Converting the Ceiva picture frame to run Linux 'Frequently Asked Questions'

picture of Ceiva serial port adapter

Updated 12/9/03

What is this?
This is a simple kit for converting the original Ceiva picture frame so you can send it picture from PC running linux. It eliminates the need to connect the frame to a phone line and pay a monthly charge. The kit installs a serial port which is then connected to a local PC running linux. Software runs on the linux PC which formats pictures (JPEG files) and sends them to the picture frame a in simple "slide show" format.

How do I order one? Do you still sell them?
The serial kit is $15. You can send me money via paypal using the address "". I'll send your kit back via parcel post.

What do I get?
The kit contains the two connectors, a jumper, a circuit board and a cable. The circuit board has a DB-9F serial connector on it.

How hard is this to do?
Modifying the frame requires basic soldering ability but no special tools. Basically you open up the back of the frame (it's cardboard nailed to the wood frame) and solder two connectors to the PC board. You then cut some holes into the cardboard back to expose the connectors and reattach the back.

Do I need a linux server?
Yes. Current the software runs on linux and requires several linux utilities to format the pictures for the frame. It is possible to convert the software to Windows but I have not done this. If anyone does it I will be glad to put the software on my web site.

Once I've modified the frame, then what?
You'll need to run a serial cable from your linux PC to the frame. There is a proceedure for reprogramming the flash with the linux kernel and filesystem. Once this is done you can run the "selector" program and start displaying images from your linux PC.

Do you have an ethernet version?
Yes and no. I have a product which is basically an ethernet serial port but it costs $70. I may try and make a simple version with one of the "ethernet in a connector" products out there. I have no idea what it will cost.