by Mark Fisher


I made this computer for my wife; it's my craziest one yet. The big green buttons on the front are Function keys, programmable using Quickeys. The big red button is power and the restart button is the restart button. It has so many lights, I decided to name it after an old favorite pinball machine: Pinbot.

lights_sm back_sm

I found this case on a junk heap. It had formerly been some kind of custom motor controller, when I found it is was jam-packed with wire wrap circuit boards. All the buttons and switches are original and so is the labeling on the front.

insidetop_sm insidebot_sm

On the inside: the logic board is of unknown origin, but it has a 160 MHz 603ev processor and it has an edge connector all along one side like that of a 6400. It has an ATA hard disk and SCSI CD ROM drive, I had to make some custom ribbon cable extenders to make it all work right. I hacked an AppleDesign membrane keyboard and took the circuit board out of it to allow the green buttons to act as Function keys.


On the outside: the finish is sandblasted aluminum, a technique I am experimenting with for a bigger and crazier project still in the works. The pattern next to the CD drive and my initials in the back were made by masking the original shiny aluminum before sandblasting. The lighted nameplate was made in a similar way by blasting a piece of Plexiglas. I gave the outside a thin coat of Penetrol to protect it. The patterns on the green buttons are botanical drawings of my wife's choosing (she just got her M.Sc., good job), printed onto transparencies and then placed inside the button. On top is the original Simpson hour meter showing how long the machine has run.


A picture of it in action, including external HD, zip drive, modem and Palm cradle.

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I like this hack Smile it reminds me of something that came out of an old 60s sci-fi flick. I love it!