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Maker Frame: App Ideas?

August 11, 2010

So I’ve been cleaning out my basement of late, and in doing so I’ve uncovered a couple of old unfinished projects: some repairs for one of my MAME cabinets and a project I started to convert an old laptop into a digital photo frame/display device.

Well, over the weekend I completed the MAME cab repairs and now I’m finishing up the woodworking portion of the digital display and I’m ruminating over what types of applications I want to use / develop for using the device. Here’s the basic specs, etc.:

P3 700 MHz, 128M ram, 40G hard-drive, 14” screen, wireless network (802.11b). I disassembled the screen and then rotated it 180° to allow the laptop to close flat with the screen exposed (similar to the way some tablet PCs are designed), and then the whole thing is mounted inside a wooden enclosure. The base enclosure is then surrounded by a custom built pine frame (still trying to decide whether to stain it or simply to seal it au-natural. There is also a bit of custom hardware which allows the machine to be turned on from the back of the frame.

Now here’s the question:

I can easily use this to display photos, but I’m also looking for other kinds of applications which would work well in a “display-only” mode (noting that while this is a laptop inside, I don’t intend to have an input device connected under most circumstances – and it doesn’t have a touchscreen Emoticon1). A few ideas I’m already kicking around:

  • Photo slideshows (duh), fed from online sources such as Flickr, Spaces, etc.
  • Photo and text slideshows fed by Twitter feeds (specific user, following specific user(s), hashtags, etc.)
  • Facebook status updates, feeds, photo galleries, etc.
  • Random or targeted grabs and navigation of PhotoSynth collections
  • Xbox Live gamer tags, stats, etc.
  • Zune tag, recent plays or artist/album/song info or artwork
  • Messenger status alerts

What else? I’m looking for cool “live” online kinda app ideas as I start to code for this new device…

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From → DIY

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