December 25, 2008 RSS2.0

The Black Box Project

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At home, I use my 37” HDTV as my monitor. However once a month or so, I go to friends’ houses for LAN parties. This meant lugging my large tower and accessories around, then borrowing a monitor from a friend. Plus, it was a pain reconfiguring everything for a different screen resolution, both at the party and also when I got back home. My tower was awkward to carry and wires were everywhere.

Goals for the Build

  • Attach a monitor in some fashion to the case. It must allow for easy swapping between my HDTV and the on-board monitor, plus protect the on-board monitor when not in use / transport.
  • The monitor must be widescreen and at least 17” for gaming.
  • The Case must have handles for ease of transport.
  • Use the smallest case possible for ease of transport, while still housing the screen.
  • It must be able to fit a full ATX motherboard, along with my other current components. I don’t want to be forced to upgrade my hardware for this mod.
  • It must limit the number of cables required, possibly even plugging both the PC and monitor into the same power outlet using an extension cord.

“Why not just buy a laptop?” everyone asks. But that’s not the point! I don’t want to sit in Starbucks with my comp on my lap and sip a latte or lug it around at work. I just want something that is hassle-free for LAN parties once in a while, but still get the cheap customization and performance of a desktop.