Functional Design was named in memory of my friend and business associate, Larry Furth, who owned a furniture and floorcovering store, Functional Designs of Reno, NV. This project began in 2003 as a simple search for components to build myself a new computer. Although I had assembled several computers for friends and family, repaired and upgraded many other PCs, I had yet to build myself a powerful desk top computer from the ground up.
During my research for the best and fastest hardware, I came across a number of pictures of customized computer cases. Modding, as it was known, was introduced to me just as custom model car building was when I was a teenager. Flipping through magazines at the news stand became clicking through pages of the Internet. I was aw-struck and fascinated by this artistic medium.
Case modding seemed to be a growing and popular pastime for a young crowd of PC gamers and power users. And it was pretty much relegated to just customizing the case of the computer – cool paint jobs or graphic decals and vinyl appliqués. A handful of hard core modders were fabricating parts out of plastics, wood and metal and some were heavily modifying obsolete computer cases and other objects. I saw cases made from brief cases, TVs, auto tires, old radios and even a toilet. Most were based on current PC cases and a number of case manufacturers were beginning to offer cases with pre-cut acrylic side panels and blow holes.
Never one to be quite satisfied with being average at anything, I think I decided early on that my computer building project was going to be a little more than just a case mod. I never bought a piece of furniture without taking into consideration the other items and accessories around it. I never threw on a shirt without some thought of what pants, socks and hat would go with it. I didn’t shop for new wheels for my car without a clear plan on how they would go with the paint job or what tires would look good wrapped around them. To me, modifying the computer case also meant modifying the monitor, keyboard and mouse – or trackball, in my case. And heck, why not the table it sat on too.
I became the Mad Modder. It was fitting. I’m a bit of a grump, or mad, if you will. I was a burgeoning modder. So I referred to myself as “The Mad Modder.” CPU Magazine seemed to like the phrase and in one of their early features of case modders, they called Functional Design the “Mad Reader Mod.”
Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will take the time to read about some of my work and projects modding computers and their peripherals here at Grump’s Place. Your comments are always welcome.