On-the-go desktop

Here’s a desktop you can take with you. [Rbean] built it at a hackerspace in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (go Badgers!) using very basic materials and techniques. The utilitarian construction of the wooden body reminds us of Cub Scout tool box projects. It features an open space in the top which house the keyboard and mouse during travel. The blue strap lets you sling all forty pounds over one shoulder, but we’d also love to see a thick dowel to go along with the toolbox concept we’ve got stuck in our mind.

The lower half of the case is removable, serving as the mounting area for what looks like a mini ITX motherboard, hard drive, and full-sized power supply. As you can see the LCD screen mounts to the side of the box which allows you to rest the unit on its side and protects the display if the whole thing were to be knocked over. [Rbean] mentions that he’d like to try another revision using aluminum instead of wood, but we like this version. The only thing we’d want to see added is a set of speakers mounted inside the case on either side of the monitor.


  1. wosser says:

    It’s the tablet PC principle – a portable PC that weights as much as a granite tablet.

    Nice construction. I wonder how well this thing copes with the unwanted ingress of metal filings or sawdust.

    PS. is that one of those awesome IBM clicky keyboards?

  2. matt says:

    the keyboard is a unicomp customizer 101. very clicky :)

    keyboard awesomeness = geekhack.org

  3. arfink says:

    Haha, geekhack.org. Such a fun place. :) Got my IBM XT keyboard (model F) from one of those guys.

  4. mark says:

    Oak plywood, huh?

  5. biozz says:

    ave one to
    but they called it a “laptop” XP

  6. miharix says:

    hehe thats reminds me on the project that I made at faculty :)
    http://student.pfmb.uni-mb.si/~mkocar/prenosni_izd.html (sorry only Slovenian language)
    Only that my was meant to be a learning tool, so the children could see how the PC looks & wokrs inside, and for the “geek” point I added LEDs on each component whit LPT control :D
    Yea and the total weight is ideal for bodybuilding LOL.

    Thanks HaD for memory flashback

  7. Ferm says:
  8. thefileclerk says:
  9. DeadlyFoez says:

    Why not just get a laptop. :crazy:

  10. asheets says:

    @DeadlyFoez — this does make sense for certain applications. I’ve got this 4-port T1/E1 PCI card that I would love to have installed in a portable platform for field testing, but sadly few laptops have PCI slots.

  11. Ferm says:

    @DeadlyFoez what asheets said + video card upgrades and much easier to work on/customize later down the road.

  12. Alchemyguy says:

    @DeadlyFoez what Ferm said + hundreds cheaper. Sure you don’t have all that flexibility, but if you don’t need it why pay for it?

  13. GeneralSpecific says:

    wow, I had no idea Milwaukee had a makerspace. that’s awesome! I wish I had seen this earlier – I would have gone to the meeting tonight!

  14. steve says:

    wow! thats like 5 blocks from my house.

  15. is0lated says:

    Reminds me of something a friend of mine made.
    Except he made his out of sheets of aluminium, so it weighs about 15kg.
    Sorta defeats the purpose of being portable :P

  16. Alan Parekh says:

    Love the door stoppers mounted on the corners. You know I would be snapping them all day long until someone rips them out and installs the solid type.

  17. aaron says:

    wow.. revenge of the luggable!

    Anyone else remember the first renditions of this idea? “Test Drive” used to fly on these babies:


  18. Chenslee says:

    Did something like that with an Xbox, only out of aluminim. Still using it.


  19. IJ Dee-Vo says:

    @DeadlyFoez What Alchemyguy says+Because!

  20. James says:

    My dad made something similar (without the monitor admittedly) for his BBC B Micro circa 1983.

  21. WI_Hacker says:

    I had no idea Milwaukee had a hackerspace. This is awesome. The hack ain’t bad either.

  22. Navic says:

    Here’s the Atom based one I did with a 7″ monitor and mini keyboard: http://sites.google.com/site/airwavershr/Home/boxpc

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