The Chest Case Mod Project – Part I

Last week I ordered a bunch of components for building a new computer. The main reason is that I want to be able to use triple screens with Eyefinity, and my current setup can’t handle that. I’ve been using dual monitors for about 7 years and never looked back, but I would like some more screen estate, especially when working in Photoshop and the likes, and playing 3D games. Games like Dragon Age (I/II) etc works fine with dual screens, but I find it annoying that all texts etc are split in the middle between two screens. For better vertical resolution, I will use my three 21″ Dell screens with IPS panels with extreme viewing angles and a lot better color depth than “normal” computer screens. And they can pivot, meaning I can place them vertically. The full resolution will be 3150×1680 with an aspect ratio of 15:8, slightly wider than standard 16:9 widescreen. And since my current computer is 5 years old, I thought it was about time to buy a new rig anyway.

The thing I enjoy most about getting a new computer is to build the case. To be able to fit the 3-slot wide, passively cooled graphics card alongside the CPU cooler, I could not go with a 17x17cm Mini-ITX motheboard this time as I have for my last two builds, but had to step up a level to a 24x24cm Micro-ATX instead. The size for the components are perfect for a case that I will build out of a small wooden chest. I will try to make the  chest to look as close to the  original as possible, not revealing that it actually contains a computer until you get a closer look at the sides and the rear.

Since everything but the CPU is passively cooled, even the PSU, the case will require some airflow as to not overheat. I will go for a silent 12cm fan on each side with adjustable speed that you can turn up if needed while playing heavy games or during a hot summer (Or I can just open the chest lid). The big problem will be to have air vents in the chest without it looking too strange. Right now I’m in the¬†decision¬†process on whether I will cut a 12x12cm hole on each side and place a fan grill above them, or if I will simply cut a lot of smaller holes in the chest around where the fan will be placed on the inside.

Two days ago I downloaded Google SketchUp, a free 3D modeling program, to do a design draft and make sure all components will fit. It was quite easy to learn, and after about a total of 8 hours learning and designing, I’ve come up with this. All done from scratch:

The Chest Case Mod - First 3D draft

The lid in the model is semi transparent in order to actually see the parts inside the chest. Everything is made with millimeter precision, and I’ve used my slide caliper plenty to measure everything correctly. To be less then modest, I’m quite impressed with the progress I’ve made in this short time. I do have previous 3D modeling experience, but that was back in 1995-96 in Autodesk 3D Studio for DOS. I can tell you this: SketchUp is a lot easier to learn.

The computer components are all top notch, and it’s hard to get better components than these without a major step up in price:

  • CPU:¬†Intel Core i7-2600K (stock cooler to start with, might upgrade later)
  • Motherboard:¬†ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z
  • Graphics card:¬†PowerColor Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5¬†SCS3
  • PSU:¬†Seasonic X-460FL
  • SSD:¬†Corsair SSD Force Series‚ĄĘ F115 (115GB, system disk)
  • HDD (x2): WD Caviar Green WD20EARX (2TB, storage disk, will use RAID 1)
  • RAM: A-Data DDR3-1600G (8GB)
  • Case fan (x2): ¬†Scythe Slip Stream PWM 120mm Adjustable
I expect most parts to arrive tomorrow, and hope to get started with the build soon.

New Host, New Server, New Everything

You might have noticed this page being down for about two weeks. 
That's because I decided to move from my self-hosted solution with a server in the apartment to a professional hosting solution. I've been thinking about this to and from for a few years now, but what set it all in motion was the fact that I am going to move in about two months (more on that later).  I didn't want to worry about the mail server being down while moving, setting up the DNS to to a new IP address etc. In retrospect, the server would probably be down less time if I had just stuck with the previous solution. But this also gives an additional peace of mind if there were to be a hardware breakdown or power outage at home during a vacation etc. 
Since the domain name killersnail.com has been down for about two weeks, any mails sent to me or the other people with killersnail.com addresses has NOT been delivered.
I'm sorry about that, but there is not much I can do. That domain name is still not fully functional, so emails will still not be up. Meanwhile, you can reach me by simply writing a comment to this post. If I know you and it's of a personal nature, just leave your name and address (will not be seen by others) and I'll contact you by other means. 
So, how did the transfer go? Well, I first signed up with One.com. Big mistake. After reading through a lot, they seemed like a good choice with good pricing. So I went ahead and transferred the main domain name (killersnail.com) there, since it was the one most important to get transferred first on account on being the mail server as well. Then I was going to transfer my other domain names (like frankjohansson.com), to add to the same account, acting as CNAME aliases. 
Turns out they can't handle that. Basically every other serious web hosting company offers the ability to add several domain names to one web hotel, except One.com. They COULD do it, but then I would have to pay for web hosting for each domain name, and the domain names would likely just be redirects instead of aliases. In other words, the price went up 8 times. 
Yes, I know I have many domain names, but they are not all for me.
So I asked for a refund, on account on their 15-day money-back guarantee, as well as the domain name unlock code so that I would be able to transfer the domain name to another host as soon as possible. Their support department told me that I had to send all my bank details to their British office in order to get my money back, and I could not get the domain transfer unlock code until everything else was processed. The details I had to send them were:
  • Bank name
  • Bank address
  • Account number
  • Name on the account
  • Swift code
  • Iban number
  • Clearing number for the bank.¬†

So I sent it all to their british office as instructed, and asked for the domain name unlock code again at the same time.

After two days I got a reply, where they asked for the following details:

  • Bank name
  • Bank address
  • Account number
  • Name on the account
  • Swift code
  • Iban number
  • Clearing number for the bank.

AND MY ORIGINAL EMAIL WHERE ALL THIS WAS STATED WAS LISTED BELOW. They couldn’t possibly have read more than the subject of the email. I politely pointed out the fact that I have already provided all the necessary information, in the email they themselves replied to, and asked for my domain name unlock code a third time. A few hours later I finally got the code, and transferred it to another host. It then took a week after that before the transfer was actually approved by One.com.

Today I got a letter stating that the money I demanded back from one.com has been deposited into my bank account. From One.com in DUBAI. So I signed up for a service and paid a company in Sweden. I had to request the money back to a British company. I then get paid from a company in the United Arab Emirates. Tax evasion, anyone?

My new host, Surftown, have so far been great, and the support crew seems friendly. Getting a domain name unlock code from my previous DNS service, Loopia, took less than a second since you can do it yourself from their control panel. The entire transfer to Surftown from there took about 20 minutes. In comparison, One.com once again shows their lack of competence. ¬†Surftown is a bit more expensive than One.com if you want the extra features I require (MySQL, PHP, support for multiple domain names etc). However, they currently have a campaign where you get all of this for only 10 SEK/day for the first year, so it’s actually cheaper right now.

In conclusion:

  • Domain transfer almost complete
  • Email not yet up, use comments in this post instead
  • One.com sucks monkey balls.