Florian Wesch

info-beamer hosted 4 released

Posted Apr 26 2016 by Florian Wesch

<p>The info-beamer hosted has been updated to officially support the Raspberry Pi3 as well as adding additional features.</p><h2 class="doc-header" id="updating">Updating</h2> <p>The new info-beamer hosted is live since April 20th. If you have rebooted your devices since then, they are already using this version. </p><p>All remaining devices will be updated in the near future. A reboot is required for that. Since this is a maintenance task, info-beamer hosted will honor the <em>Maintenance window</em> setting for each of your devices. You can change the preferred reboot time on each devices detail page in the top right corner.</p><h2 class="doc-header" id="newfeatures">New Features</h2> <h4 class="doc-header" id="supportfortheraspberrypi3">Support for the Raspberry Pi3</h4> <p>The Raspberry Pi3 has been supported by the <tt>testing</tt> <a href="/doc/device-configuration#releasechannels">channel</a> since a few days after the Pi3 has been released. Now its officially supported by the default <tt>stable</tt> channel as well.</p><p>If you've been running the <tt>testing</tt> channel for RPi3 support, it's probably a good idea to switch back to the <tt>stable</tt> channel. Just remove the file <tt>/config/channel</tt> on the SD card of your Pis. If you have multiple Pis and don't want to do this manually, get in <a href="/doc/about">contact</a>.</p><h4 class="doc-header" id="wifiontherpi3">WiFi on the RPi3</h4> <p>The Pi3 has builtin WiFi. It is supported by info-beamer hosted, so you don't need to purchase any additional hardware to use WiFi. As before just configure your WiFi parameters using the <tt>/config/wireless</tt> file on the SD card. <a href="/doc/device-configuration#usewifi">Learn more...</a></p><p>If you have the choice between using Ethernet and WiFi, consider using Ethernet instead as cable based connectivity is more reliable.</p><h4 class="doc-header" id="updatedinfobeamerpiversion">Updated info-beamer pi version</h4> <p>info-beamer hosted now runs a recent info-beamer pi 0.9.5 version. This unlocks all the additional features like <a href="/blog/introducing-nested-nodes">nested nodes</a>. I'm currently working on more example code that shows how to use this feature in info-beamer hosted. Stay tuned for more updates on that in the future.</p><h4 class="doc-header" id="additionalrobustnessandruntimechecks">Additional robustness and runtime checks</h4> <p>While your visualization is running <a href="/blog/building-a-reliable-raspberry-pi-distribution">info-beamer hosted runs various checks</a> in the background to ensure that everything is working as expected. The new version adds additonal checks.</p><p>After booting a device and every 7 days after that info-beamer hosted will verify that all downloaded asset and package files on the device are correctly stored on the SD card. If there is any problem with a downloaded file it will immediately download it again. A file might get damaged when you unplug power while it is downloaded. info-beamer hosted detected most of those problems already. The additional verification will ensure that it now catches 100% of all problems related to downloaded files.</p><h4 class="doc-header" id="deferreddownloads">Deferred downloads</h4> <p>When you install a new Setup on a device, info-beamer hosted will normally download all required files first, then switch to the new Setup. If you have always-on Devices, that's not a problem.</p><p>But consider the following use case: You have a device which is powered off during the night. This devices runs a Setup which is automatically updated every few hours by either changing the Setup itself or changing its Package.</p><p>When you now turn on your device in the morning, it will boot and stay on the boot animation while downloading new files before displaying any of your content. If you only made minor changes while the device was offline, this wouldn't matter too much: the new files will probably be downloaded really fast. But if you added bigger files (like advertisement videos), waiting for all of them to download might take a while. It might be better to show your Setup while downloading Assets that are not strictly required in the background.</p><p>This is what the <a href="/doc/package-reference#deferrabledownloads">deferred download feature</a> solves: You can now specify a list of regular expression in <tt>node.json</tt>. Any file matching any of those regular expressions will be deferred. So info-beamer downloads all non-deferred files first, switches to the Setup and then continues downloading deferred files in the background while your visualization is already running.</p><p>Of course you Lua code should then handle the case of missing files and gracefully degrade when a video isn't available yet.</p><h4 class="doc-header" id="runtimeoptions">Runtime options</h4> <p>You can now specify some <a href="/doc/package-reference#runtimeoptions">runtime options</a> that change the way the info-beamer software is started on the Pi. </p><p>One of those options is Antialiasing which might improve the quality of the generated output at the cost of being slower. If your doing animations in your Package, setting the <tt>antialias</tt> flag might be worth a try.</p><p>The other supported option right now is <tt>outside_sources</tt>. If set, your Lua code can use external urls when creating a video object using <a href="/doc/info-beamer#resource.load_video">resource.load_video</a>. This feature isn't officially supported yet, but you might give it a try if you need to stream videos.</p>

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