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21 December 2010 @ 10:04 am
Wireless digital photo frame as digital wall calendar?  
I wish there were a way to have a kitchen wall calendar (the one we use to show all our appointments for the month) that would automatically update itself from iCal. I keep seeing these WiFi-enabled digital photo frames, and thinking that it should be possible to set up a background process to generate a screen shot of the current monthly calendar and upload it to the photo frame whenever the calendar changes. Surely someone on LifeHacker or Gizmodo has already done this? But, if so, my Google-fu has failed me. Can anyone point me to an existing solution?

An alternative would be an Internet-enabled digital photo frame that could connect to Google Calendar or MobileMe or some such, but I haven't found anything like that either. There's something called FrameChannel that some frames support but I haven't been able to determine whether or not it will do the job for me.
Ulrikaakirlu on December 21st, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Velcro a networked iPad to the wall?
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 21st, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Don't think I haven't thought of it, but it does seem kind of overkillish...
Ulrikaakirlu on December 21st, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Hey, there's no kill like overkill, and what's superfluous technology for, anyway, if not using dynamite to go trout fishing?
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 21st, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
I like your attitude.
dd-bdd_b on December 21st, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
I don't have the answer either
Interesting idea.

I think that, for the right network-enabled frame, your script approach can certainly be made to work.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 21st, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't have the answer either
It's "the right network-enabled frame" that I'm hoping that someone on LifeHacker has already found. I can do the scripting part, I think, but I've seen projects like this founder on the weaknesses of the third-party hardware before and I'm really hoping someone else has already pounded their head against this particular wall for me.
billeylerbilleyler on December 22nd, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
You'll be rich when you patent this process!

I'd say "then you can retire" but you already have! :-)

Hugs from Albuquerque-land!
reddianareddiana on December 22nd, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
DUDE! I was bitching about this very thing this morning on twitter! I want the exact same thing: a public calendar that everyone in the family can see when they walk by it that syncs wirelessly to my/my husband's calendars. (I also want a public/syncing feature for to do lists, shopping lists, general reminders, etc.)
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 22nd, 2010 01:32 am (UTC)
It was seeing your tweet that made me look (again) for this product online. Failing to find it, I started to tweet about it, but couldn't fit it into 140 characters, so wrote this blog post. All your fault! :-)
reddianareddiana on December 22nd, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
Ha! I have more evil influence than I thought!
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 22nd, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
Did you see akirlu's suggestion of Velcro-ing an iPad to the wall? Might be the simplest solution, though expensive.
reddianareddiana on December 22nd, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
yeah, a bit pricier than I was hoping for..LOL I'm looking for something in the $100ish range. or a reasonable set of instructions for how to repurpose some other piece of obsolete tech. I have old laptops that I don't use anymore--but I don't have the techiness (or the patience) to figure out how to do it.

Someone needs to create this!!!
eub on December 22nd, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
[photo frame google calendar] shows some examples exist in the product category, but I have no knowledge of what's current and good.
chiefwireheadchiefwirehead on December 22nd, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
I have seen something very similar to what you're asking for; it was something from a user group (maybe from Mac World?) that explained how to generate a file for your photo frame. Don't recall if thatwas loaded onto a USB stick or SD card or what, though.
kathrynmicekathrynmice on December 22nd, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
or you could simply put a flat screen monitor up and have the calendar connected with wires, the old fashioned way. that way, it would take a mouse to stop your calendar from working.

et in Arcadia egobooapostle_of_eris on December 23rd, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
One critical path seems to be how much time you are willing to burn Googling the specs of various wireless digital photo frames.
I would think that the point of the wireless would be using the "server"'s memory to hold all the pics, instead of putting them into the display. So there presumably is some sort of index list of graphics files which gets rotated, randomized or whatever.
Periodically hacking that ought to be pretty simple. I've done the same thing for wallpaper changers.
A key variable is whether the software that actually does the rotating simply reads the index and uses a memcache copy, or reads it when it needs it; or if there's a cached copy, if it can be replaced or flushed and refreshed . . .

Should I have put an As you know, Bob near the beginning of that? I'm sort of thinking out loud, except that my fingers are even clumsier than my mouth.