Introduction: Remove the Delete Button on a Digital Picture Viewer to Make It Safe for Grandma

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to learn …

Inspired by the homemade digital picture frame here, I went searching for the parts to build my own. Embarrassingly, I found a cheap enough finished product that I just bought rather than building my own. However, I still managed to figure out a reason to open it up and modify it: the delete button on the front was too easy to hit by mistake. Since I plan to give this to my Grandmother, I didn't want her accidentally deleting the images and having to wait for someone with a laptop to copy the images back.

Step 1: Delete Key Is Just Too Easy

The key with an "x" that is the same size and relative position as the "i," power button key is the delete key. Pressing it twice deletes whatever image is currently displayed. When I was playing with the viewer, I accidentally deleted an image, so I was certain Grandma would as well.

Really, what were they thinking?

Step 2: Crack It Open

It's held together with barbs, so I had to pry it open.

Step 3: Remove the Switch

I could have fired up the soldering iron and desoldered the switch. Instead, I just pried it up with a screwdriver. A trace on the board broke, but I figured it wouldn't matter.

Step 4: Test, Reassemble, Load With Images, Ship to Grandma

The broken trace didn't affect anything. Now, the delete button is just decoration.

Step 5: Fix Problems With Images

Probably because this thing is so cheap it has some problems with certain images. I never really identified what those problem were but my guesses include images that aren't a "normal" aspect ratio, images that are smaller than 640 pixels wide, and images that have their resolution set to 72 pixels/inch (screen resolution) rather than 300 or so pixels/inch (printing resolution). Problem images would not be displayed by the picture frame.

To fix all my images, I first renamed them to an imgsxxxx.jpg, where xxxx is a number, type format. Then I used Preview on MacOSX to crop both the width and height to 95%. The act of opening the image, cropping it, and saving it seemed to fix them. Cropping to 100% fixed some of the images but not all; losing 5% of the image on the edges seemed like a small price to pay considering this problem was driving me nuts. Automator made it a snap to do this to all 200 images I want to send to Grandma.