Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:36 pm

PiTab: Yet another Raspberry Pi tablet

Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:26 am

Credit to Michael Castor and his PiPad, without which I would have never been inspired to this. And to Liz for her writeup: ... ors-pipad/

Now I know it's been done, and there is even a kit complete with case and battery which would be the easiest (and probably cheapest) way to do this. But none of these are mine! And after yesterday's blog post by Helen Lynn featuring Kyle's airplane entertainment system, in which she points out that this system is much more customisable (thanks, Helen, for the spelling of that word), I felt the need to chime in; the ability to customize my tablet was a major factor in my decision to roll my own. ... terrible/#

Fortunately, the largest part of the work of writing it up I've already done. My better half's daughter teaches a computer class and was in need of something to get her kids a little more interested, so I put together a .pdf: ... t.pdf/file

Only a couple things I've done since; I have the virtual keyboard called "onboard" up and working (do NOT install gnome-shell-extension-onboard on a Pi or anything else that does not have Gnome! Guess how I found that out?), and I've added a useragent switcher extension to Chromium. Spoofing an i-phone useragent has little effect on most websites but makes a WHALE of a difference on Outlook!

Hope some of you enjoy my project. I know neither my workmanship nor my equipment is up to Michael Castor's standards. But my tablet is bigger! That's not as trivial as it sounds, I had to have a new lens put in my "good" eye last year, I can't live with a screen smaller than 10". In the long run, I hope a few people will say "hey, I could do that even better than Kevin did, and I'd even put in..." If that happens even once I didn't waste my time!

Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: PiTab: Yet another Raspberry Pi tablet

Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:19 am

Updates 2019/08/18:

Installed Raspian Buster. I'm a believer in fresh installs, there are never any upgrade issues. Yes, it's a bit more work, I think it''s worth it. My PCs are going to stay on Stretch for a good long while, though, I haven't run into any problem yet on Stretch that I can't solve if I put my mind to it. Buster is still an unknown quantity. My bluetooth mouse connects automatically now, never did that on Stretch, had to connect manually each time. I didn't try to fix that before because I hoped the upgrade would do it for me, and it worked.

Created my own user (kevin) on the PiTab, and FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO GET IT TO BOOT TO THE NEW USER BY DEFAULT WITHOUT DELETING THE PI USER. I found several guides on creating the new user then deleting the Pi user, but I wanted to keep the Pi user in place for now at least. It turned out to be extremely simple. Open /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf as root (I used sudo leafpad), scroll down to the [Seat:*] section, near the end is the line

Code: Select all

Just change that to

Code: Select all

Or whatever your user might be named. That's it, don't forget to save the change, you're done!

I am having a time finding a way to control movies while they are playing. It might be easiest to start with a Pi4 and simply use VLC to play video files, except that I doubt my SunFounder screen's board has a large enough 5V supply to run a Pi4. Hopefully they are upgrading their control board. But I am stuck with OMXPlayer or Kodi to play video. OMXPlayer relies on keyboard inputs while it's running, but it disables x-windows and all their apps including my Onboard virtual keyboard. So once I start a video the only way I can stop it is to kill the power, and I can't change the volume or anything. Remains to be seen if Kodi can see the touchscreen and interpret it as a mouse, but at least it'll work with my BT mouse. Changing volume is a bit awkward and involves several mouse clicks but can be done while the movie is playing, although it does kill the video while you're setting it.

All in all the tablet is shaping up quite nicely. I've been using it as a lunchtime entertainment system at work with no issues. The battery lasts all week if it's shut down after lunch but will drain in 20+ hours if I space it out.

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