Case designs (was: New Definiton REQUIRED)

From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Mon Nov 17 21:17:42 1997

> I like the Lisa's INTERNAL design more than it's external appearance.

Judging from the one I have seen, I would have to agree. Someone at Apple
had there head screwed on right in the case department.

> I'd also have to nominate almost every IBM PS/2 for having sweet case
> design.

IBM has always been big on the ergonomics of their machines, especially
for servicing. Many IBM machines were leased, so when the things broke,
IBM had to fix them. Any time that the onsite engineer could shave off was
a savings for IBM.

I have what must be the most butt ugly terminal ever made, an old IBM
thing from the last of the 360 days. It looks like a mishapen lump of
white metal, with a keyboard that can be best described as "thick" The CRT
is a strange aspect ratio, something like 1:2. It, however, must be
the nicest thing in the world to fix (it seems to work, so I have not had
the need to fix it). The case pops off with little difficulty, then the
different chassis (the thing has quite a few boards in it, full of SLTs)
fold out, yet nothing needs to be disconnected.

Another example of fine service thinking are the very old Sun SPARC
machines, and the newer members of the Sun-3 line (3/180). The
cases, once again, pop off with a little persuation, and the VME cards
have nice big ejectors, so they are quite easy to get into and out of. The
drive trays allow one to install the drives and not have to worry much
about connecting cables while aligning the tray. Additionally, the cases,
as with most _newer_ Sun stuff, looks really sharp.

Actually (and I know I am going to get a rotten tomato thrown at me for
this one), most modern computers (except the PeeCee) are much nicer to
work on than those from 10 or 20 years ago. The attention to details seems
to be on the rise, yeilding designs that I really have to scrutinize to
find something dumb about them (I have yet to find something dumb about
the larger Ciscos).

> > If only I have a NextCube

As far as style is concerned , the NeXTcube wins in the desktop arena, and
the quite similar looking Connection Machine (another black cube,
several feet on each edge, with one face covered with _thousands_ of
red LEDs) wins in the heavyweight arena.

Cray Research, past and present, also deserves an award for years of very
cool looking machines. Hopefully SGI will not kill that off.

William Donzelli
Received on Mon Nov 17 1997 - 21:17:42 GMT

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