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Picture of How 2.0: Digital Memory Wall
There's nothing wrong with a good old photo album. Except that it's dusty, prone to wear and tear and stuck in the past. So we built a digital memory wall that plays a live stream of photos, past and present, across multiple LCD monitors, right before your eyes. In this memory wall, each monitor displays a separate feed, which is networked via FiOS to other family members. So you can set up friends and relatives to add to your wall instantly, with their latest pics.

MATERIALS:

  • Customized computer
  • Windows XP or Vista
  • Bluetooth mouse and keyboard
  • 2 Fire MV ATI PCI-e graphics cards
  • 1 Dual output ATI graphics card
  • Google photo screensaver software
  • Photo sharing software (like Picasa or Flickr)
  • LCD monitors (VGA or DVI inputs)
  • Internet connection (FiOS recommended)
 
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Step 1: Assemble Your Custom Computer

Picture of Assemble Your Custom Computer
Running 10 monitors with a constant photo stream will demand a lot from your computer. To avoid crashes, I custom-configured a computer with these minimum requirements: 600 Watt Power Supply, Dual Core Processor, and 2 Gigabytes of DDR2 DRAM memory. Then I tweaked the input-output settings on the motherboard, to allocate more D-RAM memory for video.

Short Cut: You can build a simpler Memory Wall without modifying your computer. A typical PC can support up to 6 monitors. Here's how:

First, shut down your computer and disconnect the power supply. remove the side panel to gain access to the motherboard. Check to see what type of PCI ports you have available. There are several different types of graphics cards, and all of them are configured differently. depending on your system, you will need to get a graphics card that is compatible with your system. Avoid mixing different graphics card brands; some brands will not work when they are in a system with a different brand graphics card. Consult with your computer or motherboard manufacturer for more information.

Step 2: Install Windows XP or Vista

Picture of Install Windows XP or Vista
Install Windows XP or Vista onto the hard drive and add the Graphics Cards. Different operating systems support different graphics cards. Use PCI cards for Windows XP. Use PCI Express for Windows Vista.

Step 3: Mount the Monitors on the Wall

Picture of Mount the Monitors on the Wall
step3b.jpg
Decide where you want to mount each of the monitors on the wall. Depending on your setup, you will need to route power to your monitors. Consult with an electrician if you need additional outlets installed. The cables will run behind the wall. Cut holes behind each monitor, and fish the cable behind the wall.

You can run a maximum of 100 feet of VGA cable from the computer to the monitors, so plan the placement of your computer accordingly. Once the cables are in place, plug them in to the computer.

Step 4: Setup and Configure the Monitors

Picture of Setup and Configure the Monitors
Now you'll need to configure the monitors so they match the set-up on the wall. Open the display properties in the control panel. From to the settings tab, you will see each monitor you have connected to the computer. Activate each monitor by selecting it. Click the box "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor".

Once you've activated all the monitors, arrange them so that they match the layout on the wall. Simply drag each monitor to its position.

Step 5: Install and Configure the Screensaver Software

Picture of Install and Configure the Screensaver Software
step5b.jpg
Download and install photo screensaver software from Google (http://pack.google.com/intl/en/pack_installer.html?noredirect=on). Once installed, open the Google Photo Screensaver Configuration Tool. Add your feed link to the settings. Click the box marked "Photo feeds," then click "Configure".

Add the RSS or ATOM feed of the albums you want to show on the Memory Wall. Burn your feed with feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home) if it's not a valid feed. Once you've entered your feeds, Click "Done".

Step 6: Add Pictures and Enjoy!

Picture of Add Pictures and Enjoy!
Everything is now set up! When the screensaver comes on, it will rotate through the pictures in the feeds. With a FiOS-connected computer, you can see photos from friends and family as soon as they add them to their albums! Just add their feeds to your list, and enjoy the memories as they happen!

Real-time memories. What a concept.

http://www.2pointhome.com/diys/steps/46039
bijikenyot5 years ago
hmm..lokks familiar with put a big tv on your wall... of course after you make a big hole on your wall.. :D :D cheers
LVGene5 years ago
Kudos!

I tried to pitch my dentist on a $25 DVD player - converter - computer monitor setup.  He could create his own custom video DVDs to feature his cosmetic dental work.

Oh but NO Deal!   He didn't see fit to WASTE his money on such nonsense.  ????  This guy's practice must rake in more than 700k a month.  "High Class"
 cosmetic dentistry. 

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I'd love to recreate your instructible!  And may if I have a real office or store front again.

Thanks..  Super Cool idea!  I Loved it!

GENE
fwjs285 years ago
wow, this is extremely well written and great pictures..i really like it!