The Finished Product
I introduce to you the finished product along with a glorious mess as a consequence of its construction:
Don’t worry, I cleaned up the mess! (Sorta.)
I would also like to share a shot of the back panel:
It’s a cute little beast.
…but not without some modification!
It’s unfortunate, but the molded, polished door designed to give the case a certain degree of uniformity and flair is a bit too sturdy for the optical drive to open. After powering up the unit, attempting to eject the tray yielded a disturbing shortcoming: The spring that holds the door shut is so strong that the optical drive was struggling to open it. I wasn’t about to burn out the tray, so I made a modification to the unit. I removed the spring.
In this picture, you’ll notice that there isn’t any little metal hook in the center of the hinge to hold the door shut. I elected to remove the spring and discovered much to my delight that the door will still stay shut due to the direction it slants when it is flush with the case. Unfortunately, I also ran into one final design problem. When the door is in its open state, accessing the eject button is nearly impossible. Bummer.
So, I did what any geek would do. I removed the damn thing.
Maybe I need tiny fingers. I don’t think that’d work, though. I’m sure my mum wouldn’t be able to press that stupid button.
So, there you are: A couple of hours of construction intermingled with a few minor interruptions, some changes in plans, and a little bit of modification to get a pretty decent home theater PC up and running. I’ll be discussing the software decisions in part 2. If you’re interested in my review of the hardware itself, keep reading.