RedPost Launches Wicker: A Customized Ubuntu for Digital Signs and Photo Frames
Eric Kanagy, CEO, led the project to develop Wicker. "We've customized Ubuntu to make it work like a digital sign or photo frame and we figured we may as well offer it to the world. It's nothing too fancy -- it just does what it's supposed to do."
According to Kanagy, "Ubuntu arguably supports the most hardware and has one of the largest development communities behind it -- that's why we switched from DSL." Wicker's precursor was a customized version of DamnSmallLinux that run on the RedPost/Kit, a do-it-yourself digital photo frame built for the Linux hacker that SlashGear described as a "modder's wet dream."
Wicker is set up to boot from a USB flash drive and uses the open source browser Firefox as it's display engine -- essentially, anything that's on the web can load through Wicker. Optionally, Wicker connects to RedPost's Corktop software to load playlists and schedule content. Local image and URL options are also available.
A small team spanning ten time zones developed Wicker, starting in December of last year. Wicker remains in beta, with the first beta version released mid-April and the latest this week.
Customizations to Ubuntu to create Wicker include:
- Slimming down of Ubuntu to fit on 1GB flash drive
- loads Ubuntu from flash drive into memory and runs out of memory -- no hard drive required
- 5 minute config process running Apache/PHP to configure Wicker's network and other settings
- simplified Wifi support
- Use of Fluxbox as the window manager
- Firefox cache and settings optimization
Planned features under development include:
- Integration with Ubuntu's network manager to provide additional network configuration options
- Scheduling of on/off time of the screen
- Graphics driver optimization
- Security improvements: locking down all ports with firewall
- MAC address displayed on config screens
More information on Wicker is available at:
For more information, contact:
Eric Kanagy, CEO
RedPost Inc. is a start-up software company out of Goshen, Ind., that aims to replace the world's bulletin boards with digital signs.
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