Weekend DIY Project – Digital Newsstand

DIY Digital Newsstand (Images courtesy Design on deadline)
By Andrew Liszewski

Using an old newspaper vending rack, a 17″ LG Flatron LCD monitor, a Mac mini and a bit of free time assistant newspaper editor Scott Walker created this brilliant digital newsstand. Now instead of having to walk to the driveway to fetch the newspaper the day’s headlines are automatically downloaded and displayed in his living room every morning.

Thanks to a few native Apple applications and a couple of cheap third-party ones the digital newsstand can not only deliver the day’s news (or I guess yesterday’s news) but can also be used to play photo slideshows, music and videos.

With a little AppleScript work, I trained my Mac to get the papers. The Mac Mini connects to the Internet and to my iTunes library through my home wireless network. Each morning the computer launches a script triggered by an iCal alarm. While cueing up a music playlist, the script automatically gathers images, crops them in half with GraphicConverter and launches a slideshow with PhotoPresenter, a nifty little $8 shareware program with lots of snazzy transitions. The remote can pause or cycle through the pages.

If you’re interested there’s also a video after the jump showing the digital newsstand in action as well as giving you a brief look inside the box.

[ The Digital Newsstand ] VIA [ MAKE: Blog ]