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OT: New life for old laptop, latest gadget

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  • OT: New life for old laptop, latest gadget

    So, what do you do with all those cool digital pics you take with your new digital camera? How about all that neat free stuff you can find online?

    The latest thing is of course a digital picture frame. Thanks to the current status as an early-adopter item the prices are ridiculous for anything that has resolution better than an enlarged postage stamp. If you want to see your pictures as anything that even resembles all those megapixels that the camera can capture you need at least a 15" display and 1024 x 768 or similar resolution. Try pricing such a picture frame right now. The only 15" frame I can find is at Future Shop for $374. I can buy an entire laptop for that price or two 19" wide screen monitors.

    Still, I want(ed) a digital picture frame and not something with the resolution of a Dick Tracy wrist phone.

    Wife and I were talking about this and then DING! a light went on. I have a couple of old P133 IBM Thinkpad laptops that still work fine. Win 95 and only 24 megs of ram but they have networking and a memory card slot which with an adapter will take a compact flash memory card.

    Presto, an "old" 15" LCD monitor and a Thinkpad later plus a little basswood whittling and painting and I have the latest gadget on my wall. It's networked and using VNC I have full remote control of the software. I use a free slideshow program to cycle the pics or can just put the same one up as long as I like.







    I run the images and the slide show from the memory card instead of the hard drive. This keeps the hard drive in sleep mode and makes the system silent plus uses less power.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  • #2
    Originally posted by Evan
    Nice. I'll check eBay before your post causes ThinkPad prices to skyrocket.

    What's that, a statue of a camel on your bookcase? Or perhaps a dinosaur? There must be a story behind that.
    Allan Ostling

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    • #3
      It's a camel from from a friend on assignment in the UAE. It's made from camel hide.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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      • #4
        Kool! I can't find the emoticon for envy, so some green will have to do
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          Originally posted by darryl
          Kool! I can't find the emoticon for envy, so some green will have to do

          Nope.

          Alistair Hosie has sole and patent rights on green - and he's Scot/Scottish - not even Irish - Gaelic maybe - but not Irish.

          Its possible though as my maternal Irish "Prod" forebears were forced out of Ireland by the "Micks" and fled to Scotland.

          My Maternal Grandmother's maiden name was McGinty (as Irish as you'd get) - and her parents were from Scotland.

          That is very creative thinking Evan - in every sense of the word.

          I can understand (I think) why the computer stays in "Sleep" mode when running the memory card.

          Would the same apply if using a USB "thumb drive"? or any "flash" drive?

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          • #6
            Would the same apply if using a USB "thumb drive"? or any "flash" drive?
            Sure. As long as the system doesn't need to fetch anything from the hard drive it will stay off.

            I could also set it to fetch it's images over the network from my file server. The Thinkpad is also online so I am experimenting with downloading the lastest weather image every 30 minutes or so.

            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Evan
              Sure. As long as the system doesn't need to fetch anything from the hard drive it will stay off.

              I could also set it to fetch it's images over the network from my file server. The Thinkpad is also online so I am experimenting with downloading the lastest weather image every 30 minutes or so.
              Thanks Evan.

              Another question.

              Would the computer also stay in sleep mode if the images were on an external (IDE/SATA) drive running under/connected via Ethernet or USB2?

              TIA.

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              • #8
                Very GREEN of you Evan. How many Dinosaurs, rodents and cavemen had to give their lives so you could waste the electricity to power that baby!

                Don't know if this site is available for your area but it gives you a scan of the past 8 hours. Nice for watching weather when going out on the lake in a boat.
                - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Evan
                  Sure. As long as the system doesn't need to fetch anything from the hard drive it will stay off.

                  I could also set it to fetch it's images over the network from my file server. The Thinkpad is also online so I am experimenting with downloading the lastest weather image every 30 minutes or so.

                  Evan, could you keep us advised as to how this turns out...I am VERY INTERESTED in having a display like yours displaying weather info on a continuing basis.

                  Thanks

                  TMT

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                  • #10
                    -76˚f

                    The color-coded map appears to show a temperature of -60˚C. Even in Butte I never saw a temperature lower than -40˚C.

                    Is there a mistake in the map legend?
                    Allan Ostling

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                    • #11
                      Very clever Evan, I like!! I just discovered an old Toshiba I had lying around wasnt dead after all. Was thinking of giving it to my boy for writing and stuff but hes abit young still for a laptop. I may have to see if it will run my cnc mill and if not it may be relegated to picture duty.

                      The only thing that would stop me is the power consumption. These Toshibas are power hoggs and I really don’t need to be increasing my electric bill these day. Thanks for another creative work from the "creative factory".. Always interested in seeing your posts!! JRouche
                      My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                      • #12
                        hmmmm, i also have an old ThinkPad laying around.
                        Evan,

                        when i first saw the post i thought you had taken the display from the laptop itself and remotely mounted it. now THAT would be a feat.

                        i'm with you though, i always thought those digital picture frames were insanely expensive at present for what you get and had thought of sticking a small LCD display somewhere to act as one. i'll have to run it past my wife and see what she thinks.

                        andy b.
                        The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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                        • #13
                          No mistake on the temps. I'm pretty sure without looking it up that is the temperature of the imaged cloud tops.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            I just measured the power consumption on an identical setup. It doesn't draw much. The Thinkpad is 17 watts but that is with both the screen and the hard drive running so maybe cut that in half. The LCD monitor is 18 watts so altogether less than 30 watts. That's not bad. It works out to $17 per year at our rates if on 24/7. All I have to do to break even is change a couple of bulbs somewhere to a lower wattage.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              Holy cow! Albertas on fire!

                              Now what you need is a program to take say the last 5 or so weather images and play them back sequentially at your command, captain.
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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