My First "Casemod"

The Beast, after painting.

March, 2004

horizontal rule


The Beast, from below

The company I was working for decided to close our office. Now, I'd actually started working for one company, but after I was there three weeks, we were bought out. The new company didn't replace our machines (almost all Gateway machines), even though they weren't corporate standard (HP/Compaq) machines. So, they auctioned off all our computers internally.

That's not how I acquired this computer, though. In addition to the useful machines, there was a closet full of computers that had been used at one time, but were now antiques. These were "take them or they on in the dumpster" machines, so I grabbed the most interesting looking one and brought it home.

It's only a Pentium 266 MHz machine, but at one time it must have been a server. It runs Windows 95, but in addition to its 6 GB hard drive (large for 1997) it has:

...and all this in a massive ATX tower case.
...for free.

There's a trend in computing these days called "casemodding", which seems to be what all the creative people are doing to their computers. I've wanted to get in on this, but never had computer that could be considered "expendable" before. Here was my chance! It wasn't worth starting with a lot of work, but painting was just the speed I was looking for.


The Beast, close-up of the basebadge

The top and sides of the case are a sheet of painted metal, so that was easy to remove. The front bezel of the case is plastic, and a few screws later it was free. I also unscrewed and removed the bottom bezel. There's still a bunch of spray paint in the basement, so I was ready.

I decided not to remove or paint the drive bezels. After all, they may be useful in some other machine.

I also pulled out the power & reset buttons for painting, and printed up a new case badge.

The Process

The Beast, close-up of the corner

First I painted the case and bezel solid red, a bright cheery, cherry, red. Then, I feathered black around the edges to give it a scorched look. I also put a light dusting of yellow over the badge and logo areas of the bezel. The buttons I painted pure yellow, and then inked the symbols with a sharpie. The bottom bezel got solid black, with a light dusting of blue to complement the flamed look.

Nothing makes a free computer look more like a million bucks than a few dollars in spraypaint!

Now that it looks so spiffy, I might consider reusing the case by upgrading the internals, except the inside of the case is very badly organized.

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