Project MusicBox - Portable, hidden, and wireless sound system

Update-V2 has been posted here: http://wolfebaine.blogspot.com/2011/08/musicbox-v2.html

Backstory - I'm a recent homeowner and the one of the things I was most looking forward to in owning a house was, of course, geeking it out.  After getting everything pretty well in order (you'll see in some other posts) I turned my attention to the back deck and yard.  I have a substantial music collection and the idea of controllable music from every room in the house and even outside the house is the long term goal.  What I wanted was a permanent (or at least semi-permanent) outdoor PC that was running wireless and had access to my server where my music was stored.  Then I wanted to control that system with some kind of handheld (I'm using a Nokia N700, but any cell phone with wireless would work).  Under just those terms I would've had this project done in an hour.  There'd be wires everywhere and some unsightly speaker system nailed to the siding.   However, with the house came a wife.  And the wife insists (and rightly so) that whatever I create that is in or around the house must be ascetically pleasing.  Were it not for that direction, I probably never would've came up with this idea.  So, thanks honey!
(more after the break)


Turn your numeric keypad into a mouse/full keyboard

Backstory - The touchscreen in my CarPC died (more on that later).  As such, I needed a quick replacement for control and a mouse was not a good option for the car.  I had a spare USB keypad and used AutoHotkey to emulate a mouse (when the numlock's off) and a cellphone-type keyboard (when the numlock's on).  This works fine on a standard keyboard as well (I used the mouse portion for my HTPC)

(more after the break)


Here we go...

I've decided to do this for a couple of reasons.

  1. I have had/will have alot of fun doing each of these things and figure someone else in the world might also
  2. Great place to keep track of my many many projects (if I can stick to updating this consistently)
  3. Show my daughter someday why her daddy spent the better part of her childhood in a basement with a soldering iron
  4. Help! Please if see I'm doing something wrong or can suggest a better method, don't hesitate to contact me!
So, let's get started. Here are a few of the projects I will be posting (retroactively). It might help motivate me a little more to do some 'how-to's' of the work I've already done. On the hit list:

  • Bluetooth Doorbell (customizable doorbell based on bluetooth MAC address)
  • $320 carpc
  • Headless outdoor jukebox (controlled by tablet, phone, anything with wifi)
  • KitchenPC (laptop running linux built in a picture frame for keyboardless operation)
  • Original XBOX softmod
  • Numpad Keyboard/Mouse (script that turns just the numpad into a keyboard/mouse combo)
...let the fun begin