"The Gumball Machine PC"
Brain(stem)child of Richard E. Kohlman
Page, Arizona USA
If you think this is a computer...

You're right!


Our I.T. Guru came into my office the other day and said, "Hey, check this out!" as he commandeered my PC and brought up Mini-Itx.com. After viewing a number of the projects, he suggested that I needed to build something to submit. I suggested that he do it instead. Then, he pointed out that I'm the one with too much time on my hands. Since he was right, I started thinking about what could I build that hasn't been done. As I was staring out my office window, an idea hit me. I have three gumball vending machines on the windowsill, and the "Skittles" machine sales have not done well. (I collect gumball machines of various vintages and clean them up for display, and the occasional candy fix.) Now that I had a start, I began a list of the components I would need. At the time, all I had was a Gumball machine, a spare 10 Gb Western Digital hard drive and the usual stuff everyone has in the "I-can't-throw-this-away-I-might-need-it-later" spare parts box. So, the list was easy to complete, I needed everything.

I took the Gumball machine home, got online and started shopping. But, where to start. In the background one of those William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy commercials was on the TV. I heard Shatner's voice and heard "Captain Kirk" saying, "Power Scotty! I need power!" OK! Let's start with a power supply. My choice was based more upon dimensions than output. I found a 250 W supply that was 5" deep x 3" wide x 2.5" high. Next, I had to "Put it on the viewer, Lt. Uhura." A nice 17" flat-panel LCD would be great. I haven't heard of "Rosewill" monitors, but the price was right. And, since I was boldly going where I haven't gone before, nothing short of a cordless keyboard and optical mouse would do. (Ok, Ok. No more "Star Trek".) The "Logitech" Cordless MX Duo fit the bill perfectly. Oh Yeah! And, the thing that started this in the first place, the MII-10000 Nehemiah 1Ghz. Within a few days, everything was delivered. Now all I had to do was put it together. The easy part, right?

First off, the case. This is a front view of a "Northwestern" vending machine...

From the side...

From the back...

From the other side...

And, from the top.

The Nehemiah 1Ghz with 1Gb RAM.

The "Gumball Machine PC" Page 2/6