Tandy 102 - A Retro Case Modding Experience
For those of you who are unfamiliar The Tandy 102 was a very early portable computer from the same lineage as the Tandy TRS-80s, which were ubiquitous when the Dragon was in middle school. The thing is these things still have a following, since they are pretty much bullet proof word processing machines, with battery life that should make modern laptops hang their screens in shame. I hear their cult-following is journalist heavy, since this is a realiable writing machine that basically does one thing they need (word processing) and does it well. And you know the Dragon is all about the retro-cool "appropriate technology".
Of course the Dragon is also hip to "Kustom-Kulture," those freaks who ain't happy with anything off the shelf, until it is modded and personalized to be as unique as the PBR-addled individual who owns it.
Chuck here has brought those two lovely worlds together. There are lots of pictures accompanying Chuck's description of his project, and these techniques would of course apply to many other projects.
Actually, there are plenty of personal reasons why I'm going this route. My 102 is bare bones and ready for work. There are no internal DVD programs or computer games to distract me from my work. If the power starts to run down, I can add another four AA batteries and I'm back at work (you can get about 20-25 hours of uninterrupted battery life from four alkaline AA batteries). And it's virtually theft-proof - as in, "Who the hell would steal THAT thing?"
Granted, it's durable - but I wanted to see if there were some cosmetic customization techniques I could apply to it. I never heard of "case modding" before, but it's the same spirit that turned a Lincoln Continental into the Batmobile - a little modification here and there, the right paint job and some extra gizmos, and voila. After looking at some computer "case modding" websites, including Mod The Box, Applefritter, and Gideon Tech, I came up with some ideas on how to "trick out" my legacy laptop. Thus began Project Electric Blue 102.