I just got nostalgic for the days of wedge computers

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Jon
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I just got nostalgic for the days of wedge computers

http://www.sub500.com/zero.htm

Anyone seen something like this elsewhere? That's too custom for a bargain resale shop to make on their own. Does anyone know the OEM? I saw that and I got flash backs of my youth with a C-64 and Amiga 500. I've been wondering where that form factor went... Biggrin

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Yikes!

A little expensive. I wonder if just the case/keyboard is available?

That mobo looks somewhat custom but it doesn't look like a project that would be impossible to build around a mini-itx board, either.

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Want. Now.

Mini itx...Or...MAC MINI!!!

Or, given the amount of space potentially available...Mac Mini with mini itx pc kvm'd.

I'd get one of these form factors IN A HEARTBEAT if it was an Intel Mac, perhaps with dedicated video...Now, if there was a way for wireless TV out to happen, it'd be an awesome solution to my ugly TVputer issues.

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that's a pretty spiffy design

might be better for portable systems. I think there might be a market, when it comes to troubleshooting at someone house for internet and stuff. also, it could be a portable server for on the go. Just carry a small portable B&W TV and hook it in, and you are set Smile

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Re: that's a pretty spiffy design

coius wrote:
might be better for portable systems. I think there might be a market, when it comes to troubleshooting at someone house for internet and stuff. also, it could be a portable server for on the go. Just carry a small portable B&W TV and hook it in, and you are set Smile

As opposed to a laptop?

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can anyone say a modern C64

can anyone say a modern C64

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Re: that's a pretty spiffy design

BDub wrote:
coius wrote:
might be better for portable systems. I think there might be a market, when it comes to troubleshooting at someone house for internet and stuff. also, it could be a portable server for on the go. Just carry a small portable B&W TV and hook it in, and you are set Smile

As opposed to a laptop?

more of minus-a-screen for servers. Takes up less space and you don't have to worry about having a heat issue with the screen burning from the heat (i have had this happen on my old iBook G3 with clamshell mode enabled) you can also get several of them and make an easy-to-manage server setup. just walk around with a mini composite LCD so you can access them quick...

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Real Servers(tm) should be ac

Real Servers(tm) should be accessible via SSH Wink

As far as a portable little server? A headless MiniITX BookPC or a Mac Mini would be more than sufficient.

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Back to the future.

The PC-In-A-Keyboard form factor seems to keep cropping up every few years, although I'll admit it's been a while since I've seen one.

About a decade ago some OEM was flooding the market with plain little one-piece 486s that looked like fat 101-key IBM keyboards and had enough room inside for an optional hard disk. (No CD-ROM drive.) They obviously didn't catch on, but I do remember seeing a few in the wild, mostly as POS terminals. If you were to browse through an old issue of "Computer Shopper" or the like you'd probably see an ad for one. Prior to that of course there were the weird one-off XT Clones. The Tandy 1000EX and HX are probably the best known, but there were others. (The company that made the "Laser 128" Apple IIc clone sold an XT compatible version in the same case called the "XT10", for instance.)

I suppose the form factor has its charm, but for consumers who remember the "good old days" it's haunted by memories of the huge rat nests of cables those wedges used to spawn on your desk. Not that towers don't spawn similar knots, but at least you can hide them more easily down on the floor or wherever. ;^b

--Peace

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I remember seeing a plain bei

I remember seeing a plain beige ZPC a few yeas back. Yeah they were similarly overpriced back then. Nothing you couldn't rig up yourself with a MiniITX board and a keyboard.

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OEM

As an aside, it looks like this is the OEM for this particular unit:

http://www.cybernetman.com/

--Peace

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Neat, but...

... kinda takes the joy out of beating on the keyboard when you know you can't replace it for $10. And with PC's, I've been known to do that. Wink

Also, I just remember that my first "computer" was an Atari 600XL. Got my first real taste of coding there, and knew that was not for me.

Jon
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The rat's net is getting bett

The rat's net is getting better as the years wear on. So far it's down to power and video as the only necessities. Wireless mice and networking would take care of a few. Audio piped to built-ins on the monitor.

As it stands with my current setup the only cables I can see on my desk are to my USB mouse and power/FW to my external drive. Of course behind the desk there exists the nest, but nothing more than might go with any other system.

The form factor could help reduce clutter, as they advertise if a user doesn't need much expansion. Most home users I've ever seen never do anything to their purchased setup other than add RAM and software. I'm all for simple systems that have some sort of built-in or integrated stuff. For some reason they have an appeal. It may well be my years of an Amiga 500.

Jon
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It looks like the main issues

It looks like the main issues they solve is putting the DIMM slots at an angle and using an external power supply. An Intel based mini might be the best Mac to try for a similar hack. It looks like they are targeting business and industry, while the sub300.com store is targeting the general public.

EDIT: Somehow a link to that page ended up in an ad on my GMail account. Odd.

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Re: The rat's net is getting bett

Jon wrote:
The rat's net is getting better as the years wear on. So far it's down to power and video as the only necessities.

Of course, video is the nastiest cable there is, as monitor cables are big and stiff and evil. A wireless keyboard talking to a hidden box eliminates that one. Which sort of suggests that the iMac-esque "computer inside the monitor" approach is actually superior, at least for desktop applications where space is critical. (A wireless keyboard gives you the option of tossing the keyboard in a drawer when you don't actually need it.)

Of course, I never said I *disliked* the wedge form factor when noting such practicalities. In my junk pile I have an empty Apple IIe case which I had high hopes of stuffing a Pentium IV motherboard into. (Including hacking a compact server room keyboard to fit into the Apple's keyboard space. I have one that's *almost* the right size, and with some clever carpentry could possibly trick someone into thinking it's a manufactured unit.) Unfortunately, well, I've found other things to absorb my time, so I'll probably never get to it. At least before the parts I have for it are as obsolete as the Apple IIe itself.

--Peace

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