Today I want to share with you a tech-art project that I put together a few years ago. The idea came to me as I was checking the time on a tech-art project from years ago. Back then I thought it would be a neat idea to make a clock from an old printed circuit board that I had removed from a dot-matrix printer.
With that project, I first removed all the larger capacitors and anything else that might get in the way of the clock hands. I then drilled a hole in the centre of the 8 x 10 inch board and mounted a standard clock motor through it. It turned out pretty nice, and I still have that clock hanging on my office wall at work.
For this new project, I was considering what to do with all the old computers that had been slowly filling up my basement. Years ago I had thought about building a Beowulf cluster from 486 PCs. This was at a time when P3s were common and Windows 98SE was the OS of choice. Needless to say, these old clunkers were pretty much useless at this point, and served little more than paper weights taking space. My hopes of building a cheap super computer that would one day help me take over the world would have to wait.
The idea came to me that it would make an especially geeky wall hanging if I had some old motherboards mounted on a frame and hanging over my computer desk – as a kind of homage to days gone by. Most of these computer were salvaged from the trash, and from family members who were going to throw them out. A couple of these computers were actually my everyday computer at some point in time, so it would be nostalgic to be able to look up and see them hanging on the wall above me.
It took a little time, but I eventually removed all twelve motherboards from their cases. I also removed all the cards and the slot processors from the P2′s. I decided to leave as much ram as I could. Anything that I couldn’t use in other systems would stay.
I then build a frame from 1 x 2 inch pine and used a thin piece of plywood as a surface to mount the motherboards to. The wood frame would attach to the plywood and act as support to let me hang it up when done.
I then arranged the motherboards so they would fit as neatly as I could, and proceeded to drill through the original mounting holes in the motherboards right through the plywood. Then I could use small bolts to mount the boards to the plywood.
You can see from the finished photo that it takes up quite a bit of space up on the wall. It also is surprisingly heavy! I really had to be careful how I mounted it to the wall, so it would not fall and kill me, or worse my computer!
Now when I feel like a trip down memory lane, I can look up and see my old first generation Pentium 60 (The one with the floating point calculation error built in). I can also see my old PII-266. This is the computer that I learned how to over-clock on. I had it running at 333MHz.
Ahh, the good old days…