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A Cardboard Computer: The Recompute PC

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February 5, 2009 4:57:07 PM

Now what happens if it gets too hot?
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February 5, 2009 5:03:11 PM

Did you even read the article? I could see how this would work. I would want a slow speed 80mm fan to help with a little cooling though. Simple a laptop disguised as a cardboard desktop.
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February 5, 2009 5:34:48 PM

I meant in the case of a harware failure such as a cpu fan.
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February 5, 2009 5:43:39 PM

Lame! Modders have been doing cardboard cases for years.
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February 5, 2009 6:03:40 PM

What temperature does the white glue start to melt/catch fire?

It doesn't look all that green to me, looks like lots of custom cardboard production. Metal can be recycled too, I thought.
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February 5, 2009 6:25:47 PM

i dont think even Apple would be able to sell this junk. only if they overpriced it and justin long said it was uber-cool
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February 5, 2009 6:33:46 PM

What is happening to our world? What idiot comes up with this stuff? It's like bizzaro world...when is this over-exaggerated environmental nonsense going to end?!?!?!
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February 5, 2009 6:35:55 PM

I seriously doubt its gaming properties. Does it come standard with a fire extinguisher?
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February 5, 2009 6:41:20 PM

I always figured it was good to have some metal around the PC components to prevent electromagnetic damage and corruption.

I find it hard to see the "green" in this. I thought saving the planet was using one sheet of toilet paper, two if it is a really bad crap. This is why I never believe anyone who must proclaim they love nature. If it takes a proclamation to assuage one's guilt, they likely know they are lacking. Cardboard comes from some place, I seriously doubt the people getting this cardboard, even if it is recycled, are reducing the amount of tree's the paper industry is going to use. Thus, the environment is not any greener from the use of it.
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February 5, 2009 7:14:21 PM

They should make a cardboard case like they make paper counter tops. Something like this http://www.richlite.com/countertop/

I am sure it could be molded to any shape desired and have a very finished look. They would be scratch and heat resistant. Also it could contain recycled material.
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February 5, 2009 7:17:28 PM

Boring...
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February 5, 2009 7:23:48 PM

lol.. nice try but this contraption will be an epic fail! what! your house is on fire! what did this hmm?
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February 5, 2009 7:30:40 PM

Now that would be one of the best ideas i've ever seen recently. If it was readily available, I'd get one today.
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February 5, 2009 7:37:03 PM

Retarded. As far as I know, metal can be recycled just as much if not moreso than cardboard. (probably equal). Metal is more durable, more heat resistant; you can discharge yourself on a metal case before working on said computer. Metal cases won't as easily burn in a house fire. Cardboard looks stupid, is a stupid idea, will burn more easily, won't last long, if it happened to be knocked over your computer could easily be trashed. Cardboard computer sounds like it IS for the stupid Mac community for the idiots who like that smug young douche with the gay youthful face. This cardboard PC is not green. It is a dull brownish color. I hate the whole green scene. It ticks me off. Whatever happened to man dominating the planet in any means necessary? Why all about efficiency and stupid power savings? So you save $20 a year? That's stupid. Anyone who likes this cardboard PC should live in a cardboard box.
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February 5, 2009 7:38:46 PM

I honestly cannot see exactly how one could proclaim this sort of case as "green." If this was marketed as an artistic case, I could've accepted that. But as trying to be environmentally-friendly, this is likely anything but.

While it might not burn at a temperature that plastics melt, I'm pretty sure it'll still wear out far quicker, and be far more susceptible to water damage, such as even just damp air. Plus, it'd be impossible to keep clean; invariably, I can see this case being more likely to be thrown away rather than recycled compared to a metal case, which is equally as recyclable, if not more given that metal tends to cost more to produce new than paper products, yet both cost much closer to each other to recycle.

Basically, I see this just as a novelty case made to fleece some naive people of their money and nothing more.
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February 5, 2009 7:41:41 PM

I honestly cannot see exactly how one could proclaim this sort of case as "green." If this was marketed as an artistic case, I could've accepted that. But as trying to be environmentally-friendly, this is likely anything but.

While it might not burn at a temperature that plastics melt, I'm pretty sure it'll still wear out far quicker, and be far more susceptible to water damage, such as even just damp air. Plus, it'd be impossible to keep clean; invariably, I can see this case being more likely to be thrown away rather than recycled compared to a metal case, which is equally as recyclable, if not more given that metal tends to cost more to produce new than paper products, yet both cost much closer to each other to recycle.

Basically, I see this just as a novelty case made to fleece some naive people of their money and nothing more.
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February 5, 2009 7:52:42 PM

^ Nice double post King. Impressive.
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February 5, 2009 8:09:01 PM

It is a good post though :D  well thought out and said eloquently.
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February 5, 2009 8:27:47 PM

It is not just heat which is a problem, what about static electricity? Cases are made out of metal as they don't build up static electricity. One tiny little spark of static and you can royally screw your computer. Let alone the massive sparks cardboard could create. Metal cases also provide a common ground for motherboard, PSU and every other component in the computer. Some components may be expecting this and could be damaged in some circumstances without it.

In short, say goodbye to your warranty!
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February 5, 2009 8:38:15 PM

Bone Squat^ Nice double post King. Impressive.

What can I say? I felt it worth saying more than once. ;)  (in seriousness, I blame my Internet connection)

Cwize1It is not just heat which is a problem, what about static electricity?

Ah, yes, I neglected to mention this issue as well. The distinct non-conductivity of cardboard, I think, would also make this a highly impractical material. Even if the lack of grounding for the parts while they were operating wasn't good enough, it'd also make things a bit more complicated while dealing with installing parts, as you wouldn't have a convenient place to attach your grounding wrist strap.
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February 5, 2009 9:09:34 PM

for likely marketing-aesthetics reasons, sff cases are plastic not metal. otherwise, there's little point in replacing *some* of the steel in the Pc (psu case, screws, etc still remain steel)
static: Do plastic sff cases they pose static hazards, or are they made similar to anti-static (plastic) bags?
the point about damp or dog p33 damage may be correct, though corrugated mfrs have varied products. i don't know if this PC case could be made of the cardboard used to ship veggies.
PS. question: "what is happening to this world? what kind of idiots don't even want to try making things better?" (answer: rush zombies)
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February 5, 2009 9:59:25 PM

justjcThe Recompute isn't the only cartboard computer case, there is also the cardboardcase http://www.core77.com/greenergadge [...] ojectid=35Both, and a lot of other enviromentally friendly ideas, can be seen at http://www.core77.com/greenergadgets/index.php where you can also vote for which idea you like best.


As I've said people have been using cardboard cases for years but that is one heck of a cardboard case. IMO at least it has some sense of design. That other thing on the other hand doesn't. You might as well just leave to mobo in the box it came in, add a couple fans here and there and leave your psu on the desk. At least then you aren't wasting the boxes you've got and supposedly going "greener".
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February 6, 2009 7:53:19 AM

@Richeemxx: Actually that's a good idea, shipping motherboards in cases that could be used in the final computer, to bad it's to late to enter the contest ;-)
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February 6, 2009 12:37:27 PM

You know if you want to have a "Green" case,,,you should make it out of something edible, so when you're done with it, you can just eat it, or give to a homeless guy to eat, then you know it'll be "recycled" when its flushed away
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February 6, 2009 5:12:32 PM

It sounds good in theory, but I'd feel sorry for the owner who spills their coffee on their desk and has their case get all soggy when it soaks it up, fall apart and fries their components. At that point it's just garbage.
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February 6, 2009 5:20:05 PM

melting point = gooey mess; ignition point = freakin' fire!

Dumbest thing I've ever heard of.
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Anonymous
February 6, 2009 6:14:10 PM

interesting concept, but misses some things.
First, the airflow does not happen,simply because the motherboard is in the way to have a good 'airflow' going.
Second, if they created this design, so the powersection will be in the same chamber as the motherboard, it would suck out the hot air automatically.
Now they designed it that the powersection is in a separate chamber.
Third, the design looks just plain awful!
I don't know how strong this is, but when dropping it, accidentally hitting it with something, how strong is this case?
They might as well create it in foam!

as far as the CPU catching fire, I think you're reasonably safe there.
For a common fire to start one needs about 275 degrees celcius.
A cpu's limit generally is 90 degrees; the only chance you're ever going above this is with a short circuit.
So a fire.. maybe, but not likely. It's more likely for the glue to come loose at high temps.

The airholes probably will clog up over time, they remind me of those cheaper airco systems, where nearly all of their metallic blades are bent. Damage and dust will make you probably need to buy a new one every year or two.
But I do agree that steel or aluminum pc's are a bit too strong built.
Not to mention their sharp edges!
Perhaps a design like this in plastic could prove to be better.
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February 11, 2009 5:10:46 AM

I'm not in the packaging business but have noticed that cardboard (corrugated) can be made very strong. a lot of "standard" boxes have ratings printed somewhere. how much does a box of muskmelons or honeydews weigh? or consider a 50lb box of nails or other fasteners. (those tend to be made of average corrugation but wrapped with those heat fused straps to prevent gross bursting.)
fiber reinforced plastic would be very strong and light, but mixed plastic is probably the material that most scr3wz up the recyclable end of life requirement.
years ago i used a 2nd hand apple box for electrical parts. it looked like a typical cardboard box, but had a tiny amount of reinforced fiber bulk-mixed with the paper fibers. (I no longer recall the fiber material, and the box is gone, i think)
my point is that we're just guessing at material characteristics until we see info (such as astm tests, http://www.google.com/search?q=cardboard+astm++psi+|strength+corrugated http://www.google.com/search?q=cardboard+%2Bastm+furnit...)
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February 11, 2009 10:38:38 PM

I do not doubt that corrugated cardboard can be strong, having handled lots of particularly heavy items transported and stored in containers made from such material. Nor do I raise any concerns over a supposed fire hazzard.

Rather, there are a few issues I brought up, namely over how such a material for a case as shown is vulnerable to damp air or water, and will likely, due to the absorbent properties of paper and cardboard, wind up getting dirty quickly, and be imposible to clean. Heavy-duty boxes aren't meant to withstand frequent, hands-on use over the course of several years, but rather, to hold things together while they go on a truck or sit in a warehouse, until they're opened up and emptied.

Meanwhile, the PC case will likely absorb far more skin oils and dust in a week than said boxes will in their lifetimes. And of course, people don't store their PCs in cool, dry, climate-controlled warehouses; they put them in their bedrooms and living rooms, which are going to be higher in both temperature and humidity to accomodate the people, not the boxes. All told, I imagine you're going to wind up with the case wearing out within months. Which, as I see it, isn't as environmentally-friendly as a durable metal or plastic case, made from recycled materials as well, that can be readily cleaned with just water and elbow grease, most certainly not resorting to toxic, polluting cleaning chemicals. And chances are better that the metal or plastic cases will be in recyclable condition once their time of usefulness has passed.

I wish that people who manage to disagree with my points would actually adress what I'm saying rather than just voting my comments down. Of course, the former, as I'm aware, is infinitely easier.
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