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Home | News Archive | September 2002

Mini-ITX 101
September 30, 2002

We whipped together a quickie Mini-ITX 101 for anyone who doesn't actually know what they're doing here. It's something we should have done a long time ago. If you do know why you're here, just ignore it... If you're English, and don't know what '101' means, it means "Beginners Guide" or something like that. Don't you watch Buffy?

Mini-ITX 101, or beginners guide, or something like that

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Three "ContainerPCs"
September 30, 2002

Not One but Three "ContainerPCs" today. You lucky people. First up is Webb Speidermann's NT Gas Station 2.0 (aka RedCan Linux) - the crazy fool put an EPIA inside a Gas Can! Then the mysteriously named fathertom dug out his Dremel and stuck his EPIA inside his Batman Lunchbox. Not to be outdone, Mike over at silentpcreview.com stuffed his EPIA into a $6.50 Breadbin!

Webb Speidermann's "NT Gas Station 2.0"

fathertom's "LunchBoxPC"

PC in a Breadbox at silentpcreview.com

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More EPIA M-Series pictures
September 24, 2002

Time for more pictures of the forthcoming "VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard". And some model numbers: The ME6000 (Eden) and the M9000 (C3). These will add to, not replace the current EPIA range.

A slightly earlier motherboard on display, sans Apollo 266 heatsink - note the untidy capacitors next to the ATX power socket. Don't they know to stand in line?

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The "Mobile-BlackBox"
September 24, 2002

Jan-Hendrik put an EPIA 800 inside his car and surrounded it with a delightful selection of devices including a keypad, IR-receiver, LCD, power distribution, IR keyboard and even a rear-view camera!

Jan-Hendrik Koch's Mobile-BlackBox

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The "NESPC"
September 20, 2002

Console fanatic Flagon500 (not his real name - we hope) has got every console under the sun, but so far all attempts to assimilate Nintendo's First Born into his collection has resulted in a rather inert pile of grey bricks.
So one day he attacked one with his dremel, swapped out the lifeless innards with an EPIA 800, figured how to interface with the NES controllers, installed some emulation software and made... um... a NES. Read how he did it here (including how he persuaded the EPIA 800 to talk to his NES controllers with the aid of a soldering iron). Then look at 50+ images in the NESPC Gallery.

Flagon500's NESPC

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We archived again...
September 20, 2002

We archived this page again. Everything pre-August lives here.

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Look what we found... ;-)
September 18, 2002

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EPIA 2 (or is it M?) - More details
September 17, 2002

While lurking on the VIA's site, what did one of our spies (thanks John) find but their Q3 2002 Mainboard brochure - and nestling on page 5 is a Lego picture of the 'EPIA 2' motherboard. In case you can't read pixels, the specs given are:

VIA C3 933Mhz/Eden ESP 6000 Processor EBGA Package@133/100Mhz FSB
VIA CLE266 Chipset Featuring Integrated AGP 8X Equivalent Graphics Engine
DDR266 SDRAM
1 PCI Slot
ATA/133 Support
VIA 6 Channel Audio
VIA IEEE 1394 (optional)
4 USB 2.0/1.1
VIA 10/100 LAN
VIA TV Out (optional)
Mini ITX Form Factor (170mm x 170mm)

The prospect of 6 channel Audio, USB2 and a Graphics-giddyup are mouthwatering to say the least. The TV-Out Port now appears to be an option, as is the new Firewire port, which together with 2 choices of CPU implies a larger product range than VIA's currently have. This is backed up by our EPIA M info posted a few weeks back. So which is it VIA - EPIA M or EPIA 2? 2M? And how much will these extra features add to the price of the EPIA motherboards? Will these add to or supercede the EPIA 5000 and EPIA 800? The big question Bart Banaan will be asking is whether VIA will allow Mini-ITX Projecteers access to the raw capabilities of the powerful Apollo CLE266 chipset by providing an LCD controller header - it's a bit difficult to make out from the picture...

And before anyone asks, we don't sell them in the Online Store. Not yet.

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Bit-Tech create Project Anenome
September 14, 2002

Whilst we're busy getting some of our own projects to you, we thought we'd bring your attention to "Project Anemone", over at bit-tech.net. Mashie has put a Shuttle FV24 motherboard (ok - not Mini-ITX, but very close) inside a 1940's Bush DAC 90 tube radio. But he didn't stop there - he added 100 LEDs attached to a Spectrum Analyzer AND an LCD display. We're sure you'll agree it looks amazing, and his guide is well-written, contains links to suppliers and information, and is full of photos of all stages of construction. You might also want to look at linear's invisible case project too. :=)

Project Anemone at bit-tech.net

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Welcome to Version 2...
September 13, 2002

Greetings. In case you were wondering where all the new projects went to - this is the reason. Here at Mini-ITX.com we've been toiling night and day to bring you what we hope will become the finest online store for Mini-ITX related products in the known universe...

We've expanded our range beyond simple case badges. Now we can provide everything you need to build a complete system - both MiniCube and Cubid based. And to get things going we're offering special prices on EPIA motherboards. We're based in the UK, but we ship Worldwide.

But we haven't changed direction - we still give away case badges for projects, we're still collecting supplier links, and we're still independently promoting the Mini-ITX form factor. But this way, we can keep bringing you Mini-ITX news, reviews, information and projects, without banner ads and popups. Please take a look, we appreciate any feedback you might have.

Mini-ITX Online Store

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The "Humidor64"
September 09, 2002

Introducing the Humidor 64 "Executive" Computer!

For executives who have managed to avoid the technology revolution and now face inevitable extinction. It doesn’t have to be ugly. EPIA 800 built into a cherry finished cedar lined cigar humidor. 90-Watt power supply from an IBM. No CDROM or floppy; executives have no use for these things. LAN connectivity to a T1 line. Who really needs more? Wireless keyboard and mouse so they can be quickly and easily hidden when other humans appear. "Computer?" says the disbelieving co-worker. "No, just one of those new LCD televisions. I keep it on CNBC all day." Sweet running machine with Windows XP Pro, 256MB Crucial 133, 6GB HD and of course industrial-strength anti-virus protection. Also available in Light Burl.

More pictures here

Mini-ITX Projects Page

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Greetings Slashdotters!
September 07, 2002

For the second time in our short history we've been /.ed - when we brought you Bart Banaan's wonderful Spacecase project our pages weren't really designed for the traffic, this time they survived the strain. In the next few days and weeks we'll be bringing you many more projects, reviews of two new Mini-ITX cases, and more information to help you put together your own projects. Project submitters win a fantastic case badge bounty - so do you have something you want to show us? And this week we'll be opening version 2 of the Mini-ITX online store, shipping microscopic cases, periphery and 7" motherboards to the world over spreading joy and happiness to everyone, and keeping the site banner and popup free. In the meantime check out our top selling product in version 1...

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Some things we didn't do...
September 02, 2002

We're hard at work on a shiny new version 2 of the Mini-ITX.com online store at the moment, but we have got time to tell you of a few things around the web that caught our eye over the past few days.

First up is Spode's "Blue Meanie", an EPIA 800 inside a modified Optical drive case. Spode's put a lot of technical detail and construction pictures in into his guide which will prove useful for anyone attempting a case mod.

Spode's Blue Meanie at SpodesAbode.com

You've all heard of MAME, right? It's the ideal application for Mini-ITX - allowing you to play exact replicas of classic arcade games in the comfort of your living room. Ed at Arcade-In-A-Box said he'd send us one of the rather splendid EPIA 800 based consoles he has for sale (using authentic arcade cabinet components) if we mentioned him. Actually, he said no such thing. But it's worth a try. You can buy plans, kits and full systems from the site, which also looks like a good source of information for anyone thinking about making a Mini-ITX MAME box.

Arcadeinabox.com

..Or you could buy a Mini-ITX pre-built into a lovingly restored classic games console, such as a NES. Kermit at retrosystem doesn't actually know this yet, but he's promised to shove an Eden into an Oric Atmos in return for a couple of case badges and a mention on this page. If you click on 'NES' and then 'Photo Gallery' you'll find a small guide on how he brought a Nintendo console into the 21st century courtesy of an EPIA 800. Like arcadeinabox, they provide kits and full systems. Or of course you could build your own, such as the SaturnPC or the PlayStationPC.

retrosystem.com

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