InfoNinja is an Open Source Ethernet-connected desktop heads-up display. It works in tandem with a desktop computer to give you an at-a-glance secondary display of both text and ambient (color/blink/fade) information.
It is also a tea timer.
There are two pieces to InfoNinja, each split into its own section:
The hardware is the InfoNinja box itself. The firmware runs within InfoNinja and provides a lightweight REST-enabled web server. It receives commands over the network and updates the text and lights.
The software runs on a desktop computer. It can query various environmental conditions — things like weather, bus times, the stock market, recent Tweets, email counts, automated software builds — and then tell InfoNinja to do things like flash red or print status.
The two work in unison to give you any information you need.
Although the majority of the processing happens on a desktop machine, with InfoNinja acting as an external display, it still has a few built-in operations that do not require an external machine.
Button A, the green button, acts as a tea timer. Each press will switch between a 3, 5, and 7 minute timer. A fourth press will disable the timer.
Button B, the white button, toggles the backlight. This toggles the backlight in “regular” color mode. If it is displaying a single solid color, it will be toggled. If the server has instructed InfoNinja to go into an animated background mode (typically a red or yellow flash to indicate a problem), the backlight disable will not work.
For now, button C, the red button, toggles a demo mode that blinks the button lights and selects random colors for the LCD backlight. There are plans for changing this in a future firmware update.
If InfoNinja has not received an update in 70 seconds (that’s 60 seconds plus a little wiggle room), it will fade the background, back and forth, between two shades of blue. This is a visual indication that the displayed data is probably stale and that there is some sort of problem — typically a network connectivity issue or a bug in your desktop code.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth 30,000 words per second. This is a quick overview of just the hardware:
InfoNinja hardware by Brian Enigma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. InfoNinja firmware and software is licensed as GPL v2.0 software.