A wooden case

This case combines a box done by Wood Works by Val and a picture frame from Moreland Frameworks. It contains an old Advantech SBC taken out of a point of sale terminal.

the donor case

This project started when I bought a couple of old point of sale terminals on the newsgroup pdx.forsale a few years ago; they sat in the basement for a long time, but eventually I scrapped one of the cases and started thinking of how to make a new case.

The first thing I did was to take the LCD screen (a 640x480 active matrix panel) to Moreland Frameworks and had them frame it in a nice ornate frame. I then started shopping around for a good case, and eventually found the Wood Works by Val booth at a local earthy-crunchy expo. She was willing to do a case commission, and delivered the case fairly quickly.

The case is fairly large (at least compared to the mini-ITX cases I build) so there is plenty of room to fit the components into it. This case will probably end up with a CD-Rom drive, though it’s not yet installed into the case.

Installing the OS

Because of the age of the system board, it was trivially easy to install Mastodon Linux onto the system. Unfortunately, the BIOS on the system board was old enough to not support booting from a CD-Rom, so I had to temporarily wedge a floppy drive into this case to load the Mastodon installer.

In the near future, the case will have an IR port added to it (I bought a few old Creative serial IR cards a long time ago, and I’m slowly ripping them apart and wedging them into computers) so I can use a remote control to flip pictures. I’m using svgalib (version 1.2.10; the newer 1.4.3 version crashes when it tries to talk to the video hardware on the board) and am writing a custom picture viewer to scale and display pictures. This case has NO FAN, so I need to be careful to not leave the processor (today it’s an AMD K5/133, but I may replace it with a severely underclocked Pentia or K6) running all the time. The system board has a PCI slot, so I could even put in a wireless PCI card and have it talk to the network without wires, but for now I’m simply going to feed an ethernet cable up from the basement and have it wired into the house.