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I think it would be nice for me to have a rugged computer based networkable device with a touch screen mounted in the kitchen to bring up those difficult recipes.

Does anyone here have any experience with such equipment and so point me to a reliable one?

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I would be concerned about grime on the screen from all that touching while cooking. Also, touch screens are often a sanitation issue already. This doesn't seem like the greatest idea, but I can see the appeal. –  Naomi Campbell Dec 21 '10 at 20:41
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I was considering this and instead of a touchscreen you could always use a keyboard with a keyboard protector. That way with grime you can clean/replace the protector. –  Kyra Dec 21 '10 at 21:02
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you usually know what you want to cook before you start cooking so it is not hard to imagine that one could call up a recipe on screen and then use that without touching afterwards when your fingers may be messy. There are industrial grade touch screens for factories and other hazardous places so I see no reason why a display along those lines would not be available for the kitchen, like anything else it would have to be maintained, It could be splash resistant so that it could be cleaned and sanitized, just like cutting boards. –  Simmerdown Dec 21 '10 at 22:12
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I'd have to respectfully disagree about pulling it up beforehand and then not touching it. There's a few things in my kitchen wrong with that (I've tried :) - first, the recipe is often too long for a screen and needs to be scrolled. Second, sometimes I'm using modified versions of more than one recipe and combining them, or cooking more than one thing at a time. Also, I listen to music or podcasts and often need to pause or press next. I do like the industrial/restaurant supply cover route, that might work real well with a custom system instead of a tablet. –  stephennmcdonald Dec 22 '10 at 2:10
    
I am not asking for a small display tablet device, With some recipes you may need to scroll but a vast amount of my recipes hold on an a4 sheet that will display on a 15 inch portrait screen without the need for scrolling, the other thing to consider is this, sometimes you do not need to see all of the recipe at once, sometimes I need only to be reminded of a few things to do so I usually go to that spot, then there could be a number of styli anchored nearby for scrolling, there is also the possibility of an assistant, 99% of the time I have one and lastly, god forbid voice command :) –  Simmerdown Dec 22 '10 at 4:02
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It's not "rugged" yet, as I need to put a protective layer on the screen and hide some of the pieces. I will probably build the parts directly into the kitchen when I remodel (hopefully happening soonish). I built myself one out of a laptop with a broken screen and Acer T230H monitor (23", touch screen). It's just running windows 7, and still needs some tweaking. Call it a work in progress, but it works great. My wife and I love it. The laptop was lying around and the monitor was quite affordable (about $350ish CAD).

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This is the path I'm going down right now as well, though in the new year I'll be trying to involve a solution that includes an Android tablet of some kind so it's easier to mount in different areas of the kitchen. –  stephennmcdonald Dec 22 '10 at 2:11
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I've been using an iPad as others have suggested. Option 1 is to vecro it to a cabinet or the fridge etc. where it is not in danger of getting caught in a spill. You can navigate just fine with a nuckle or the back of your wrist if your hands are a mess.

Option 2 is put it in a gallon zipper bag. I recommend the 'storage' type over the freezer type as the plastic is thinner and won't interfere with the screen. If you are going to be using it for something with audio it won't sound good, but if you have something with airplay (I use a in the kitchen you can shift the audio over there, which is a good idea anyway as the volume level of an iPad really can't compete with kitchen noise.

I'm considering putting in a permanently mounted 50" LCD screen when I remodel. If so it will be connected to a computer in the basement under the kitchen, and have a touchscreen overlay added to it. The overlay uses light beam interruption and senses 'touch' without you really having to make contact with the screen. This is probably more than most people want to mess with though.

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I actually use my iPad. But here is a great way to mount one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTSDPKktbUk

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Find any PDA or tablet you like that has a resistive touchscreen, then vacuum seal it inside a plastic baggie. For perfect sealing, get one that can charge inductively, so you don't have to put a hole in the bag for the power cord.

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If you're gonna try this, make good and sure you're not cutting off air to the passive (or active!) cooling systems, or you'll just end up cooking your hardware. –  Shog9 Dec 22 '10 at 22:46
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Have you just considered the typical web apps on whatever smartphone you might happen to have? For instance, Epicurious.com just came out with an iPad/iPhone app where you can view your "recipe box" recipes. The screen size would be the biggest problem.

Or, just find a cheap desktop (with a WiFi card) or a laptop and you'll be able to browse whatever sites you want. I think having a dedicated recipe-finding machine is a bit impractical unless you're constantly cooking... albeit a very cool idea :-)

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There are many uses for a computing device in the kitchen :) –  Simmerdown Dec 24 '10 at 0:28
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I saw a deal on one of these a few weeks ago and while my mouse was haning over the buy-now box i had a mental picture of my cook-books. Mine are covered with grit, grime, and god knows what else. Before you think about going with this solution think about what currently holds your recipies and what kind of shape it's in. If yours look anything like mine then your new shiny touch screen could be ruined in a very short time.

Also, think about where you're going to put this. Too close to the stove and you have heat/ steam issues; too far away and it's pretty useless to have a scroll touch-screen if you can't reach it. Also, when I'm in the kitchen I alomost always have something in my hands, wooden spoon, sharp knife, apple, whatever; I'm sure I would stab, bludgeon, or otherwise mangle a touch screen very quickly.

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I am not sure you would mangle an industrial grade touch screen that easily, while one would have to think where to put it in the kitchen this should not be hard, these things are designed for very harsh environments heat/steam will not be big issues. The problem I have with paper based books is exatly what you are saying they are in dreadful condition, they are the ones with the sanitization problems, not so easy to sanitize paper, and people never usually do. If you can open your refrigerator or oven door no reason why you could not grab a stylus and scroll your display. –  Simmerdown Dec 22 '10 at 15:10
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And if holding a knife means you might accidentally stab a monitor, I think you shouldn't be touching knives.... –  talon8 Dec 22 '10 at 15:43
    
your kitches must not be as chaotic as mine is. –  boxed-dinners Dec 22 '10 at 18:01
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My knives are excessively (obsessively?) sharp. I think of it as a loaded gun, I don't point them at anything that I don't intend on destroying (cutting, dicing)... ever. Knives go back on the rack when I'm not cutting. I also wash my hands if I need to move around on the monitor. –  talon8 Dec 22 '10 at 18:46
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