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I want to make a simple project to use a Pi as a countdown timer for when people are presenting on stage.

My idea is that you will be able to use a web interface on the Pi to log in and set the remaining time, start, pause etc and the time will be displayed locally on the HDMI output.

My background is in .NET development so I have no idea where to start with this project.

I've taken the time to research the possibilities but I haven't found anything yet. Any advice would be greatly received.

  • Look through the free on-line Magpi for ideas. – joan Dec 2 '16 at 9:17
  • You could do this on a Pi, but equally you could do this on ANY computer. – Milliways Dec 2 '16 at 10:46
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Since you mentioned your background is in .NET development then I personally (because I am a NET'tie too) would recommend Windows IoT

I would have thought you already have Visual Studio but even you do not you can download the community version for free.

You can develop UWA (Universal Windows Applications) using XAML (really easy layouts) with C#/VB whatever your flavour to do simple things like timers connected to HDMI screens.

Windows IoT supports GPIO pretty well by now. Since you are .NET developer you will also appreciate the ease in debugging code running on the Pi in your visual studio over the network by just running in debug mode.

The nice thing about UWA is that you then run that same application on any other Windows 10 device, like a smart phone. So you could use a smartphone or laptop to control the count down timer all form one application over WiFi.

A great starting point for .NET development on the Pi

If however you choose the route of going with Linux/BSD then I suppose Python would be the easiest way to get into it from .NET - Python works really well and you can also use Visual Studio community to write and deploy Python to raspberry Pi. I am not 100% sure about debugging features? but I have used VisualGDB (paid) but it works nice!

  • Thanks for the quick responce! I assumed that IoT on the Pi didn't use the HDMI out? Console only? – Jimbo James Dec 2 '16 at 9:37
  • HDMI works fine. I have had monitor connected during Pre-RC stage. Why did you think that? The problem may be what size screen you want to use? But there is a config file to set the HDMI just like in Raspbian. youtu.be/Oo_gNL-zkuY?t=5m2s – Piotr Kula Dec 2 '16 at 10:08
  • I just assumed IoT was like a core version - console only? It looks like this may be a good solution but I'm just wondering how I can get values from another PC on the network to the Pi? My original plan was to host a webpage on the Pi but I don't think thats an option on IoT. – Jimbo James Dec 2 '16 at 10:33
  • You do not have a desktop like Windows 10 machine. You log in to powershell via SSH but the frontend runs a GUI rendered using DirectX - And you can run XAML apps with built in DirectX acceleration (you don't need to do anything it just runs) (no h264 support yet ;( ) It is easy. Please read my answer again I updated. You use a Windows phone/tablet/or computer to run the Client UWA software. It will communicate with the Pi. You can use the ezjoyn technology to find everything. Please go and visit the Microsoft site and try some tutorials. good luck! – Piotr Kula Dec 2 '16 at 10:41
  • Ok thanks for the info - last question - how would you recommend communicating between the Pi and the client computer? – Jimbo James Dec 2 '16 at 11:03

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