Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Another Disk In The Wall

Functional, kinetic art
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Due to a recent halfbakery idea involving a small computer, I spent a few minutes considering how to downsize a CD ROM drive. In the process, I recognized that the drive in a laptop is pretty minimal and could be stripped down to a very small piece of equipment if not for the sliding tray needed to cover and protect the spinning CD.

An array of these stripped down drives could be placed on a wall in a grid pattern such that attached CDs would, more or less, cover the wall. Each fully exposed CD would hide it’s own dedicated drive mechanism and electronics which would be accessed and run by a fancy-dancy multiplexing controller doo-hickey.

For added uniqueness, user control wouldn’t be done with a boring IR remote. Instead, virtual buttons (optical sensors) would also be added to the wall and would be “pressed” via a laser pointer. The laser pointer, when shone on a sensor in close proximity to a CD would select that CD. Shining the laser pointer in to the “Play” sensor would then cause the selected CD to play. Of course, all of the regular “shuffle”, “random”, etc. CD changer type functions would be included.

(Name changed 11 March 03. FKA "Who needs a CD Changer?" Thanks to [a mosquito])

half, Mar 10 2003

The inspiration http://www.halfbake...e_20Mini_20Computer
I took a few hard left turns to get here from there... [half, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Strobe Illumination http://www.halfbake...Label_20Illuminator
either for the whole thing, or aimed at the CD in play [lurch, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

CD Launcher http://www.halfbake...AOL_20CD_20Launcher
HalfBaked ....... [8th of 7, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Connection converter (50 to 40 pin IDE) http://www.baber.co...line_cd_adapter.htm
Converts a laptop drive to hook up to a regular desktop [JRandMoby, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

[link]






       This is pure genius. I am going to build this for my apartment. I wish I had another croissant to give you.
JRandMoby, Mar 10 2003
  

       I am going to build this exactly as described. This is the coolest, most possible idea I have seen on HB, period. I’ll post a few sketches soon.   

       The more I think about it, the cheaper it gets. The laser pen part would be incredibly easy. Photoresistors, or phototransistors are very cheap, small, and available. I’m looking in to a way to drive multiple laptop drives without a computer.
JRandMoby, Mar 10 2003
  

       you can have my croissant, [JRandMoby]. i wasn't going to eat it anyway.
sambwiches, Mar 10 2003
  

       Guy art, for sure. +
bristolz, Mar 10 2003
  

       I need a cd changer, can I have one?
Gulherme, Mar 10 2003
  

       "Random play" = wave laser pointer around on the wall a bit?   

       3 options for your display:
1: output (serial?) for LED signboard
2: Video out for wall mounted plasma TV
3: Strobe at CD rate so you can read the label on the CD, ala [CedarPark]'s creation <link>
lurch, Mar 10 2003
  

       Interesting, yes, but don't stare at disc-less drives.
phoenix, Mar 10 2003
  

       "Random Play" = point laser pen at a disco ball!
Jinbish, Mar 10 2003
  

       I don't see a reason for the laser pointer part though.
RoboBust, Mar 10 2003
  

       //don't stare at disc-less drives// A simple, optical, non-laser emitter-detector pair could detect the reflection from a disk to permit the enabling of the laser. The electronics for this must already be in place to disable the laser when the drawer is open.   

       //I don't see a reason for the laser pointer part// ("art: interactive") Heh, there's not much reason in the entire idea, and such a parallel arrangement called for a unique control method so I figured "why not?". Order yours now and I'll throw in the IR remote control functionality, [RoboBust].
half, Mar 10 2003
  

       (Currently accepting submissions for a new title)
half, Mar 10 2003
  

       "CD Wall-et"
8th of 7, Mar 10 2003
  

       The JukeWall? I could definitely see this in a bar.   

       The controller could be a communal “pay laser.” Pay the waitress for credits, and select songs right from you table. Sounds fun to me. Also, an added dynamic: You can see who is selecting what song. Razz your buddy three tables over, who picked out crappy songs. Flirt with the cute girl who played something you really like. This could be very successful.   

       Selecting a CD with the laser could bring up a track listing on a centrally located LED board, or flat panel display.
JRandMoby, Mar 10 2003
  

       "Wall of Sound" comes in from a currently innocent bystander as a name suggestion (with no intentional references to Phil Specter).
half, Mar 10 2003
  

       I like "Wall of Sound".   

       Another idea: If the array is large enough, and the CDs are closely spaced, track listings could be “written” by the CDs themselves by using spinning/non-spinning discs, and backlighting.
JRandMoby, Mar 10 2003
  

       Since I'm trying to pass this off as art: a mode for spinning disks in various sequences, patterns, speeds would be beneficial.
half, Mar 10 2003
  

       When is was time for silence, would the discs continue to spin, unread? I think they should, for the visual appeal.
bungston, Mar 10 2003
  

       Yep, they could. That's what I was attempting to say with the previous hurried annotation.
half, Mar 10 2003
  

       (+) Just a thought: Could this be done by ripping out the mechanisms of 20 or so CD-ROM drives?
LoneRifle, Mar 11 2003
  

       i kinda dig the visuals of this more than the mechanics.
For the money, rip all your cds, buy iPod, pod iMac, x11 interface, LED arrays and optical switches, and grid up the wall o' CDs for 2-way selection input and output visuals.
get this party started.
roby, Mar 11 2003
  

       How about covers for the empty slots, to stop impulse purchase of CDs just to fill ugly gaps.
death's_roadie, Mar 11 2003
  

       Put AOL CD's on them ? Saves them from being used as drink coasters .....
8th of 7, Mar 11 2003
  

       All in all it's just another disk in the wall. +
Amos Kito, Mar 11 2003
  

       //another disk in the wall// I'm currently favoring this for the new title.
half, Mar 11 2003
  

       //Oooh, looky ! Someone who wasted all that good money on a Mac.//
CD's you'd like then:
Thick as a Brick
A Nod is as Good as a Wink...
Broken Window
Cleanin Out My Closet
We Won't be Fooled Again
We Want the Same Thing
Come Through My Window
Same As It Ever Was
Why Can't I Be You?
roby, Mar 11 2003
  

       you could hire an artist to design covers for all your CDs so they make up a mosaic when inserted in the correct order. i have a mental image of a thousand feng-shui therapists jumping on a wagon, shooting towards your house.
sambwiches, Mar 11 2003
  

       [unabubba] ibet igirl digs guys who have imacs.
roby, Mar 11 2003
  

       that i do...PCs can go to hell. MACS ARE THE FUTURE!!! *sry, i'm a little obsessive*
igirl, Mar 11 2003
  

       Maybe all CDs can be unlabeled except for an arrow, and when off you can be displaying time around the world. Just a thought.
Worldgineer, Mar 11 2003
  

       Was in a Mac store today. Felt like I landed on an alien planet. Mac just doesn't *get* marketing, I think. Computer junkies are just like stereo junkies, Bose crowd notwithstanding. I'll bet most subconsciously *want* the system to be a big, intimidating, impressively hulking thing that screams, not some minimalist, efficient, aerodynamic egg that simply purs.
RayfordSteele, Mar 11 2003
  

       but...but...the purring aerodynamic egg thing is so cool!
igirl, Mar 11 2003
  

       Let's please not start a mac/pc war.. I think we can all agree that not only do they cater to different crowds altogether, but they both have roughly equal plusses and minuses.   

       (Yes, I would own a mac /as a third pc/ if I had the money.. Just for all my media. Photoshop, organizing, etc.)
JackandJohn, Mar 12 2003
  

       Actually, macs and PCs are getting more and more like each other.. they use much the same interfaces(IDE, USB, Firewire, Ethernet), media(CD-ROM/CDR/CDRW, DVD, etc), increasingly use the same hardware(IDE HDDs, IDE CDROMs, etc), similar operating systems(BSD), etc.   

       This is a radical departure from the good 'ol days when MACs were utterly proprietary. Compare the good 'ol days of Macintosh proprietarianism with now, when you can download OSX's window manager(Darwin) and install it free - on your PC. ( Not that I reccomend it. ;p )   

       I sometimes wonder if the mac is evolving or, judging by the shape of that iLamp thing or whatever it is, DEvolving... then I eh, shrug, and have a soda.
Corona688, Mar 12 2003
  

       // you could hire an artist to design covers for all your CDs so they make up a mosaic when inserted in the correct order. i have a mental image of a thousand feng-shui therapists jumping on a wagon, shooting towards your house. //   

       Or shooting at your house.
Corona688, Mar 12 2003
  

       I just read that anno, and thought 'Hey, that was my idea, jackass'. Then I woke up fully and thought 'Well done, sambwiches. You really are as dumb as you look'.
sambwiches, Mar 12 2003
  

       In my head I've played with the idea of a portable disc player consisting only of a center-weighted radial arm with a squeeze sprocket(?) around the axis for loading a disc. The drive would sit and spin quietly on whatever stable flat surface was at hand; a dense counterweight could extend a short distance out toward the opposite side in order to balance the changing center of mass of the arm as the laser within it moved out from the center.   

       Alas, I think solid state memory is advancing fast enough to doom the longterm utility of such a drive.
n-pearson, Jul 01 2003
  

       //Alas, I think solid state memory is advancing fast enough to doom the longterm utility of such a drive.//   

       That's why [roby]'s spin on the idea is sooo good. You use the simplicity of solid-state/ HDD technology to take all the mechanics out. Then all you need to implement is an LED sensor in the center of each CD mounted on the wall.   

       I like the idea of pointing to a disc and seing it spinning up like a B&O system x 10,000. Ideally, this should be mounted behind a lexan/glass wall for protection.   

       A great idea for a club or a boy's bedroom.
FloridaManatee, Jul 01 2003
  

       I think this is actually easy to bake using a stepper motor, one portable CD Player, and an aluminium framework. The CD's could be mounted in perspex pocket, and the player unit move behind the discs.
senatorjam, Sep 12 2006
  
      
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