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Chris Metcalf

specialization is for insects

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Once upon a time, I built a digital picture frame out of on old Thinkpad laptop I was given by my father. He even helped me out by making an awesome maple picture frame and custom mat for it. The results were awesome. Unfortunately, it only hung on my wall for about a week before my cat decided to try to tug on the power cable hard enough to actually rip it off the wall. The motherboard popped off its mount, severing the LCD cable, and rendering the picture frame dead. I couldn’t bear to give up on it, so it sat in my closet for a few years until I finally decided I needed to resurrect it. This weekend I put the final touches on the new frame. Using an old ex-Amazon laptop I purchased at a special employee-only sale, I’ve brought it back to life. Digital Picture Frame Resurrected Read on for more details. The old picture frame, before I mounted it in the wooden frame: In a former life First I stripped the laptop of all its extra components. The DVD drive went, along with the modem, keyboard, trackpad, and other various bits and pieces. I kept the battery mounted since I figure it’ll serve as a nice built-in UPS. By pure luck the LCD panel for the Compaq laptop was exactly the same size as the old LCD from my Thinkpad, so mounting the LCD was a simple matter of fitting the new panel in place. Then I mounted the motherboard backwards against the back of the frame using copious amounts of foam double-stick tape. Nothing too elegant this time. Mounted motherboard For software, I opted this time to use FlickrFrame, a super-simple framebuffer-based picture frame app that can suck down images from my Flickr account. It’s really easy to set up and it has a web-based UI for configuration and monitoring. I’m very happy with the end results, and it’s nice to finally finish off this very long-lived project. Finished product