature
- Wind Speed / Direction
- Barometric Pressure rising/falling
- Upcoming events
- Weather forecast for the next 3-5 days
- Video stream from the docks (to see what boats are in/out of harbour).

In other words the information will be coming in from a variety of
sources, most from sources in/on the sailing club building. All
information that someone planning to take a boat out should be aware

The first part of displaying the above is easy enough, a browser the
like of Chromium set up in kiosk mode. The code behind the above
above, well... Javascript seems to assume a single thread / single
task, a problem when you could have all of the above bits of
information needing to (seem to) update simultaneously (yes, the
events list might only change once a week, sunset time will only
change once per day and weather forecast will only change a few times
per day, but worst case they will all need to (appear to) change at
the same time). AJAX appears to be a possible part of the solution,
but... Is there an easier way?

I have been looking at some of the open source signage solutions, but
they seem to have their own problems, most notably the ones I've
looked at seem to assume one has a high speed internet connection and
then stuff is provided via "the cloud". The sailing club is located in
a corner of Toronto where DSL/Cable is not available, so any internet
connection will have to be via 56K dial-up (which is still available
via Toronto Free-Net) or via an expensive mobile phone based solution
:-( . In other words the only affordable Internet solution is dial-up,
good enough to grab weather information, but not good enough for much

So, is there a free application builder that will let me present the
above information, without seriously diving into the intricacies of
Java/AJAX, while for most practical purposes being independent of the

Many thanks.

Colin McGregor

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