Would it be possible to create a computer than didn’t have a case? I was tooling around power supplies over at Xoxide, and some of them almost looked like they were external. Is there such a thing as an external power supply?
A few weeks ago, I went on a rant about how cool external hard drives were. Taking this a step further, just go buy motherboard with built in Ethernet, Firewire, and video. Now go buy a FireWire hard drive (can you boot from FireWire?), a keyboard, a mouse, and a monitor. Now figure out how to get power to it — if you just plugged in a power supply to the motherboard and the wall, would it work?
Joe and I talked once about building a computer that we nailed to a piece of plywood. We joked that you could pay for an upgrade whereby we would stain the wood for you. But maybe this wasn’t such a joke after all.
Could you just lay all the various bits of hardware out on your desk, connect them up to each other, and expect them to run? In a larger sense, let’s think for a minute about what functionality the actual computer case provides. A power button? Anything else?