DIY, Projects

Convert an Old Laptop Into a Digital Photo Frame (3: Software)

As I mentioned in part 1, I used DSL for this. There were two reasons. 1) I would like to eventually get this to boot from a thumb drive and 2) I just wanted to play with DSL. Because DSL is meant mainly to be run from a live cd, it has some quirks when dealing with an actual install. I am using a PCMCIA ethernet card for network right now, and since fstab comes up before the card, I couldn’t mount the samba share using fstab. Instead, I used a script that as far as I know, only DSL uses. The file is /opt/bootlocal.sh and it executes on boot. So I put the samba mount in there. Next was the issue of launching the program to hide the mouse cursor, and launch the slideshow program. Taken from the blog mentioned in one of the other parts (part 1, I think) I used unclutter to hide the cursor and feh to do the actual slideshow. These files were put into .xinitrc in the default home directory. I had a problem with this, however. What I didn’t realize is that the window manager MUST be the last thing in the script, because it runs forever (essentially). So, the unclutter command and the feh command must come BEFORE the window manager (fluxbox in the case of DSL). Since all this does, and all I need it to do is show pictures, I removed the window manager from the file altogether. This means that if feh is killed, however, that X dies, and takes you back to a command prompt.

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DIY, Projects

Convert an Old Laptop Into a Digital Photo Frame (2: Hardware)

After getting the idea from this blog, I went to Walmart and found a basket to put the laptop board in. The laptop still needs the hard drive ( for now ), so I left that in, but removed the cd-rom and floppy drives. The heatsink was an issue. It has a giant piece of metal stuck to it, that was no longer vital, so I thought about ripping it off, until I realized I didn’t have a good way to attach the motherboard to the basket. I ended up cutting the wire connecting the speakers to the motherboard out, and wrapping them through the basket and around the weird metal piece. I didn’t get a good picture of what I am talking about, but you can see it a little bit in this picture.


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