The "ToAsTOr"
By Joe Klingler
Posted on December 2, 2002
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I wanted to make a small quiet computer for use as an MP3 server, DVD player, surfing, and occasional gaming. I also wanted it to be small enough to fit in a bag so that I could take it to friend's houses or to work. When I set out to build this bread and butter computer ;-) I found the Mini-ITX form factor motherboards. I wanted to build something unique. I thought I would go to the antique stores and find something cool to rebuild as a computer. I wanted something built out of metal for RFI and EMI shielding.

I thought that a toaster would be cool and have the DVD/CDRW open out of the toast slot. The problem is that all of the toasters were too small to use a full size hard drive, video card, LCD, etc... Then I found a large toaster (1960 General Electric) with a sizeable crumb tray/warmer. This monster toaster used 1200 watts! So, I had to open a business account to buy the EPIA motherboard at the only place in Atlanta that has them. I then took it to the antique store to determine if it would fit. It would fit but only if the mobo was about an inch off the crumb tray. When I went to purchase the toaster the salesman mentioned something about whether or not it worked. I told him that it did not matter I was going to toss the inner workings and make something crazy. I pulled out the motherboard and he said, "You are going to make it into a robot?" I snickered and said, "no, only a computer!" I have skills, but damn - a robot? :-) I never tried it to see if it still worked as a toaster.

This is what the toaster looked like before I started.

This shows the mailbox mounting straps I used to strengthen the cdrw/dvd bracket. Also, The two fans are blowing up directly above the two blue vents to suck in some cool air and blow it out the toast slot. You can see the mounting of the cold cathode and the LCD screen.

The narrow gap between the harddrive and the cdrw/dvd is about 1/4 inch at one edge. The brackets that are visible from the outside are covered in auto trim blackout tape.

You can see the cold cathode light and the edge of one of the fans blowing air up toward the toast slot.

The cold cathode and the transformer that is mounted on top of a floppy blank to insure it never touches the metal walls.

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