Re-purpose a laptop with a broken screen

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foxmiles
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Re-purpose a laptop with a broken screen

Post by foxmiles » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:45 am

Dad broke the screen on his laptop. A new screen is $100, the battery (powers it for ~10min ATM) is $50. So he just bought a new laptop. Anyway, the options I've thought of so far:

1. A quiet, low power, home server. It should support: samba, rsync (backups), wake on lan & a timed standby of some sort, other stuff?. Battery would be the UPS. This would be for me, it really wouldn't benefit Dad to do this (automated backups would I guess).

2. A HTPC - It's low power, quiet, small. It connects to Dad's tv fine now. It would work fine on mine. Add a compact wireless keyboard/touchpad or just a remote control & something like xbmc. Wake on usb, add an external power button. Short of blu-ray I think it'll play anything. No surround output, but he has no surround speakers. I kinda wanted blu-ray and surroundon my HTPC, but $0 vs $500 must be considered. This option could be for Dad or me, depends if he wants it.

3. A mix of both - probably the best option. HTPC mainly, server software for backups, etc.

What do you think? Any other Ideas?
Steve
Digging with a spoon will accomplish more than leaning on a shovel.

Tom
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: Re-purpose a laptop with a broken screen

Post by Tom » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:56 am

I would say the best option is the same one you suggested, a mix of htpc and backup server.
I'd recommend using wake on lan but having it power off, hibernate or standby after like 5-15 minutes of inactivity.

If your isp allows you could also use it for a web, voip or game server.

ftp could also be handy since I don't use samba in Linux and windows can be flaky sometimes with different versions.

Plus you could do a hardware firewall/pdnsd/polipo server, and put ssh/vnc in case you need to access files from a remote location (also assuming your isp allows that)

foxmiles
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Re: Re-purpose a laptop with a broken screen

Post by foxmiles » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:51 am

Well I was playing with Dad's old laptop with the broken screen...
desk.JPG
Desk With wall mounted computer
It started with adding a power switch to the outside, shoving the thing in the cupboard and hooking it all up. It seems the power switch won't work when the lid is closed. I tore it back apart looking for the lid switch (which I never found), Then thought "What do I need the lid for?".

I have a new appreciation for PCB's after designing one little simple one, now I view them as a form of art. So "Why not get rid of the stuff covering it up?" and "It looks really neat, why not mount it to the wall like a picture?". It is fully functional, I did have to extract a wifi antenna from the screen to get that working.

I think I should get a piece of plexiglass to keep the cat out of it eventually, maybe build an awesome frame of some sort to hide the wires. but for now:
desk2.JPG
Laptop on wall
Digging with a spoon will accomplish more than leaning on a shovel.

Jarod
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Re: Re-purpose a laptop with a broken screen

Post by Jarod » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:15 pm

That looks pretty snazzy!

And that's a decently fast laptop, I'd say you should be able to use that for most everyday stuff, even some light gaming, I certainly use mine quite a bit, well Tiff uses it more than I do but still its a good machine.

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