It seems like we have reached some sort of milestone for our biggest dynamic signage project. The giant projection on Hennepin Ave. is now using information coming out of our database. Unfortunately there is still a little bit of work I have to do every day transporting images because (1) Watchout uses windows machines that we can’t expose to our network because their settings are insecure and (2) we don’t have a VLAN set up yet to securely connect to them. So that means I still move the dynamically generated content back and forth on a physical CD. The good news is that Nate wrote a program that pulls data out of our calendar database and writes 3 big PNG graphics each containing a number of events spaced out evenly. I just have to upload graphics to the right directory on the Watchout server press refresh and it updates. Watchout doesn’t really seem to be built for this since it isn’t mentioned in any of the documentation but it does work.
We had intermitent crashes of the control computer of our system which means the system just shows black instead of our sign. I haven’t been able to pin it down specifically but I started using Guidemaker to start and stop Watchout programs instead of leaving one running over night. This seems to have stopped or slowed down the problem which leads me to guess it might be a memory leak in the playback of the Watchout timeline. One more thing to watchout for.