BTX Form Factor coverage at Hexus

Hexus does a fine job with both an analysis of the BTX concept, plus showing off some of the reference hardware so you can get a peek at BTX.

Extreme Makeover, web site edition

extreme makeover

Wow it’s about time I got a new design…

Soldam Rhapsody

stylish and expensive

A quick heads up on a slick-looking little case.

LED center

LED center

I’ve created a new site that focuses entirely on LEDs, with information for hobbyists, and information for those interested in the field of solid state lighting. Come check it out.


My pal Burke has got a nice site with a good selection of tutorial articles. I’m very into the spirit of this site, doing more with less. It’s too easy today to grab a bunch of “modware” off a shelf and install it in a case.

My friends in Brasil

It was nice to hear again from my friend Carlos Albert Teixeira, a journalist specializing in technology who has caught the case modding wave. We first “met” back about a year and a half ago. And ever since then, I have noticed a steady wave of readers from Brasil. My Portuguese is not that great, but I do want to say Bem Vindo to all the Brasilian case modders and people intersted in case modding.
Besides Mr. Teixeira, I get a good number of visitors from my friends at clubedohardware, Manual do Cafajeste, the UOL Jogos forum, and Microemp, plus many other forums. There’s obviously a thriving case mod scene in Brasil, and much respect to all you guys. I can …

TechTV mentioned my plasma globe mod

Well, what do you know, Yoshi mentioned my plasma globe case mod on the air on the Screen Savers (link now defunct, along with TechTV). He mentioned my hard drive mod in a newsletter back when he did one a while back, but this time he mentioned me in the teevee segment they aired. You can see a clip of it on the page linked above. (You could before TechTV was nuked by G4 anyway.)

Anyhow, Yoshi’s mod is pretty cool, it would be nice to have an essentially unlimited budget to work with for once.

I don’t know though, I’m a bit disturbed by Yoshi’s forum avatar (of course that’s now obsolete as well)–it’s got a hauntingly familiar look about …

Lunar Accents

Here’s a company that is doing business on the Internet the right way. At Lunar Accents, not only have they caught on to the LED lighting revolution, but they seem to have a good grasp of how the Internet works as well, a refreshing change from dealing with a typical electronics supplier.
I think what impressed me most was the inclusion of a forum on their site. For me that shows they care about what their customers and prospective customers have to say to them. In the Internet-enabled world, this is vital.

But beyond that, I really dug the fact they have their company outlook out in plain view for the world to see. That’s the kind of transparency of business …

mashie strikes again: the millenium bug

“Presidents and generals feared it, the investors feared it, more or less everyone feared it that very night a few years ago. Billions had been spent on hunting it down, still no one had even caught a glimpse of it… until now.”

If you haven’t checked out mashie’s latest project yet, you need to. It’s a kickass biomechanical sculpture and of course it’s a working PC too.

Nano ITX form factor

This press release came to my attention today announcing the availability of boards using the Nano-ITX form factor later this year. Wow, these things are 12cmx12cm, or about 4.5 inches square.
Setting aside for a moment the usual press-release noise about making dreams reality, this looks really promising for a lot of applications. These things will have enough power to be really useful either as appliances in their own right (think firewall, video encoder, data acquisition, VPN gateway, security system monitoring station) or as embedded control units in other appliances.

I can think of dozens of uses for a box like this just from the standpoint of being a network engineer. I have to give a lot of credit to VIA …

BTX form factor: a first look

This article from AnandTech gives an exciting, thorough first look at the BTX form factor. Read the article, it’s great, but I can also sum up some of the points it makes.
Here’s the quick and dirty BTX info:

there will be three BTX sizes, BTX, microBTX and picoBTX
thermal design considerations drove a lot of layout changes
PCI express x16 will be the likely graphics card slot of choice
ATX power supplies will be electrically, but not physically compatible with BTX PSUs.
This form factor should be introduced in 2004

For the complete story, as usual, count on for the complete spec.

where can I buy cheap bright blue LEDs?

Futurlec has cheap blue LEDs. 35 cents to be precise, and shipping is flat $3 for orders up to $30.

I got sixty of these, and I love them. They’re as bright as the Nichia’s I paid $3 for, but cost $0.40 each delivered. Whites at $0.75 aren’t a bad deal at all either, but I’ve not seen them in person.
Looking good, eh?

bright and cheap

Update: I put some of these on the test bench and can now confirm some specs since they are lacking from the supplier.

With a 68 ohm resistor and a 5 Volt supply, I measured 22 mA current, and a 3.2 V drop across the LED. Now my meter is analog and so has a lowish input …

some more recognition from Brasil

Ever since my site was written up by Carlos Alberto Teixeira I’ve seen a great deal more interest coming from my colleagues in Brasil. Recently especially there’s been a number of Brasilian forums showing up in my referrer log. So let me say bem vindo to all of you from clubedohardware and hardmob.

But what really drove me to comment was this article: Arte em gabinetes which appears on the web site for MicroEmp Hardware, and features my son’s case.


Well, sorry about the servers guys. Slashdot can do a lot of damage. A big thank you to monolith, who lent us some server space in the nick of time. A generous Texan with a well-connected server is a good guy to know.
Check out what this did to monolith’s server (those peaks are at 99 Mb/s):

Here’s the customary commemorative screenshot.

more [H]ardOCP coverage

The invisible case made the front page of [H]ard|OCP today.

Here’s another screenshot to commemorate this auspicious occasion.

concept PCs @ Intel

The Ease of Use Initiative - Concept PC from the Intel website is a Flash gallery of concept PCs with some striking industrial design.

(Editorial note: sadly this link went bad a couple years hence. There were striing designs that really stretched the idea of what a computer should look like.)

we have a winner (revisited)

bit-tech, one of the world’s great modding sites, liked my Einstein window enough to award me the prize (Matrix Orbital LK202-25) in the cheapest mod competition. Yay!

amazing custom cases

I was really amazed at these C-Box cases. This is amazing industrial design. My whole conception has changed as a result of viewing these. Check out the attention to detail they put into these.

zero footprint PC takes a look at a zero-footprint PC. I’m intrigued.

the best computer help site ever!

Dr. Nårton has all the info you need to get more performance out of your datamachine.

Linux wristwatch from IBM - Is that a PC on your wrist? - October 14, 2001

This is madness. A linux box on your wrist. Check out the pic and this piece at

made the front page

My hard drive mod made the front page at [H]ardOCP yesterday…
Here’s what Kyle had to say:

This guy is [H]ardCORE. He has modded out his Western Digital Hard Drive to include a window so you can see the internals. I don’t suggest that you go about this thinking it will be an easy project, but it is surely something worthy of “mad props". Good pics showing it off as well. Thanks skyclipper.

I’ve immortalized the occasion with this screenshot.

A statistical note: I got 53,700 hits Saturday. That’s slightly less than I got during the entire month of August (which was my peak month).

got my Matrix Orbital workin’

I got my LCD display Monday, and got it up and running Tuesday night. It’s sweet. I really think I want to put it on a *nix box, because I think LCDproc or will be vastly easier to use than most of the Windoze progs I’ve seen so far.

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