Transforming a Vintage Toaster Into a Delicious Mini PC
By James Grahame
The computer industry has a few quirks. One of the most baffling is that no matter how innovative or revolutionary the technology is on the inside, chances are that the final product will be aesthetically dull and rectangular. I suspect a lot of the trouble stems from the fact that cutting-edge industrial design is an expensive endeavor, but c'mon; modern Dell desktops look strikingly similar to the original IBM-PC, and Apple was able to turn the computing world on its ear in the late 1990s by making computers that were, uhh, colorful and transparent. This isn't rocket science.
Luckily, there is hope lurking on the fringes of the Internet. Characters like Jeffrey at Slipperyskip Computers have started cramming tiny motherboards into some very cool cases. This quirky little DECOmputer is built into the shell of an old 1938 Breakfaster toaster/hotplate. The original unit was perfect for modding: it had a wonderful art deco shape, Bakelite feet and a complete absence of fiddly switches and knobs.
The case was brought into the 21st century with the addition of a tongue-in-cheek meter and switch panel on the top and a colorful logo on the front. A Kontron motherboard lives inside, complete with a 1.8 MHz Pentium M processor, 40 GB drive and 1GB of RAM. Dare I say this might be the perfect kitchen PC? [Thanks, Rob!]