Mercury Retrograde: projects revisited

Inspiration might come in the strangest of places, in this case, a computer case, and the inspiration? From the ubiquitous side project, specifically, this image.

Another Mercury Retrograde inspired project: free draft copy here, a paperback coffee table book, Bexar County Line: the Double Aughts.

The bakery is halfway down the street, South Flores, maybe a third of the way between the cathedral and the hardware store. Past Ruby Ann, I’m guessing.

The project started in the late 1980’s. I was enamored of the compact-mac form-format. Back when I wanted custom-made furniture – and could – and would – afford it, I had two desks custom fitted for that kind of computer. fredlet got my last SE/30, some years back.

The Apple naming convention was to tack a letter “x” on the end of the model’s name to indicate the new and improved updated version. Mac II, Mac IIx, Mac IIc, Mac IIcx, SE, SE/x.

I’m unsure of the roots, but I’ve toyed with the idea several times. Case modders, though, get stuck in time. Like a bug in one of the pieces of amber I’ve owned.

It’s a newer compact mac case, still that compact format. I was looking at a couple of options, and I found a monitor that should fit. Make it even easier. Just needed a computer.

I dug the case back out, pried it apart, measured again – and again, contemplated, and so far, not too much. Noodled around on eBuy, bid on an old, possibly dead Mac Mini, I mean, I could put that in, with the monitor, and while it’s been done, still, it would be possible.

One idea that I started with was to use black spray paint, and refinish the cabinet. While the aquarium idea is equally intriguing, I can’t even commit to finishing the first terrarium I was going to build. Mac Aquarium is out of the question.

Still following? Just ideas that percolate up when Mercury is backwards. Instead of a 9-inch LCD monitor, harder to find that one would think, and even then, pretty useless for lack of (computer)serious screen real estate, so instead of that, why not replace what was glass with just a board or something? I got the best custom car painter on hand, a superior auto-body finish, be perfect. That empty box could hold the airport (wireless router) and back-up drives, a whole host of gear, tucked out of sight.

Just a board or something, over the front, where the CRT once lived. Then a vent, maybe, or a fan, in the front, make use of that space.

Part of the original design was natural, convection cooling. Later models had fans installed, and the SE variant even had slots on the front to admit cool air. Those old ones could run quite hot.

So maybe a fan to keep the tech cool. Another idea, worth considering. I’ve got at least one Apple PowerBook I could cannibalize for parts, a motherboard, a floppy disk drive, one has a ten-inch LCD, active matrix, not like I haven’t thought of that before, but my hardware hacking skills, my formally mad and bad skill set is sorely lacking. Doubt I really want a couple of computers scattered across the workshop for six months or more. Considering how long I’ve been working on this idea, a project computer, I’d have to make sure I had time and space.

In my parents’ generation, they had “console” stereo and TV. See where most of those are on the cover of the book, or even here. My predecessors had “component” stereo systems, buy an amplifier and a tuner, then a turntable, and put all of this out in a rack-like mount in the living room. Nothing hidden behind a console.

I think I’ll use that little computer cabinet as a storage space for storage, hide hard drives there.