Computerized Picture Frame Page

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For some time I had been thinking about getting a digital picture frame to use as a slide show viewer for photographs Heather and I have taken. One day I was looking around the web and found a site called where people make all kinds of stuff and show how they do it.  I saw an instructable about building a digital picture frame using a laptop computer. I was immediately hooked because with this technique the picture frame would be a full on computer and not a dumb appliance. The first thing I needed was a laptop I could use and my friend Dave said he had one that I could have. A couple of days after I got the laptop I had it completely torn apart (which for some unknown reason was major fun) and had extracted the important parts for use in my frame. The pictures below show some of the details.

After completion of the frame I wrote an article for Nuts and Volts magazine having to do with its construction. The text of the article can be found here.

1 First thing I did was to go to Hobby Lobby and find a shadowbox type of frame and had a matte cut the exact size of the laptop's display. I then cut two pieces of 1/4" MDF so that they would fit into the frame. I cut a hole in the first piece for mounting the LCD display. The second piece is suspended above the first with spacers. The motherboard of the laptop is mounted on the second piece as can be seen here. The laptop's wireless was not working so I added a USB wireless adapter which is the blue thing on the left. The hard drive is on the bottom in this picture which is really the top of the frame.
2 Here is a picture of the finished frame. There is no glass on the front other than that from the LCD display. I think it turned out great. On the back is a pushbutton for turning the computer off and on and a hole for the power cable to pass through. The power brick that came with the laptop is used with the frame.
3 I had to reinstall Windows XP Professional because I didn't have a password for logging in. Luckily I had a spare copy of XP I had bought years ago and I finally got to use it. The first time I saw the frame boot successfully I was very relieved because I hadn't damaged the laptop during this construction process.

I use Microsoft's Remote Desktop to operate the picture frame computer remotely. I can remotely log into the frame and copy files from the network and restart the OS and even turn the frame off remotely.

Recently I have developed a program called Art Rays which I run on the laptop frame all of the time. This program, described here, generates ray traced images. That way my picture frame can be said to generate its own art. Cool Huh?

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