Picture of Sony walltop / iMac-like casemod
In my spare time I decided that I was going to convert an old sony laptop into a digital picture frame / dvd player / wall unit. What it became was something else again.

The said machine:
Sony PCG-FX210
800 MHz processor
128 Mb RAM

Unfortunately I did not start this project with doing an instructable in mind, however, here is a rough listing of materials and tools required:

- Aging laptop
- Clear plastic Shadow Box, 11 x 14 (Available @ Michael's Craft Store)
- Precision screwdrivers
- Masking Tape
- Tiny screws and nuts
- Drill with small bit
- Glue gun and hot glue

Step 1: Install a lightweight operating system (Linux)

Picture of Install a lightweight operating system (Linux)
The said laptop came with Micro$oft Windows ME installed which, clearly, would not do.

After toying with various lightweight linux distributions, I settled upon installing Xubuntu (which required the no-gui alternate install CD) with Fluxbox as the window manager. I later discovered this is a fork in its own right (Fluxbuntu). This may be stretching the capabilities of the machine anyhow; if you are more knowledgeable and attempting a similar project with an old machine, I would recommend installing a distribution such as DSL, ArchLinux, Vector, Crunchbang, etc.

Installation was straightforward without hang-ups. I simply selected all the default options.
Wow, i normally flick through all these interesting builds on instructables but this one really caught my eye!! I am no expert but this would ''look'' fantastic i you designed a professional looking cover for it. I am really impresed with this, itmade me bother to sign up so i could comment!! well done!!!
minus52523 years ago
Awesome project, I'm looking at doing something similar. I love your final product. Just using the plastic from from Michael's instead of using acrylic sheet was a good idea.

Are you able to easily access the DVD drive? I suppose you could always forgo a hardware switch and just use the "right click" computer->right click dvd drive->select eject...how do you handle accessing the DVD drive?
ajs19804 years ago
I know this is a bit old but in addition I would add automotive grade window tint to the front would hid the electronic bits while still allowing the image to show through. some may prefer the clear option but for a more spartan look solid black might be a bonus.
indian_995 years ago
If you need a light OS for your digital picture frame you can use this one based on openSUSE11.3: http://susegallery.com/a/OFJVZe/photoframe
kbhasi5 years ago
Looks like it originally had win 98. Not sure if you can check out the Revolutions pack n the win 98 still alive campaign...
evilbunnee5 years ago
Nice project!  I just did this with an aging alienware that had busted hinges and was falling apart.  I have my display rotated so I can read PDF files on it as if I were holding a magazine sized ebook reader.  And with the mouse and the virtual keyboard, I rarely need to hook up a regular keyboard.  Such an excellent bedside computer!  Excellent project, thanks for the idea and the instructable!
Vapolord5 years ago
i have got the same keybord like you but by mine the 1;2;3 butten dosent work...........it cant be repaired, can it?
dylpdx5 years ago
very nice...i'm looking to do a similar project, only i want to put a laptop into an iMAC shell...i found an imac at a garage sale for $10...and i have an olllld laptop...voila...maybe very nice project....
robots1996 years ago
Nice job. Also try installing os x on the vaio laptop, it would be awsome! 
ReCreate6 years ago
Wow, This is Pretty Close to what i was planning to do.
johnomi6 years ago
Great Build, Thanks for the instructions.