Use a small formfactor motherboard that may be collecting dust in your garage, a handful of other components from your PC junkbox, and some simple HTML and script code, put together the MidniteBoy...Again!

This is another version of a project I posted about 18 months ago, the "MidniteBoy" (Mb):


I took the last one apart and re-used the parts with some additions in a new design. I call it "MidniteBoy2" (Mb2).

The main changes are an integrated LCD panel (yes, I had one from a project that became scrap), some improvements on the simulated wood technique, a fan to deal with the added heat, much better user interface software, more Windows chrome removal, and a few other interesting tricks.

Also, this version is made to hang on a wall like a painting instead of sit on a shelf like a PC-style box next to a TV.

Step 1: The Design

I have a bunch of sketches I made while I was trying to figure out what I wanted here. I also did some research into the art of Marquetry and wood inlay designs. From the sketches, I went to Photoshop with some very good images of real wood textures from the web. Using the "Image" search features on Google, Yahoo!, etc. were tremendously helpful.

In the whole design, I tried to keep the look consistent with how I would make this sort of thing by hand with real wood. To do that, I selected a finite set of natural-looking wood textures. These gave me my four colors to work with.

I then used the texture images and cut out shapes for the design and put them together into single, high resolution images. It was awesomely fun. I highly suggest it.
Hi! I love your project. I'm aiming to make something similar, becuase i have recently salvaged some parts. I have a LC monitor and a micro-atx board with an ye old pentium 4. All i really need hep is recommendation with the software. Does your OS boot directly into the music playing software, or do you have to load it up yourself. I tried looking around for OSes that are nothing more than music players but no luck so far. I have XP in hand and ready, if you can lend me any help. Thanks and once again, Great Project.
This project is REALLY cool, I'm thinking of something similar (more "old jukebox"-y like, though). I have question: could you elaborate a bit more on the HTA and the stuff you've added?
It's quite a bit of stuff actually. Basically, I followed these steps: - Get rid of all "chrome". You know, Windows splash screens, BIOS startup stuff, etc. Search the web for customizing Windows (I used XP) and you'll find techniques. - Get (or build) an IR remote interface and software to use it. There's some open-source stuff available too. - Look for how to make a skin for Winamp and make something that integrates well into your jukebox. - Write some HTA to operate Winamp on keystrokes sent to the HTA from the IR application. If you are new to HTAs, look around, it's primarily HTML (including java/vb scripting). So, you are building a webpage and running it in windows directly (outside a browser).
Thanks for the info!
On second thought, I actually added some description to my earlier project which uses basically the same software scheme. Go here to the &quot;Software&quot; section: <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Multimedia-PC--Low-Power-File-Server-Recycled/">https://www.instructables.com/id/Multimedia-PC--Low-Power-File-Server-Recycled/</a><br/>
This and the first version look like a great way to recycle those old pc's + laptops many of us have hidden away because we can't bring ourselves to throw out something that still works even if is now longer &quot;useable&quot;.&nbsp; In the first version it looks like you used a Mini-Itx motherboard but in this version it looks like you used the bits from an old laptop.&nbsp; Is that correct? <br /> Could you add something next time into the finished article photo for perspective?&nbsp; Maybe a ruler or a soft drink can or .....<br /> Great Instructable and it has given me an idea of what to do with 3 old laptops........<br /> <br />
Thanks for the comment. I'll have to remember that---to show scale in the finished photo---great idea. To give you an idea of scale, it's about 2' tall.<br /> The board is actually the same mini&nbsp;ITX&nbsp;from the first version and the screen is a spare desktop&nbsp;LCD&nbsp;monitor.<br /> It works well for me as a media server too. I&nbsp;sometimes leave the motherboard on and blank the screen. It's harddrive has&nbsp;my album collection&nbsp;in a Windows shared folder. I&nbsp;can&nbsp;access&nbsp;them from my other home PCs and laptops.<br />
You might try adding a planar transducer or two to this for sound.&nbsp; You'll need amplification of some kind, but assuming it will all fit, you could use it as a wall-mounted stereo, as well.&nbsp; See Parts Express for a cheap pair:&nbsp; http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=309-148.&nbsp; You should be able to get a small automotive amp that would also fit and run off the power supply.<br />
What kind of remote do you use?
I use one of the older Philips Prestigo universal remotes. Any universal remote will work. I have the PC's IR software configured to operate on the "DAT" keys of the universal remote. So, the same remote controls all my devices (PC included).
yeah its very convenient to have a party but we need more details about the OS and the software. Good really good
you could do this using an old TV and put a tuner card in it and did something like <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Turn_a_broken_DVD_player_into_an_accessory_enclosu/?ALLSTEPS">this</a><br/>
Good points fellas. The software would need a howto of its own--maybe later. The box design and mounting I'll think about how to add reasonably. Thanks for the comments!
Pretty cool, but I agree qith jnrok...not nealry enough info regarding OS/software, etc.
Looks pretty slick. You should add more details on design of box & mounting/modding the hardware. Also a full howto on your software setup alone would good as well (since it seems very customized as well).

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