Journalist and Mac geek Scott Walker had a great idea for an old Mac mini, a newspaper vending machine, and some Applescript: a home-made digital newsstand.
Here’s the gist of how it works:
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.
It’s a lovely combination of hardware hack and smart software thinking, and the idea of putting the whole thing inside an old news rack bought from eBay is just genius. Needless to say, it makes me think that perhaps I shouldn’t sell that old redundant Mac mini of mine - I should think of a useful hack for it instead…