April 09, 2013
February 28, 2013
Building an XBMC 12 Home Theatre PC
January 25, 2011
XBMC Guide updated to version 10.0
August 06, 2010
Building a Green PC
February 15, 2010
Building an ION powered HTPC with XBMC
October 10, 2008
The "Cambridge Autonomous Underwater Vehicle 2008"
September 12, 2008
"Florian", the DVD burning robot
September 05, 2008
May 22, 2008
April 14, 2007
The "Digg" Case
January 19, 2007
December 07, 2006
The "Tortoise Beetle"
October 02, 2006
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August 31, 2006
The "Janus Project"
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The "Leela PC"
June 26, 2006
Nano-ITX in a Football
May 17, 2006
The "EPIA Alloy Mod"
April 11, 2006
Neatorama's Collection of Case Mods
February 18, 2006
October 24, 2005
The "ITX TV"
October 06, 2005
August 05, 2005
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July 21, 2005
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May 25, 2005
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May 13, 2005
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May 11, 2005
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April 20, 2005
March 09, 2005
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January 30, 2005
First Nano-ITX Project?
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July 02, 2004
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May 24, 2004
The "ERN005PC" (KANA)
March 13, 2004
The "Underwood No. 5"
February 04, 2004
The "Humidor CL"
Full alphabetical archive on right hand side of page...
The "Humidor PC"
By Jamie Burke - Posted on June 4, 2003
Can you fit a: 933Mhz
Pentium, 256MB DDR Ram, DVD ROM, 10GB HDD, 145W PSU, 64MB
AGP TNT2 (equivalent), 5.1 DD DTS out, USB 2.0 and 1394 all
into a 10.25" length x 8.75" wide x 4.25" depth
box? I did.
This brings us to my latest mod: The
I want to start off by thanking Jeffrey L.
Stephenson for the idea. To my knowledge, this is his original
idea. I just wanted one of my own. I would like to thank Peter
Frank (my brother in law) for his help with the preparation
and construction. (I have very limited carpentry skills!).
Also I would like to say that the interior is by no means
as intricate as Jeff's humidor
projects. My humidor was designed to be enclosed within a
home theater and has a finished exterior design.
Now let's get down to business.
The Humidor PC
The Humidor PC is a home theater PC. This
will be pumping into a ½ T-1, S-Video to a flat I-Art
JVC TV then 5.1 DTS to the sound system. All this is controlled
via a wireless mouse and keyboard. I chose the VIA M9000 main
board. This board runs at 933Mhz, 266 FSB, full DDR support
and video is shared 64MB RAM - broadly equivalent to a TNT2
Ultra (speed wise). The board also supports S/PDIF for "coax
optical" and S-Video, I will be using both. These features
enable us to watch ANY format of media. Therefore, I am not
limited to the boundaries of the "standard DVD player".
The HDD is a 10GB Fujitsu notebook drive,
along with an IDE converter. The DVD is a slim-slot-load drive
that came from an IMac notebook, again using an IDE 50 to
40 pin converter. Power is derived from a 145W E-Machine PSU.
The nice thing about the VIA is it only requires 60W of power
for the integrated C3 Pentium
Humidor: $25.00, 10.25" x 8.75"
x 4.25" (L x W x D)
145W ATX mini PSU: Free, traded somebody for a 250W
Notebook 10GB HDD & IDE adaptor
Slimline slotload DVD drive & IDE adaptor
256MB Crucial PC2100 DDR
Windows XP Pro
VIA EPIA-M9000 933Mhz
Chieftec wireless keyboard/mouse in silver
Four 40mm fans, one 50mm
I arranged the parts on an ESD smock to reduce
When I received the main board, I first removed
the sinks from the processor and the north bridge. Once detached,
I removed the cheap "conductive pad" and replaced
it with Artic Silver III. I also included Artic Silver III
on the south bridge. Once the grease was situated, I replaced
the sinks adding one to the south bridge as well. Being the
hottest chip, I do not understand why VIA did not include
a sink standard on the south bridge. Four drops of super glue
on each of the chip's corners and it's stuck down tight.
Once the board was geared up, I was ready
to begin the Windows XP install. Because this PC will be an
"almost always ON" unit, I formatted in NTFS. Since
this is not a gaming machine - I did not go with FAT. I would
have used Linux, but ultimately decided against it.
I installed the latest VIA 4-in-1 drivers,
NV DVD, Divix, and Nimo codec pack. I also included WINAMP
light for radio, WMP9, and Quick Time. Diskeeper, Zone Alarm
and Ad-Aware 6 were incorporated as well. The RealTek drives
allow me to run both S/PDIF digital 5.1 and analog through
the same cable simultaneously.
Planning and fitting:
We constructed custom brackets for the
DVD drive. They were formed from scrap PC rails. I wanted
an "ON" indicator so I included bright red LED's
on the DVD drive, which also deliver a custom look. The back
of the slim DVD drive- next to the 40pin connector, there
is a little fold in the metal case that prevented me from
attaching the IDE adapter smoothly. I had to bend that out
of the way. Once the adapter was flush, I attached a small
piece of electrical tape then a large piece of duct tape so
the adapter would be secure. I wasn't sure if duct tape was
conductive or not thus is why I used electrical tape in the
The HDD is attached on the inside/front with
The PSU was small to begin with, but I wanted
it even smaller. So, took it out of the metal chassis (I do
NOT recommend taking apart a PSU - we could all die!). This
reduced the overall size of the power supply to approximately
half of its original size, although it is not as distinct.
I shortened every main board power connector, twenty total.
I have a solder gun, but have no real solder skill and patience,
so electrical tape was used (I know, I know maybe later).
There is no molex connector in this box at all. I just hard
wired everything to safe space.