Intro: Dell Laptop Into Digital Photo Frame
These are the steps I used to create my Digital Photo Frame from an older Dell 1150 laptop.
EDIT: thanks for the Feature!
Step 1: Software Overview/Gut the Lappy
Before I did anything, I planned it out. I knew I wanted a fully-functioning laptop on the wall mainly to be used as a DPF.
The software I used for the slideshow was Slickr, a screensaver that downloads pictures of any specified subject, flickr user, or set of photos on the fly. It works really nicely if you put a shortcut to it in the Startup Folder.
I also use TightVNC to connect to it across the network so I can have total control over it when I need to. I also wanted some control over it without VNC, so I also have the touchpad available, but more on that later.
The first thing I did was to really commit to the project and begin dissecting the laptop to see really what I needed. You'll find lots of extraneous plastic and metal brackets, and knowing what's what will help you decide what you need and what you don't.
Step 2: Take Out the Garbage
Here are some pictures of the shell of the laptop that really isn't needed for the final project.
Step 3: Frame and Mat It
I was able to find a decent frame from wally world that suited my needs. The laptop's (15 in. diagonal) lcd was approx. 9 in. tall by 11 in. wide. I found a 10x14 in. that worked nicely. It worked especially nicely when I got rid of the maroon-ish inner frame that was a whopping 1/4' thick.
Step 4: Cut the Mat
Cutting a Mat can greatly improve the look of the frame, or, it can make it look like a Diy project (just because it IS one doesn't mean it has to Look like one). I've had some experience in cutting mats and i had access to a decent one in order to cut this one.
Step 5: Foam Core
Foam core is a good tool to make the area outside the lcd even with it. Since we don't want any excess pressure on the panel itself, I also used some corrugate that came with the frame to minimalize any dangerous pressure on the lcd. At one point I dropped the lcd panel, so I started it up to make sure it was still working.
Step 6: Seal the Frame With It's Original Backing
Since I had a piece that I removed, there was room enough for me to seal the original frame with the LCD inside. I had to cut a slot in the back for the lcd cable, but other than that, you'd never know there was an LCD in the frame.
Step 7: The Rest of the Computer's Guts (all of Them That Matter, Anyway)
For my project, I used a board of 1/8" thick Masonite to mount the Motherboard and remaining hardware such as Hard Drive, RAM, and Wireless Card. Initially, I had #6 screws to come through the opposite side of the board to use as stand-offs/mounts, but those were too large and I downsized to #4. After a test-fit, I cut the screws off so they wouldn't stick out too far.
Step 8: Touchpad and Side Wall Stand-offs
I thought it would be nice to have access to the touchpad, so it is being held to the masonite and can be slid to the top if need be. The Sides are partially covered by some white pine that has been painted to hide any of the guts from being seen (remember what I said about professionalism?)
Step 9: Put It on the Wall
hang it up, plug it in, and watch it go.