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Embedded Graphics Development Platform?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:16 pm
by johnelle
I am finding my overpriced project clock is not meeting my needs. I wanted to develop an internet based time/weather ceiling projection system using a $30 LED projector from China and a Pi.

I am wondering if there is a stripped down OS/development platform that lets me build a full screen simple graphics interface without having to worry about windowing systems, reboots, etc. I can build it with the full (or lite) os and scripts but I was hoping maybe somebody built a stripped down OS/graphics environment for building appliance like a clock.

Python would be the preferred language.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Re: Embedded Graphics Development Platform?

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:10 am
by topguy
I would suggest you start by developing on Raspbian Lite, maybe using PyGame or Kivy ( )

When your software is finished (or at least a working prototype ) you can come back and maybe evaluate how your application can be installed and will run on even smaller distributions.

My point is.. if its a clock and probably will probably run for months without a reboot if programmed properly, does it then matter much if the boot time is 15s or 30s ?

Re: Embedded Graphics Development Platform?

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:12 am
by Heater
You can build full screen graphic application with Qt that use the frame buffer directly no need for X Windows or any disk top system.

Last time I did this I had to build the Qt 5 libraries from source as per these instructions ... spberry_Pi
There are newer similar instructions here ... spberry_Pi

With this set up the Qt app can be as complex as you like and also include hardware accelerated 3D rendering using OpenGL.

Qt 5 is now available as a package in Raspbian Stretch, I don't know if it can be used without X Windows though.

The Qt 5 API can be used from Python. I have never tried that.

Re: Embedded Graphics Development Platform?

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:52 am
by Gavinmc42
$30? hmm, a few YouTubes around.
$52 Ozzie dollars plus shipping?
Xmas is coming will add it to my Santa list.

Baremetal OpenVG Clock etc ... 9&start=30

For graphic code testing I use USB boot mode on a Zero ... boot#p6192
It is faster than burning SD card every time.
Others have updated via Ethernet etc as Ultibo has kernel update functions.

Re: Embedded Graphics Development Platform?

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:11 am
by johnelle
Kivy looks interesting. Wasn't so much worried about minimal OS--more interested in ease of booting to a single app (which I usually do with scripts) and ease of full screen graphics development.

The projector is here: ... &ID=47184]

Its closer to $40 but I tend to round down talking to the CFO (wife) :)