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Really Stylish PCs and Peripherals 310

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the style-matters dept.
knipknap writes "With Christmas lying ahead I decided it was time to present myself new PC hardware. Of course, nothing can be good enough for my Linux box, so I ran looking for some really nice cases - but was soon disappointed by the very little options available when it comes to stylish cases. There is the very nice Hoojum Nanode, which is for Nano-ITX boards only, while I was looking for more powerful alternatives. Then there was the Cubit P4, also from Hoojum, which seemed to suit my needs. I ordered one via mini-itx.com, but unfortunately they messed up the order and noticed only after it was already sold out... so there went my last option. I was also recommended Hush (I already own one) and Shuttle, both of which I found looking kind of cheap. Another problem seems to be finding good peripherals - I have not found a single higher quality mouse and keyboard outside the plastic computer world. So I decided to ask Slashdotters - which other options are there available?" Personally I love the Hush box.
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Really Stylish PCs and Peripherals

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  • by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:08PM (#11130300)
    ...i suggest a nifty ergenomic dvorak keyboard, you can get it on ebay fer a bit: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&cate gory=51083&item=5149151249&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW theres always alienware et al, altho im not certain you can get just a case... i also suggest getting a wireless gyro mouse. again, i suggest ebay as a good source for one of them pretty cheap.
  • Mac, Mac, Mac (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ThisNukes4u (752508) <tcoppi&gmail,com> on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:10PM (#11130320) Homepage
    Everyone seems to be suggesting to go with a Mac. Well, if I were you, I would take a half-way decent case and mod it. Chop off the back if it is too long, put some plexiglass on the side, stencil on the side, whatever floats your boat. Much more unique than the standard Mac, and you'll have fun making it too.
  • Make your own (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:12PM (#11130334)
    Doing your own case mods is something that requires time, patience, and some money, but there's nothing that you buy that compares the final product.

    My favorite is my Fossil computer [archive.org], which is a Victorian beauty of brass and wood. I've also done the "all black" computer before black became the new beige. I also dallied with a Lego computer, though the innards finally died.
  • The shark... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by e133tc1pher (752949) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:15PM (#11130363) Homepage
    The Thermaltake shark http://www.thermaltake.com/xaserCase/shark/black/b lack.htm [thermaltake.com] is one of the nicest cases I've ever seen. It is designed with water cooling in mind and it is made practically "tool-less".
  • Re:try a mac (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:17PM (#11130380)
    Na, you don't even have to download an iso, try debians netinstall. You download only the kernel and a small image to boot from. Put that on the partition you later want to install GNU/Linux on, and boot. Therefore, you don't even have to burn a cd!! Donwload, copy to target partition, go.
  • Re:ThinkGeek (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:25PM (#11130432)
    Don't even bother going there. If you're looking for the most stylish keyboard/mouse combo, then look no further than the Logitech diNovo. Sure it runs $250 but I've never worked with a better keyboard, ever. You may have problems getting the bluetooth to work on a linux box(since it's a bluetooth set) but it's absolutely amazing when you use it.
  • Why don't... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BJH (11355) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:30PM (#11130465)
    ...you try this place [woodcontour.com] for your mouse and keyboard.

    Although if you find their $US5000-8000 pricetags a bit much, the overstock page [woodcontour.net] might be a bit more useful.
  • Wooden Mice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DaNasty (833075) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @12:38PM (#11130506) Homepage
    I've always loved the look of these wooden mice & keyboards. http://www.woodcontour.com/index.php [woodcontour.com]
  • NeXT (Score:3, Interesting)

    by idiotnot (302133) <sean@757.org> on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:04PM (#11130672) Homepage Journal
    I have a dead NeXTStation [z80.org] that I'm going to mod to fit an ITX board and three drives. I'm also hoping to figure out a way to maybe use something like a notebook DVD drive in place of the floppy port.

    Actually modding these, though, is tougher than a standard PC case -- they're thick cast metal, which looks difficult to cut.

    Next thing to do is find a monitor and keyboard that look like they belong with it. Or, I might just use it as a MythTV setup, as it'd look good beside a TV.
  • by WillAdams (45638) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:06PM (#11130685) Homepage
    For my part, I still haven't found a machine to displace my NeXT Cube from my desk at home, though my Fujitsu Stylistic is getting pretty close.

    I've always thought it a shame that NeXT wasn't able to continue to make up-dated motherboards for it (they did three, the original Motorola 68030 @ 25MHz, an '040 at 25, then the ``Turbo'' '040 @33MHz --- there are a couple of ``Nitro'' processor daughtercards at 40MHz though).

    And of course, one could squeeze say 16 small motherboards into it, run a Beowolf Cluster and have a ``hypercube''.

    Seriously, it's kind of sad that there's so little being done in the way of nice looking machine designs that an almost 15 year old design still seems current (or timeless?). Most of the nice design work these days seems to be at Apple (heir to the NeXT throne --- I just wish they did something other than the iPod in black) in laptops or Tablet PC systems, esp. those w/ docking options.

    William
  • Silverstone (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EdZ (755139) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @01:45PM (#11130904)
    If you're going for an AV-component look (i.e. clean and functional, but relatively stylish) then Silverstone make some pretty damn good cases.
  • Re:try a mac (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2004 @02:14PM (#11131163)
    Eh, Linux on the Mac is fun from the hobbyist perspective:

    90%+ (invented figure, can't be far from true) of Linux users are on the x86 platform. As a result, most of the developers are also on said platform.

    Installing it on the Mac, getting it to work, feels more like installing Linux on an x86 box from a few years ago: It takes work. Satisfying work.

    And then, once you finally get it all working, you realize that OSX kicks ass anyway, and never boot to Linux again.

    At least, that's how it was for me.

    My x86 box now runs Debian Testing, my Mac runs OSX. It will be a long time before anyone convinces me I need XP on my computer, and an even longer time until someone convinces me I want Linux over OSX.
  • by Strolls (641018) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @05:20PM (#11132405)

    Is there ANY available? What do people use, for heavens' sake?

    What I mean by this is that I need:

    • small, fairly cute case
    • silent, no fan. This has to sit at a parents' house & act just like a consumer device.
    • 2 PCI slots. Yes, TWO, damnit! I want one for Hauppage TV-out and another for a Hauppage digital-TV tuner.

    I can't find anything that actually meets these requirements. My mother has a Mini-ITX machine in her study at present, something like this [mini-itx.com], but the fan noise is too much for the living room.

    Mini-ITX.com [mini-itx.com] sell Epia fanless motherboards with processor already mounted, and I gather that 600mhz or so is fine for a MythTV box, if one is using Hauppage cards' onboard MPEG hardware, but they all have only one PCI slot.

    I can find riser cards [mini-itx.com] to convert these motherboards to accept a second PCI, card, but the only case I can find that accept this hardware is pretty uninspiring. [mini-itx.com]

    So it seems to me that in order to build a decent MythTV box I have to do some modding of some sort, which I'd really rather not do. Has anyone solved this problem with an off-the shelf solution.

  • by xanderwilson (662093) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @05:26PM (#11132443) Homepage
    I think this [cnn.com] CNN/Money article was slashdotted not too long ago. And here's [woodcontour.com] some wood peripherals, which I thought I learned about from the CNN/Money article, but--looking at it again--I guess I'm mistaken. They also have peripherals in stone casing.

    Alex.

  • by Foo2rama (755806) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @05:44PM (#11132552) Homepage Journal
    First you where looking for good quality peripharals... You seem to have the small form factor case down. I am a littel leary of the Nanode, since the specs are a little vague and it runs on a VIA cpu.

    Today most computer parts are no longer beige, it seems that build quality has gone down. Mitsuko which is generally considred low end becuase of the price, but they make a good keyboard available in a variety of colors, and for mice Alienware [alienware.com]has all the microsoft high end mice in custom colors. You pay a little bit for it but they match the mitsuko keyboards in color.

    As for cases most cases look like cheap plastic junk [newegg.com] now. I've been using a server size chenming [newegg.com] that is similar to the original alienware. Not flashy not cheap looking, but has the size I need to run all my drives, as well as clean lines.

    Another option is just to check out www.newegg.com and see what is offered they have a large selection, with pictures of every item, as well as a good search engine, and search engine interface.
  • Find a dead SGI... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by (H)elix1 (231155) <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday December 19, 2004 @08:19PM (#11133559) Homepage Journal
    If you are looking to stick a mini-itx board in something, you can use almost anything as a case. I like the classics, and breathed new life into a dead SGI O2 [majix.org] workstation. (Not pics my box, but a nice set of pictures of the space you have to work with) Add a wireless mouse and keyboard, mix in a nice LCD display, and it makes for a lovely terminal.

    The look on my uncle's face when they saw the 'email and web browsing' computer sitting on their mom's desk was priceless. Such awe for a meager fan less 533mhz Eden board - due only to the case. (grin) A gift that keeps on giving.
  • by birukun (145245) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @11:42PM (#11134631)
    Soltek IQ3601 - Via C3 1Ghz, colored cases, just throw in some DDR266 memory, a hard drive, CDROM and voila! Bought mine from newegg.com, the damn thing is too quiet. I forget it is on, except the hard drive spinning noise is just enough to make you hear something, but not enough to identify what it is.

    www.soltek.com.tw

    6 USB ports, 2 1394, VGA, 6.1 audio, optical audio out, TV out option, 1 PCI slot, all for under 200 bucks!

    I may buy a couple more to hand out at Christmas.

    Cheers-
  • by FGOL (841848) on Sunday December 19, 2004 @11:52PM (#11134692)
    I own the brand name, ClearPC (www.clearpc.ca). We modify each case we build, on demand by our customers. Basically, it's a very small operation involving about 6 people. (As a comparison, I once read that Beantech had 500 employees). I pack each case in a generous helping of bubblewrap and then each case is placed on a layer of styrofoam "peanuts" top and bottom. The case is placed in a double walled cardboard box for added secuity and sealed with a security tape for tampering. Our cases enter the USA and are subject to inspection by customs but this is rare as customs knows us quite well. There have been problems with FEDEX damaging a parcel but the ratio in 2004 is 9 for every 500 cases shipped. If a case arrives damaged, we put in for an insurance claim and ship the customer a new case after the damaged one has been picked up by FEDEX. We don't make you wait for a claim (which is 30 days for us), we ship a new case as soon as the new one is available and that at our cost. We only ship ground because of the costs to ship from here. It's about $22. I have to seriously question your comments about "waiting 6 months" and "trying to get a response." That just doesn't happen here. Every case I build is built with a uni-body construction so you're case is shipped "complete" with a package of parts for mounting. There really isn't all that much that can be missing so I don't really understand the reference to a "full case" not being shipped. Only Sunbeam and Beantech build cases with a lot of "pieces." My case is built mostly from a single sheet of acrylic, wrapped and rounded over onto itself. I use 8 acorn nuts, 4 to fasten the side panel and 4 to fasten the removable front section -- that's it so there isn't too much to go wrong there. The rest of the case is bonded together. If you have a problem that you are pissed about, contact me at info@clearpc.ca My customer service is responsive and it's built on respect, 1 case at a time. I don't ship tens of thousands of units: I am the orange county choppers of acrylic case modding. Each case is hand built with some CNC and built to customer spec.. I don't fohk around when it comes to my cases, expletives aside. If you have a problem, I will fix it. Email me and we'll talk.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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