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Build Your Own LCD Picture Frame

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the when-thumbtacks-just-aren't-good-enough dept.

Toys 175

mbrain writes "PopSci is running a really good how-to story that shows how to build your own LCD picture frame. Since you are building it yourself, you can make it any size you like, using an off-the-shelf LCD monitor as the display. The frame as described uses a cheap motherboard, power supply and HD and runs Linux. It can hold thousands of photos. A little pricey, but still a cool project (especially if you have some of the parts laying around)."

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Don't forget... (-1)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562374)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Re:Don't forget... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562639)

mod +1 for funny +3 for informative

omg pwnt by bare lol 4-2 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562375)

fgdfg pwnt lol

Pictureframe PC (5, Interesting)

Xeed (308294) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562382)

This is very similar to a Mini-ITX [mini-itx.com] project I saw a while ago.

The main difference is, the Mini-ITX page shows you how everything is layed out inside the picture frame.

Re:Pictureframe PC (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562422)

The new micro Amiga One is in mini-itx format too and might be a better choice

Re:Pictureframe PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562520)

How? it doesn't have an OS yet.

(still waiting)

Cheaper Still (1)

soloport (312487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562766)

For a free solution:
* Open up already purchased laptop
* Place in strategic location on desk and turn power on
* Wait for boot and login to computer desktop
* Open Kwickshow and point it at graphics file collection

Done.

A bit OTT (4, Interesting)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562384)

That is so over the top. Creating an entire PC just to show a picture? That's 200 for the screen and another 200 for the computer. On top of that they are recommending a hard disk?
My version [man.ac.uk] uses a 5 quid FPGA and some junk thrown away equipment. The LCD was a 12" 9bit colour from some factory and a fiend of a friend offered them to us for a quid each. And the RAM is an old 1Mb 30simm (I have about 3kg of these). There you go. A picture displaying system with no need for a huge/noisy PC power supply (runs from one of those 12v ac/dc plug converters). The images can be sent to it via a serial cable (two wires internally so it can be passed over any old cable you have lying around).

A bit OTT indeed :-) (5, Funny)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562425)

... a fiend of a friend offered them to us for a quid each.


Man, you're hard on your friends!

Simon.

Re:A bit OTT (1)

cpuffer_hammer (31542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562469)

But, if it was one of those "Just fell of a Truck" deals this might be the correct discription or the party in question.

Re:A bit OTT (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562507)

Using a PDA would use less power and be easier, but then the display might not be big enough.

An old colour laptop could work I guess, but then it might be too big :)

Somebody Didn't Read Linux Toys (4, Informative)

cmholm (69081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562555)

It doesn't cost 400 quid to put together an LCD picture frame. PopSci is taking a different route from Linux Toys [amazon.com] , which starts with a $50 laptop from eBay. This has also been reviewed [slashdot.org] on Slashdot. While I like PopSci's mini ATX method, the Linux Toys laptop method is usually cheaper, if you shop eBay carefully, and refer to Linux On Laptops [linux-on-laptops.com] to make sure it'll work.

Re:Somebody Didn't Read Linux Toys (4, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562810)

Of course, it seems a bit overboard to use Linux for something that's only running one process. I've got an old P75 laptop (and it only uses a cord, no brick, too!), and it has an 8.4"x6.3"x640x480x16-bit screen, and an 810MB HDD. It'll run FreeDOS just fine, with a VESA TSR and LxPic (designed for HPLX palmtops, but works great on just about anything that runs DOS). After all, it does fairly well with Win95 (except with only 16MB RAM, it's dog slow). Flip the screen around, devise a latch, make a frame around it, and you've got a good picture frame. I suggest NOT matting it, as the choice of mat depends on the picture, and if it's changing pictures...

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562602)

Creating an entire PC just to show a picture?

I agree, but you're missing most of the point- it's not the hardware, it's the concept; low-tech is best.

  • framing a picture means it was good enough to warrant said treatment. The whole point of putting up a picture frame is lost if all you show are crap photos of your dog or whatnot. Further, if I have a great photo, I want it to always be there, or at least be instantly accessible. No easy way to do that here...
  • the LCD panel won't last very long being on all day, every day; the backlights are rated for a few thousand hours tops.
  • they're horrible for viewing at anything other than dead-on; gamma and contrast change drastically from side to side or above/below
  • they need a power cord, which is fugly
  • they have vastly inferior resolution; high-resolution LCD panels aren't available anywhere except in laptops. A standard print from even, say, Walmart's digital photo lab machine...is at least 300dpi, more like 600dpi.
  • Archival photo paper, with UV-blocking glass, mounted with acid-free materials, will last decades. This toy will last about 2-3 years if it's lucky. Maybe 5.
  • at the temperatures involved (the mini-itx site lists a figure around 44C) none of the components will last very long. Hard drives especially don't like heat...

Re:Missing the point (1)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562737)

You miss the point. This isn't to show just one picture, but to show hundreds. Hell, you could show home movies. What I don't understand is why he didn't include 802.11 so you can manage it remotely.

Re:Missing the point (2, Insightful)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562765)

After I RTFA I see he did include 802.11, but he didn't know how to make it work.

Really, is this story telling us anything a /. reader couldn't do cheaper and better?

Someday (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562390)

I hope to surround myself with LCD walls and change my room based on my mood.

Re:Someday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562446)

How is this Offtopic???

Re:Someday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562493)

Don't worry, as more and more people meta moderate these moronic moderators will get what's coming.

I only meta-moderate the negative moderations (troll, offtopic, etc.). Takes only a couple seconds.

Too many idiots out there.

Re:Someday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562559)

offtopic? thats actually a cool idea that directly relates to the story. maybe have 6 lcd walls with 10,240,000 x 768,000 resolution and you could change your room to a 3d tropical island or space scene or anything. of corse some pixilated and electrified paint would work better.

Re:Someday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562761)

Or...

you could go outside.

(I change my mood based on my room - often the best moods coming from the highest ceiling)

Re:Someday - Virtual reality skydiving (1)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562646)

Add a wind-machine and you could have your own VR sky diving simulator.

Re:Someday - Virtual reality skydiving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562710)

Change the theme again, and me and my girlfriend are now swingers in a virtual orgy.

Keep the wind machine, and that would be wikkid ;)

Still Wanted: (2, Offtopic)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562391)

Open form-factor laptop specification.

I *can't* believe that companies like Viewsonic and Asus have not gotten together to create a chassis and DC power spec so that we can all build/repair our own laptops. Things like LCD panels could be purchased affordably at Best Buy or Circuit Shitty if this was the case.

Re:Still Wanted: (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562662)

OT, but my sentiments exactly.

I'm working on something, but not knowing much about laptops internally (how much space is required for stuff, etc.), I can't do that much. If you'd care to help me, comment in my journal.

Re:Still Wanted: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562800)

I *can't* believe that companies like Viewsonic and Asus have not gotten together to create a chassis and DC power spec so that we can all build/repair our own laptops.

Oh really. I can. The first thing that happens when the warranty expires is the power supply breaks. Have you seen the prices some companies charge for their own brand laptop hard drives?! And you wonder why there isn't a standard, I bet most large desktop manufacturers wish they didn't have standards too. I'm not saying that these companies are out to rip you off completely, but their revenue projections rely on being the only people who can competently fix your machine.

TWO INDIANS ARRESTED IN MADRID BOMBING? (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562394)

LOL, EVEN AL-QAIDA IS OUTSOURCING.

This is not a first post attempt blah blah yelling.

GOOD! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562569)

Every one that blows up is one less that can take an American job.

Pete, (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562397)

Pete, Repeat, and Ditto... At least it is semi-interesting.

Also, this is a good use for those old 486/low end pentium laptops too... keep trying to get some to work on for the VPA dept. at work.

GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562398)

GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying.
By GNAA Staff

Here you have it: it's official; Google confirms: Desktop Linux is dying.

Now, you might be thinking this is just another cut & paste troll based on the typical *BSD is dying bullshit.
It isn't.
As you might have know, your favorite search engine, Google [google.com] , has been running a little statistics service, called "Zeitgeist [google.com] ".
Since about a year ago, they started providing statistics of the operating systems used to access their search engine worldwide.
I will let the numbers speak for themselves:

Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in March 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in December 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in February 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2003 [google.com]

If you've looked at even a few of these links, you don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict Desktop Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Desktop Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux on Desktop because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux on Desktop. As many of us are already aware, Linux on Desktop continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

According to Google Zeitgeist [google.com] , there are about 80% of Internet Explorer 6 [microsoft.com] users. The only platform supporting Internet Explorer 6 is, of course, Microsoft Windows. These statistics are consistent with the earlier presented graphs of the operating systems used to access Google, with the Windows family consistently taking the top 3 ranks. Out of remaining 20%, the split is even between MSIE 5.5, MSIE 5.0, both Windows-only browsers. Netscape 5.x (including Mozilla) counts for only a measly 5% of browsers used to access Google. As you can see from the graph, this sample was calculated starting from March 2001 until September 2003.

Linux "leaders" will have you believe that Linux is gaining market share. However, according to Google [google.com] , "Linux" was never a top 10 search word at *any time* since Google began tracking search statistics. This can only mean one thing: Linux is dying.

All major surveys show that Linux on Desktop is something never meant to happen. Repeatedly, reputable organizations review Desktop Linux offerings, and consistently [osnews.com] give [com.com] it [com.com] unacceptable [yahoo.com] scores, compared to even Apple [apple.com] 's MacOS X [apple.com] , which is actually based on the "claimed to by dying long time ago" *BSD. If you paid attention to the operating systems used to access Google graphs earlier, you will notice that MacOS has consistently scored higher percentages than Linux. Infact, the obscure "other" category, which we assume is embedded systems, PDA's, cellular phones, etc, has at times ranked Higher [google.com] than even Mac OS - and of course, Linux.

In almost 2 years worth of statistics, Linux [linux.com] has NEVER outranked even such a truly "dying" OS as Mac OS, and infact, never raised above the 1% mark. When Windows XP [microsoft.com] was released, Google searches for Linux drastically decreased [google.com] . This clearly demonstrates that Linux on Desktop is, for all practical purposes, dead.

Fact: Desktop Linux is dead.

This commentary brought to you by a proud GNAA member.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.
By moderating this post as "Underrated", you cannot be Meta-Moderated! Please consider this.

________________________________________________
| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ |
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ |
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ |
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

A similar Project using an old PowerBook Duo... (5, Interesting)

beerits (87148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562407)

can be found here [applefritter.com] .

Re:A similar Project using an old PowerBook Duo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562688)

I love Duos - they're easy to get, cheap nowadays, and easy to work in. Plus they're built like little tanks. You could also run NetBSD on it instead of Mac OS 7-8, or maybe even M68k Linux. Display resolution is high, and viewing angle is surprisingly good on those little old screens (the Duo was pretty high-end when it was released).

Only thing I'd note is that the display can be a bit dark when run with 15-bit colour. Particularly on an older monitor. I don't think 256 colour would be kind to your photos, even with clever dithering.

Duos do have a serial port, so you could run PPP over that if you wanted to network it. Hmm, maybe a project that can distract me from looking for a job...

Yeah.. (3, Funny)

destiney (149922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562412)


Yeah I'm almost certain we all have a few unused LCD monitors lying around..

Right over there in the corner with my old 486's.

Coolness factor (2, Insightful)

barenaked (711701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562414)

I guess the reason for doing this would ahve to be the coolness factor of it and rolling it yourself. But when you realize it is going to cost you $500+ for the "coolness factor" and you see there are cheaper already built alternatives out there for less than half the cost why not buy a prebuilt one? None of your family cares what your picture frame runs on or your picture frames uptime FYI

Re:Coolness factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562486)

I think in this case it would be cheaper to build your own and you would also have more options with the homebrew solutions. besides these things are expensive as hell prebuilt http://www.digi-frame.com/df1710.html

Re:Coolness factor (1)

barenaked (711701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562508)

Well I agree with you on the more customization with homebrew. But come on you don't need a whole full blown linux install just to slideshow a few pictures: http://www.webstoresamerica.com/category.asp?searc h=vistaframe $289.95 whole hell of a lot cheaper than building a new computer just for displaying a few pics. And this one reads right off of a mem card

Re:Coolness factor (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562854)

Old laptop (free) + PCMCIA CompactFlash adaptor ($10) + Frame ($10 at most) + FreeDOS (free) + LxPic (free) + VESA TSR (free) + PCMCIA and CF drivers for DOS (free) = $20 plus memory card, and I'm using a floppy disk and hard drive, which means no PCMCIA/CF drivers, no CF card, and no CF adaptor, dropping it to $10 (it's a fully working lappy, just old and slow, and I could get a whole newer lappy for the cost of taking it to 40MB RAM)

Coolness factor has nothing to do with it (2, Insightful)

flieghund (31725) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562787)

You're absolutely right that your family is unlikely to give a spit about the technical specs of the digital picture frame you give them. They'll be happy that it shows pictures that change over time. Wheee!

But there's more to giving a gift that just giving someone something that's off the shelf. I'd wager that your family will appreciate a custom-made gift (if it's well-made, that is) more than something you spent thirty minutes on picking up at the mall and which they can see sitting in their neighbor's house the next day.

But what happens when the pre-built models really aren't that great? When I looked into getting a pre-built model for my folks last Christmas, the models all seemed to hover around 640x480 pixels and 8-bit color. I take my digital photos at 1280x1024 with 24-bit color, and frankly I don't think they'd look all that great at one-quarter the size and an even smaller fraction of the color palette.

Also, most of the models I looked at used a plain telephone line to download updates (new photos and the like). Everyone in my family is sitting on broadband Ethernet connections, so I'd much prefer something that at least had the option of an Ethernet jack.

And another thing: most of the pre-built digital frame companies charge a monthly service fee in order to download new content. So not only do you have to pay for the frame itself, you have to keep paying in order to use it!

So for me, the "coolness factor" has little to do with it. Instead, it's all about pride in displaying my work, being able to include the options I want, and only having to pay for the whole thing once.

LCD: Too Expensive (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562423)

Just find yourself an old broken laptop nobody wants and use its screen. That's what I used in a similar project, a Compaq Presario 1655 13.3" LCD screen :-D

Cheaper alternative (2, Interesting)

detritus` (32392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562431)

I did something similar to this but i just bought an old PII/300 laptop with a 15" screen... got the whole deal for $350 and then only cost me ~$50 for frame materials. On the whole was a lot more simplistic than trying to get all the parts together like this guy did, and as a plus i could get everything running while the laptop was still intact.

Just think of the uses.... (2, Funny)

aidanjpadden (314134) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562435)

These could be cool - imagine the possiblities - you have one hard disk with the family photos on and one with the porn.

When the family come round show the nice xmas pictures of you and that jumper you didn't want then when they go a simple swap of disks and it'll be like the Playboy mansion....

At least it's got to be better than looking at fish all day right?

OBVIOUSLY FOR PR0N!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562438)

Already read it (0)

brian728s (666853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562439)

I just read this article in the physical magazine about 20 minutes before this appeared. The finished product is a little bit thick to look good, and how do you hide the power cord?

Hard drive? (4, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562444)

You should at least boot if from a Compact Flash card

silent, no heat, droppable (kinda)

I've got no references for Linux but FreeBSD has a sectionin the Handbook [freebsd.org]

And my fellow 9fan [google.com] Matthias showed me a handy reference guide [neon1.net] and bunch of scripts for the binaries you want. Well that's for non-X, my next stage of my project is trying to get my EPIA working in SVGA mode or, if I get a big enough CF card (I think a 256Mb should work and they are about $50 on ebay). I'm trying for an in car system. I already got it playing mp3s from the CD Rom 35 seconds from power.

Re:Hard drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562487)

How about just using a terming server such as the Linux termal server project and doing away with any parts but the mother board and monitor.

Re:Hard drive? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562885)

if you like

the ethernet will come from where ?

A solution in search of a problem? (5, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562448)

Hey, there's nothing like converting a low-res display and computer hardware to make a high-tech $300+ version of a $10 picture frame.

Re:A solution in search of a problem? (3, Insightful)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562518)

Uh, except that it changes, moves, or could even be interactive given some sort of input/stimulus.

Re:A solution in search of a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562635)

..and you could always bust out a shell prompt on this baby. Try doing that with your old fashioned framed pictures!

Re:A solution in search of a problem? (1)

Jkames (726364) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562822)

I agree. I've also made a custom picture frame. It sits on my desk and has a mouse and a keyboard connected to it. My setup has one big advantage over article's picture frame.... functionality.

Re:A solution in search of a problem? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562863)

Actually, it's a $300+ version of a $200-900 picture frame, and the $200 frame has monthly fees, and can only take pictures via dial-up.

Notebook LCD? (1)

TuxMelvin (97727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562450)

Could you use a LCD from a notebook for this, or would it be too proprietary?

My old Dell Latitude died a few months back. I used to display some professional photos I'd taken on it, and the thought came to me that I could use the LCD in this same fashion. But I realized it probably wouldn't be feasible (at least for someone of my expertise).

The trick is controlling the LCD (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562620)

Unless they changed there is no VIDCARD -> LCD like you have on a normal PC.

Possibly they use the same signalling as in a DVI interface but this is hardly a given. If you can figure out to connect wich wires to wich bits on the ribbon cord then you are sorted.

It wouldn't be hard to do provided someone else done it already and put it online.

And what are you going to loose? A screen on a dead laptop and perhaps an old vidcard. Not exactly staggering losses (althought as said above you probably need a dvi capable vidcard)

Re:The trick is controlling the LCD (2, Insightful)

TuxMelvin (97727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562690)

Thanks, and you're right, it can't hurt to try. Moreover, since the LCD is almost flat, why not mount it and only it to the wall, and hide the computer somewhere else? You'll have to drill a hole in the wall if you don't want to have a power cord showing, so why not just hide the actual box somewhere else? Most picture frames aren't that thick.

Another good option might allow you to flip the screen for portrait or landscape. Most of my photos are taken in portrait format.

Re:Notebook LCD? (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562721)

My immediate thought was why not just get an old laptop off ebay or from the closet, yank the lcd off the case and flip it round to the bottom of the laptop, stick a WiFi card in it and mount it in the frame. Something like an old HP Omnibook subnote would be perfect as they don't need active cooling and cost practically nothing. ...although the idea of having a machine logged in 24/7 on WiFi makes me cringe. Might as well make it a honeypot too.

Re:Notebook LCD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562809)

My notebook is connected 24/7 via WiFi. Lots of machines are actually. WPA is pretty solid - I'm not worried.

Even if it was plain old WEP, how much traffic is a picture frame going to generate? Automate a key change every few days and it'll be fine.

What is this? (0)

Phidoux (705500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562452)

A special project for Bill Gates wannabes?

Any size? (2, Insightful)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562456)

you can make it any size you like, using an off-the-shelf LCD monitor as the display.
So, I want the display to be, say, 10" diagonal, with frame 11", yeah, I go and buy such a display (where?) or get a ready one and cut it to the right dimensions?

You are pretty much stuck with the display size and you can only obscure it or extend the frame. You are stuck with factory display sizes.

Re:Any size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562797)

My dead Powerbook 2400 (something of a successor to the Duo, though it's kind of a Thinkpad inside) has a 10" diagonal LCD. It's pretty tiny too, so if I could partially revive it it'd make a nice picture frame. Or if you're serious, you can have it. ;)

Obviously LCDs come in 4:3 and 16:9 (and the latter only for newer, expensive ones). You still can get them in just about any size. And if you want a different aspect ratio, yes you can mask it with some matting. Which, interestingly, is also what people do with real pictures in frames (also with the Duo hack others have posted links to).

Wireless, eh? (5, Funny)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562481)

With the basic functionality up and running, you can start to play around with expansion options. My first project was to give the frame a wireless connection so I could transfer new pictures without taking it off the wall.

Wargoatseing, anyone?

Re:Wireless, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562640)

It's a good idea, though. Except I've recently run into problems trying to share files over a wireless network - it seems performance drops through the floor when going from one wireless machine to another. Even for a picture a minute it might be too slow. I'm not sure if it's poor base station performance or just an unfortunate quality of the shared wireless network.

It would work fine if the server end were wired to the base station, but has anyone been successful transferring files from one wireless client to another, through a base station?

Has application to wargoatseing too, since you'd be transferring the picture in question from a roving notebook. ;)

sweet monkey jesus (2, Insightful)

OwlofCreamCheese (645015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562485)

my lord this is a retarded plan. I see absolutely zero advantage in doing it this way, what overkill! I'd be impressed if it ran off a chip or something senseable, but this is just way too much work. you can get jpg decoders on a chip, I'd be impressed if you made this out of a digital camera (just switch the LCD to a bigger one). but this is just "buy a computer, glue it to the wall"

Re:sweet monkey jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562583)

theres plenty of advantag to doing it this way. one thing is expandability. you could put a tv tuner card and if you spring for a big enough LCD it could double as a TV, or mythtv pvr. hell put a touch screen in it and it could be a puplic terminal or directory of some sort. lots of interesting possibilities with this.

Just go out and buy one... (5, Informative)

answerer (626307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562494)

At the prices + time you're looking at with a project like this, you might as well go out and buy one.

http://www.artpix.com/
http://www.pacificdigital.com/products/memoryframe .asp

This project is only economical if you have old laptops sitting around. If that's the case, you probably won't have enough CPU/RAM to install the latest version of debian. For me, I don't even have a hard drive.

Anyone found a lite solution to picture frame software? Here are two solutions that I've found so far:

PictureFrame Linux [risacher.org]
- Too heavy on system requirements
DOS Solution [roines.net]

Re:Just go out and buy one... (4, Informative)

Tony (765) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562576)

This project is only economical if you have old laptops sitting around. If that's the case, you probably won't have enough CPU/RAM to install the latest version of debian.

I have built picture frames out of old pentium-class laptops ('bout $100 off ebay, or cheaper if you shop around your own town), and they have no problems running the latest Debian. Just don't run X!

I use zgv [svgalib.org] to cycle through the pictures. Works great, *and* is less filling.

Re:Just go out and buy one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562849)

What's wrong with good old ASCII?

Use a I-Opener! or WebSurfer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562499)

I did this about two years ago using a Websurfer (about $50) and a old small HD with DOS and a batch script, for my mom's TV.

The I-Opener ($40 now) can do the same thing. See http://www.linux-hacker.net/ [linux-hacker.net] they have a real good forum about this sort of stuff.

Visa Commercial (2, Funny)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562515)

James Earl Jones like voice:
Mini-ITX motherboard 150
Custom 3 inch deep fram 100
Penium II desktop 100
USB CD-ROM 30
USB Wireless Adapter 80
15 inch LCD 300
RadioShack Switch 7
Power Brick 60
100 Hours you should
have been at work
1 60000year job
Getting the same result for 827 as you would for a $300 digital picture frame: Priceless Fade to black

Re:Visa Commercial (1)

plams (744927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562543)

no, it's not priceless. the price is 827

Re:Visa Commercial (4, Funny)

damiam (409504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562547)

Except it would be a Mastercard commercial.

Re:Visa Commercial (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562917)

No, this is my hypothetical post. So it is hypothetically visa. Maybe they would have their @$$es sued hypothetically off afterwards.

Ok. But answer me this: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562526)

WHY, for fuck's sake? God damned anti-social morons, always inventing problems where there are none...

What a great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562530)

Now I don't need to keep changing the pr0n on my wall...

Yawn - Done way back. (5, Insightful)

Graemee (524726) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562557)

Check these links for a Duo (Laptop) mod to a picture frame. I remember this site as the first I saw. I have an old 486 and a 64MB compaq flash just waiting for a conversion.

http://www.applefritter.com/hacks/duodigitalfram e
http://www.applefritter.com/node/view/728

Duo Digital Frame by James Roos

Frist psotq! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562564)

no8 nigger patrons been looking for! And committees obtain a copy of I've never seen used to. SHIT ON

I-Opener (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562573)

If all you want is an lcd picture frame, you can set one up very easily with an I-Opener for under $50. The guy's stuff is way overkill.

The possibilities (5, Funny)

ecarlson (325598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562584)

Put in a tiny camera and have a portrait image with eyes that follow the viewer. That would be pretty creepy. Or add some speakers, and and have it "jump out and scream" at the viewer when they get close, like those trick images on the web.

Re:The possibilities (Mod parent up) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562660)

Mod Parent Up ... if you're going to make a photo frame out of a computer you might as well add something non trivil to it.

Re:The possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562876)

What trick images on the web?

There is an old Mac app that does that, btw (Conan the Librarian). The Duo guy left the speaker and probably microphone attached so you could easily do that. ;)

Wireless? You know what that'll lead to... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562610)

"My first project was to give the frame a wireless connection so I could transfer new pictures without taking it off the wall."

Oh great, then it'll start showing net-based advertisements. And if you add a passive infrared detector you will get double payback when people are in the room while an ad is being shown.

what photoshop? (2, Funny)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562622)

Before transferring your pictures to the frame, you may want to use a graphics program like Photoshop to resize all your pictures to the monitor's native resolution. That will save a little CPU power and a lot of hard drive space.

I don't know what photoshop is, but I know that the best program for task described above is a batch job running convert.

hey, I just checked that photoshop is not a linux program, why this guy is talking about non-linux programs?

photoshop DOES run on Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562642)

Crossover Office [codeweavers.com] .

A little pricey (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562637)

"especially if you have some of the parts laying around"

ahhh yes.... Let me grab one of my old discarded LCD monitors I have so many of....

This has a lot of possibilities. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562643)

Just using the computer to show pictures is probably a waste of money. But since you have a fully functional computer behind the picture there are lots of interesting and useful things that could be done by adding a few buttons to the frame, a touchscreen for the wealthy, or even an infared remote. With an internet connection it could cache the latest weather map for your area or traffic conditions. Add a server backend and run mythtv through it. Use it as a security monitor for the front door. When you don't want to use the other custom functions it would simply be a nicely framed picture on your wall. Thinking of it as intelligent art work that you could program makes it an interesting project.

Here's a few I made from old laptops... (1)

tsangc (177574) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562657)


PowerBook 100 Monochrome Frame [utoronto.ca]


PowerBook 540c Colour Frame

$500 is waaaay too much.. (4, Insightful)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562670)

This is probably the worst article I've seen posted on making digital picture frames. I apologize if that hurts anyone's feelings, but a lot more thinking could have gone into the design and parts.

For starters, why not go to the flea market or ebay and pick up an ancient laptop? This gives you a cpu, motherboard, hard drive, network interface, and a display. I was able to find old, functional laptops for under $150 [ebay.com] on ebay.

I would pull the motherboard and mount it against the back of the display, then order a premium, custom built frame from a picture frame shop for ~$25-$100. You could be cheap and build your own, but $100 should get something nice and elegant. Another option would be to just pick up a pre-built frame and put in an insert cut to your spec.

For people not up to the skill level of configuring Linux, they could simply boot to Windows and set their SHELL variable to a screen saver's executable for cycling pictures. There is one built-in to XP, but many freebies are out there for previous builds of Windows.

Personally, I would opt for a wireless NIC and mount a share where the pictures are to be stored. That way I could simply copy new pictures over to the system from my main computer.

Re:$500 is waaaay too much.. (1)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562741)

For starters, why not go to the flea market or ebay and pick up an ancient laptop?

If your idea of a lcd picture frame is a tiny little screen, sure. To me that would be pretty silly -- except for little pictures that people hang in their bathrooms, "real" framed pictures tend to be quite a bit larger than a laptop screen.

Re:$500 is waaaay too much.. (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562825)

I was simply responding to the article. Considering they call for a 15" screen, going with a 14.1"+cpu+mobo+hdd+ps+network is about 1/4 the price of a new 15" screen alone.

I'm just doing the math, not calling the shots. You'll need to take the teenie screen issue up with the guy who published the article and the vendors who sell digital picture frames. ;-)

Re:$500 is waaaay too much.. (1)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562791)

Leave the built-in battery and charging circuitry from the laptop, and when it detects that it's running off battery, it assumes the power has gone out and turns the screen bright white to help you get around in the dark.

Linux Toys (2, Insightful)

desktopj (563923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562683)

Picked up a book by Chistopher Negus and Chuck Wolber published by Wiley Tecnology Publishing called Linux Toys [wiley.com] They do the same thing with an old laptop - something you can pickup for less than $100

I-Openers are great for this (1)

pashdown (124942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562699)

I have a hacked I-Opener in my kitchen that runs a randomized slideshow of all my digital photos when it is blanked by xscreensaver. Not only does it allow friends and family to see a random sampling of our life on the fly, it gives me a terminal when I need it.

Last I checked, I-Openers were about $50 on ebay.

Well, that does it (2, Funny)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562700)

The idea of being able to SSH into your picture frame makes D&D enthusiasts look good by comparison...

3com Audrey (1)

Arch_dude (666557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562701)

Costs $80.00 on e-bay, has web browser, and is hackable. Just wire it to your LAN and feed it from any random conputer in your house. It can also do a whole bunch of other stuff.

iBook cannibalization (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8562707)

I just did this a month ago with a gimpy dual-usb iBook. The real benefit to using actual computer hardware to do this sort of thing is versatility. The one for $470 from ThinkGeek stores 80 pictures and shows 'em on a 10.4 inch screen. Mine pulls from a database of > 10,000 totally random images (http://www.unrendered.org/unrendered/montage.php) , streams my library of 12 GB of music videos over airport, plays NASA TV, and has enough horsepower (500 Mhz) to play iTunes visuals. And that's it only because I can't think of anything else for it to do ;-)

Networked Home Appliance (1)

mankey wanker (673345) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562712)

The only way this become truly cool (considering the hassle and expense) is for it to multipurpose as a home appliance that will also play MP3s (and possibly even movies) off your server.

I don't mind a nicely organized tube of wires running down the wall (a really clever person would run the wires in the wall and place the frame over the various outlets), but I don't know enough about input peripherals to see an easy way to attach a keyboard and mouse. I suppose one could go with an IR wireless deal, the mouse would be the main thing.

Do they make a mouse that functions without any kind of base, something that works almost like a pointer?

Nano-ITX (4, Informative)

-tji (139690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562713)

The upcoming Nano-ITX [epiacenter.com] boards should offer even more flexibility for this type of design.. It's smaller, takes less power, and runs cooler. It also takes DC power, so you don't need to mess with the ATX -> DC/DC converter stuff that the Mini-ITX requires (although, there is supposed to be a DC Mini-ITX board coming out).

The down-side is that these have been announced for several months, but are still not available for purchase.

help with ThinkPad screens... (1)

ricochet81 (707864) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562733)

I have 3 12" thinkpad screens I got off ebay (yeah i have an old thinkpad) but they only cost $5. Can anyone tell me where to find information about the displays and how to drive/control them? like is it just a video card I need? perhaps I could make my own 12" picture thingy.

Why disk and a full distro? (1)

alazar (463253) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562764)

Why not use LTSP and netboot? you'd simply need an app to display the pics that ran native on the LTSP client. Of course this is not a stand alone solution.

Better candidate -- Old laptops (1)

cj_cliffe (454828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8562898)

If you check around you can find tons of old Pentium 1 and 2 class laptops people are almost willing to give away. I've done a project like this myself using an old P166mmx and it's working out great so far, plus the pcmcia slots allow for things like wireless cards instead of having PCI cards sticking out the back and the option to run it on battery power.

Old laptop + Linux + Framebuffer driver + FBI image viewer + Samba = nifty new wireless pictureframe you can just drag pictures to and watch them cycle :)

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