Attempting ‘all-in-one’ PC Mod–Turning Garbage into Gold!

Hey, folks!  I just grabbed an old all-in-one pc off the scrap heap, and I am going to try to convert it into something actually useful – a touchscreen bar-top jukebox.  Only problem, I want to do it on the cheap!  Can I get some feedback regarding any ‘skinable’ open source setup that I might be able to put on this thing?

Tech specs — It’s got a honking POWERHOUSE under the hood!  Celeron 566 with 512 of PC133 on an ultra modified mATX framework (I think).  It’s a crap heap, but hey, it comes with a 15.4″ LCD screen with a 2.5″ flat bezel frame and a decently sturdy and quiet case.  I may be stripping this down and airbrushing some nice enamel on it, but who knows.  The value price of FREE was well within my budget!

Any sage advice from the GG Open Source crowd would be greatly appreciated!  I would think it would be cool if there was some Media Center like apps out there that could run on this, that shows album art with a customizable GUI.

Any ideas?

7 thoughts on “Attempting ‘all-in-one’ PC Mod–Turning Garbage into Gold!”

  1. There are lots of alternatives you could go with. My concern is the touchscreen part. Are you planning to hack a touch screen into it, or is it already touchable? There are a ton of Linux music players out there, but I’m not sure what you want for the jukebox aspect of it. I tend to use Rhythmbox as my music player:

  2. Thanks for the feedback and ideas! Tim, yes my project would look NOWHERE as modern as that Crossfire — it’s pretty plain and angular, but something like that’s what I’d like from a GUI perspective. One of my buddies here at work has a line on some PS/2 port based touch screen film that you can apply as an overlay.

    If the hardware could more heartily support it (which I may be able to strip down) I might even consider putting Media Center 2005 or an extender on it and tying it in totally with my current system. My biggest concern is the struggle that the hardware is going to have with XP. I know it’ll run it, but probably too slow to work well enough. I might just try an install anyway to see what I can get out of it if I trim it down. heck, I could probably even use iTunes or Zune Marketplace as the interface if I can get it running. It would have the album art and a similar type dragging functionality built in, but I’m doubting those will fire up.

  3. I’ll have to second the use of SlimServer. It’s OpenSource and completely skinnable. You don’t have to use their hardware clients at all. You can either the SoftSqueeze client (which emulates the hardware), or really any audio playback software that can handle streaming MP3s.

  4. On the other hand, you can run iTunes very well under Win2k, which is probably a lot leaner than XP (I have a few 2k VMs up and running with very little resources used). As long as you use iTunes full screen, who cares if it’s XP or 2k in the background? SlimServer still requires some sort of jukebox to import and organize, does it not? So, instead of running iTunes or MediaCenter (I am sorry, I don’t know what the name of M$’s jukebox is) in conjunction with SlimServer, you may just keep it basic. Frankly, I have yet to see a better jukebox than iTunes, and I don’t just say that because I am a Machead. Then again, if you are working with your Zune, you may be tied down to whatever formats the thing can play (MP3?). If compatibility is of the essence, you may have to go M$ all the way.

    With extra time on your hands, I would go for some Linux based and free approach – just for the fun of it.

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