Creating an Information Radiator

The title comes from something I read when I was researching this topic & it’s my favourite new name for our smart digital photoframe.

Quite a while ago we bought a Raspberry Pi model 3B and used it to run Retro Pi. We put it in a megapi case, and connected a varity of wired & wireless controllers to it. That was a good project, but to be honest I had more fun configuring the front end than I did actually playing the games.
For quite a while I’d been on the lookout for a digital photoframe that was reasonably large & would connect to our server so it could source it’s pictures from there, but I didn’t find anything I liked.

I stumbled upon DAKboard which seemed interesting, I had a spare TV & this would do more than just display photos, it could show weather information, calendars, news, etc. That sounded just what I was looking for.
I lost interest when I found it it was a subscription service that was only free with very limited functionality. Looking for alternatives, I came across MagicMirror2 (https://magicmirror.builders/), this was open source, had a load of plugins & would run on a Pi.

I purchased a Raspberry Pi model 4B with 4GB of RAM & an aluminium heatsink case to keep it in. When it arrived I installed Rapberry Pi OS (Previously called Raspbian) and then MagicMirror2 onto a spare 8GB SD card I had lying around.

I had a look at the available plugins & decided I’d like a clock, a local weather forecast, upcoming appointments, some RSS feeds, the status of some of my running servers & My PiHole stats. Some of these plugins were more straightforward to configure than others. I’ll go through these plugins in the next few posts, along with some of the issues I had with getting them to run with our system.

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