“Visible Computer” Project
Its been a busy couple of weeks at home and work, so the workshop has not gotten much use.
I did manage to crank out a bunch of house projects, repairing plaster, interior paint, etc, but not many fun projects.
I began ordering parts for a summer tech project for my son and me. We are going to “build” a computer from parts using a completely clear computer case that I found on EBay (made by Logisys). My son will learn the components that make up a computer, and I will end up with a new computer at the end of the project (he’s still too young to have his own at 6). Also, it will be fun.
This project reminds me of the plastic “Visible V-8” engine model that I built as a kid. The engine was clear plastic so that you could see the interior parts of the mechanics. The model ran on batteries so that you could watch everything move. I really liked it. I see this computer project as our modern version of the “Visible V-8”. (WOW! I just found that the old “Visible V-8” model is still for sale…click here for link)
The clear computer case is Acrylic, so it does not have the heat dissipation properties of a traditional steel or aluminum case, but with 3 fans, I think it will be fine. We also might install some interior lighting in the case so that you can see the internal parts “working” after in the computer is finished.
Goals for the final machine will be:
1. Lots of storage for the family’s multi-media (tons of digital photos and music)
2. Strong backup capability to protect above (maybe RAID 1 drives)
3. Inexpensive processing. All we need is typical photo editing, web, etc capabilities. No need for high end 3-D GPU until my son is older.
4. Built in media card reader (for photo cards) and DVD burner (for backups)
5. Components ready for Microsoft Vista OS when it comes out in 2007. We will use XP Home till then.