Another Digital Picture Frame

Notes on my latest picture frame setup.’, ‘A few years ago (like 5 or 6) I had built a digital picture frame for my parents for Christmas out of an old 233Mhz laptop. My brother had setup the OS using LFS (Linux from scratch) and everything was fine. It works perfect, and everyone is happy.

Well, now I\’m finally getting around to building another one, and after fighting with a bunch of minimalistic versions of Linux.. I have finally given up on it. I decided to go with a good ol\’ FreeDOS setup. After playing with many different flavors of Linux for a few days, I had a picture frame up and running in around 10 minutes using this method. Keep in mind, my current hardware is a 300Mhz laptop without WiFi, or even an internal NIC. So, no bells or whistles here. Just plug it in and turn it on.

The major downside to this setup is that I must remove the internal harddrive to add pictures. Not really a big deal, but the fact that this laptop is so old, I\’d have to buy a PCMCIA WiFI or NIC card just to get into it, I don\’t really care enough for all that. So here is the quick and dirty:

1) Download FreeDOS Base CD from here: (fdbasecd.iso) and burn it to a CD.

In my case, I didn\’t even have a CD-Rom drive for this laptop, so I pulled the HD out and stuck it into a newer laptop to load FreeDOS onto it.

2) Install FreeDOS.. it\’s extremely simple, just follow the prompts. Just make sure you don\’t have anything you care about on the HD and let it reformat the drive.

3) Reboot when it is done and make sure it boots to the C:> prompt.

4) Download LxPic from hplx.pgdn.de and unzip it.

Copy it to the root of the HD and at the same time, create a “Pics” folder and copy your images in there. In my case, they will all be .jpg files.

When I do this part, I just hook the HD to a USB adapter and copy the files on my from main computer.

Once that is done, boot into FreeDOS and make the following changes:

C:>edit fdconfig.sys

Line 10, change 2,5 to 2,1. The first number is the default option (2) and the second number is the pause (5 seconds). We don\’t want to wait, so set it to 1. This way, if for some reason you need to select something different, you\’ll have a second to choose.

c:>edit lxpic.cfg

This will create a new file. Put the following switches in it:

/#aYE[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

This is how I have mine setup. Here is what it all does.

# = Best resolution
a = Auto Resize all images to fit the screen the best it can
Y = Make it a slide show
E = Don\’t blank screen (Black) before writing next image
[ = Add two seconds. I\’m doing 15 of them, so 30 seconds between pictures.

Then, just add the following line to the end of autoexec.bat

c:>edit autoexec.bat

lxpic c:/pics/*.jpg

NOTE: Use backslashes though, my site doesn\’t like them, so I used forward slashes for reference.

Reboot and it should auto start and display your pictures. The only thing left to check is to make sure the computer will boot without a keyboard connected. Sometimes you need to go into the BIOS and tell it not to stop on a keyboard error.