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Steampunk Spotlight – The Way Computers Should Be Built

Posted by Alanna Horgan December 3rd, 2009 |
 

In our world of sleek, minimalist computers, case mods are there to add some colour and a little bit of awesome to machines many of us spend most of our waking hours with. But what of the dastardly steampunk mastermind, or the on the go ruffian hero? They too need computers they can feel comfortable with, so below are some case mods that have stepped up to the call and provided some true steampunk genius.
 

The Bug

The Bug by Jake of all Trades

The Bug

This first offering isn’t so much a case mod as it is a mouse mod.  This fully fuctional USB mouse was made by Jake Hildebrand and posted on his blog Jake of All Trades.  It only cost him $5 US dollars as he used scrap parts to save on costs, and took 11 hours to make.

On the blog you can find detailed pictures of how it works.  The Bug was designed to complement the Telecalculograph, a mysterious project that Jake tells us is being developed by the eccentric Professor William C. Ravenscroft.
 

Insides of The Bug

Insides of The Bug

Scroll Wheel made from alarm clock parts

Scroll Wheel made from alarm clock parts

The mysterious Telecalculograph of

The mysterious Telecalculograph of Professor William C. Ravenscroft

 

The Nagy Magical-Movable-Type Pixello-Dynamotronic Coomputational Engine

 

The next case mod is from Richard ‘Doc’ Nagy, a man who is famous for his steampunk computer mods.  This hefty chunk of equipment would be the perfect centerpiece to any Victorian masterminds lair.  In the Docs own words:

‘Celebrate the historical heritage of the modern Personal Computer… the way it should have been.  While charming in its reticence, the buzzing beige rectangle under a desk hardly seems a fitting aesthetic legacy for what is inarguably the most important invention of the last 50 years.  With a little creative anachronism, this project aims to ‘retrocentrically’ create a false historical heritage for the modern computer.’

I hope he succeeds.  For more of his mods you can visit his blog – Datamancer.

Computational Engine

Computational Engine

 

Frankenstein

 

Dana Mattocks & his very own Frankenstein

Dana Mattocks & his very own Frankenstein

The Frankenstein by Dana Mattocks is aptly named indeed.  Standing taller than its maker, it’s impressive not just for its stature but also for the sheer detail Dana has put into it.  Eerie glowing green lights, shimmering blood vials, clockfaces aplenty, tubes and valves and even an old fashioned whistle, what else could you want?  Dana has pictures of possibly every part that went into this project on his Flickr page.

Simmering 'blood red' fluid with copper element coil

Detail of Frankenstein

Detail of Frankenstein


 

Communicator PC

 

This design is more conservative, but its sleek almost periscope like feel captures the steampunk elegance of the well to do.  It was made and designed by Maduncle, apparently exhibited at Oxford and sold on ebay for $1000 AU.  You can find some of Maduncles other work on his blog AusSteamPunk.

Maduncle's-Communicator-PC

Maduncle's-Communicator-PC


 

Dialup Case Mod with Antique Net Phone

 

Gareth Branwyn brings us this antique phone modded into a computer case.  It has all the workings of a normal computer, but the best part is that the phone can actually be used – not just for normal phone calls, but for MSN, Google Talk and Skype too!  There’s nothing like the feel of using an old school hand piece like this, and this mod is bordering on being pure camouflage – at first glance it might be looked over as a computer entirely, so where better to store those sensitive files you don’t want anyone finding?  Provided the monitor, which wasn’t shown, is equally chameleon like.  The blog where I found this casemod is here.

Dialup Case Mod

Dialup Case Mod

Inner Workings

Inner Workings


 

The Victorian All-In-One PC

 

Pure Victorian Elegance

Pure Victorian Elegance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This steampunk case mod is worthy of royalty.  Jake Von Slatt crafted this beautiful machine himself, and details the process step by step at The Steampunk Workshop.  This project is amazing not just for its beauty, but also for the work that went into it: the craftmanship is truely reminiscent of the kind we’d find in a steampunk society.

Victorian All in one PC

Victorian All in one PC

Even the back is pretty

Even the back is pretty


 

The Motorized Monster

 

Motorized Madness Indeed

Motorized Madness Indeed

For the final case mod we present something that leans a little towards the industrial side of steampunk.  As if all those cogs and wheels weren’t awesome enough, rendermandan – its illustrious maker – decided they should be functional.  And so we leave you with some youtube videos of the case in motion, a fine end to a fine collection of steampunk case mods.

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5 Responses to “Steampunk Spotlight – The Way Computers Should Be Built”

  1. Thank you for featuring my mouse! Have you seen the second itteration of the Telecalculograph? I have fallen dreadfully behind on blog posts, but you can see all about it on my Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwhilde/sets/72157618502033063/

    Second and third versions of the mouse are there too:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwhilde/sets/72157621152279316/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwhilde/sets/72157621023750739/

    Thank you again for such compliments, your site is quite fine!

  2. Wow those are looking really awesome! You do great work ^_^ And thanks for visiting the site.

  3. Jamie Hemmer says:

    Very insightful post. I am going to link to it in my new blog.

  4. Taylor Lemma says:

    Thanks for the well-written article. I liked it. You have a very nice blog.

  5. This was a pretty interesting read. I’m happy:glad I found this – from a antique phone enthusiast

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