Last Update: A freestanding corkboard, from a broken LCD screen (near the bottom, under The Reverse) and a PC case made from stained glass, near the top.
You can build a computer from parts, if you like. It’s not as difficult as you might imagine, but enough work to stop most people wanting to have a go. You buy the bits needed, and buy a case to put them in. Plug all the bits together, do up a few screws, and you should be good to go.
Some people aren’t satisfied with this, though, and want a computer that looks a bit more special than that.
- Instructables on Adding a Window to your computer case.
Cool – a PC cased in stained glass – beautiful, and you can see the insides too…
Deep Fried PC
Not really a workable casemod, but it worked for a while. The motherboard is actually in boiling fat, whilst cooking chips.
When I was a kid, we had Matchbox cars. This is a bit of a cheat, though – instead of scaling down the PC, they’ve scaled up the matchbox. Cool effect, actually – a giant matchbox with sockets on the side.
Wow. This is definitely different. It’s been made to look like it’s made from twisted human bones, with a ‘spine’ curled around the outside, the components hanging within, some built into a ‘skull’. It’s really mostly made from old copper pipes, hammered into shape.
I’m with the Gizmodo commenters here – I’m not keen on this one. Having said that, though, I’ve never understood the fascination these people on MTV Cribs have with their rims. They’re always banging on about how big their rims are, as if the width is something to be proud of. Strange people, but they do seem to be popular with the cool kids, so maybe the cool kids would all love a computer in a wheel sitting in the corner of their cool ‘crib’.
Banana Jr 6000
I’m not familiar with the Bloom County comic strip, but apparently this computer features in it – here it’s been replicated by spray painting an old Mac very yellow. It looks worrying like Pint Size from Questionable Content mated with La La from Teletubbies.
And he would, given chance, too.
- Story at Boing Boing – links to a couple of pics of it on Flickr.
Not just a fantastic casemod, but a sad story to go with it. Brian Carter built this case as a Father’s Day gift, and put six months of work into it. His dad worked for United Airlines for 35 years, so he made the case into a United Airlines plane, with glowing blue lights and a slimline DVD drive in the wing. Unfortunately, he had it shipped to the LanWar show, and it was cracked quite badly on the way by FedEx.
Dead Hard Drives
Got a lot of dead hard drives lying around? Why not make a case out of them?
Well, there’s probably lots of good reasons not to, but they didn’t stop ‘TheGreatSatan‘ from having a go anyway. This one isn’t finished, he’s only really got as far as making one side of the case, but it’s an interesting enough idea…
A case made to look like a movie-style bomb, complete with big red countdown.
EA Games FIFA
A football field in the top of the computer – it’s the lighting that makes this one. The green glow looks great, shining over the tiny model players.
- EA Games FIFA on Gizmodo.
EcoGeek on Wooden Computing
Not quite a single example, but EgoGeek have an article that fits in here pretty well – a feature on wooden computing…
A PC built inside an acoustic guitar. It even looks like it should still play…
Scrap Wood PC
We’ve seen some very nice polished wooden PCs already, but this one’s different because it’s so rough. It’s made from assorted offcuts of wood, held together with whatever came to hand, and perhaps a bit of hope. It’s not got a lot of quality, but it’s got plenty of charm…
Plaster Cast of Owner’s Wife
Yep, he liked his wife’s body so much, he put his computer in it – well, into a case made from it, anyway. No, she’s still alive. Just what most geeks really want – a computer with breasts…
Dark Blade was featured here when it was just a cooling unit. Along with the spectacular Half Life 2 casemod, it was one of the main reasons for making this page in the first place. Work stopped on it for quite a while, but it’s back, and looking pretty close to complete. Wow.
- Dark Blade post on Bit-Tech’s forums – lots of pictures. Made my poor little dial-up connection melt a bit. The thread is currently 70 pages long, so set aside a bit of time for this one. It starts from cutting metal bars and drilling holes, gradually following through the story of the build.
- G69T’s Official Site – contains info about his earlier casemods, but doesn’t appear to have much about Dark Blade yet.
- (Via Make:.)
…and from back when it was just a cooling unit…
- Article on Gizmodo with a quick summary and some pics.
- Full post from the forums with more pics and info, starting with quite early build shots.
I guess whoever build this must really like Mountain Dew. Oh, and it’s green. Very green.
OK, so the commenters point out that it’s old, but I’d not seen it before, and it’s impressive. Check the links in the comments for full worklogs.
OK, so there’s been a few lego ones, but this is damn nice. As Make: say, it’s very much 80s Lego style.
Computer Controlled Bar
This goes a bit beyond just a casemod, but it kind of fits in here. The computer is built in to a wooden bar, with thirteen different drinks, and pumps to feed them to a tap. You have a numeric keypad on top that you use to select the drink you want, and the computer actually mixes cocktails for you. Wow. I don’t even drink any more, and I still want this…
Boombox Tablet PC
A tablet PC, with a small touch screen, used as if it’s the tape deck part of an old boombox / ghetto blaster / portable stereo. I do love this one because it’s a tablet, but I’d also hate to try actually using it for anything real. The really neat part that strikes me about it, though, is that people seeing it without knowing, would probably just think it really is an old tatty stereo system. The graphics used for the tape deck are beautiful.
OK, so this one’s a bit less amazing and quirky than many, but it’s got a certain simplicity to it that I like…
Mac Mini in a NES
The site linked to seems to be down for now, but the story on Gizmodo still has pics of this Mac Mini built into an old Nintendo system…
iPod Nano Mini Arcade Game Casing
This one’s just strange. A miniature arcade game cabinet that you can push your iPod Nano into the side of, for playing games on the Mame emulator.
This is actually a professional job – a company that’s trying to set up to build computers into custom chopper-style cases. Not sure if the girl wiping her bottom on it is included or not, or if they’re supplied with the stains she leaves…
CeBIT ’06 Competition
Only one pic from Gizmodo, I’m afraid, but it’s a Lego house with a computer inside. Cute.
With pistons on the front, flames pretty much everywhere, and a logo custom cut from half inch thick aluminium sheet.
- Harley Davidson CaseMod on ArsTechnica. Lots of pictures – page takes about a week to open if you’re on dial-up.
- (Thanks to Gary.)
C|Net Article on Modded Laptops
These are a little half-assed – there’s not so much modification going on, but it’s some creative use of painting or stickering…
- Laptop Modding on C|Net. They’re all from one company, so it’s part article part ad. Be more creative, and do it yourself.
- (Thanks to Gary.)
Glowing Red LCD Panel
Not quite a computer as such, but this screen looks cool – glowing red…
A Mac made of Lego. How cute! The lawn arrangement with trees and people really makes it.
Beer Keg Case
A computer that dispenses beer on tap is a bad idea, I’m sure. I once got very drunk with a copy of Visual Basic. When I awoke (or regained consciousness) the next morning, I had a new program on my computer, which had only one button. The button was labeled ‘Do Not Press This Button’. When I clicked it, a message box popped up saying ‘Please do not press this button again’.
Damn, this one is nice – made to look like an old wartime radio
- Story and pics at TechEBlog.
- Build log at Bit-Tech.
- (Via Gizmodo.)
- (Build log thanks to Boing Boing.)
iPod Geiger Counter
Not quite a computer casemod, this one is actually a case for an iPod, but I’m including it anyway, ‘cos it’s pretty.
Mac Mini in a Mac SE
- Japanese site with pictures – scroll down a bit. Rather kindly, they’ve noticed all the visitors from the English-speaking world, and added a whole lot of notes in English – not good English, but enough that you can get the idea.
- (Via Gizmodo.)
Recycling. Extreme recycling.
A computer made from plumbing. Shiny and pretty.
A Japanese-style case made from wood – 300 hours of work and 130 wood joints. Looks fantastic, though, and really different in style to most.
A PC built into the casing of an old
(Thanks to Make:.)
Maybe not too practical, but at least it’s biodegradeable.
An origami/papercraft computer case.
Humidor NX, DECOmputer, Unidyne PC, PicoCluster, etc
Classy wooden casing,
Bender from Futurama
A case that talks – “Bite my shiny metal ass”…
Probably my all-time favourite, but then I’ve always had a thing for rust.
Nice. Includes a cuddly cow. The page is in Russian, but you can still understand the pictures if you don’t speak Russian…
Graphic designer Cynthia Malaran offers simple directions to make a stark, cold iBook a bit more cuddly through the magic of fun fur.
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend clicking any link on the Interweb that metions “Furry”, but this one’s ok…
Using computer cases for other things…
LCD Screen Corkboard
Nice trick – a broken LCD screen – remove the insides, and fill the screen part with a panel of cork…
NesPaul – a NES converted into a guitar
Silicon Graphics (SGI) made some of the prettiest machines in their day, but they’re not cutting-edge any more. This one is now keeping the drinks cold…
- SGI Refrigerator on Gizmodo.
NES Alarm Clock
A Nintendo converted into an alarm clock – with the LED display glowing out from the cartrige hole…
iMac Cat Bed
- Via Thumbrella.
- Original page if you must, but there’s no more pics, and with all the ads and mess and such, you’re probably just better looking at it on Thumbrella.
OK, so this has been done before, but this one is a particularly good job – all glowy from inside, and self-contained…
We’re not the only place to find a selection of casemods…