Aug 29 AT 12:44 PM Clark Wimberly 7 Comments

TouchPad mod: a wall-mounted Twitter stream. Come join us!

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At this point, I probably don’t need to recap the story. But for the uninitiated, HP discontinued their hardware the other day, dropping the TouchPad down to $99 (for the 16GB version). Everyone and their mom went out and bought one, us included. While we wait for Android to hit the TouchPad, we thought it might be fun to explore some other uses for this little guy. And since I don’t have OS-level coding abilities, we decided to take a walk down the mod path.

Our first TouchPad mod was turning the tablet into a wall-mounted Twitter activity stream. For a while now, we’ve been toying with the idea of giving our power users a way to stay in direct contact with our office (for tips, questions, etc). As a quick proof-of-concept, I’ve whipped together a Twitter-based solution that just monitors for the @androidandme handle and sends a live alert to my TouchPad (complete with a Mario coin sound effect).

For this mod, I kept things relatively simple. Most of the modifications were done on a cheap picture frame from Target, leaving my new TouchPad completely pristine inside its new home. I even drilled out a hole in the side of the frame, allowing the TouchPad to charge within. While I’ve still got some changes left (cleaning up my matte, painting/sanding the hole I drilled, and notching the matte with a space for the TouchPad’s phyiscal button), I’m far enough along that I just had to share it with you guys. Check out the gallery below for a few shots of how things came together:

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Now comes the fun part. For the next few hours, I’ll be live streaming this TouchPad over on ustream (update: We’re done with the steam, but thanks for joining us today! We had fun answering your tweets live!). If you want to help us test it, just send a tweet to @androidandme. In fact, use the box below to make everything even easier:

While we continue to wait for Android, we thought exercises like this would be a fun way to kill some time. Are you guys doing anything super-handy with your new TouchPads? If so, let us hear about it in the comments below. Or send us a live tweet, straight onto our wall!

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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