Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Kitchen Computer: Coming Soon

This project has been months in the making. And it'll be a few more months until it's finished. The idea is to have a computer in the kitchen, obviously. But not just any computer. I'm not talking about a laptop sitting on the counter, taking up valuable work space. I'm not even talking about mounting a flat monitor on the wall. No, I'm talking about a real kitchen computer, completely hidden with a touchscreen embedded in a cabinet door and a wireless keyboard that hides under said cabinet until it's needed.

Are you laughing now, thinking it can't be done? Incorrect, I'm afraid. It definitely can be done and I have all the necessary components to do it. Now I'm just waiting on the kitchen. Obviously I don't want to do it in our current apartment, seeing as how we're moving pretty soon. So it'll have to wait until after we move into the new place.

Here's how it's going to come about. I got a semi-old laptop and removed the screen. I then extended the wire going from the system to the screen. I then purchased a touchscreen glass to go over the screen (plugs in via USB and just looks like a clear piece of glass...the system sees it as a mouse). All of this is done already.

The hardest part of the whole project is that, since it's in an apartment, I can't actually alter or damage the actual cabinet itself. So, how do I cut a square hole in the door for the screen? Answer: I don't...I simply remove the existing cabinet door and make myself a new one from plywood and paint/stain it to match the cabinet color.

The laptop will go inside the cabinet and I'll make a false floor to slide in over top of it...no damage to the cabinet. And the computer will access the Internet via WiFi. So the only cable I'll have to worry about (what with the keyboard being wireless) is the power cable. I'm not sure how I'll get the cable from inside the cabinet to outside without damaging the cabinet. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

So definitely stay tuned! I'll post pictures and details when the project gets underway!