Author Archives: Chris Smith

The Raspberry Pi Transit Appliance

For the last several months I’ve been beta-testing the Raspberry Pi as the processor for our Transit Appliance technology stack, and it’s a very good fit. We use the 512MB “Model B” ($35). By the time we add a case, … Continue reading

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New Release of Flat Screen software.

We’ve released version 1.2 of our Linux appliance stack. The principal change is using a new version of the underlying Webconverger kiosk system, which now has much more robust networking, including the ability to support WiFi! You can download it … Continue reading

Posted in Linux/PC | Leave a comment

Three-platform Software Release

I’m happy to announce that we have posted software releases of the Transit Appliance platform code for three hardware platforms: Chumby 8/Infocast 8-inch (22.9M Zip File) Chumby 1/Infocast 3.5-inch (22.6M Zip File) Debian-based “kiosk” Linux (226M ISO Image) All three … Continue reading

Posted in Chumby/Insignia Infocast, Linux/PC | 6 Comments

Getting Ready for Transportation Camp

Transportation Camp West is next weekend, and I’m putting the finishing touches on my presentation about the Transit Appliance project. Please take a look and make suggestions! With the help of my co-developer Matt we also have San Francisco’s MUNI … Continue reading

Posted in Presentations | 1 Comment

Next Steps – Defining Agency Adapters

I’ve completed a re-write of Transit Boardâ„¢ to eliminate the server-side components and talk directly to the TriMet and NextBus arrivals web-services (in the case of NextBus, I’m using YQL, at the suggestion of my co-contributor Matt, to act as … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Leave a comment

JavaScript as a Key Technology

Both the appliance configuration tool and the Transit Boardâ„¢ application are coded primarily in JavaScript. I’ll be presenting tonight to the Portland JavaScript Admirers’ group about how we’re using this technology. Here’s the presentation: Transit Appliance Project – pdxjs

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Beta Release of our Configuration Service

I’m happy to announce that we now have a beta release of our Transit Appliance configuration service available at Currently it only supports TriMet (and Portland Streetcar, since Streetcar is included in the TriMet GTFS file). So you will … Continue reading

Posted in Configuration Service | 6 Comments

The “Phone Home” Pattern and Roles in the Transit Appliance Ecosystem

The core idea for transit appliances is that they are from a user perspective, very simple devices. Ideally the only control is an on/off switch. To support this and to support deployment at scale, you want a device that can … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | 2 Comments

An Architecture Stack for Javascript Transit Appliances

Currently I’m aware of two “browser-based” transit display applications: Transit Boardâ„¢ which is a hybrid of server-based and Javascript technology produced by yours truly for Portland Transport, and an as-yet-unreleased pure Javascript application that TriMet is working on. There may … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | 2 Comments

Infocast Pricing, Networking

My current favorite hardware platform for Transit Appliances is the Insignia Infocast (8″). At some point I need to do a post on the characteristics of this device that make it so friendly for this application… but that’s for another … Continue reading

Posted in Chumby/Insignia Infocast | 10 Comments