A Computer Mod is OFF the List

A Computer Mod is OFF the List

More than a year ago – yeah really, that long ago – I wrote What My Other Foot Wants. This was/is my own personal “bucket list” or as I called it, my “other foot list.” Well, things have changed in the last year. My health hasn’t gotten better, but I have a different attitude and my priorities have changed. I am paring the list down, maybe changing a few details or even adding new. But this is only about one item: number 8 on my other foot list is outa here.

That’s right, no great computer mod that has designs to be published in a computer magazine. I already did that. It was a great mod I called Functional Design. It took a couple of months to build and had all the latest and greatest hardware of the day. I gave it a beautiful paint job, lots of bling and I didn’t stop at just the case mod either. I modded the monitor with a matching paint job and some chrome accents, did the same for the keyboard and even the mouse (actually, I hate mice and only use trackballs). The whole system was mounted on a roll-about Craftsman tool cabinet that I had enlarged the surface of to make room for everything. I took the opportunity to create a case cutting tutorial based on the Functional Design mod, which you can view here. The publishers at CPU Magazine loved it and made it their Mad Reader Mod for the month of October, 2003. Here are a few pictures – be sure to click them to see them full-size.

Functional Design Computer Mod   Paint, Chrome and Checkerboard Tile
Case Modding Windows   Case Modding Windows

Functional Design & Craftsman Tools

So, I don’t really need another published mod. That was a lot of fun and I was really proud to have it featured in a major magazine. It did encourage me to do even more and I spent a lot of my time online sharing what I could with other modders and those who wanted to be modders. My last project was sponsored by a major computer gear manufacturer, Cooler Master, of Taiwan. They gave me most of the products used in the modding of what I fondly called “The Grump Case.” That is the nick-name I used in many forums on the internet. That project was chronicled on the Cooler Master forums and on another forum I frequented, Gideon Tech Forums. There are a lot of pictures on both of those sites, but here’s a few to satisfy you if you don’t want to spend the time on the other sites.

The Grump Case   The Grump Case

Former Home Office

I think I have accomplished my goal of having a wide audience appreciate my craftsmanship in modifying a computer case. It has given me a great deal of pride and it was so much fun helping others make the right choices and develop the skills to do painting, wire management, cutting windows, layering Plexiglas and being creative.

The last time I built a computer was shortly after I moved to my current apartment. I didn’t mod a thing. I didn’t feel like it and I don’t think I was able to do any painting or other radical mods because of my physical limitations. I’m okay with that now and I don’t need to prove to you or me that I can mod a system. I miss doing it, but it is no longer a priority. I am not saying goodbye to modding, but I don’t embrace it like I used to and very rarely spend any time thinking or writing about it.

A modded computer published in a magazine is off the list. More important things to do. This is a good thing, not a negative. But if any of you reading this has any questions about modding your own machine, I would be happy to offer my opinion. It may not be worth much these days, but it would mean a lot to me.

Now, let’s see if there’s any other house cleaning I can do in regards to that bucket list.

Jim McClain

Born 1949 and not dead yet.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mike Jonez

    Thanks for sharing information. I’ve written and shared my thoughts about this on my blog.

  2. Vanessa Lambdin

    This is so cool, such beautiful work. You’re a Renaissance man, all of your artsy skills and philosophical bent. Computer parts are such blobs of black on / under your desk: your ‘modding’ (never heard that word for this) is inspirational, It’s always annoyed me that computer manufacturers’ default colors for these cases and keyboard and monitors isn’t a soft white so the black wouldn’t suck light as they do… nice work, really nice.

    1. Jim McClain

      Alright now, you’re makin’ me blush, Vanessa. Thank you for all the kind words.

Go Ahead, Leave a Reply (you know you wanna)