Flickr Frame + Scraper Script
Laptop Battery

Image by jon|k
[I'm rewriting this because the original was a little daunting. --jon 2005-05-08]

Custom Flickr slideshow running in a picture frame.

I managed to finagle an old IBM Thinkpad 570E into an off-the-shelf shadowbox picture frame I bought at the local craft store, thanks to some tips from Ivan on MSDN’s Channel 9. It was pretty easy, actually, since the computer itself is quite small. I just removed the screen casing (which actually involved disassembling most of the laptop) and taped the LCD panel (and backlight) to the mat. The rest of the computer is just sitting in the back (precariously–need to figure out a way to mount it–but the computer is quite light, ~3 lbs since there’s no battery).

I was unhappy with the screensaver options because a) they didn’t work for me, and b) they all suffer from API limitations. So, I wrote a quick and dirty ASP script that scrapes the output of the double-image HTML Flickr badge to get IMG SRCs of my pictures.. See the script for details. Add a META REFRESH, run in IE’s kiosk mode and there you have it! The only thing is that it doesn’t resize pictures, so you only get a partial for the larger pictures (which does give you some interesting crops!). Oh well. More work to come, obviously. Perhaps I’ll rewrite it in ASP.Net so I can do the resizing, but I we’ll see. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it–yet.

UPDATE – 2005-07-13: I rewrote it in ASP.Net with image resizing to the size of the output screen. Source here.

It runs WinXP with a PC Card WiFi adapter. I use VNC to remote control it so I don’t have to keep flipping the thing over to type. Set to autologin, add IE in kiosk mode pointing to the page in the Startup group, and voila!

Total cost? for the frame and about 7 hours of work, most of which were unnecessary because I dismantled two computers before discovering I didn’t really have to dismantle that much. Now I could probably do it in an hour.

See the inside here.

iBook Surgery
Laptop Battery

Image by super-structure
All the tools you’ll need to add memory to your Apple laptop:

1) Jeweler’s screwdriver set.
2) Dime to unlock laptop battery.
3) Towel so you don’t scratch up the lid’s surface while removing the battery.

battery indicator
Laptop Battery

Image by Patrick Yan

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