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I have access to a large array of laptops in various degrees of assembly, everything from netbooks up to a 20" display. I've been thinking about taking one and turning it into a digital pictureframe on steroids - one that will sit on a nightstand and double as an alarm clock, cd player, internet radio, etc. To start with I'll probably just use some amplified speakers, if it works well I may spring for some wireless ones (bluetooth?).

In any event, for controling it, I'm thinking about a mix of IR, maybe touchscreen, and/or a trackball.

Has anyone here already done a project like this and have any advice as to what worked well and what didn't?

I like the idea of using a touchscreen (I can use something like a HP Elitebook 2730 or 2740) as that way there's always some degree of control, no hunting around for a remote. Does anyone know of a good way to either integrate the different functions (internet radio, cd player, picture display) - is Win7 media player up to the task? I have pc IR remotes with some media center dedicated buttons, I suspect between that and something that lets me customize the way the unit handles IR will be the way to go. Are there any sort of plug-ins (like an alarm clock) in media player?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!