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Cool PC Cases 209

PaulB writes "Intel's new Easy PC standard has some prototype systems ready for it, which you can read about on Wired. Very cool looking stuff, finally no more iMac envy. " You can see the photos of the machines on intel's website but they do all have those stupid looking jumpsuit dudes in the way. Update: 06/08 08:45 by H :SurplusBaggage wrote in with the Phillips 42" monitors. Price tag: $15k.
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Cool PC Cases

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  • These boxes make the iMac look like the Goddess of computing. I don't think Apple has ANYTHING to fear. Their coveted industrial design awards are completely safe.

    As for the 42" plasma screen ... GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, that's just about the stupidest looking set of excuses for computer hardware I've ever seen. Yes, the (as someone else so eloquently put it) people in the 'Day-Glo' radiation suits are even dumber.

    But you know what? If Joe Consumer is more concerned with flashy product demos, and hiding peripherals inside "decorative boquets," instead of having enough brains to be concerned with functionality, reliability, expandability, and performance, then I say s/he deserves exactly what they get.

    No matter how much the industry pushes users away from education, and into a buying frenzy just because something "looks cool," it will always be impossible to get the most out of any computer if the owner refuses to learn anything more than where the power switch is.

    Consumers will invariably buy all the "fashion" crap, which will leave the 'real' hardware for those of us "in the know." Does this bother me? Only with the slight possibility of increased prices for the 'real' hardware when its sales levels start to drop.

    Personally, I have most of my computers in rackmount cases. Rugged, reliable, easy to work with, very well ventilated and shielded. These do not look like any sort of decorative accessory, folks, but they're definitely functional.

    And that's the whole thing with me. Give me function over fluff any day. If I can't tear it open, add the components I want to add, or similarly dork around with it, I don't want it in my lab!

    Good luck, Intel. Let's see how many of those non-expandable, "fashion-friendly" (throwaway) computers are rotting in landfills in another three or so years.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think intel is coming darn close to stepping on the Power Rangers trademark. For weeks I've been trying to find out from Intel if the different BunnyPeople have their own special powers?

    I can almost hear the TV ads now...

    Blue: Oh no, the iMacs are approaching.

    Purple: Quick to the Internet! Form of Koi!

    Green: Shape of Bunny!

    Purple and Green proceed through the blue door and procede to do kung fu whoop ass on some iMacs. Funky music plays. Intel sound. Fade out.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    My current case is serving me just fine, except for the color. I've got a regular metal-and-plastic beige case that I want to repaint in blue and purple with the Dust Puppy on one side and Tux on the other. I know people periodically ask "What's the best way to paint my case?" here, but I have yet to see a good, clear response. What I've pieced together is this:
    • use a light sandpaper on the front and sides to rough it up a little
    • apply a primer
    • paint design
    • cover with clear enamel
    Any other suggestions, especially paint types? I'd prefer something I can either spray on from a can or something I can apply with a brush and can buy for not a whole lot of $$$ (like taking my case to an auto-body shop for a repaint using car finishes isn't really an option).

    Soren Harward
    (who's not at his home computer and has forgotten his password)
  • If you think the O2 looks cool, you should try the Visual workstations. As an added feature, they have that door on the front that, when you press on the bottom gently) automatically slide down gracefully revealing the floppy, CDROM, tape, and Power button. More information [] is available on the SGi web site.
  • Their roadmap to remove "Legacy Technology":
    • ISA devices and slots - by 2nd half of '99
      Ow! I looked specifically for a motherboard with ISA slots this time around (and didn't see one with 2) I've got an old Ethernet card and Soundard that work just fine, not matter what Intel says
    • Gameport/MIDI
      Hey, this is built on my ISA soundcard, how exactly does Intel plan to kill it?
    • PS/2
      Intel must have a huge hard-on for USB to abandon the MILLIONS of keyboards/mice out there that already use this widely accepted standard
    • Serial
      Hopefully I won't have my external modem still when they do this
    • Parallel
      Or my printer
    • IDE
      Good riddance, as long as they replace it with SCSI, Firewire, or Fibre channel (mmmm Fibre Channel) and not USB or some other lame protocol
    • Floppy
      Why are they waiting so long on this one? Who uses floppies anymore? I guess they're just holding on to this to spite Apple
    • VGA
      And replace it with what?
    • User-Accessible Slots
      Somehow I doubt this will go over very well with the people who make peripherals. If Intel released some chipset that didn't support any sort of expansion slots, you can bet somebody (maybe IBM) will release one that does. The sever market (not to mention gamers/power users/other computer savvy people) simply won't stand for this.

  • Take a look see here [] for bunnyless photos. They also design products for Sony, Qualcomm, and others. Neat company. (I saw the web page in one of the photos off of the main articles picture link above, look for it yourself. It may just entertain you like those "Where's Waldo"s of Yore.)
  • Yeah, just like those non-upgradeable, inflexible, useless lumps of shit in your garage, home entertainment center, and kitchen.

    This sort of "absolute hacker" mentality is absurd. Get over it.
  • Posted by cnr1089:

    There is, it is called Macintosh.
  • Posted by oNZeNeMo (guns'n ammo):

    What about those of us who need access to the innards of our computers? Given the right operating system, I can access my files and run my programs from just about anywhere. All I need is a large cube in my room. A cube that would have all the room I would ever need for hard disks but instead of building it up, building it wide too, so the cables don't have to be crammed in everywhere. I'd also like easy access from all angles without having to disconnect everything inside. No, I don't run my computer with the cover off, it's too noisy (learned my lesson IBM hard disks are the way to go). I have seen cases like this, but never for less than $300.

    And seriously, people who want to take their computer places should get a laptop already.
  • I'm bitter about pickup trucks too. Trucks should be square, tough (as in drop a 1000 lbs rock in the back end and get out of there) and have real transmissions.

    I can't beleive the people who fall for the sexy marketing. They are work vehicals, not toys. The Dogde gets more horsepower from the automatic transmission because they take away the torque from the low end. Pickups are about torque not horsepower, they use too much fuel as it willout bruning it away in too low a gear for the speed you are taking.

    Which is why My comptuer is in a corner where I can't see it. I look at the monitor, listen to the speakers (which reminds me, I should complile a kernel with sound support some year) type on the keyboard, and get work done. If I wanted a comtpuer to look at I'd get an SGI which form and function go togather, not impeade one anouther.

  • Hey I would! That fish shaped case looks pretty cool to me. But I like fish.

    What? You don't think my one order is enough to pay for all the development and marketing? Oh my!
  • The Dodge Dakota is hardly a defence for this kind of BS design.

    These ugly pieces of crap remind me of all those really tall Toyota and Datsun pickup truks from the early eighties. You know, the ones with the lift kits and huge monster wheels. Poseur cars that never saw dirt. The precursors of the SUV.

    The iMac is a beautiful design. Functional and nice to look at. I don't want one but I can respect the designer. These nasty pieces of pretentious crap are just plain annoying.
  • Unfortunately in this case, they are choosing form to the detriment of function. You can't upgrade these things, aside from possibly adding more ram or maybe a faster processor.

  • Intel is clearly on the wrong track. They haven't done much lately besides screw up. AMD has been coming on strong and looks like they will continue to improve. I can only hope that they don't try to compete with Intel's idiotic designs by following suit. I hope they will reject the idea that the computer should be as simple to use as your toaster. Integrating everything into one big neon hunk of metal and plastic is just plain stupid. You can't upgrade it beyond a few almost trivial improvements. You have to replace the whole thing, sometimes this even includes the monitor. I've got a monitor that has been doing just fine for over 6 years. I have replaced my box 4 times in that period. Why should I have to replace the monitor too if I don't need a new one?

    I don't intend to just shovel my money into their pockets, but that's what Intel seems intent on getting me to do. AMD seems to be going in different directions. Improving the architecture and working to produce faster and faster processors that are cheaper than Intel's. That's where my money will go as long as Intel continues to prove that it doesn't care about my interests or concerns. They can make all the hot pink cases shaped like hearts and flowers that they want. My money goes elsewhere.

  • "KOI - fish shaped for the teenagers"

    Because everybody knows how today's teens are into FISH!!

  • Why is it that none of these 'geniuses' at intel or Apple or elsewhere have ever come up with an 'all-in-one' design that allows the components to be separated.

    One would still need to have a 'made for the iMac montior dock' type case. But, there would still be at least some potential for flexiblity.

    Instead, we get an Atari-esque 'you must upgrade the whole thing' sort of mentality going on.
  • That kind of mentality has been there since the first IBM PC. Suddenly, there was a herd mentality involved with a segment of the computing market. It takes quite a bit to overcome that. Unfortunately, that means even lower common denominator tactics.

    When companies can't compete based on quality (and they really can't with software vendorlock), marketing has to take over.
  • That article sounded a lot like something The Onion [] would write?

    "Now this older technology has been superceded by newer possibilities. What you end up with are powerful PCs that are smaller and utilize cool, innovative designs. PCs can be exciting! They can have a sense of whimsy, be friendlier, be easier to use," Schwartz said.
    You just gotta love marketspeak.

    "These new computers come in a burst of Rainbow Flavors! They are computerific! So simple to use, even a Marketroid can set one up all by itself!"

    What really gets me is the herd like mentality of the Marketroids and computer execs.

    "Beige good, must make beige computers."

    "Clear bright colors good. Single unit nonexpandable good. Must make bright color single unit computer."

    The Imac was popular because it was a good, fresh original design. Why can't Intel, etc. even try to innovate? Because it's expensive and risky, I guess.

    This is really going to be great for the signal/noise ratio on the internet. People who buy computers based on looks just pouring onto the Internet. Makes me long for those long lost days of yore when I used an accoustic coupled 300 Baud modem hooked up to a TRS-80 Model 1 to get online with Compuserve. [Wipes nostalgic tear from eye]

  • by ptomblin ( 1378 ) <> on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @09:59AM (#1859718) Homepage Journal
    Those are some of the ugliest things I've seen in a while. And I don't just mean the bunnypeople.
  • Those designs make the iMac look beautiful. Tacky, ugly, and nausiating are three words that come to mind.

    Why is it that there have been hardly any really good looking (personal) computers? The NeXTcube was quite nice. The iMac has some apeal, although the colour choice is lacking. There were several slick looking SGI models a few years back. But for the most part, computers are either boring beige, or twisted, horrifying designs like those shown by Intel.

  • But at least mom knows that if her compact's engine takes a crap, she can have a mechanic fix it for her, or have the engine replaced, or whatever. And she'll rest assured when she knows that the parts for her car are easily available at the nearest Pep Boys or Western Auto. Face it, even mom knows that buying a car that has to be replaced in its entirety when it breaks down is a bad deal.
  • Well, I once had an IBM XT case, circa 1985 (according to the label). The chassis was painted black, and the cover was obviously beige. It wasn't rusted. It was tough as hell. It'd have taken a bullet and the board would've been left intact. Why didn't I use it? Because the slots had a different spacing than current AT boards...
  • As many have noted already, these new machines lack the expandability that we've come to get used to from PCs. As we all know, you'd end up having to upgrade the whole thing sooner when the hardware becomes obsolete, instead of incrementally (because the whole thing doesn't really become obsolete all at once). Of course, since Micro$oft is behind this, they all want to do to hardware what M$ has done to software: lock users in an inescapable (?) upgrade cycle, and drain your pockets of dosh in the process.

    On an aside, one of the things that always bug me is the thoughtless use of IDE for device attachment. I'd have put SCSI or FireWire in there, instead, and that would instantly provide greater expansion capability, before you add PCI (or your expansion bus of choice).
  • Has anyone ported myxomatosis (sp?) to the Bunnypeople yet?

  • > no slots of any kind whatsoever
    This is a GoodThing(tm). Think about it for a second? Do you actually think that the way we do things now (open up the case and plug one circuit board into another) is the right way of doing things?!?!? Do you actually think "normal" people are comfortable with this paradigm.

    > integrated monitors and computers were a bad
    Again, I think you are wrong here. The future of computers insn't power or flexibility. It's simplicity. And let's face it, the simplest solution is an all in one box.

  • First: yup

    Second: I think the actual name for those "tin foil suits" is "bunny suits".

    Third: yup
  • And that's the long and short of it. Pack the box full of closed-spec, licensed-use-only interfaces (USB, FireWire, etc), and guess which OSs *won't* run on it? The ones that aren't written by companies who pay royalties and sign NDAs. Witness the *REAL* attack on Open Source.

    And now, thanks to the DMCA, reverse-engineering is illegal! Hurrah!

    I know that fragrance... smells like COLLUSION.
  • The wording was strange, but I would attribute it to a marketeer who doesn't really understand what he is writing about. There are way too many of them out there. Intel's marketing is really starting to creep me out. I'm glad that I've never bought an Intel CPU.

  • The people who are manufacturing these cases are trying to appeal to people who:

    a) dont own a computer
    b) own one but want one to match the couch

    They are not trying to sell the poweruser a pink case. They know that you wont buy it, but will instead mock it and the flaming BunnyPeople (deservedly so).

    There are two ways to look at this: the more computers that sell, the better, cause it promotes computing as a whole, OR the more pink computers that sell, the worse, because it just leads to more internet load and mindless computer users.

    Oh well. I would take one to use as a footrest and / or sendmail server.

  • Do you know what the world is coming to? We minimize the number of ports in the back of a PC, getting to, say, 2 USB and 2 FireWire ports and an Ethernet. Great. Now we add USB speakers and modem, FireWire monitor, etc, etc.

    At this point, we run out of USB ports, so we need a USB hub. Then a FireWire hub. As a result, we end up with a rat's nest of wires.

  • While Intel is trying to design props for a Luc Besson movie, they're missing their two largest markets:

    Mom and Pop. The standard by which all inexperienced users are based. Wants a simple system. So far, so good: the Easy PC initiative was tailor-made for people like Mom and Pop. But show one of those designs to Mom and Pop and you'll either hear "Looks like a Fisher-Price thingamabob!" (my dad) or "But the den's Colonial. That would look tacky." (my mom)

    Geeks. You know who you are. After all, you're reading Slashdot. You probably had the same reaction I did: "Finally, cool cases!" Then I saw that they were Easy PCs. Damn. I was hoping for a big, sinister, monolithic full tower to replace the cheesy, afraid-I'm-gonna-break-the-front-panel Gateway tower I have now.

    Now, if they could get Martha Stewart and Sid Mead on board...

    Keith Russell
    Whatever happened to peaceful coexistance?
  • I for one would like to see more colorful pizzabox designs (ala SGI indy) with accompanying motherboards. I mean all I think that would be needed for the mobo would be builtin scsi, enet, audio, and 1 agp slot. With all the builtin stuff becoming common on some ATX boards why wouldn't it work for the LPX (or maybe it's NTX).
  • I've had an ATX one for several months. It's great, I have the mobo on one side, and all my scsi disks on the other. The mobo side has an 9cm fan and the disk side has an 8cm. I ordered the fans w/the case for $10 a piece extra which is quite a steal (just look how much fans cost at radioshack). Oh yeah, the sides are hinged. Hopefully I'll get around to painting it purple (ala SGI Indigo2) this week.
  • Yes, but that's slower than PCI and slower than the fastest versions of SCSI.
  • This is not supposed to happen. I think USB traffic is supposed to be prioritised in some way. If you have bad drivers then it might work this way.
  • -IDE: way, way slow. UDMA is much better.

    Uh, UDMA is just DMA mode 3 (or possibly 4) for ATA IDE.

    --Floppy: what am I supposed to use for a boot disk?

    A CD-ROM.

    What if I don't want to bother with mailing myself a file so I can transfer it between machines that aren't on a common network?

    You can still use a USB floppy drive.

  • Don't know how you found this [], but wow... that is scary...
  • I'm glad to see that companies are starting to think "outside the box." But where do I put my 5 pci cards?

    Nice "flexible" design.
  • Oh man. I may have to buy a different case now thanks to this link. In addition, they even have some cases which put SuperMicro's [] to shame.
  • Forget these things, I want to do what Dr Ffreeze did, drop my board in mineral oil and cool it down to -30. Case? See that foam cooler in the corner with the A/C attacted to it? Thats MY case baby. Then enjoy as the MarketDriod's look of horror with satisfaction. ~G.
  • Moderate this post!? You're preaching to the choir! :-)
  • > Then Dodge came along and made the Ram and
    > Dakota sexy, and stylish. Why can't computers be
    > the same?

    Because the Dodge Ram is still a helluva truck and is still useful as a truck to haul things around in.

    On the other hand, these PC's are limited and minimally-upgradable to ensure planned obsolescence. Can you say Packard Bell? I thought you could.

    Besides, they're ugly.
  • And they found out what to do about it. They must have fired their entire engineering staff in a bold new move:

    Intel's Bunnypeople[tm] characters fashioned the new PC designs for the PC Fashion Show at IDF.

    They've gone to the "Shoemaker and the Elves" model of modern business! Fire all the engineers and have wonderful, magical beings design your products!

    Personally, I'm waiting for the BunnyPeople[tm] cartoon to come out.

  • um, i have a genuine ibm aptiva (dont ask) desktop and was much impressed that the entire thing came in black.

    black keyboard, black mouse, black case, black evil-looking 17" monitor. unfortunately, its pretty much impossible to upgrade because they mustve *!@! superglued the screws into the case at the factory. but someone did make cool pcs before this intel thingie (it was given to me sept last year).

    incidentally, does anyone know if this was *before* imac? that would be pretty cool. i mean, i know how people here love to bash ibm, but i actually think theyre pretty industry giants go... cmon, copper, matchbox drives, you cant think theyre all bad.

  • You may notice the picture of the so-called FlexATX motherboard. The one with no slots of any kind whatsoever, and only IDE and USB connectors. You know, the flexible one :)

    Also, I am pretty sure that we all decided that integrated monitors and computers were a bad idea a long time ago (except for thos boneheads at Apple). I dunno about the average slashdotter, but my current monitor has lasted me through six different systems. Who (besides the display manufacturers) wants a montitor that has to be upgraded at the same pace as the CPU.

    More examples of the manufacturers giving us what they want us to have, instead of what we want them to give us.


  • Let us define a "normal" person as a person who buys and uses a computer without ever opening the case. Why would the normal person be better off with a motherboard that has no slots? The only advantage for the user is cost.

    FYI, I do think that the way we do it now is the One True Way. Defined an open bus protocol (PCI, SCSI, USB, 1394, &c), let the specialized manufacturers make their specialized parts, and let the consumer choose which they need. Intel is not the market leader in all segments, and one design cannot meet all people's needs. For low end PCs, you can stick a bunch of commodity hardware on the bus and ship it. For nice hardware you can carefully select your components and make something you'll really love.

    Don't forget about the integrators like Compaq, Dell, and Micron. The closer Intel gets to making an all-in-one motherboard, the closer these resellers are to just sticking their label on a box and providing technical support. I'm sure they don't want that. Common bus interfaces currently allow the PC manufacturers to differentiate on features and performance.

    Last point: I don't see the inherent simplicity in having an integrated monitor, as opposed to one which is not irreversibly attached.


  • You guys keep on looking at a lack of upgradability (and those damn bunnypeople) but intel and co aren't looking to sell these things to you. Can you imagine working at CompUSA selling PCs when some red neck comes in and you start your sales pitch but he says "shutup boy, i want that blue one right yonder there"
    that is what they are marketing. its pretty and its for the layman.
    I'm sure that it'll last for awhile but soon after even the layman will find out that he was screwed and will want more expandability, IMHO anyway.
    Besides, I dont think its a bad idea if computers will now be marketed like cars/clothes(albiet a little annoying). It will drasticly(sp?) raise the standard of computer usage to that of the TV or phone, again IMHO.

    oh and what were they saying about ease of use? they _were_ talking about windows? hah no comment

  • "KOI - fish shaped for the teenagers"

    I'm sorry, but I don't think that any self respecting teenager would get a fish shaped computer, maybe some younger teenage girls, but probably not any guys.

  • I like the boxes of the Sun UltraSPARC 10's. They look pretty cool.
  • I don't get it - why make a PC attractive at all? why does it have to appear somewhere that I have to consider how it looks or appeals to me? Instead of making them in funky shapes and starburst colors why not build a PC with the formfactor of a mousepad, a really small cube or something inconspicuous. After all if I take off the LCD, the keyboard, the battery and the external packaging of my notebook machine what's left is about as large as a cell phone and that includes the power supply and PC card slots.

    The other problem I see if you make something look like a toy people will generally treat it like one - that is if your PC looks like Playstation, for example it will get kicked around like one -do these new cases come with hydrostatic shock absorbers and extremely hard ABS shells?
  • I gotta chime in with this: The Monorail's problem was simply corner cutting. If they'd built 'em out of decent parts, they'd have been cool little machines. As it was, they blew their wad on the LCD display and had to use utterly crappy compents throughout the rest of the system.
  • Philips' 42" flat screen design uses a Pentium III processor to drive a plasma display using a new digital video interface being defined by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG)

    Is it just me, or does this read like the PIII is embedded in the display, sorta like a 68000 or 6501? Poor wording, I guess, but it was a scary thought.

  • by juuri ( 7678 )
    I don't get why people get so excited by the stuph at colorcase and their ilk. Its the same boring PC case with a bit of colour thrown on it. It isn't anything special... hell if it wasn't for the NeXTs and SGIs people would assume all computers had to be ugly ass beige cases.

    I am still waiting for someone to make something sleek and stylish enough to where I can place the PC beneath my other stereo componets and have it in the living room. Screw this computers only belong on the desk crap.

    Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...
  • by Accipiter ( 8228 )
    I don't know why, but the 500mhz red case reminds me of those toys that you pull the string, the arrow spins and lands on a farm animal, and it tells you about it. I imagine these have a bit more functionality though. ;)

    "The COW goes.....moooooooooo"

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Apple makes machines which, in my opinion, look much nicer than those peices of crap, and you don't see nerds running around in apple suits showing off the design. Mascots are stupid, mascots for computer companies just show how immature and unprofessional they are. Facts get computers sold, not men in tin foil.
  • I agree with you -- pretty horrific actually.
  • I'd like to see some pictures with the Bunny doofuses getting crowned by those new cases.
  • At least the Bunnypeople(tm) could wear the bunny suites properly. The hoods should be tucked into the suit and not hang on the outside of the suit. Defeats the whole purpose of wearing it. Unless they're trying to hide the models....

    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • What you want is the SGI flat-panel screen with the Number Nine video card that you have to buy to use it. I think the whole package is around $ 2,800 at a good discount. Gives you 1600x1200 at a price point lower than the competing Viewsonic screen of a similar size, which comes without a card. Fully digital, no analogue anywhere.


  • I have wondered about the wisdom of placing serial ports on the motherboard for some time now. My first PC (XT clone) had serial ports on the motherboard and I was worried. Why? Because line driver chips fail. When the serial ports were on a separate card I could toss the card and replace it if the line drivers were socketed. Luckily, when I had a driver fail the chips on that old motherboard were socketed and a quick trip to Radio Trash saved the day. Newer motherboards don't have socketed line driver chips. I guess I'll need to buy a new motherboard if I have a problem with the serial ports on my current system.

    Really... what's wrong with keeping ISA for things like mice and serial ports. The ISA bus is certainly capable of handling the I/O needs for those devices.

    What do you do when you have a problem with a peripheral when everything's been put on the motherboard or requires USB? It'll be a cold day before I buy another Intel-based system if they're going to force me into hanging a RAID array off USB because they don't think I'm capable of dealing with a circuit board in a slot.

    I look around in Computer Shopper at the motherboard ads and I still don't see the motherboards coming with more than 5 PCI slots. I have five slots on my 2-1/2 year old PPro system so the motherboard makers haven't been adding more PCI slots (and I'm out of PCI slots). I'm trying to figure out what my upgrade path is should I decide that my dual PPro is out of gas. A replacement m'board wouldn't have any more I/O capacity and if my growth requires more disk space I'll have to overload the SCSI busses I already have. Oh yes... I'm supposed to buy new motherboards with limited I/O capacity and access everything over a network. Again, there's that bottleneck. Anyone know whether there's an effort to get StorageWorks controllers to work under Linux? You can hang a boatload of disks off an HSZ array controller. Oh... I forgot. I'd still need a slot for the SCSI controller. Guess I'm still SOL.

    Is everything going to be forced onto USB? Does Intel understand the potential for performance bottlenecks that they're going to be pushing us into? Are they suggesting that we put everything on USB? If the PS/2 and parallel ports are designated for removal, I'd hate to see my mouse response to go down the tubes because I'm printing a large file.

    Users complain now about the tangled mess of cables that they have running out of their computers. Just wait until everything's got to plug into some damned USB hub that's sitting on your desk! Or even worse, sitting on the floor underneath your desk just waiting for you to kick a cable loose. Or worse, the USB cables I've seen look fragile to me.

    If Intel wants to help, come up with a design that gives us two I/O busses: low speed for things like mice and asynch ports and high speed for things like video and disks.

  • Whenever I see or hear "Bunnypeople" I think of Gerrold's War Against the Chtorr series. (Bunnymen, etc.)

    I think the Chtorran ones are less offensive. :)

    The cases look pretty useless, too.


  • Looking at these "artistic pieces" and especially at the "engineers" the first thing that comes to my mind is that "I... Outside" sticker with a hole in the middle so you can stick it on top of your "Intel Inside" logo ;-)

    Every time you see x86 or PC please reread /usr/src/linux/include/asm-alpha/bugs.h

    And remember what is written inside ;-)
  • This "stylish case" thing won't last since people don't care about looks. The iMac was a Good Thing(TM) since it rolled everything into one and sold it at a cheap price.

    Exactly what is the problem with beige, anyway? I always thought most people shoved their computers under their desk to free up desktop space and forgot about it. Black would be better than beige, though.

    What we should be doing is focusing on making them smaller, not prettier. If it weren't for the fact that I had just bought a brand new PC last summer, I'd be using a laptop exclusively now since having a flat-panel laptop screen frees up so much desk space. The industry should make something small and easy to take with you when your family goes on a long car trip, etc.

    If we are looking for good cases, though, I want mine in a 5 foot tall by maybe 1 foot wide black shiny marble tower.... lots of blinky lights.
  • Again, I think you are wrong here. The future of computers insn't power or flexibility. It's simplicity. And let's face it, the simplest solution is an all in one box.

    I pray to god that I'm not around for THAT future. Anyone who trades power and flexibility for simplicty ends up with exactly what they deserve, a useless lump of shite taking up space on their desk until it's time to replace it.

  • Hahaaha.. *shrug* If it runs linux, I'll put it to some trivial task and shove it under my desk with the rest of em.. Think about it.. "This is my DNS bunny. This is my SETI@HOME fish. And, of course, my showpiece, the Squid flower."


  • by N1KO ( 13435 )
    Half of them look like something that came out of a low production sci-fi movie from the 60s and the other have dont look like anything.
  • I'm sure all those gajillions of AOL users are really, truly concerned with the frame rate of their graphics card, and the megaFLOPS they get with floating point operations.

    Gimme a break! So what if people buy computers because they "look cool" (I bet the ease of setup and use of the Mac also had something to do with it, no matter what your friends said). It's not your computer.

    Are you the kind of egotist who tells your friends what kind of car to drive? No? Then why are you telling them what kind of computer to buy?
  • Consumer electronics don't get repaired, they get tossed out. VCRs, boomboxes, and now cheapie computers in the $500 range. Face it, electronics don't "break down" all that often; either they fail in the first week of use, or they last three to five years. More than enough time to get the value back.
  • Lots of pooh-poohing of these designs going on. Gosh, they're not upgradable, the monitor's built in, et cetera. Seems there's a cultural divide here.

    Can we all agree that slashdotters want hot rods for themselves? All of us probably know what a standard PC looks like inside, at the very least. Most of us can upgrade one; maybe we can do it in the dark. Maybe we leave our case covers off so we can do it with less hassle. The latest graphics card; the most efficient EIDE controller. Overclocking. Ultracooling. One more operation per microsecond is worth an afternoon's twiddling.

    But for mom ... well, when mom wants a car she gets a compact that will let her pick up her groceries. It has a reliable Japanese engine that will go 100,000 miles as long as you go to Jiffy Lube every other month. Mom never opens the hood; face it, Mom doesn't want to open the hood. Even if you're a mechanic, she'd rather not have to depend on your being around if it seizes up. She just wants to pick up the groceries.

    That's what these computers are.
  • a low foot print PC how about putting the processor and components in the base of the LCD display or something. Low footprint PCes arent meant for me or you to upgrade, they are for businesses of users that need as much usable space on their desk as possible. Maybe some of you also looked in the back of PC magazines and remember the keyboard footprint PC. All the components fit inside the keyboard and would run Windows or Linux. How about something like this inside the base of an LCD or something, my desk is covered in hardware, a monitor, tower, printer, cable modem, ect.
  • I'm just waiting for the penguin-shaped VARstation.
  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @11:02AM (#1859771) Journal

    Their roadmap to remove "Legacy Technology":

    • ISA devices and slots - by 2nd half of '99
    • Gameport/MIDI
    • PS/2
    • Serial
    • Parallel
    • IDE
    • Floppy
    • VGA
    • User-Accessible Slots

    I'll admit that some of these technologies are a little dated, but removing all user-accessible slots means that a whole lot of old but functional hardware is going to be useless. Doesn't Intel realize that the interchangeable nature of PC parts led to the commodity market for them in the first place? Intel wouldn't be half the size it is today if IBM had just made all PCs with no user-accessible slots.

  • Am I the only one who wants to see "Listen to the Flower People" used in an M$ commercial as "Listen to the Bunnypeople"? ;-)

    Having a fun day!
  • The computer industry isn't mainstream? The sales figures at places like Compaq and Dell would tend to disagree. Computers are ubiquitous, and they are, by and large, ugly. If I want my computer to run like some far-out futuristic technology, I would love it if it looks like some far-out futuristic technology.

    Function and form are _not_ mutually exclusive goals.

  • I saw the bottom middle picture [] with the caption "The FLEX Design by InSync is a flexible unit allowing you to take the desktop from the office to the home conveniently" and all that came to mind was:

    Is that "bunnyman" giving a nazi "Sie Hiel"?

    &lt;opinion&gt;probably saw gates comin on stage&lt;/opinion&gt;
  • I would like to see a high end, accelerated video card with no analog technology anywhere in the loop - a digital interface to the motherboard, digital processing, and a digital signal to a digital (lcd flat panel) monitor.

    For sound, how about a card that does exactly zero analog processing anywhere (for a really clean signal) and gives a 5+1 output like dolby digital, or some other digital output that can be fed into a home audio system for decoding and amplification.

    What do y'all think?
  • obviously, as a high school grad about to pay his own way through college, it will be a loooong time before I could actually buy something like that, but it's still fun talking about it. grin
  • Hah. and you call me the troll.

    Listen pal, I have a B.S. in Computer Science, I've been using computers since 1982 and Linux exclusively on at least one machine since 1993. I help people fix their PC's one way or another about once a week. BTW, I've been using the same case for my main Linux machine since my very first installation in 1993. Coming from someone who crammed 6 hard disks into one mini tower I can speak from experience on what sucks about PC cases.

    Personally I dont care for those cases on the intel site but I am interested in others that will come out for the FlexATX form factor. You ever own a NeXT? (I have 3) or a SparcStation 2/4/5/10/20 ? these are low footprint well designed machines, and the SparcStations are even upgradeable with Sbus slots that run parallel to the board. PC's are nice, but they're pretty badly designed machines when it comes to wasting space. If I can get a Linux machine the size of a Playstation, I'll be thrilled, I'll be able to fit more of them under my desk.

  • PC's are ugly. There's no working around this fact. Beyond the fact that they are ugly, they're also not very functional on the inside. Too often wires have to be run across things messing up ventillation and cluttering up the inside. A PC with all the I/O it will need built inside? Bring it on! Personally I think those things are terribly ugly, but I'm sure more reasonable cases will be forthcoming. Once motherboard manufacturers build in SCSI instead of IDE, I'll be the first in line.

  • #define RANT

    What the hell is it with these god damn curvy, "sleek" cases? I basically treat my box like a piece of furniture, there's stuff stacked on it, I put it on the bookshelf, I stack books against it (mindfull of the ventilation holes, of course). Can't do that as nicely with a lot of new cases. It's not hard to find a nice rectanglular x by y by z case, but these odd shaped ones, I think, have got to go.

    #undef RANT

    I'd rather have a rackmount case.
  • I've spent a hell of a lot of time in the last year looking for a SMALL computer that I could buy two or three of, put them on a shelf, and use them for specific purposes (NAT, Samba, and Oracle development). I want separate computers because that's the way I want it. I want them small because it's STUPID (IMHO) to waste all that space on single-purpose gadgets. I'd like them to be as quiet as possible. I won't pay extra for color because if I want'em colored I'll damned well paint'em myself!

    I don't particularly care about expansion slots if there are USB and/or firewire devices to do what I need. A firewire-to-ethernet gadget would be lovely and the bus is more than up to the challenge. Heck, with the next generation or two of firewire, there's no reason you couldn't put the video card on the 1394 bus! Think about buy a monitor that has a replacable video card, and you just plug a pure digital cable into the back of your PC.

    Intel is doing what it's doing because Intel wants to destroy any chance of 3rd parties taking over its part of the business. I don't like that. I don't particularly like the specifice devices they've designed. HOWEVER, I *do* like the design "direction" if they'd just turn it down a notch. Give me a small PC with limited expandability at a low cost. Then I can buy five or six of the little buggers and do with them whatever I wish!

    Most of the complaints I've read here are from people who are obsessed with the current way of doing things, hardwarily. It's kind of disappointing because this same crowd is pretty much rife with people who want to innovate softwarily! Why do you have to have slots IN the computer if you have externally available buses that can handle all the bandwidth you need?

    Please forgive me for the post that rambles all over the place. It's a stream of consciousness thing.
  • re: First: - well, they could be considered "cute" and we all know that that appellation signals the end of any potential intimate relationship...

    re: Second: I have no idea - but it could be interesting coming up with various things to do to the bunny people dolls Intel sells.

    re: Third: I'd say *bad* advertising is evil. The ads that make it obvious that they care nothing for the customer but just want your money. Their advertising comes from soulless advertising corporations that are willing to gloss over important facts (lie), play to people's basest insticts (sex, greed, fear - "buy this car and you too will be hip and get the chicks"), anything goes if it will bring in that almighty dollar.

    But I have to believe there are some people doing business that have good products and services, that honestly want to help people while making a living, etc. There must be examples of their advertising around somewhere, right? Good advertising that doesn't try to manipulate people other than informing them of their business, perhaps using humor as the hook. Can anyone think of examples? --- Please?

  • Couldn't we come up with some truly cool cases that would be at least as manufacturable as those cases, but with really useful as well as cool features? Ideas?
  • I think there's a place in the computing world for these "all-in-one" things. Although a Mac user, I dislike the iMac. However, I think it's perfectly fine for non-geek computer buyers who are 90% unlikely to upgrade anything ever. I think these PC's will do fine filling in that same market.

    Just like Slashdot stories you're not interested in, all you gotta do is avoid them.
  • That one looks cool, but I'd be so scared of dust or other particles collecting in there. Heaven forbid you accidentally touched it.
  • All translucent macs come with on-board IDE now. The only new mac that still has on-board SCSI is the Powerbook. SCSI macs are still in such demand, however, that you'll still see beige (SCSI) macs on sale for the same prices as the new macs, even with slower busses and processors.
  • >> no slots of any kind whatsoever
    > This is a GoodThing(tm). Think about it for a
    > second? Do you actually think that the way we do
    > things now (open up
    > the case and plug one circuit board into
    > another) is the right way of doing things?!?!?
    > Do you actually think "normal" people are
    > comfortable with this paradigm.

    So is the correct paradigm instead to _prevent_ them from being able to do it in the first place?

    How does this help "normal people"? I can understand making computers smaller and prettier, but upgrades, other than buying a whole new computer, will be impossible. This makes complete sense, considering who's promoting the Easy PC initiative and why (sell more PCs). In fact, the final step on Intel's PC roadmap is the removal of _all_ user-accessable slots. Scary. Check out their site [] for more info.
  • I've found many sweet looking cases on the 'net. The only thing is, I can never tell if they'll match up with my motherboard. I don't want the heartache of ordering a slick new case to find out my stuff won't fit. All the local computer fairs only seem to have the generic beige boxes...I'm a form-follows-function kind of guy, but hey, if I'm dropping a couple grand on a fast PC, I want it to look good too!

    I really think that computing should be a fun
    thing and those clunky old x86 boxes don't fit
    in to a creative atmosphere unless you rack them
    in something black and spray paint
    "render up your XXX" on the side :)

  • Think about it. Same colorful if somewhat shapeless forms. Same prancing about meaninglessly. Same telescreens (although moved up from the tummy to the face area with the bunny people). Hmm, and 'Intel bunny', 'tele-tubby' (the 'n' and 'b' keys are right next to each other on the keyboard). Coincidence? I don't think so.

    Although the Intelebunnies seem to have had their antennae amputated.

    Don't step in the tubby custard!
  • blow up picture at N22399o.jpg

    2 ram slots. no pci..

    I'm sure it uses intel video chips too.
  • by Jburkholder ( 28127 ) on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @10:24AM (#1859815)
    No, I'm sorry... that has got to be one of the STUPIDEST product showcasings I have EVER seen!

    Makretriod: "Ok, new color cases?! I've got it! We'll have the bunny people break-dancing with out new products so people will think they are really 'hip'!"

    Would someone please just shoot me with a very large caliber handgun now please? (moderators, feel free to demote this post, I know it is garbage) :-)

  • by DonkPunch ( 30957 ) on Tuesday June 08, 1999 @10:53AM (#1859820) Homepage Journal
    I couldn't help but throw out a few "slashdot-esque" comments about these cases:

    1) How long until we have kernel support for them?

    2) Wow! Someone should build a beowulf cluster of systems with these cases! (And wouldn't THAT be the most butt-ugly pile of flourescent hardware ever....)

    3) Who cares? I keep my overclocked Celeron motherboard in a shirt box I took from my dad's closet. I cool it with a desktop fan blowing through a modified coil from a Whirlpool refrigerator. It's hooked up to a T1 and serves over 50,000 web hits a day without breaking a sweat....
  • Grr. I'm trying to look at these concept designs, and I find myself downloading an 1800x1200 [!] jpeg [], of which about 400x512 is an actual PC, and the rest is a hot pink BunnyPerson[tm].

    Dammit, I'm bitter now.


  • I can't believe the comments I am reading: granted, the Bunnymen are creepy as hell, the cases arent the prettiest thing ever designed, but the idea is good: do away with old, obsolete standards, make PCs more attractive to John Q Public.

    Planned obsolescence is good; it cuts down on unit prices for IHVs and OEMs. Those savings are bound to trickle down to the consumer in this hyper-competitive industry of ours... And flexible systems will still be around for people like us --and business users. We may have to pay a premium for them, but the cost savings from the more high-performance hardware will more than make up for it.

    More people on the Internet is also good (can't anybody around here remember the pre-1994 days? yeah, when 2400 baud rained supreme... not much on the Net back then, huh? unless you count wuarchive or fsp ;-) More people -> bigger market for companies -> lower per unit costs (amortization anyone?) -> lower prices. Also, more Net-users means more bandwidth not less... when the other 70% of the USA (much less the world) gets online, then it would make more sense for telecomms to bring fiber to our doorsteps...

    But the real kicker is that this could be the best thing that ever happened to Linux: these idiot-proof boxes (that will probably boot straight into AOL) need rock-stable, maintenance free OSes... Now, that means win9x is out, so MS can load them with either CE or NT. Problem is neither of these does the second killer-ap (after Net access): games. On the other hand, Linux can be trimmed down to fit on those little playthings, and Linux game support is already taking off... I am not even a Linux user yet (I am working on it ;-) but I'd like to see plans for Linux on FlexATX boxes ASAP...

    Just my $.02
  • I don't believe I have seen anyone mention what I think is the ultimate danger in the commoditization of computing - the marginalization of the tech computer user vis-a-vis the loss of market share.

    Some of you have said, "These designs suck. I'll still keep buying plain old beige towers and config them my way" or "I sure hate the loss of slots in these new machines. But I will still keep on using machines with them so I can upgrade". Assuming, of course, that add-on hardware like we are used-to today is still on the market, e.g., you can still buy an after-market motherboard, video card, modem or hard drive.

    How much after market add-on, user-installable hardware do you think will be made once Intel has converted the industry over to Legacy-Free computing. Now, legacy-style computer sales are 100% ( - Imac sales ). If Intel has its way, in a few years there won't be any computers with slots or traditional ports being sold. And, everyone in the industry believes/hopes that the volume of systems shipped will greatly increase as these new computers finally attract the vast-majority of people that don't own a computer now. So systems assembled using legacy components will present an ever diminishing market share.

    I am afraid that, then, our kind of expandable computer will vanish into economic insignificance. The marketing/business geniuses that run companies will say that, "While our $50 million/year legacy SCSI/IDE business was profitable and supported an active community of legacy users, we have decided to pursue the greater opportunities offered by the new Intel PC2005 NanoDrive standard. We see a potential for great growth and increased stock value in this $225 billion global market." Businesses are in business to make money. When there are 10 million users like us and a billion users of non-legacy hardware, whom do you think they will service?

    I don't have an MBA, but I am sure I read this in some business text:
    "You don't try to sell to all customers - just the right customers."
    where "right" == the ones that produce the greatest revenues with the least marketing/support expenditure.

    I don't imagine all manufactures will abandon the add-on market - you can still buy parts for classic automobiles. But, you don't get commodity prices once the mass market has moved on. If new add-on legacy hardware is still made, it will probably have premium prices.

    One can only hope that when this day comes, the machines will truly be cheap enough to throw away when you want that new Voodoo12 4D VR chipset-based system. Or like one person said here - just have a shelf full of these machines each doing some one thing.


    This is my first post - so please be gentle.
  • I am so sick of marketroids trying to make computer hardware look stylish! My Cisco 675 looks like pregnant, mutated radar detector. The new HP tower cases are shaped like an ass cheek! What gives?

    I want a *SEXY* computer. Sexy computers are black. They are big (2.5' by 2.5 by 3.0'). They have lots of blinking lights. They have *TOGGLE SWITCHES* on the front! The have a *COOLANT LEVEL* that needs to be monitored. They have more CPU's than my calculator has buttons! They have imposing names like UniDeath Model 6342-XMP. They have hardware specs full of acronyms like RAID, BSP, SCSI, SMP and SP. They sound like a jet engine when they power up! They consume more energy than your average clothes dryer! Most importantly they're so damn fast, they _disembowel_ fashionable desktop PC's!

    Feel free to moderate this post to hell.


    May a falling S390 land on the dancing "Bunnies"
  • My GOD, this looks like a car crash between the geek and fashion world. Can you say fashion victim?

    BunnyPeople? Neo-postmodern design cases with cards poking out? What were these people thinking?

    It sounds as if they let loose a Versace-wannabe on a few computer cases. You know the kind. "Oh, what the hell is that mouse thingie for? Didn't computer geeks learn to accessorise? Off with the mouse thingie! And what about that TV? TV is sooo eighties, pumpkins!"

    This seems as natural to me as a cross between Bill Gates and Pamela Anderson. The percentage of malleable plastic is about right.

    "There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

  • You know, the thing that has always set the computer industry apart was that it WASN'T mainstream. You don't see commercials with bikini babes fondling monitors; you don't see advertisements at baseball games for the latest video accelerators. Public advertising tends to target the lowest common denominator in American society, and the PC industry--until recently--has managed to escape that fate. Frankly, I liked it that way.

    Then came the iMac.

    Suddenly, people I know started getting iMacs because, in their exact words, "they looked cool." I think I shuddered each and every time I heard that. Girls look cool. Cars look cool. Art (occasionally) looks cool. The main selling point of a computer should NOT be that it looks cool. We've all heard the age-old adage, "Don't judge a book by it's cover."

    Well, don't judge a computer by one either. Take a look at what's inside, and not the idiots in day-glow radiation suits dancing around it.

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