Tech: Portable PC

2022, Oct 09    

In a trip down memory lane to my teenage years we visit one of my earlier projects, which by far is one of the most unsafe things I have constructed (more on that later).

As laptops (at least half-decent ones) weren't commonplace in my teenage years, that and my budget for tech was about 7 cans of cheap lager per week, I found myself wanting to be able to take my existing PC with me when I visited friends to make it easier to play games together (as dial-up internet wasn't the most friendly). One afternoon while walking past my local Maplin store I spotted a cheap tool-case in the window which gave me an entertaining idea.

"What if I could take all the parts from my existing PC and put them in that case? I could try to get a flat-panel monitor in there as well, how amazing would that be?!"  My inner voice circa 1998

Within no time at all I had the parts from my PC pulled out of an actual case and ready to be transplanted. Not concerned by electrical safely and electrocution (it wouldn't have been the first time and certainly wouldn't have been the last), I even opted to remove the cover from the power supply. For those who aren't that familiar with electricity, THIS IS A STUPID/DANGEROUS/FATAL IDEA!

OK, so danger and stupidity aside, how did it work? Well, it did actually work for over a week though I never managed to fit a flat-panel screen in. Unfortunately I managed to drop a screw into the case while working on it (and while it was powered on) which resulted in the motherboard shorting and going up in smoke. No more PC for many months :-(

Portable PC 01
By far one of the riskiest things I have ever built...

In all seriousness, I'm glad that I created this (even if it was unsafe) as it paved the way for a lot of crazy/silly IT projects that I worked on. After getting a jolt from the power supply and destroying the motherboard/CPU/RAM I changed my approach significantly and decided that some things really should have their cases left on.