Workbench PC With A 50s Twist

Showing the vintage PC, painted in 50s color scheme, matching custom-built keyboard and mouse next to it

[HolGer71] had a Mini-ITX Intel Atom-powered mainboard that he found useful for its vintage interfaces like COM and LPT. On a whim, he decided to give it even more vintage of a look – transforming it into a device more akin to a 50s home appliance, complete with a fitting monitor, mouse and keyboard. The project, dubbed Legacy-PC Computer Case, imitates the sheet metal construction masterfully in its 3D-printed design. That’s not all there is to it, either – everything is open-source, and there is enough documentation that you can build your own!

[HolGer71] starts with general printing and finishing advice, and goes through every part of the setup from there. The mainboard-holding case builds around a small miniITX case frame, enclosing it and adding extensions for connectors and lightbulbs. For the monitor, he built a new frame around an old VGA-equipped 17″ desktop screen – most certainly easy to find. The keyboard‘s an inexpensive one yet equipped with mechanical switches, and the mouse‘s an old Fujitsu-Siemens, but of the kind you’d see manufactured under different labels. All in all, this combines quite generic components into a trusty and stylish device for your workshop needs.

Equipped with Windows 7 as, apparently, the earliest supported version, this machine is now on desk duty – ready to run obscure software for old programming dongles, and look absolutely fabulous while doing so. It’s rare that we see such effort put into creating designs from scratch and sharing them with the community – most of the time, we see PCs built into already existing devices, like this vintage radio, or a benchtop logic analyzer.

32 thoughts on “Workbench PC With A 50s Twist

    1. Oh, please don’t… I totally agree with you on the look, but those cases are getting scarce. Hipsters and “crafty” people love chopping up old typewriters and cases for ‘art’ projects and crappy Etsy jewelry. Please leave these beautiful old machines (and their cases) to those of us who collect and restore them.

  1. I know what it is missing – tail fins! Late 1950’s cars looked like something out of science fiction movies. I used to imagine the (I believe) 1958 Cadillac our neighbors had was a rocket.

  2. So beautiful! From the pictures you can’t tell this is not cold formed metal, I love it. A simple improvement could be a beige cable clothing, keybord and mouse wires look a little out-of-place…

  3. I love It! but since It looks like It was designed and made in the 50s, I think It shouldn’t be named “Legacy” because If a computer like that existed in the 50s It would be something futuristic (If not Science Fiction), so I think a futuristic name of that era like “neutron” or “astro” should fit better.

      1. That name would be perfect, and It could work as the model series name, Think about another model of that computer with an analog clock integrated in the front of the case and chrome details with the name “Atomic 5000”.

  4. It’s just to look at and not use. Unfortunately it has a non-standard keyboard, I would always be going to look for the backsplash in the usual place and hit the enter key instead.

    On the plus side, it has a standard corded mouse that looks to be ergonomic (symmetrical) and can be moved to either side of the device.

      1. I used to work for a US company that sent specialized PCs abroad.
        It was interesting seeing the various keyboards we packed with them.
        I secretly wished some would fail during testing to give me the opportunity to pull it from the trash. Alas and alack! None failed.

  5. The flat screen in a crt type case kills the illusion vibe on these retro 50s to 90s projects for me. Not that I can do better but a projected image on curved glass in a box that also functions as a space heater would give it fallout type cred

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