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June 5, 2003 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Hot modders is a term I propose to apply to those people who pump up and modify their computers until they're no longer recognizable as a drab metal box and drab monitor, similar to hot rodders and their cars. Here's a guy who's turned a gutted 17 inch monitor case into a fully functional PC and has provided a pretty good description of how he did it, with lots of pictures. I'd buy one. Plus, for no reason, there's kitties! (via my friend Hurin at Dor-Lomin via Blue's News)
posted by WolfDaddy (28 comments total)

 
Hot modders is a term I propose ...
Um, no. Sounds too much like a term invented by somebody far outside the scene.

Besides, what you seem to be talking about is case modding, which has often little effect on the overall performance of the PC, as opposed to hot rod customization.
posted by Ayn Marx at 1:33 PM on June 5, 2003


Hot-Modding???

Why invent a new term when 'virgin' works so perfectly?
posted by Space Coyote at 1:36 PM on June 5, 2003


Here's a guy who's turned a gutted 17 inch monitor case into a fully functional PC

I've got an old NeXT frogstand monitor that I'm going to do this with someday -- I like his ideas, though his methods are too destructive for my purposes.

What you've posted is a great example of case modding -- making an interesting conversation piece without being a window-inserting neon-light-hanging fan-faceplate-adding attenion junkie. My crowning glory, of course, being this. Also maybe the Centris 650 I fit into a 1U case.
posted by j.edwards at 1:46 PM on June 5, 2003


Who needs a case when foam will do just fine.
posted by jsonic at 1:54 PM on June 5, 2003


For people who want a gutted 17-inch CRT with a CPU and LCD screen inside it, but would prefer not to have to buy spray paint, there's the eMac.
posted by emelenjr at 1:56 PM on June 5, 2003


Aqua Tank - I think this is one of the most ingenious case mods, I have ever seen
posted by mhaw at 2:07 PM on June 5, 2003


I'm still waiting for someone to put pneumatics on their machine, so they can hop it like a low-rider.
posted by majcher at 2:46 PM on June 5, 2003


Does anybody have that link to a Japanese site where they did nothing but build the most beautiful cases out of teak and whatnot? It was floating around in like 1999---haunting.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:11 PM on June 5, 2003




ok, its not called Hot Modding. Its called computer mods, and i've been following it for a few years. First off, a little explanation on exactly what modding is:

It is the modification of the physical hardware of a computer. This term can be used from the ultra small (Mini-Itx) to building your computer into a table, as some people have. Most of the time computer modding goes hand in hand with higher performance parts, and most people who go out and spend extra money on that copper heatsink or water cooling setup will try to overclock.

But most people who want to do something different and cool can buy a case and dremel a window into the side of the case, add some lighting inside, and show it off. Just make sure you got what it takes if you want to take the big ones on.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:40 PM on June 5, 2003


Am I the only one who knows both hot rodders and computer modders?

The similarities between the personalities of the two groups of people ... and there's a LOT of people I know who mod both their cars and their computers with equal verve ... are too great for me to ignore, which is why I punned on the phrase hot modders. That's all.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:50 PM on June 5, 2003


Don't let them deter you Wolfy, I like your new term.
posted by insomnyuk at 4:18 PM on June 5, 2003


I like it. Do you think he voided his warranty, though?
posted by scarabic at 4:30 PM on June 5, 2003


Cool idea and well documented, but I guess I don't like the fit and finish at the end. He should have painted all his faceplates green instead of black.

There's a guy that does case mods that I can't remember the URL for, but he's been doing it for the past year or so, making real works of art out of the cases, making them into odd shapes, etc. I've wanted to bust out the dremel tool and make my own too, but I prefer small hidden machines.

My next desktop pc will be a shuttle PC, for sure.
posted by mathowie at 4:33 PM on June 5, 2003


For people who want a gutted 17-inch CRT with a CPU and LCD screen inside it, but would prefer not to have to buy spray paint, there's the eMac.

The eMac is a CRT display.

My next desktop pc will be a shuttle PC, for sure.

These are quite awesome. I'm thinking about getting a mini-ITX, just so that I can put it in something odd like this. Good times.
posted by j.edwards at 5:10 PM on June 5, 2003


Yeah, those mini motherboards really lend themselves to some interesting projects. This pictureframe PC is just amazing, by far the coolest "case hack" I've seen.
posted by skallas at 5:41 PM on June 5, 2003


Touché, j.edwards. The eMac does have a CRT screen. Serves me right for running out of coffee yesterday and having no caffeine to get me through today.

I used to work with two of the guys who are working on Mac mods at ModYourMac.com. New paint jobs, primarily, but also some nifty lights and such.
posted by emelenjr at 7:06 PM on June 5, 2003


Wow - that pictureframe is something I've pondered for a long time. Nicely done. You'd think that after all that engineering he'd figure out a way to hide the cord?
posted by scarabic at 7:29 PM on June 5, 2003


Ayn Marx: Besides, what you seem to be talking about is case modding, which has often little effect on the overall performance of the PC, as opposed to hot rod customization.

Maybe Hot-Modder could be used as a quasi-deragatory term like Rice-Boy then?

My personal favorite is still the ElectriClerk. Would love to get my hands on a mini-itx and some vintage parts. Have been thinking about this since I bought a Jewell Portable DC Ammeter at the flea market last year. No idea what it does, but it comes in a wooden case and looks scientific. AFAIK, have never seen a mod that replaces LED meters with moving needles and whatnot.
posted by son_of_minya at 8:17 PM on June 5, 2003


I like that pictureframe pc, but I've seen a similar piece of hardware (a dedicated photo-shower) for sale at the Discovery Channel store for 150 bucks. No need to cannibalize an entire PC.
posted by GriffX at 9:42 PM on June 5, 2003


That picture frame PC would be my favourite, by far. The power cord problem could be solved with the fitting if a recessed power point behind the device (tough if you are renting, though).
posted by dg at 10:20 PM on June 5, 2003


AFAIK, have never seen a mod that replaces LED meters with moving needles and whatnot.

Using a custom software application (designed for use in Windows NT/2000/XP), the tachometer kit will accurately graph your CPU utilization on the car tachometer, redlining at nearly 8000rpm under full load.

Not that vintage-y looking of a tach--personally, I'd like something that looks like it came off of a steam engine or a Deusenberg, not an '89 Camaro--but it has got a moving needle on it.

I came up with this plan one time to make a mosaic out of smashed-up AOL CDs to decorate my computer case. Haven't actually ever gotten around to it, though. (Anybody wanna buy 100 AOL 7.0 CDs, cheap?) I need to do something, though, the bogstandard beige Compaq case I'm running now just looks too... normal, after running a homebuilt clone with a ransom-note-collage logo covering the front, and a pair of bare 486 chassis sitting on top of each other before that.
posted by arto at 1:43 AM on June 6, 2003


Well, nice work. But the end result looks awful and he's really going to regret putting that audigy right above the screen (can anyone guess why?).
posted by cell at 3:09 AM on June 6, 2003


arto: Damn, that kicks ass. No technical specs, but just knowing that exists is inspiring.

In 1996, I was just learning how to use a mouse, and soon after that how to use WinZip. As a kid, the C64 was a very big part of my life, but I missed out on the PC up until the Net went big. It wasn't until about a year ago that I really felt geeky enough to upgrade a system without any help.

At this point, I really feel comfortable with computers and want to push boundaries. While my friends and family may think I'm a guru, I know that guys who do this kind of work are the real badasses. I just lack the guts to take apart real computers (I have three on my desk) and make something from scratch.
posted by son_of_minya at 4:48 AM on June 6, 2003


Damn you all. I have to purchase one or more of those mini-ITX motherboards now. My living room will suffer for this.
posted by walrus at 6:25 AM on June 6, 2003


he's really going to regret putting that audigy right above the screen (can anyone guess why?).

Cables, cables, cables! D'oh!

I just cut a window in my case and installed a light. Mainly just for kicks and because I thought it might be fun to work with plexiglass and steel. It does look nice and it gives my 13 month old a chance to grow up thinking the same glowing green monsters who live under the escalators also live in daddy's PC.

My main mod goal is to build an arcade style cabinet for a MAME based machine. It might cost me my marriage, but so be it.
posted by bondcliff at 6:36 AM on June 6, 2003


Matt is this the guy you are thinking of?
posted by sailormouth at 8:25 AM on June 6, 2003


This one takes the prize.
posted by Wet Spot at 6:08 PM on June 6, 2003


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