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Hanging Laptop Digital Painting

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Take your old laptop, matte it, frame it, and convert it into a hanging framed digital lcd screen to do with as you like.
 
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Step 1: Remove Hinges (free the display)

Caution: The first thing to realize with this project is you can easily destroy your laptop. Weigh your options carefully. I actually made mine smoke and thought it was destroyed for a few hours, this was quite depressing.

I used my first generation G4 powerbook for this project, which already had the hinges broken, so this was a bit easier for me than it will be for you. Although, you can easily break the hinges off by folding the monitor back. I also ripped off that little back flap before I began, but be WARNED a little piece of metal might fall into your laptop when you do this, ruining it. I would finally suggest doing all the work on a soft surface, I used a towel on my bed.

To remove the hinges on this laptop take a torx-8 screw bit and remove the two screws in each hinge. (You can get these bits at radio shack if you dont have them.)

Pull off the hinge caps, though you may need a small flat head screw drive. NOTE: always be careful of the cables that carry the data (little and green). They're actually very small coax cables and can easily be ruined.

Now remove the inner metal hinges with the same screw bits. These should just come off after you unscrew them.
ewilhelm6 years ago
Digital picture frames are a really popular gift project here on Instructables, and lots of people are searching for digital picture frame how-to's. So, in addition to this great project, check out this guide to some of the best digital picture frames we have:
Instructables Digital Picture Frame How-to Building Guide
rjc30002 years ago
For a mac if you have Timbuktu installed on the G4 you can control it from any other computer with Timbuktu (or other remote desktop app). I happened to have Timbuktu installed on the G4 to be used so it was a logical choice. Great idea!
kingsface4 years ago
How long do you keep the screen on ? 24/7 ? Anything to worry if you do so ?
There is absolutely nothing wrong in that. You can keep it on as long as you want!!
benster33327 years ago
Hey, I was wondering, all I have is an old Dell laptop screen (without any wires). I dont want to turn it into a wall mounted screen because I dont have the computer to go with it. I want to turn it into a desktop monitor. Any ideas of what I could do?
You can't. It's driven by a raw signal, and nothing bar the graphics interface inside a laptop or the beefy circuit inside an lcd monitor will drive it. You can't adapt it to vga, svideo, anything like that.
Since you seem to know what your talking about, what parts from my laptop are need to turn it into a lcd monitor for my 360? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
I have a dated toshiba if thats any help.
didnt u understant u cant! well in my case i can :D i can get hsync vsync r g b contrast and more :D the thing is its realy hard to do with my monittor....
tyaktu moopet5 years ago
Hey, so what I can do my laptop screen ? how I can utilize my screen?
moopet tyaktu5 years ago
Without spending about five times what the screen is worth, not a lot. You can use it to make a lovely flat-panel light - arrange a couple of these in picture frames and just power them up with no data cable attached and it's very spacey. Other than that... not a lot.
RanDUM4 years ago
Very nice instructable, I'm gonna do it with my old laptop.

I feel bad for the MacBook though. (Apple rules!)
wow this is extremely easy
Apple Rule4 years ago
EVIL!!!!
superjames5 years ago
Did you shave your arms? Green shirt = hairy Black shirt = hairless
:D

oh yeah, cool instructable too!
codongolev5 years ago
I have an old windows 95 lappy (I got it from a friend) and I wish to do this. I have one problem, though: my brother took it apart, and when he put it back together, it would boot, tell us it overheated, then shut off. he later realized he accidentally removed the heatsink. is there a way to bypass the overheat shutdown cycle?
You had best replace the heat sink. Running it longer than the overheat warning would make it quit permanently :(
well, it's not that much of a problem, I could just make it shut down with the wall switch (a lot of the stuff in my basement does that) and it's cold down here. I just want to know how to disable it.
I think the overheat function is built into the BIOS and the motherboard, so trying to disable it would be almost impossible. Another thing, just because the air in your basement is cold doesn't not mean that the CPU will be. It needs air flowing across it to stay cool. Just out of curiosity, how does one forget to reinstall the heat sink? Its probably the largest single thing in there
me bro assumed it was something that didn't need to be there. HOW DO YOU OPEN A COMPUTER AND JUST DECIDE THAT SOMETHING DOESN'T NEED TO BE THERE?!?!?
I bought an iBook G3 Clamshell that I'm doing this with right now. This guide is helping me out so much!
i did something like this with an ibm thinkpad T30, u dont need a 3G, just use a notebook you have laying around (so u dont need to buy it)
I know, but I got it for $20, it works perfectly, and I already have a MacBook, so it doesn really matter if I use it.
Nooooooooo! not a clamshell (Unless it's the blueberry one!)
puffyfluff5 years ago
Nice. Looks great.
crestind6 years ago
Yours looks very nice, but where is the power brick? The problem with the laptop I'm planning to use is that the power brick is less than a foot away from where it plugs into the laptop, so hanging it on a wall seems impossible for mine :(
You could always extend the power cord.
And if you wanted to change the images and such, this would require removal from case to attach mice and such?
cotton6 years ago
your laptop smoked because theres is bad ventilation they holes need to be bigger
I have an idea... Why don't you make this digital painting, a complete media center, by adding a connection to your LAN, and using ssh you could control the frame remotely and also play some videos or music on the frame. =)
...or you could upload and download some files using SFTP
nonbrewer6 years ago
wireless keyboard and mouse usb adapter and you can still use it as a computer.
mawalien6 years ago
Great idea there. I'm working on one of these for my in-laws. Do you know of a Live-CD (Any 'Nix flavour, really) that could be set up to boot up the laptop, and slideshow pics that are burnt on the CD? That way, all they need to do is get an "Update" cd from me with new pics, pop it into the fram, and press power button. Cheers!
BluePlanet6 years ago
Great Idea for recycling those old laptops! However if you want to make it slimmer ( and you are REALLY good with computers ) you can remove all of the unnessesary hardware and the case from the laptop. When I did this I took out the keyboard, CD drive, and ALL of the casing from the monitor and the computer, oh and and the fans. I then heatshrinked the area where the monitor back would be touching the exposed parts of the circut board. I hand built the frame for it with stereo speakers so I could play sound clips and movie files over my wireless network. I vented the back and sides of my frame and mounted a whisper fan with a heat sensor over the CPU as well as a flat heatsink. I also made holes in the bottom of the frame so I could plug in USB keyboards and etc. So far The fan seems to be keeping the thing cool, and it seems to work, BUT Whatever you do DONT let anything touch what it shouldn't touch, and if you cant find a heat sensitive fan, DONT remove the original fans because they change speed depending on the temperature of the CPU.
Is there to do this if you only have a screen? Could i hook up a digital camera and display it on the screen?
GunBlade7 years ago
This is by far the best idea I ever got for my very very old Pentium 133mhz IBM laptop. Thank you!
erazar7 years ago
Is it possible to cut the wires that goes from the base to the monitor, and make them a bit longer? or would this weaken the signal to much?. would like to "hide" the base in a cabinet and make a slim frame hanging at the wall.
It is not a good idea to cut the wires since each of the small wires are really coaxial wires, meaning each wire is really 2 wires (consisting of two concentric conductors separated by an insulator.)
benster33327 years ago
If you need pictures, i can sent some to you. I just don't know if it is possible.
Very cool! These look really beautiful. I've made a similar one, but with a much older laptop. Yours are much slimmer. I've added this page to my digital picture frame resource site. I think it will really help people out.

http://likelysoft.com/hacks/pictureframes.shtml
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