Where Steam Meets Silicon
We chose this image to kick things off because it so perfectly sums up what steampunk is all about.
While there are many different styles and flavors of steampunk, from the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to BioShock and Final Fantasy, the essential elements are nearly universal: brass, gears, and steam.
With so many great images of steampunk mods on Pinterest, we had to narrow down the field to just computer mods. Enthusiasts have modded everything from R2-D2 to entire homes. Today, we have the best of the computer mods, from all-in-ones to USB sticks, and everything in-between.
Art By: Aleksander Novak-Zemplinski
This liquid-cooled steampunk PC is a classic favorite. Built in 2009 by Dana Mattocks, the epic case mod/scupture casts an eerie green glow that lights up the room. Standing taller than a human being and housing more steampunkery than any standard desktop tower could contain, SteamPunk Frankenstein is more than a case mod; it's a work of art.
This 2007 case mod is one of the first by esteemed steampunk modder Jake Hildebrandt (also known as Jake of All Trades). Rivets, gauges, gears, copper tubes, and brass fittings are attached to a pretty basic black box. A lighted "coal furnace" on the front panel is one of the Telecalculograph's signature elements.
Telecalculograph, Mk. II
This follow-up steampunk mod was built in 2009 by Jake of All Trades, and the innards were provided by high-end boutique system builder Falcon Northwest. The Telecalculograph, Mk. II was built to coincide with the release of the highly-forgettable Damnation video game for PC and Xbox 360.
Liquid-Cooled Wooden PC
This steampunk case mod is the first from a Polish modder who goes by korko_czong. Built in 2007, it;s a maze of coils, gears, knobs, meters, and switches against a canvas of brass and wood.
Source: Mod Planet
Romantic Mac Mini
This stylish Victorian steampunk mod was built in 2008 by Dave Veloz as a wedding gift to his new bride. Apple's Mac Mini is enclosed in a black tin that reads: The Apple Company, Cupertino, Calif. U.S.A., No. 10 Gearless Calculating Machine. The brass-rimmed monitor has a granite stand, the keyboard features typewriter keys, and the cables are twisted like telephone cords.
Source: The Steampunk Workshop
This ornate all-in-one PC is brought to us by Jake von Slatt, proprietor of The Steampunk Workshop. Done in the highly-Victorian interpretation of steampunk, Jake's ambitious project uses a 24” widescreen monitor that had to be cut to fit inside the enclosure. A video of this anxiety-filled process is available over at The Steampunk Workshop. (Ed.: Continuing to exhibit impeccable taste, von Slatt finished the build with a fresh installation of Kubuntu.)
Source: The Steampunk Workshop
This is the first in a series of steampunk mods by Datamancer. The Archbishop is a gorgeous all-in-one PC mod in the shape of an arched cathedral, compete with stained glass. Two glass doors open on the front of the case to reveal the monitor, while the AMD-powered internals are hidden below in the stand. With brass side pieces and red mahogany face/back plates, the accompanying keyboard matches the cathedral theme perfectly. Meanwhile, a hollowed-out old book hides the mouse from view.
Old Time Computer
A professional modder who goes by woodguy32 runs Old Time Computer, where he makes and sells an array of steampunk/Victorian computer mods. Shown here is an assortment of monitors, keyboards, and mouse mods.
Source: Old Time Computer
Elegant Neo-Victorian Point-Of-Sale System
This unique point-of-sale (POS) system by Datamancer is complete with a credit card strip, a pen holder, and a bar code scanner. A touch screen is trimmed in wood and mounted on adjustable brass beams on a wooden stand. The Elegant Neo-Victorian Point-of-Sale System resides at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.
Built by Steve La Riccia, Wozniak's Conundrum combines a 1897 Standard Model 7 Remington typewriter with an early nineties Apple Macintosh. This case mod is on display at The Mac Store in Eugene, Oregon. A video of the final build is up on YouTube.