Is it possible to operate an integrated home network from a laptop?

A couple days ago I was walking around my house with my laptop in hand, catching up on some American financial news via Russia Today. Needless to say I made it to the kitchen without any mishaps and brought everything into the dining room. As I was eating breakfast, I was staring out the window at my bird feeder, with the news going, when the idea hit me. I'd seen other instructibles on digital picture frames which use computers and essentially integrate them in the house in a unobtrusive manner. Why should I have to walk around with my laptop when, theoretically, I could have a network of computer stepping stones integrated throughout my house.

Is it possible to program a thin network where all the clients mirror one laptop?
Is is also possible to use Johnny Lee's infrared fingers to turn on/ control a digital picture frame thin client in places where you don't want to use a touch screen? ie. the kitchen, workshop, or even in a hospital?...

Could all this be done economically by re-purposing used school/uni computers, and freeware like Linux and Ubuntu and Cloud One?

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bwrussell5 years ago
Just buy a bunch of cheap Android tablets. Connect the over wi-fi, build frames and stands for them, install apps you need for various rooms (e.g. recipe managers and list makers in the kitchen, news and stock info in the office, entertainment news and games in the living room, etc). Just make the holders water and/or dust proof in the kitchen and garage. I think the cost would be comparable to buying a bunch of screens and running cable or wireless transmitters (which might interfere with each other if you have them to close together, didn't watch the video, maybe that's not an issue). Check out shopgoodwill, they often post very cheap android tablets.
thegeeke5 years ago
Short answer: yes it's possible, but not economical.

I think the best option would be to use a central computer, and use monitors throughout the house. Just use VGA pigtails. It will have everything on at once, but when you are not using it, just shutdown the computer or unplug the VGA, and the monitors will enter a "sleep" mode where they use next to no electricity.
Skeleton Network (author)  thegeeke5 years ago
I was able to find wireless pigtails here. I suppose I could use my laser mouse and a timer as a motion on/off switch at the TV. I'd be sacrificing a lot of interactivity by using TVs though. I've also found that even if I could make ten computers act as one, I'd still have to figure out how more than one person could use them simultaneously...
OK, but let me ask you this:
Why do you want to use multiple computers doing the same thing as one computer? You can just use the one computer for that...
Not sure if you can mirror a single system across multiple systems.

But you can store your files on a single system set up as a server and access them from any system on the network. You can get Johnny Lee's setup running on most any system.