Raspberry Pi Wall Calendar

Do you let Google know every aspect of your personal and social life? Do you have a spare LCD monitor kicking around? Why not make your own Raspberry Pi Wall Calendar?

[Alex] recently bought his first home (congratulations!), which happened to have a TV wall mount in the kitchen. Personally, we don’t think TVs belong in the kitchen, and neither did [Alex]. Not wanting to tear the mount out of the wall (and thus require home renovations too soon), he devised a clever solution: why not make a digital calendar?

[Alex] connected a Raspberry Pi model B to the LCD monitor, which provides convenient access to his Google Calendar. His Instructable is both meticulous and approachable, so novice hackers should have no trouble replicating this build. The only improvement we can think to suggest is substituting a touchscreen LCD, which would allow him to interact with the schedule.

Whether you “let” Google know about your life— or it just knows—this is certainly a handy hack for the 21st century home!

49 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Wall Calendar

      1. There comes a point at which the laziness, lack of insight and incompetence of people start being problem for everybody. It has been rightly said that it’s easy for us to utterly destroy the NSA, we all just have to make that choice and stick by it. Unfortunately that choice is a bit to much bother for a lot of people, rendering any attempt to limit such agencies moot.

        It’s the same with Google. If we all stop using their services, the problem would go away overnight. Again, unfortunately most of us can’t be bothered to give up our youtube addiction or to get used to another search engine or what have you.

        In the most precise definition of the word, it’s not ethical to simply implement this crud, seeing as your action are far less likely to only affect you. I think nobody today would really argue successfully against a Google neutral internet, but the only way to get there is to shun the bastards as much as possible.

          1. If you don’t see the inherent problem with Google, then you must either Naive, ambivalent, or Mayor of rock town, living under rock central.
            Of course you like the services Google sells you. many are very good or at least better than other offerings. A lot are complete garbage, but this is not yet a problem (it will be eventually).

            When I say Google “sells” you these services, this is quite literal. You pay with your behavioural patterns, personal information and connections to other people and things that you like, politics, hardware, software, cosplay, religions, anything you might communicate through the search engine, calender, mail-client, streaming service and of course all those non-google sites riddled with tracking scripts.

            What this boils down to is that not the services are Googles product, but you are. You represent a node in a mesh with many things AND PEOPLE that Google sells. I could be one of those people who’d rather not participate, but do passively because others can’t be bothered to stop tracking scripts or vary their on-line behaviour.

            But even the fact that Google knows more about you than the NSA isn’t even the biggest problem. I mean perhaps you actually truely believe in the “nothing to hide” philosophy and perhaps you enjoy tailored adds and suggestion to be handed to you on every page on the internet according to you personal preferences, including regular routes you commute on a daily basis or corporate communications with your clients or co-workers. I don’t know, perhaps you want that, Some people are masochists and or idiots.

            The problem is that Google will also filter search results on their services according to their profile of you, meaning that we would get different results using the same search query. Now why did we have all that rumpus with net-neutrality and just let Google ruin the whole concept. This is where the concept of a google-neutral web comes in.

            Google neutral mean that you can use the web to find and use things that are NOT within your Google profiles list of likes and dislikes. It means that you could, if you so wished find information about politics you do NOT agree with, or find literature that you would not normally read. It is about the option that all of us need, to have the ability to find the information we really need, not just the stuff we probably want.

            Just try it, it’s already happening. Searching with a right-wing Google profile will mostly get you more right-wing material, substantiating your view and shielding your from other opinions. A pro-life profile will yield less arguments in favour of abortion, no matter how neutral the search query. Gun enthusiasts will imagine they are in a world where anti-gun movements don’t even exist.

            So the problem with using Google is that you are turning yourself and other into products who are to be shaped, formed and fed by easily digestible material, making them predictable, making it easier to sell them.

            There are plenty alternatives for various Google services. There are also plenty methods to protect yourself from Google-analytics and such.

  1. If we were talking about an aesthetically nice implementation of a device that enforces Googles stronghold on your fading privacy, then it would have been something of a hack, but it’s not even that.
    This isn’t more than connecting a Linux box to a wall mounted monitor and running a website,
    For kitchen hacks I’d at least expect a shopping-list application, recipe viewer and some nice integration into it’s surroundings. Preferably with as little Google framework used as possible.

      1. Examples of monitors/tables mounted in the kitchen are numerous. So I have seen quite a lot actually. The tablet mounting system in our kitchen is one of such example and it runs a calender. It’s a custom bracket with some custom interfaces (including a calender) and I have trouble even considering that a “hack”. (bracket + screen + kitchen != hack)

        There just isn’t any “hack” in this and it’s using Google. Also most of this stuff has already been done better.

        You are right that it is begging to be extended with future improvements. Primarily a hack would be nice, be it a better neater integration or proper custom interfaces that actually enhances the room it’s in.

    1. You know how I solved Google invading my privacy? I stopped using Google. Who’s holding a gun to your head and forcing you to use G-calendar?
      As for the other stuff, why not do your implementation and submit it?

  2. Just last week I started to do this with an old android tablet with a bad touch screen. The only problem was I could not find a calendar app to replace the default calendar app that would show enough details without having to interact with it.
    I will have to try the calendar website and see if it is usable enough.

  3. I made a small system using a VM on my server that has all the functions you would want in such a system. We access it via our smart phones and tablets. No google software used. It can even email or text us about upcomming apointments.
    http://www.mytinytodo.net/ works great as a shopping list and todo list.
    http://www.k5n.us/webcalendar.php nongoogle yet google like php calender.
    and a standard wordpress install for storing reccipies and other house hold info.

  4. Actually this could be great for some one like me with an ever changing work schedule. Allowing this to set my alarm clock automatically to different shifts would remove one chore. loading my schedule on my phone from work ounce a week sounds a lot better than changing my alarm clock every night. the worst part is accidentally leaving it on when I have a day off. raspi should be able to interface with a cock.

  5. Why r u guys always yelling around here? This is not a hack, google is bad and so on.. complaining about hackaday and everything posted here, makes me wonder why u r still visiting this site?

        1. Nah, the lizard people will protect me….

          It does strike me as remarkably lazy to project your silly” tin-foil hat” routine at some arguments that, frankly are not that uncommon. I bet you’d done the same half a year ago if similar concerns on NSA wire-tapping were being put forth.
          Really, instead of the old jab here and the lazy pseudo-argument there, why not either argumentatively reject or accept the premise. If you can’t be bothered, do move on for there is nothing for you to see.

          And yes, I should still read and write comments, because that sort of bidirectional communication is what facilitates debate. Something that dismissive complacent wankers could not give a toss about apparently. Luckily it’s not 1984 (literary reference, if you are interested) yet despite people like you! Let’s try to keep it that way!

        2. it is pretty easy to crack jokes at the top of the slippery slope, but privacy is a huge concern for everybody. It wasn’t that long ago that if you weren’t listed in the Phone Directory it was like you didn’t exist. Now with multiple searches you can find out quite a bit about somebody and find satellite imagery of where they live/work. What are the next 5, 10, 20 years going to bring? More information shared and the same privacy we have always had…not possible. So dismissing those with real concerns about privacy as “tin foil hats”, or those concerned with having clean air and clean water “treehuggers” is not what an adult would do. If everyone would grow up a bit and take serious subjects seriously, we might be OK.

          1. No see, apparently it isn’t a big concern for everybody because not everybody objects to using google calendar for trivial events.

            You need to have some perspective, and frankly putting up my sons hockey practice schedule on google calendar isn’t exactly an earth shattering security concern.

            Every single thing anyone does, ever can be turned into a slippery slope – displaying some events in google calendar isn’t the end of privacy as we know it.

          2. “No see, apparently it isn’t a big concern for everybody because not everybody objects to using google calendar for trivial events.”

            Just because you are not concerned by it does not mean it isn’t a concern for everybody. I just shows that it’s a concern that not everybody has. Quite a big difference.
            Also note that the triviality of these events isn’t 100% for you to decide. Schedules, events, schools, communities, interests… Not of interest?

            “You need to have some perspective, and frankly putting up my sons hockey practice schedule on google calendar isn’t exactly an earth shattering security concern.”

            If that is your idea of perspective in this global privacy espionage mess, then I do not thing you even have something resembling eyesight. Indeed the activities of you family in your little community will never be considered earth-shattering, but this does not mean that this information is something you want tied to everything else you do on or off line.

            “Every single thing anyone does, ever can be turned into a slippery slope”

            Note that my argumentation isn’t a slippery slope argument. Also note that you failed to address my argument.

            “displaying some events in google calendar isn’t the end of privacy as we know it”

            Apart from this already having been explained why this isn’t a good thing, do realize that you are not the arbiter of the definition of privacy in this.

            I expect to encounter complacent people like you on every turn where a teensy bit of privacy is torn down and where the internet is slowly being turned into watch-ads-for-empty-content-net. And it will be you lot that will be screaming the loudest that they want their old internet back. The sensible people will be long gone.

  6. I would say that a TV in the kitchen is fine. You do not have to use it and if you are in the middle of cooking and something important is on the news then you can turn it on.
    You could also use it as the monitor for the Pi as well.
    As for a touch screen you could use a Kinect for IO. I would also add a media player, web radio, and cooking applications.
    Good start but a TV would work fine as a monitor and offer speakers.

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