It looks like I'm going to be building a desktop PC.

I'm looking for advice on the least ugly case in to which I could put the PC.

I would prefer not to see any of the computer bits. I like wood, metal.

I'd love something like the old render of the predicta PC, or even a Volta V.

I'm half tempted to just stick the guts in an old pioneer stereo receiver.

Suggestions appreciated.


I want this aesthetic as a PC case.

My co-workers say that buying an old receiver and modding it in to a PC case is a bad idea.

Alternately, I could just ... get a reproduction Altair case and stick a PC in that.

I guess I need to check the local thrift stores.

@ajroach42 Depends on what all you need in the machine I suppose. Big honkin' GPU? Probably not gonna be able to fit and then airflow problems. No PCIe cards, just SSDs? Workable, so long as you can come up with something for the back for I/O plugs.

@trini I mean, I'm gonna stick a 1080 in it, but there's plenty of ventilation.

@ajroach42 I would be concerned about space but that can be easily cleared up with a tape measure :)

though I bet #LGR / Clint would dig the old receiver-as-a-case idea too!

@ajroach42 Silverstone used to be headed in that direction, but they held back and stayed too plain. IMHO, your best possible results would be gutting a receiver like you said

The Antec Fusion is kinda 80s stereo stack looking full size case with a knob and vfd display but I still don't think it blends very well size-wise or asthetically cause of the front ports and visible drive bay. I am looking straight at an earlier version minus the knob and vfd, but otherwise the same and totally forgot about it. You'd have to buy used and prices are dumb.

@nobody IT's a real shame that it's not widely available, because it's a great looking case.

@ajroach42 The htpc case market was approaching perfect back then. Lots of great ideas and optimism. Cable company dvr's killed it though.

@nobody @ajroach42 ooh, shit, that reminds me - I have an HP de100c Digital Entertainment Center down in the lab that's really just a very custom PC for playing audio - if you were interested in updating the innards, I'd probably be cool with parting with it.

@djsundog Slightly more 00s than I was going for, but I appreciate the offer.

@ajroach42 it's a bit plainer, but there's also the NCase M1:

I have one and I absolutely adore it, you can cram a crapload of hardware in there

@shadowfacts That's great! And there are a few other pictures on their website that look Wonderful, but their website doesn't appear to work very well?

@ajroach42 Yeah, I noticed the SFFLab page was broken. The guy who makes them has a bunch of videos on his youtube channel that do a good job showcasing it:

@ajroach42 they say that, but if you did it you’d be on the front page of boing boing 🤔

I’d be most worried about not having great/standar rails/standoffs to attach stuff to.

@sconlan Should be easy enough to fix.

I'm going to go dig around for old stereos.

@ajroach42 that looks like it would make a beautiful case. Mega bonus points if you can make use of some of those dials and maybe put a little display where the tuner reading is to output an audio visualization or something would be next level.

@ajroach42 I love this concept but as a vintage Pioneer receiver owner please use a broken unit because they're decent performers.

@dokuja I wouldn't pay full price for a unit I was going to gut.

I *think* I still have a few broken project spares back in GA, in various storage units.

I'll start with local goodwills.

@ajroach42 Apparently your coworkers lack refinement of taste.

@ajroach42 I'd settle for that aesthetic in a radio. Physical controls for the win.

@ajroach42 That would be very cool! Especially depending on how you re-interpreted the interface.
You could re-use the vu meters as intended for a start. Also the analog volume etc.
If you used e.g. an rpi, you could hook up switches to interesting gpio.
Not sure what to do with the slide-rule tuning...

@gemlog @ckeen If I do this, I'll be putting a full power desktop (with a reasonably powerful graphics card, intended for use as a video editing rig, and a few other things. )

If I did it up, the knobs and switches would get connected to a teensy or an arduino, and then in to the PC.

I would want to make everything functional, or at least mostly functional.

Your approach to use an arduino/orangepi/w/e in front of a normal pc is a better idea than mine.
I'm just stumped on the slide rule tuning knob.

@gemlog @ckeen I want to set up a box to capture and play back video in to and from a connected video toaster. The knobs and switches would serve as a viable analog for a real video mixing console.

Like with an analog genlock?
You said 'toaster'. Are you a former amigoid?

@gemlog @ckeen I am not a former amigoid.

I have an Amiga 2000 equipped with a video toaster and associated software, acquired very recently. Haven't used it yet.

Also have a couple of old electronic news gathering cameras and Big Ideas.

I am waiting eagerly for the opportunity to put it in to service, and I will be able to do so very soon.

I think you want to have a genlock to go with that.
A friend of mine still has an A/B roll studio with an A3000 and a toaster. It's fun! :-)
He also has an A1000 (with the signatures in the case).

@gemlog @ckeen the toaster card has a genlock on board, iirc, and I have a separate hardware genlock as well.

Still something I'm learning though

I don't think so, but it's been a long time. You need the external real genlock.
Cool! :-)

Amigas natively output ntsc. Maybe that's what you are thinking about.

@gemlog @ckeen the video toaster board has four BNC inputs and two outputs. It can overlay on the inputs to the outputs without an external genlock as long as the timing of the signal is pretty stable.

I have an external hardware genlock, a time code corrector (dunno if it works) and I have a couple of PVMs that can be used to stabilize the video timing if the need arises.

I should be golden but we'll see how it goes in practice.

All that stuff is so long ago that I totally forget. I did install a couple of toasters in A3k and had to hacksaw the case a bit.
I never had an A1k, but everything else. I was a dealer at some point.

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