HAL 2: A Wooden Computer – Converted From A Broken Notebook

  • Posted on: 14 July 2016
  • By: Don

To be honest, I never understood why Apple left the approach of building wooden computers after Apple I—at least from an aesthetic standpoint. The heat? The moisture? The durability? Come on! There is much more elegance, beauty, and naturalness in wood rather than cheaply manufactured, smelly, and ecologically harmful plastic. That's why I convert from time to time, when the computational spirit is still willing, but the plastic flesh is weak – in this case a hinge in my notebook that broke the cover and display components – a broken notebook to a wooden desktop computer. This is HAL 2, the successor of HAL 1.

It starts with the separation of the wheat from the chaff.

Then we need to build a new wooden case. I've built a slim one (32 x 25 x 4 cm), just specious enough for the mainboard and a good ventilation. It has the size of a 14" notebook, so that it's still mobile. After building the case, the wood needs some finishing for the heat and moisture. I've oiled the light basswood with dark wood oil and additionally with boiled linseed oil. That makes the wood more resistant.

After two days drying time, we get a shiny, water-resident, heat-withstanding wooden computer case.

And now it's time to breathe life into this case.

People might look at the nice wooden case but have unspectacular specs in mind; but they aren't, as measured by 2016, it's a high-end computer: Intel i7 Quad Core processor, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 500 GB HDD, 4 x USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, card reader, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, headphone jack.

Only a power cable and a HDMI cable are necessary, the rest can run wirelessly.