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ID a TV computer?

Chuck(G)

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I just saw a clip of a "Law & Order, Criminal Intent" episode ("Scared Crazy", Season 5, Episode 9). Forget the plot--it's pretty stupid.

What caught my eye was the red futuristic tower cases on a bunch of PCs. See, for example, about 6:30 into the show. They occur numerous times.

What the heck were these?
 

Maverick1978

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I've no idea... but let me be the first to add... THAT is cool... in a plasticy, early 00's type of way :)

This from the guy that still has his hydraulic case that was used in the first Alienware Area-51 computer.
 

twolazy

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Your just in luck I think I know what they are... I almost bought a dead one of those last year!
Asus Vento machines, running vista, ya look at the desktop, def vista wallpaper.

asus_vento.jpg

Sexy, SEXY machines!
 

carlsson

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Isn't that the norm for just about everything? Items powerful and useful enough don't need a particularly striking appearance, and vice versa. If I want a computer to use, I would stay away from most of the spectacular looking ones, as either they're inferior or overpriced compared to contemporary models from the same and other brands.
 

Chuck(G)

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Sure, but is it too much to ask after nearly 40 years of personal computers for a system that looks good? It wasn't that long after TV and radio made their respective appearances in the consumer world that a bit of style was introduced.

Most of what I see is a plain box or something with plastic tack-on skins that looks cheap. Computers that are aesthetically pleasing are rare.
 

Maverick1978

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There are some nice, sleek cases that are intelligently designed... if you're willing to fork over the dough.

Check out the HP case used in Maximum PC's Dream Machine 2008

I personally like Thermaltake's Level 10 Series as well.

Though these are still essentially boxes...and for that, we don't yet really have a mass-produced solution. But at least these boxes are nicely done and aesthetically pleasing, at least IMHO
 
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DOS lives on!!

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I remember the Blackbird PC they did for '08. I thought it was very cool how they got the case plated with (I think) a smoked platinum color.
I've always liked the Antec Skeleton case. Just a simple compact computer with a giant fan on top. The ideas just keep getting better.
 

Chuck(G)

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@Mav, they're still stupid rectangular boxes with about as much style as an oil rig.

Compare with, say, some 1930s radios. There once was a movement in the US to make things look nice. Now it seems, they're mostly boxy and black. The same trend can be seen in most audiophile components--rectangular with no style.
 

carlsson

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I think it boils down to whether you want your items to be visible or not, if they're part of your decoration. I can see that old radios and TV's tended to be centerpieces of the furnishing, which spun designers into prettifying them enough to not look out of place. When it comes to most desktop computers, we keep them in our study, tucked next to a wall. Some even put them in the closet, either because the computers are not pretty to look at, to save some desk space or because the computer generates too much noise. It can be argued though that HTPC's should have room for elegance as they usually take a more radio-like position in the livingroom, but as you have observed even electronic devices meant to be in the middle of people's attention have gone boxy and black. Perhaps people have got used to that and actually find it stylish?
 

Maverick1978

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Honestly, Chuck, so do I. My design wants in vehicles tend to go back towards the American muscle era in the 1950's through the early 1970's (even though I'm an 80's child). So far as computer cases, I like many of the custom jobs, but lack the design eye to build my own. Of the mass-produced boxes, the Blackbird case and the Thermaltake line are what I consider to be some of the best examples of alternative cases that attempt to overcome the rectangular box style. Although the Blackbird does kind've remind me of the old water-based space heaters :)
 

Elvi

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CoolerMasters Storm series ain't too bad either, sure they are black but the design ain't so bad, i for instance have the CM storm enforcer case and with it's red led 200mm front fan it kinda stands out in the dark that way ;) + i've added another red led 200mm fan at the top as a blowout.
 

Tiberian Fiend

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@Mav, they're still stupid rectangular boxes with about as much style as an oil rig.

Compare with, say, some 1930s radios. There once was a movement in the US to make things look nice. Now it seems, they're mostly boxy and black. The same trend can be seen in most audiophile components--rectangular with no style.

Art deco was a movement that meant to greatly simplify the organic style of art nouveau before it with symmetry, straight lines, and simple geometric shapes, so it's really just a matter of perspective. The past is always a wonderful place to live except when it's the present. Someone will eventually look back and pine for the designs of today.

As for computer cases, they're boxy because everything inside them is rectangular. The best thing to do in design is to embrace the industrial boxiness. I'm fond of the yellow Lanboy Air, personally. If only I had $180 to blow on a new case, I'd have one by now.
 

Chuck(G)

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There are timeless designs. I think auto designs of today are dreadful; I thought the same thing about 1970s designs. Ah, yes, the 1960s and 1970s. Nehru jackets, leisure suits, ridiculous hairstyles, boxy bloated cards, orange shag rug, metal and formica furniture--they were ugly then and they're still ugly.

Some of the Apple desktop designs were pretty good. But the PC, it seems has been born ugly.
 

Compgeke

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If you want to break away from square find a Power Mac G5\Mac Pro, as they are pretty heavy and different looking, I want to gut my dead G5 and stick a 486 motherboard in it :p.
 
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