Someone Get This Minimalist Wooden PC A Martini

It’s interesting to imagine what computers may have looked like throughout different time periods that precede their portability or even their existence altogether. In the 1950s and ’60s, computers still filled entire rooms, but if the age of the PC had arrived earlier one is left to wonder what might a minimalist mid-century PC might look like.

Well, if we were lucky, it would have looked something like [xmorneau]’s cubical computing creation. This DIY beauty is made of scrap oak and a sexy set of hairpin legs. As hot as it looks, [xmorneau] shouldn’t have to worry about overheating — the bottom is completely open except for an intake fan, there’s another fan at the top that exhausts hot air through a mesh grille, and those lovely little legs elevate it four inches off the desk. Our favorite part (after the legs) has to be the secret lid that blends in beautifully.

The cube measures 32cm³ (~12.6in³), so [xmorneau] went with a mini-ATX motherboard, but was able to fit in a full-size graphics card. Everything is mounted internally to wood except for the mobo, which is mounted on a panel of sheet metal that makes up the back wall.

We love the way this looks and are glad to see that this build changed [xmorneau]’s opinion of RGB a little bit, because we can’t help but like it both ways.

Too sophisticated for your taste? Check out this LEGO-Minecraft mashup.

19 thoughts on “Someone Get This Minimalist Wooden PC A Martini

  1. Wonderful job, it looks great!

    I think it’s funny though how people always seem to be concerned about using wood for a PC case because they think it will catch fire. The heat in a PC doesn’t even come close to the flashpoint of wood.

    Also, the people that think they’re water cooling can get colder than ambient….

  2. Nice work but too… blocky.

    Maybe Cronenberg should design computers. Yeah. Keyboard from Naked Lunch. Mouse and game controller from eXistenZ. Enclosure from The Fly. Display from Videodrome.
    Maybe throw in some Gigeresque greebling too, just to push it over the top.

    Man. Could really be on to something here. I’m sure some tortured soul has already done this.

    1. keyboard from Naked Lunch? That’s sick. Not in the cool way, either. BTW Burroughs hallucinatory worlds look much more like DMT trips than anything to do with opiate withdrawals. and although he abbreviated his ayahuasca (yage) trips with benzos, he took some early heroic mainline “in the vein” DMT trips. And THAT is what Naked Lunch is really about, or so the machine elves tell me.
      DMT, after all, inspires hallucinatory machinescapes. I predict in a dozen years, hacking neurons will make innovating PC case mods will seem thankfully boring and ordinary.
      Jesus wept.

  3. I’m working on a “kintsugi” Compaq Portable 1, as the plastic is becoming increasingly brittle, and one of the two I own is really beat up and cracked and needs epoxy repairs anyways. And I’m not sure I’m going to be able to get them both functioning again. If I can’t get them running Planet X3, I’ll make them look interesting, at least. I’m also replacing the MFM drives with XT-IDE Compact Flash adapters, etc. and trying to figure out better options for the aging PSU, but the 33 lb. Portable’s bronze-colored interior metal cage just screams Steampunk! This wood project makes me think maybe I should try to make a complete wooden replacement for the plastic shell, maybe one that accentuates the cage.
    I grew up thinking computers all needed blinkenlights and physical control panels, like the PDP-11 or like the “Crime computer” at the cartoon Superfriends’ Hall of Justice My other favorite aesthetic is the Soviet Russian hall-effect magnetic keyboards, which were apparently sometimes used with imperfectly cloned ZX Spectrums, although that’s more like part of a dream, rather than a true visual aesthetic.
    Other people have done wilder mods with Compaq Portable cases but these usually involve gutting it out, replacing the screen and other core components. I just want to tweak a functioning machine, the one which beat out offerings from Eagle Computers, Corona Data Systems and Columbia Data Products. (I’m still looking for a Handwell Corp. clone!

    1. Just glue the fragments of the plastic case onto the outside of the new enclosure. Then it will resemble The Hulk bursting through his clothing.

      (OK, it might end up looking lame, especially if I were to attempt it.)

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