A new use for old laptops!

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A new use for old laptops!

Postby filecore » Thu May 03, 2007 10:15 am

Well, something just came into my head, in a follow-up from my abortive question about uses for laptop LCDs. Since it's so difficult to program the anonymous and arbitrary GPUs of laptops, I came up with another idea...

The bits:

I have a 75MHz/64MB laptop (Toshiba Satellite 220CS, iirc) and another similar spec laptop, the brand of which I've just now forgotten, and now I also have a spare 400MHz/256 laptop with no use. It, like the others, is in very shabby physical shape (case is scratched and broken, keys don't work, mouse buttons on the touchpad don't work, etc) so there's very little resale value to any of them.

I've already taken two of these apart and it occurs to me that I could mount all three on a sort of free-standing trellis, with the most powerful one in the middle, and use something like MaxiVista (is there a Linux equivalent?) to use the other machines as sort of slave screens, to give myself a nice large screen setup, with the most powerful machine doing the bulk of the work.

I envision something like this, for the basic stages at least. Once it's all working fine, I'll remove the CD drives and peripherals and control everything locally or over the network, and then once it's finished and working, I'll tart it up a bit. Here's my concept design:


Thoughts? Could this be done with Linux easily or am I looking for some other software implementation (since I know a Windows version is possible)? :-)

EDIT: yes, I know those are full ATX motherboards, it's just a design I threw together so you have some sort of an idea what I'm talking about.
Home server: Asus P5Q Pro, Core2Quad, 8GB DDR2, ENGTX260 876MB, Zalman 800w, Antec P180 case, 2x1TB and 2x2TB Samsung Spinpoint F1, Windows 7 64-bit, etc

Work server: HP ProLiant ML350 G6, hexacore Xeon E5645 2.4GHz (12 logical cores), 16GB DDR3, 3x300GB SAS RAID5, Server 2008 R2, nVidia GT560Ti 1GB for Hyper-V RemoteFX acceleration
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