Choosing a viewer

Once the picture frame was started, it needed to display pictures of course. To accomplish this, I was looking for some software which needed to fill the following demands:

That last condition goes without saying - but since the choice of operating system wasn't as easy as initially thought, this would have consequences for the choice of software as well.

I myself am a software developer, and at first I wanted to write my own slideshow viewer in Java. I'd want it to run on Windows 2000, and all of the features could be decided and coded by me. It wouldn't cost me too much time, and I'd be able to adapt it to my wishes completely. Last but not least: it would be free.

My second choice was AcdSee32 - an excellent image viewer which I've been using since I initially found it. It's truly a must, and it has a built-in slideshow capability. I would not be able to adapt it, but it would save me the trouble of writing my own viewer.

For Linux I found a few viewers, and some scripts, but as it turned out it would neither be Windows nor Linux. Bye bye custom viewer. Bye bye easy solution.

So I went looking for image viewers which would operate in DOS. In itself it was rather simple: since I still had an old faithfull 486 on which I had used image viewers, they still had to be around here somewhere in my software pile. Finding those tools would only be a matter of time.

Here is a little summary of the tools I was able to find:

Suddenly I got a tip from a Usenet poster: LXPic would match what I was looking for perfectly. Immediately, I downloaded the zipfile from the internet and fired up the program, which left me a bit disappointed. Since this poster seemed to be a lot more enthousiastic about it than me, I decided to take the trouble and read the documentation a bit more thorough, to see what could be configured and changed. More than enough, as it turned out :)

For instance, the default resolution could be changed to 1024x768, and there was a possibility to show pictures in a slideshow. The delay for this slideshow was configurable as well - I changed it to one minute, which proved to be ideal.

Now that hardware as well as software were in order, it was time to put two and two together.

Next page: The finishing touch »