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Quiet Desk (Not Desktop) PC 276

Anonymous Coward writes "Rusty took a wholly different approach to PC noise: he built his XP1900+ machine right into the desk! While it may not make the PC industry scramble to define a new *desk* (not desktop) form factor, Rusty's inventive techniques will surely have computer hardware enthusiasts poring over his fine work."
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Quiet Desk (Not Desktop) PC

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  • by Splezunk ( 250168 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:00PM (#4458856) Homepage
    Bit of a problem upgrading 'Desks'. Also, LAN parties will be a bit of a bitch. Gotta get the trusty U-haul trucks.
    • Re:Upgrading...... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MrZaius ( 321037 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:08PM (#4458909) Homepage
      My God man. Bit of a problem upgrading?

      Did you see that? I've had enlight cases with sides that pop right off. I've had beautiful huge Addtronics cases that have doors that open, on simple hinges, and with a motherboard panel that takes all of 30 seconds to remove.

      This man's desk kicks the ass of everything I've seen.

      Aside from the time it would take to cut a new vent (he can position a new motherboard to use the current hole in the desk for the vent), this is the easiest to upgrade, most accessible machine I've ever seen.

      It would take less time to pop a new PCI card into it than it would to reboot it. All he has to do is pull out a drawer, pop the card in, and he's done.

      This thing is beautiful.
    • Bit of a problem upgrading 'Desks'.

      PHB: My PC locked up.
      Dilbert: That's not a PC, that's the cardboard cutout that came with your desk.
      PHB: So, do I need to upgrade the CPU?
      Dilbert: No, you need a new desk.

      Best as I remember.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:00PM (#4458859)
    I can't think of any sites with specific examples, but it seems like I've seen this before... along with computer built into walls and other such things. Now... if it was a LEGO desk with a computer built into it, I'd be impressed.
  • by WillRobinson ( 159226 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:02PM (#4458873) Journal
    Darn, could not see the fine work. Slashdotted early. So, should he engrave a big /. in the middle of the desk now?
  • Reminds me of... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Xunker ( 6905 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:02PM (#4458875) Homepage Journal
    Kinda reminds me of this [], eh?
  • It's Stuck! (Score:5, Funny)

    by anball ( 555994 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:03PM (#4458877) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't that make it kinda hard to take to LAN parties? I'd hate to miss out on a good Quake session because I couldn't get my computer into my car.
  • Poor table (Score:4, Funny)

    by theBrownfury ( 570265 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:03PM (#4458879)
    And for the first time in history a table is Slashdotted!
  • At last! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:03PM (#4458882)
    My own personal MCP at my fingertips!
  • I wish i could find the google cache to up the ol' karma.
  • by G-funk ( 22712 ) <> on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:04PM (#4458887) Homepage Journal
    I love this website... it's my #1 source of cool things I'd love to look at, if only the computer hosting them wasn't a smouldering puddle of melted plastic and silicon.
    • Me too. Actually, the molten web server thingies are kinda neat (WOW! The colours! You have a lump of metallic Sodium in there or something? Never seen one blow up like that before. Cripes!) but they get boring after a while. I'd rather see the "purty pitchers" once in a while.

      Think this guy hid under his desk when the "Slashdot Effect" nuclear-holocaust-warning buzzer went off? That would be about the only use for it right about now...

    • wasn't a smouldering puddle of melted plastic and silicon.

      dont you mean a smouldering puddle of melted plastic, silicon, and BURNING WOOD FROM A DESK?!?!
  • by $carab ( 464226 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:06PM (#4458899) Journal
    Great.....So now we've got "Anonymous Cowards" hyping the first article on their website...

    Unfortunately, our Anonymous Friend didnt anticipate the strain on the servers...

    Warning: Too many connections in /home/www/ on line 121

    Warning: MySQL Connection Failed: Too many connections in /home/www/ on line 121
    mysql://silentpc:@localhost/silentpcreview failed to connectToo many connections

    Ahhh.....Like poetry....
  • Too bad (Score:5, Funny)

    by Johnso ( 520335 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:07PM (#4458905)
    Users of these PCs can't dropkick the units or throw them out the window like regular PC users can.

    Where's the stress relief when the damn thing Blue Screens?

    • You can bang your fist on it. Better yet, climb up and jump up and down on it! Open and slam the drawers. Or just spill some coffee on it.
    • Where's the stress relief when the damn thing Blue Screens?

      Easy. You just pull out a drawer, throw down your entire desk in there in rage (including non-empty coffee mugs and cola cans), kick the drawer shut hard and go to lunch.
    • Users of these PCs can't dropkick the units or throw them out the window like regular PC users can.

      Where's the stress relief when the damn thing Blue Screens?

      Don't throw your desk out the window, throw Windows out of your desk.

      The desk computer is the future of the computer. Imagine a screen big enough to be the suface of the desk with handwriting recongition everywere. Forms would be forms again, drawings could be ARC C size again and the paper mill would cry. Virtual desktop window managers would reduce the size of desk actually needed and still make for good project seperation and place keeping. You could still have your mechanical keyboard, and perhaps a small vertical screen for special purposes, but most people will end up not needing them. Displays will get cheap enough for this, it's just a matter of having software flexible enough to fit it. Free software obviously has the advantage.

    • Where's the stress relief when the damn thing Blue Screens?

      Why, submit an article hosted on the computer to Slashdot, of course.
    • Where's the stress relief when the damn thing Blue Screens?

      Try here. [] Or here. [] Or here. []
  • Caffeine Machine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:10PM (#4458925) Homepage Journal
    I dunno if building a PC into a desk is all that original. I've seen a few in my time which were pretty inventive. This [], on the other hand, seems quite an improvement, at least it's got Hot Java. ;-)
  • Hot vibrating wood (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Johnso ( 520335 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:11PM (#4458937)
    Athlon XP + direct encasement in wood + heavy use = worst fire hazard ever

    Who would want to work on such a hot, shaky piece of wood?

    • >Who would want to work on such a hot, shaky piece of wood?
      so easy, not even gonna...
  • by dirvish ( 574948 ) <> on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:13PM (#4458950) Homepage Journal
    A four alarm fire has broken out in Everett, WA. Officials believe the cause to be a overheated server creating a desk to combust.

    Internal Combustion
    2815 107th Pl SE
    Everett, WA 98208
  • by everyplace ( 527571 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:14PM (#4458954) Homepage
    Now, the next level of this will be redundency. Walk into someone's office, and see two identical desks, with idendical pen holders, family photos, telephones and whatnot on the surface.

    "What's that one for?" a casual observer might ask.
    "Oh, that's just my backup desk, for when my main one crashes."
    • [laughing] Then there's MY desk. When I say I need to find my desk, it's not that it's buried under papers and diskettes -- it really IS mislaid. It's a 12"x16" wooden plank of 1975 vintage, that I drag around to wherever I need a writing surface!

  • by Dynedain ( 141758 ) <slashdot2@anthon ... m ['in.' in gap]> on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:14PM (#4458956) Homepage
    I've been thinking about this for about 3 years now, just haven't had the time to do it.

    Powerswitches for components and lights along front edge, verical drawer for motherboard. Exentions of usb/audio/ps2/etc. ports to a panel on the top of the desk. Backlit round panel with a spoke jutting up for a cd spindle. "popup" removable media drives on the top surface (lift a hinged panel with the drive attached to the underside to insert disk).

    I wish I could see what this guy did to compare to my thoughts.
    • Funny thing, earlier today I was wondering what sort of cabinet/desk/bookshelf arrangement I could concoct for my dozen salvage-built PCs that only have occasional missions in life, so they'd not take up so much floor space yet would be easily accessable, not too noisy when a bunch of 'em are going, and wouldn't get too hot or dusty... yet so that the cabling wouldn't require me to be a contortionist. So far it looks like an ordinary open-backed bookcase may be the best solution, tho I'm open to other weird ideas :)

  • Nothing new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:15PM (#4458963)
    My dads been doing this for 30 years. To change his hard drive he pulls out a drawer and puts in a new one. He started it while working for McDonald Douglas a few years before I was born. I still remember sticking 5" floppies into the slot opening in the bottom drawer. I would kick my feet while playing this wierd cow game he had and every couple minutes would kick the lever releasing the floppy and crashing the system.

    To him it makes perfect sense. He can expand more easily without opening cases and it solves some heat issues you get in tiny enclosures. Not to mention its totally silent.
    • by 4thAce ( 456825 )
      My dads been doing this for 30 years. To change his hard drive he pulls out a drawer and puts in a new one.

      I wouldn't advise him to tell women he has a hard drive in his drawers if your Mom is anywhere around.

  • Pic Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrZaius ( 321037 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:15PM (#4458964) Homepage t.jpg g

    Those mirrors won't last long, but they're the most impressive of the pics in the article. Even if the site stays /.ed, you won't be missing much if you get a couple of pics. Only really novel thing explained in the text of the article was where he explained that the CPU was a down-volted xp1900, w/passive cooling.
    • Re:Pic Mirror (Score:2, Informative)

      The slashdot space mungifier added a space into the first link. If you get a file not found error, take out that space and retry.
    • First of all, thanks for the pictures.

      Second, it's not exactly passive cooling he has there. I've seen the fan-shaped CPU heatsink before (just can't seem to get Google to spit out who makes it) and he has it in a shroud connected to a fan. Alphas did the same thing - my PWS500a has no heat sink fan, but is cooled by the same shroud/case fan method. It must work, since my elecrticity bills while I was running the SETI@Home client said the thing sucks a ton of juice. Nice, effective low noise solution to the cooling problem, IMHO.

  • by vnsnes ( 301511 )
    With electronic paper [] developments it would be neat to see actual desktop computers.

    Imagine a sheet of e-paper with touch sensitive layer on top of it on an engineer's desk. The engineer uses a stilus to enter schematic diagrams and navigate the UI. A virtual keyboard program can be started for text entries.

    This paradigm would work for a lot of things an average user would use a computer for: web surfing, e-mail, text processing. It would probably be a tough fit for multimedia and gaming, though.

    • Right now I'm staring at a desk 5ft wide, 3ft deep. And 1ft high with paper and books and crap all over the place. If the whole desk was a screen, all that stuff would be digital and I could just slide it away and pull it up instantly later. Damn, that would be cool.

      I guess I could still do it now, but I can't have it at my 'fingertips' and in site on a 17" monitor. I guess a huge monitor actually could be useful and not just eye-candy.

  • AHHHHH! The Madness! No man should ever have to see such things...they are an ABOMINATION! Spiraling Desktops to.. to . ..infinity!!!

    Thank the Almighty! The Holy Slashdot Warriors have destroyed this affront to the senses. I may be able to sleep tonight. Fitful sleep, but dreamless sleep...sleep..sleeeeeeep

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When the fuck are you going to start providing a temporary mirror for these sites?
    • by gvonk ( 107719 ) <slashdot@garre t t v o n k .com> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @12:56AM (#4459476) Homepage
      To the Editors:

      (read this, it's important)

      I WOULD PAY MONEY to have access to a subscribers-only cache of stories.


      out of my pocket.
      • This is an excellent idea. The main two problems I see with actual implementation are:

        1. Accountability. Most sites will want to know how much traffic their mirrored site is getting. Surely the geniuses at Slashdot could provide a mechanism for the sites to get this data. Perhaps the old pixel gif trick would apply here, the mirrored site could simply deliver a 1x1 gif from a server with logging turned on: sk&pg =1 k&pg =2 ... and so on ....

        Just parse the results with grep, a script, load into DB, whatever. (I used to work in engineering at DoubleClick so I'm aware of all the fun you can have with pixel gifs :-)

        2. advertising. Most third party advertising is handled via a couple lines of html pulling from someone else's server anyway, so you probably just need to include this html intact or maybe provide some simple functionality to plug in random numbers for cache busting--either server-side or w/javascript.

        Voila, slash serves the html w/embedded img src tags to pull pixel gifs from mirrored site, advertising from whererever. Slash can either host the bandwidth-intensive images/media themselves, or go with someone like Akamai if they aren't interested in this nightmare (I wouldn't be).

        Some kinks to be worked out, admittedly, but this could work.
  • by carlmenezes ( 204187 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:19PM (#4458992) Homepage
    This [].
    Sadly, it's been discontinued, which is why you'll only find it in Google's cache.

    Cool idea though.
    On a lighter note, you could now have water cooling linked to a nice decorative fish tank - hell you don't even need real fish :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If you did have real fish, you could simply get a link posted to slashdot and have dinner cooked in no-time!
  • by Call Me Black Cloud ( 616282 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:22PM (#4459012)
    "Let's see, have to do some work now. Hey, is it hot in here or is it just me? Wow, my desk is getting hot! Hey, what gives?" [phoom!]* "oh, the humanity!!!!"

    *phoom = sound wooden desk makes when it bursts into flames
  • Devo (Score:3, Funny)

    by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:24PM (#4459019) Journal

    Hey, maybe next they will build a PC that fills an entire room and doubles as a central heating system. Oh... wait...

  • OK, I'm sick of this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeko ( 179919 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:28PM (#4459042)
    Dammit. Yet another cool site I'd love to see, but predictably slashdotted into the depths of hell.

    Sheesh. How hard is this? Quietly prepare a mirror of the site. Post the story. When their poor little server goes screaming into the abyss, shoot them an email that says, "Hi. Sorry we depthcharged your site. Would you like us to point our link to a mirror?" They say "Hell, yes."

    Problem solved. Well, OK, maybe warning them in advance would work better.

    Admittedly, I am far from the sharpest crayon in the box, and yes, this adds a layer of administration and screwups, but how is that any worse than the subject of almost every single story being unavailable?

    We're supposed to be a bunch of smart geeks here. Slashdotting sites into the next millenium is a technical problem. Why can't we fix this?

    And no, dammit, this is not off-topic.

    • but if we cached sites so they didn't get /.'d we wouldn't have 20 posts an article bitching about the /. effect and what we could do to fix it :P
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @12:02AM (#4459201)
      the easiest solution is that we all just stop coming here to begin with. you first. i'll let you know how it works out.
    • We're supposed to be a bunch of smart geeks here. Slashdotting sites into the next millenium is a technical problem. Why can't we fix this?

      The car that John Candy drove in Uncle had a certain charm about it because of all the smoking and backfireing.

      Thats kind of like the /. effect. Its annoying but it still makes you smile knowing someone, somewhere is confused as hell.

      But then he smiles because he realizes that if his server is toast then this months bandwidth bill won't be affected much.

  • fans... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Maskirovka ( 255712 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2002 @11:33PM (#4459068)
    A lightbulb goes on in's admin, as he realizes all that smoke alarm noise negates his zero fan server farm's decible rating.

  • The thing isn't on brainiac.
  • Heat? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'll admit i havnt read the page (slashdotted), so I'm curious, How does it disipate heat? I know it has vents, but where? I'm guessing its fanned out the back, but won't it just hit a wall in most situations?
    They should start making vents on the top of computers (and the top of this desk), just to take advantage of the fact that heat rises. why waste so much energy fanning it out the back?
  • This thing is probably one coffee spill away from a bad day.
  • except my PC is just enclosed in the desk cabinet with a door. This helps a bit but the thing that made the biggest difference of all the things I tried was to use a bigger fan. A 90mm cpu fan can run much slower at a equal flow rate to a 60mm cpu fan and that reduces the noise the most.
  • About eight years ago, my uncle received a computer desk from a colleague of his. Since it still had the computer in it, he asked me to remove it. As I recall, it was a minicomputer built into a shelving unit behind the kickplate. There were three sets of shelves, the bottom shelf held two power supplies, the second shelf held the hard drives and tape drive (which had an access port from the side), and the top shelf held the motherboard. Monitor and keyboard ports were in the top of the desk on the back edge, and the puck tablet (it had a puck instead of a mouse) was built into a cutout on the underside. I assume it ran some type of Unix, it wouldn't boot anything though, the drives were shot. I think there was a floppy built into the drawer, too. He also got a bunch of Bell Labs manuals, a couple of binders full of printouts of Fortran code, and about 100' of coax cable.
  • Variation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by torqer ( 538711 )
    I've always wanted to do basically what this intrepid guy did. Cool stuff. I've wanted to mount it underneath the tabletop of the desk and have slot feed drives. Just sliding a DVD into the top of the desk would be pretty slick. It would also be slick when I spilled coffee... Pipe-dream? sure. It would still be pretty nifty.
  • Ah, the server farm and cube farm converge...
  • by TitusC3v5 ( 608284 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @12:08AM (#4459239) Homepage

    USER: Wow, this thing is cool. Hey, where'd my notepad go?

    FRIEND: It's over there on your desktop.

    USER: Huh? No it's not. I've looked all over. Not there.

    FRIEND: No. It's on your DESKTOP.

    USER: *Dawn of realization* Ohhhh.......

  • by yokem_55 ( 575428 )
    Using a 1 or 2u rackmount chassis, and building my pc into that and mounting it under my desk...kind of a hack, but it could work and make the PC a heck of a lot harder to steal....
  • What's all this... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TitaniumFox ( 467977 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @12:29AM (#4459353) Journal
    ...about the desk bursting into flames, people, and why all the "insightful" mods that go along with it?

    There's a few pictures mirrored in the posts. If you go look at them you'll see that he has a Zalman [] heatsink, and a ducted case fan blowing right on it.

    Lessee. Last I checked, copper had a favorable heat transfer coeffecient. Fins are a valid way of transmitting heat to air, too.

    Passively, a Zalman Flower Heatsink might not stand up to an Athlon XP 1900+, but even with a modicum of air flow, it'll do fine.
  • Only a desk?!?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    Heck, I made a computer system that has a cargo trailer built around it. There's a main computer onboard for when I'm plugged into 'shore' power, an LTSP-style 'workstation' for doing real work, and another single-board-computer to be installed to leave 'electronic breadcrumbs' from the GPS that will be powered up at all times. The entire electronics closet has it's own ventilation system and will be sealed off from the rest of the vehicle. It'll direct my satellite TV, DVD's, Oggs, games, and anything else I like. It's part of my cruise the USA with computers lifestyle, also known as Technomadia []

    Be Gentle but the site is right here [] that has some under-construction pictures, and more as they come available.


  • I did this, poorly. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fizgig ( 16368 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @12:41AM (#4459418)
    I'm newly in the Real World, so I needed my own desk. My computer was also way too loud, and I'm cheap, so I made a box to put the computer in and turned it into a desk.

    I made a wooden box that's made of particle board and painted fire engine red (cheap paint). It has a hinge and a door in the front. Inside is carpet padding and a computer. I took some more red particle board and made another stand of the same height. I bought a door from Home Depot, stained it, and laid it across the two.

    It works great, except that the computer gets too hot. I thought I had planned for that appropriately, but apparently you need more air flow than I could create. So I cut out an interior floor of the box and installed a rectangular house fan. That works great, except it's now too loud again :( Plus, I have to open up the side of the case to turn the fan on and off. Anyone know a good way to get the fan to turn on and off when the computer's on and off? At least it still works well as a desk.

    So, don't do like me. Make your case plenty wide/tall/deep, with lots of air flow and baffles everywhere.
    • by Reziac ( 43301 )
      I'd just plug the fan into the same power strip that I turned the rest of the unit on/off with.

      Your desk is downright civilized compared to mine.. My two main boxen sit atop a 386-era server case (strong enough to hold an elephant) that's a nice size to keep 'em off the floor (mainly so I don't accidentally kick 'em). There's an extra fan on the floor behind 'em. The monitor (and the righthand speakers) sit atop the keyboard drawer which in turn sits atop a gutted commercial monitor case (basically an empty steel cube about 26" per side). And my computer chair is a floor-hoggin' rattan deck chair padded with old sofa cushions. Looks quite bizarre and funky, but it works, and it's comfortable enough for hours of continuous use.

    • To turn the fan on when your machine is on, just use a relay to switch the circuit.
      It isn't that hard - you could use the pins from the motherboard for the fans, or use floppy drive power lead, or even use the parallel port (then you could switch the fan on or off from software :)
      Read the Coffee-howto - its a mini howto at

  • Old News (Score:2, Interesting)

    by McCarrum ( 446375 )
    Back in the BBS days, a friend of mine I was living with run his BBS from his desk. He ran out of room in the case he had (it was a pizza box sized thing) so he bolted his hard drives inside a lockable drawer, complete with reeeeally long cables. It was a sight to behold.
  • This is Old (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lucas Membrane ( 524640 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @01:19AM (#4459558)
    One of the first nearly-personal computers, the IBM System 3, model 6, which booted up into a Basic (or RPG II), console was built like a desk. This thing came out in the spring of 1971. It had 16k of real memory, 48k of virtual memory, mountable disks, optional VDT, builtin 100 CPS dot-matrix printer right in the middle of the desk, card reader, card punch, and as much free desktop space as most computer geeks have today, etc.
  • It seems that to open the drawer, you first have to disconnect the monitors (although that doesn't explain why the vid card is gone).

    Wish I could have been there the first time the drawer was opened after everything was plugged in. The look of horror on this guys face as his two flat-screens get yanked off the back of the desk.
    • by Rusty075 ( 617706 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @01:59AM (#4459683)
      Actually no, all the cables have enough extra length looped into them at the end to allow the drawer to open fully. Trust me, it's my computer. (in fact i'm typing on it right now) But thank god that silentpcreview isn't my site, and that my machine isn't the server! If anybody has any specific questions I can try to answer them, since at the moment you can't actually see the site.
      • Very stylish desk/computer. One quick question: Do you have issues with RF interference? I'm guessing that wood doesn't block many radio waves. Can you have a radio (AM or FM) on your desk, and actually pick up any stations? The issues of being an AM radio fanatic...
  • by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @02:43AM (#4459790) Homepage Journal
    For example, the Noval 760 [], a Z-80 system with monitor, tape drive, and printer, built into a desk. The peripherals are in a hinged portion so they can be kept out of the way when you're not computing. The Noval was reviewed in Byte magazine in 1977.
  • This is probably going to last about 30 seconds, but here's the link to the original web page that I made to submit my article to SilentPCReview. It's a tripod site, and yes we all know what that means. If you're lucky enough to get in I hope you enjoy it. For those of you that don't (aka 99% of you) feel free to ask me any specific questions you have. Oh, and in legal news, I hereby give my limited permission to anyone who would like to mirror my tripod site, or the contents therein. As long as you give proper credit and don't try to profit from it. (I have no idea how'd you would profit from it anyway) If you do mirror it, please post.

  • by BoBaBrain ( 215786 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:18AM (#4460114)
    Could this be the first PC which actually *does* have a cup holder?
  • For those of you old enough to remember, the original mac 1 came in two flavors.. One had 128K of ram, the other had 512K. The maximum memory that the hardware/software design could handle was 8Meg of ram (the 68000 was capable of handling 16MEG, but the upper half was reserved for I/O... Remember that this compares favorably with the 8086 which could handle 1meg max in 64K chunks.

    The 68K series design, however, was capable of handling a 4Gig address space. The only reason why the 68000 was limited to a 16meg address space was that only 24 of the possible 32 address bits were brought out to the bus. (there was actually a 68012 which was little more than a specialty 68000 with all 32 address pins available).

    When the Mac II originally came out, it ran on the 68020 which made it the first general-availability 68K system with a 32bit address space.

    Unfortunately, the biggest general-availability memory chips were a whopping 1megabit. This meant that a 2Gigabyte memory module would require 16000 1meg chips. (and that's presuming no parity or ECC!) I did some back-of-the-envelope design work, and concluded that the best design for a 2GB MacII memory module would be to camoflage it as a desk. The top of the desk would hold the memory cards and there would be two pillars. One would be a cooling unit, the other would be the 16KiloWatt power supply. (now you know why I needed a cooling pillar)

    I called my (theoretical) creation the MemDesk. Never could find an investor to pay for the development, though.

  • Drink hazard? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @04:40AM (#4460172) Homepage
    A good rule I've learned with delicate electronics, through the actions of others while in high school. Always place the computer higher up than the drink is placed. That way, if the drink spills, it won't trickle down into the computer.
  • looks nice, indeed.

    but there is one thing i would have done different.

    why lose any place on the desk to a monitor/display or even a mouse? why not just build a nice 19" touch-sensitive tft display into the deskplate? that would be 1337... :)

    the ones we use at work are bare (as in "no case") and feature a ruggedized frontpane. they are for industrial purposes and can handle a lot more then spilled coffee/NaCl/body fluids. ;)

    maybe i'll try it out.
  • by Jouster ( 144775 ) <[moc.qaflegna] [ta] [todhsals]> on Wednesday October 16, 2002 @07:17AM (#4460475) Homepage Journal
    Go grab this file [].

    Unzip, preserving folder names, and enjoy.

  • This fine 1962-vintage [] baby sported a high-speed paper-tape punch that arose straight out of the desktop through a trapdoor.

    For only $60,000 you got a full 8K of memory--and that's 8K WORDS, not bytes, folks--and a blazingly fast 0.00016 GHz clock.

    The console had a numeric display that actually projected numeric octal digits onto a groundglass.

    They were often used in conjunction with CDC-1604 computers, but were fully capable computers in their own right.

    Plus, they were fully functional desks.
  • Back in the old days, when none of you young whipper snappers were around, PRINTERS were so darn noisy we had to build entire foam padded cases for them with plexiglass lift shields and slotted access to paper supply below. Oh, and if the noise didn't get you the CHAD would. No, Starfish, I am not talking about Tom Green's character in Charlie's Angels. Chad is this paper waste you got from printing on paper. Back then, paper had tracks built into it so that cogged wheels could push it throught to the print head (which consisted of a matrix of ink dipped needles.) You then had to remove this stuff by hand and hope you didn't tear up your page (which took you several minutes to print out on slower dot matrix printers.) How many decibiles is this guy complaining about? Flibbidy Flue! Jet engine noise was comparable to an old printer capable of printing on 8 part form! Let's see you try that with your gosh darn quiet laser jet thingamabobs!

  • Unfortunately, limits on cable length prevent you from doing really cool things, like putting the DVD drive and CD burner on a rack conveniently mounted on top of the desk while the motherboard sits down, out of the way near the bottom.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser