Slideshow just in time for Mother’s Day
The idea was to create a slideshow of family pictures that shows on my mom’s TV for when I go over there.
I did this on my WebSurfer, didn’t have a chance to try it on my IO, had to get it done in time.
You still have time to do this, but hurry! I just finished this so it’s fresh in my mind, here goes!
You will need a drive that boots DOS, I used V6.22 but I think anything not too old would work. I will assume you know enough DOS to be dangerous. Use IDE autodetect in BIOS setup before doing anything. Make sure the partition you make is set to “Active” using fdisk. I used “format C:/s/v” after the fdisk to make my drive bootable. I booted from floppy DOS to do the format. I used a old slow PC to set the drive up so I wouldn’t accidentally format a important drive on my main system. I transferred everything including the pictures via floppy, didn’t have time to try other ways.
Download these two shareware programs, un-zip them using WinZip or something like that, and put ALL the files in the root directory of the HD ( C:\ ) using a floppy. I stuck everything in the C: root directory, no time to mess around. Maybe I will improve it later.
“mvgavu” is the picture program, “stackey” is the key press simulator program. We need it because the picture program won’t do what I want without pressing keys, and I want this automated.
You will have to make a copy of all your pictures into a new folder on your main computer, then do a batch conversion to GIF “87a noninterlaced”, the program won’t read jpg or “89a” GIF files, doesn’t matter anyway, it will be on a TV screen! (mom has no clue anyway about resolution). Most of my pictures were 640 X 480 and converted to 256 colors just fine. Anything that was a strange size gets stretched on the TV screen, but you can still see it. I will mess with it later. I did about 70 pictures. I used Paint Shop Pro, the shareware version to do the batch conversion.
Put all your files in the root directory (some of you are spazing out right now). I copied them with floppies, in DOS you press “F3” to repeat a command “A> copy *.* C:” so it wasn’t too bad. Using the floppy also changed the file names to DOS 8 character only names. I don’t know if a direct copy from windows would have done this too, wasn’t set up to try that.
Put this test batch file in there:
If your browser can’t handle this file, try right clicking on the link and say “save link as”. Don’t worry it only contains one line and here it is, I called it “go.bat”:
stackey "mvgavu" CR W36 "G" W60 #100["+" W1 DA] W5 "S" #10[W1 "+"] W1 "9"
That is all one line with a return at the end. Now type “go” and hit return at the C: prompt. It should do a slideshow of all the GIF files in the directory! This will work for up to 100 picture files, if you have more change the 100 above. To stop just press spacebar till it stops and returns to the “mvga” program. I will tell mom to just shut it off, let's see how long that lasts!
When it all works do a “C>copy go.bat autoexec.bat” and when you turn it on next time it will start automatically!
I will explain the .bat file a bit here, you can read the docs on the stackey program later.
Think key press. Anything in “quotes” gets typed. CR is like hitting “enter”, W36 is about 2 seconds delay, anything in [brackets] gets repeated “#100” times, DA is a down arrow press, W1 is about 18ms delay, the ten “+” at the end make the delay between pictures about 10 seconds. If you mess with the “mvga” program you will see how it all works.
Oh, the hard drive was a old 2.5" 300 meg, a 40 pin converter and generic IDE with everything disabled on the card (except IDE that is), Radio Shack "3M splicer" power cable and a Linux-Hacker.net mounting bracket of course.
The DOS programs came from this great DOS resource:
Have fun! I will check in later to see if anyone gets stuck from my silly instructions.