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Build your own digital picture frame

Filed Under: geek it yourself

Although self-contained digital picture frames are cool and all, the limited functionality of some of these units has compelled many folks to create their own digital picture frames. If you're looking for transition effects and other neat touches to spruce up a whole directory of photos from that wedding or summer vacation, why not build your own?

A disclaimer: this project requires some decent knowledge of desktop computers and some finesse working with PC components. Additionally, you better have a knack for tearing down a desktop PC system. The only prerequisite here is an extra desktop PC (yes, an old one will work) that you can convert into a display-centric picture server, if you will. If you have one of those PCs-on-a-board systems, this project will flow ever nicely.

Basically, you'll need either a tiny PC with built-in graphics (a single-board unit like an Mac Mini, for example), a card reader to get pictures on this "wall server," a power supply and perhaps some fine woodworking to make a nice frame for the LCD portion of this digital picture frame. In this case, this small wall server ran the Opera web browser inside a Linux operating system so that pictures could scroll in order within any set time frame. Add WiFi to this setup and you'll have remote control over your pictures so that you can change them at will. A few of these in a main home hallway would blow away your houseguests, yes?


  • Paul

    Good idea, but the reality is nowadays, its cheap enough to get digital frames.... THe idea for these digitial pic frames is space.
    Using a desktop defeats the purpose. I would never want to use a traditional computer for this.

    Besides, I can repurpose older pc's to Linux or similar and still use them. I have a older now linux pc that is out in my workshed and am in the process of adding a second one to the same setup.

    But the 2nd one is good enough that I will be adding cable to the workroom, probably then my wife wont be seeing me as much, because then I could add a recliner,etc...hehe

  • ryaninc

    The expensive part of this is the LCD. I've been kicking this idea around for quite some time. I have several old computer systems that I could use as the guts of this project, but I don't have a hundred bucks or two to drop on LCDs. As soon as I find some cheap ones, you'd better believe I'll be making more than one of these. :-)

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