[Ryan] and his wife wanted to have a touchscreen interface in the kitchen to store their recipes and for various music, video, and Internet entertainment. We know where they’re coming from, we’re quite tired or cleaning flour (or worse!) off of our palm pilot screen after baking. The display you see on the wall is just the interface, a computer is stored in the cabinet below the counter. He’s running Windows 7 and using a custom graphic interface which is intended to mimic the looks of the iPhone. He’s sharing the UI as open source and has just started a forum for those interested in trying it out and adding to the available features.
One thing we noticed in his writeup, he prototyped this with an old 2 GHz computer but upgraded the hardware because it was too slow. This pushed to total build price to about $1350 USD. We can’t help but mention that using a Linux based system may have saved him from the upgrade. We know there’s some extremely powerful media software that runs on light hardware specs.
Before we get started, lets just point out that this C64 was broken. He did not take a functional C64 out of operation for this. What he did do, was to build a hardware interface for for his VICE system. For those unfamiliar, VICE is a cross platform C64 emulator. [Simon] points out that the old games just weren’t as much fun without the original hardware. Having a broken C64 lying around, he put it to good use. It now acts as the interface for all the original fun stuff.
If you are a fan of the hardware, but just want to interface it as a normal USB keyboard, that is possible as well.
[Mahto] bought a digital picture frame but the image quality turned out to be terrible. He decided to turn it into a clock in a unique way. He loaded up 720 images, one for each minute in a twelve hour period. He then used an Arduino to simulate a button once a minute, cycling to the next image.
This is a simple solution and it works. Visions of hardcore hacks danced through our head when we first looked at this. We’re wondering if there is a way to inject image data into the frame’s memory? How about rewriting the SD card location where the image file that’s currently being displayed is stored, then having the frame reload the picture? Those are projects for a snowy weekend, but we’re sure that [Mahto] finished this hack long before we would have because he kept it simple.
Sooner or later we’re going to need a category for all of these clock hacks.