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App to turn old Mac into Photo Frame
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NDBounce
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Webster, NY, USA
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Nov 13, 2010, 06:45 PM
 
I am not certain if I am in need of an app or script.

I just acquired a 17" iMac G4 that I want to use mostly as a photo frame. Basically I am not looking to mod the hardware, but simply to turn it on, and have it automatically launch into some app, that will start a slideshow automatically.

I don't know how to do scripts, or how to use automator, but am willing to learn.

Can anyone help me with this. I can't imagine it is too difficult, but most of the sites I see on turning an old mac into a photo frame deal with hardware assembly, and not the software side.

The iMac is a G4, 1GHz, 512MB RAM, can dual boot into 10.4.11 and 10.5.8, and has iPhoto and XBMC on it.

Thank you for you help in advance!

O
B unce!
     
Chamomile
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Nov 13, 2010, 09:25 PM
 
Hi NDBounce,

I have an old flower pot model that I used last Christmas in that manner. I just used the screensaver and pointed it to the directory with the photos that I wanted it to use.

Is there something beyond displaying pictures that you're looking for in such a script?
     
NDBounce  (op)
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Nov 13, 2010, 11:45 PM
 
No. The only question I have is whether there is a way to have the screen saver start instantly rather than waiting 2 minutes or so.

Peace,

O
B unce!
     
Chamomile
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Nov 14, 2010, 12:21 AM
 
I used a hot corner to start it, but then if the mouse gets bumped, of course, it would stop the screensaver.

i was thinking that if I wanted to use it permanently, I'd set up the screensaver, then just remove the mouse to avoid any bumping once it kicks in.
     
Chamomile
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Nov 14, 2010, 02:42 AM
 
Hope you don't mind more input from an obvious noob. :blush:

I fooled around with automator some. I found a few things that will work. I'm using a 1.5 GHz PowerBook G4 with 512 megs of ram and 10.5.8.

The one that starts the fastest was just to use automator to make an 'app' that starts the screensaver (which you've configured to display the photos in the directory that you want to use) and add it to your login options.
  • Open Automator and choose 'custom' from the new workflow starting point dialog.
  • In the actions library, double click "start screensaver" to add it to the workflow.
  • File >> Save As - Type in the name you want it to have - choose location you want it saved to - select "application" for format

Or you can use automator to make a workflow that runs an iphoto slideshow. I found several ways to approach it, but I'm only going to list one, because I assume that once you see it done, you'll notice the other options and explore them yourself:

I made a specific album in iPhoto to use. At first I tried just selecting the individual photos, but when I ran it, it took forever.
  • Open Automator and choose "Photos & Images" from the workflow starting point dialog and set your options before clicking the "choose" button. I used Get content from "My iPhoto Library" and "Ask for photos and albums now".
  • After you click the choose button, a dialog pops up. Select your album and click "Add"
  • In the Library on the left hand side of the screen, scroll down until you find "Play iPhoto Slideshow" and double click it to add it to the workflow.
  • Save as an application and add to your login items.

I'd never used the iPhoto slideshow so I had to go into the settings (if you move the mouse, the gear icon is in the options there), and turned off the music and titles. You can also play with the themes and iPhoto seems to remember your selections.

Either of those will work, but loading iPhoto takes longer, I think. I'm sure they're not the most elegant solutions available and I'm curious to see what some more experienced users will suggest. Anyway, thanks for posting. It gave me a problem to explore and I learned something in the process.
     
   
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