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Author Topic: Datamancer's Steampunk Laptop - a sneak-pique  (Read 179438 times)
Datamancer
Hero of The Realm
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Gomi no sensei


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« on: April 21, 2007, 05:37:38 am »

Hello folks. My latest project is quickly nearing completion, so I thought I'd give you all a sneaky preview.
..because I love each and every one of you.... and not "I married them for their money" type love...not "I need to renew my green card status love.... or even anonymous bus terminal type love...
No, no...the real thing.

At this rate, it should be completed and unveiled very soon...possibly even next weekend. Word-of-mouth is ok, but I ask that you please try not to repost it anywhere else until it's finished. I still need to find some transfer lettering for the keys, add chain stops to the lid, finish engraving the brass border, build a plate for the bottom, possibly add some small feet to it, and add a ton of other small details.











Testing the electronics....the LCD needs to be replaced due to the blurry line but I designed the lid in such a way that it's a simple, 4-screw swapout. For any of you who are also my myspace pals, this is the reason for the "IT'S ALIIIIIIVE MWAHAHAHAHA" bulletin a few days ago.




Assorted in-progress pics...














In addition to this project, I also have another one that's moments away from completion....it may look somewhat familiar.
More on that soon...

-~D~-







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“I'm not a paranoid deranged millionaire. Goddamit, I'm a billionaire.” - Howard Hughes
Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2007, 05:52:26 am »

My God, man!  Too phantastic for words!  Can't wait for whatever's next...
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"...it's a form of fiction, and as such, while there may be times when it's considered a worthy vehicle for pointing out some of society and individual flaws - I still want a side that will let there be lighthearted adventures in the clouds, on mars, or under the sea."
--Tinkergirl
Vincent Théière
Zeppelin Captain
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The skull behind the skin.


« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2007, 06:00:35 am »

Oh my... I do believe I'm in love... in a "Loves you for your 'brass' " way.
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Ultimate Antihero
Guest
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2007, 06:25:46 am »

Shocked That is positively the most impressive and inspiring sight I have seen in the last few days.
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Datamancer
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2007, 06:47:30 am »

Thanks everyone!

Oh, by the by...I forgot to mention...

...it turns on with that clock winding key.

Smiley
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Crow
Gunner
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 07:51:59 am »

I hate the fact that I can't do something like this myself, oh well off to add a few more touches on my xbox (which is almost done, I just need a camera)

class job mate, keep up the exc3l3nt work
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"And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
- The Wasteland,T.S. Eliot
Copper Sulphate
Zeppelin Captain
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Denmark Denmark

Teslarian Electrosteam Contraptor


« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2007, 08:07:15 am »

Fantastic work, ~D~, fantastic work! Smiley

What I find most interesting is that we all manage to have different ideas about how to implement projects, which are seemingly similar. I am not working on a SP laptop, but if I were, it wouldn't look like that. Wink

C.S.
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July 19th, 02009: Lab project delayed. Local home 'improvement' stores have apparently stopped carrying any kind of quality DIY materials... Huh
July 15th, 02009: Much progress was made today on clearing out my future laboratory, yet there is a ways to go still.
Professor Fzz
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 09:31:13 am »

Now that is a true work of art.  Just wonderful!

 - Fzz
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2007, 11:32:36 am »

Simply gorgeous, Datamancer!
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"I replied that only <i>lost</i> causes were of any interest to a gentleman..."
Jorge Luis Borges "The Shape of the Sword"

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Lord Parity
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2007, 12:25:48 pm »

Truly breathtaking! I applaud your ingenuity.
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CapnHarlock
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2007, 12:56:01 pm »

That, sir, is marvelous. My hat is off to your genius.
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"It's so hard to know if you're bound for a fall,
But better to have tripped than never danced at all."
"Dancing Under The Rose" - The Albion Band.
Miss Miranda K.
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2007, 01:05:25 pm »

 Again sir, you prove yourself to be the epitome of brilliance.
 Are you going to create a customized operating system theme to run on your grand new device?
 Also, it boggles the mind to contemplate the vast amount of shiny gears you were able to procure. Wherever did you find such a bevy of brass booty?
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Dr von Zarkov
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<Maddest Scientist>


« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2007, 01:08:39 pm »

We are stunned by your craftsmanship and bow to your imagination and sense of design. We do lust (in a chaste fashion) after this device.
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"The fact that I wear the protective coloration of sedate citizenship is a ruse of the fox — I learned it long ago."
– Loren Eiseley
CapnHarlock
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2007, 01:34:17 pm »

I do believe that Miss Miranda K has come up with the perfect name for a Steampunk salacious periodical....

"I say, old chap, have you perused the center daguerrotype in this month's issue of  'Bevy of Brass Booty'?"

Smiley
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Col. Adrianna Hazard
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2007, 02:21:58 pm »

....

*jaw drops*

Upon opening this page, I sat staring at the first picture for a good two minutes without moving. Datamancer, I commend your unfathomable brilliance.
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heavyporker
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United States United States


« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2007, 03:38:41 pm »

I... I feel funny.


 It does actually work? Including that copper-plated track pad? That looked very surprising that you could alter the track pad like that.

 Also, looking at it, I'd tentatively recommend a carrying handle so you don't risk messing up this laptop by holding it wrong when you carry it place to place at times you don't have a carrying case.
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I hope you all enjoyed Air Kraken Day
Datamancer
Hero of The Realm
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United States United States


Gomi no sensei


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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2007, 03:55:50 pm »

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate the overwhelmingly positive feedback!

I don't think I'll have the time right now to make my own theme, but I might try to find one online that suits the appearance of the machine. Right now the laptop is dual-booted with Windoze XP and Ubuntu Linux, but I'll most likely be doing away with the XP altogether.

The gears came from Ebay. I've always got an eye on bulk lots of clock parts and buy them cheap for just such an occasion. I have two big tupperware containers full of them, plus another small box full of complete movements.
Originally, I set out to make the clockwork display operate and rotate like a large, one-sided clock movement. It was going to be powered by a small electric train engine hidden under the woodwork (Thanks to CS for pointing me toward the trains for a small-profile motor with a worm gear), but once I started building it, I realized that the brass sheetmetal I was using wasn't thick and solid enough to keep the gear shafts within the demanding alignment tolerances required. Basically, if the laptop lid twisted ever so slightly, it pulled or pushed the gears, causing them to slip or bind, respectively. The thick brass plates that are used in clock movements would work but would be so heavy that the laptop would fall over every time you opened the lid.
So finally I surrendered and just went with a purely aesthetic display. I figured the device was already rife with "function"....it's a frickin computer...so I could get over the gears being merely decorative.


-~D~-

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Datamancer
Hero of The Realm
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States


Gomi no sensei


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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2007, 04:06:45 pm »

I... I feel funny.


 It does actually work? Including that copper-plated track pad? That looked very surprising that you could alter the track pad like that.

 Also, looking at it, I'd tentatively recommend a carrying handle so you don't risk messing up this laptop by holding it wrong when you carry it place to place at times you don't have a carrying case.

The pieces of copper on the touchpad are temporary, just for visualization's sake. They will be replaced with thin vinyl stickers which will mimic the antiqued copper finish on the keys and buttons. The vinyl is thin enough to conduct the heat from your fingers....in fact, the mini scroll-pad actually had static-cling vinyl on it from the factory with little up and down arrows printed on it.
I'm going to try and have a sticker made first, but if that fails for some reason, I think I could actually get away with copper-leafing it, if I had to. I tried laying down a piece of copper that was thinner than what's on there now...like a thick foil sheet... and it actually worked a little bit. I think leafing would conduct the heat just fine, but might wear off eventually.

I'd considered a handle but left it off, figuring that even though it's a "laptop", this isnt the type of machine that will be moving around a lot. With any luck, it will be spending most of its life on top of the desk of some ludicrously wealthy CEO or something as a vanity piece.
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Lasairfion
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2007, 04:35:51 pm »

heheheh, I believe this will be another roaring success for you. Well done with the excellent detailing. I look forward to it's completion.
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Herr Döktor
Gadgeteer, Contraptionist, and Inventor, FVSS
Moderator
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2007, 05:36:00 pm »

I'd like to add to the praise; but I can't-


ShockedI'M SPEECHLESS!Shocked

And that doesn't happen often.
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Datamancer
Hero of The Realm
Zeppelin Captain
*
United States United States


Gomi no sensei


WWW
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2007, 05:42:58 pm »

I do believe that Miss Miranda K has come up with the perfect name for a Steampunk salacious periodical....

"I say, old chap, have you perused the center daguerrotype in this month's issue of  'Bevy of Brass Booty'?"

Smiley

"Blimey, you can almost see full-frontal ANKLE!"

"no way...that has to just be a shadow, they couldn't show ankle!"

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Sir Byron Cogsngoggles
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« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2007, 06:47:19 pm »

Well, way too late in this thread ... all the superlative praises have been used up. A marvelous job, Sir! My congratulations.
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Jake of All Trades
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Brass addict, inventor, and scoundrel with a heart


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« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2007, 07:24:38 pm »

The pieces of copper on the touchpad are temporary, just for visualization's sake. They will be replaced with thin vinyl stickers which will mimic the antiqued copper finish on the keys and buttons. The vinyl is thin enough to conduct the heat from your fingers....in fact, the mini scroll-pad actually had static-cling vinyl on it from the factory with little up and down arrows printed on it.
I'm going to try and have a sticker made first, but if that fails for some reason, I think I could actually get away with copper-leafing it, if I had to. I tried laying down a piece of copper that was thinner than what's on there now...like a thick foil sheet... and it actually worked a little bit. I think leafing would conduct the heat just fine, but might wear off eventually.
For my $0.02 of (unasked for!) advice, I might point out that trackpads do not rely on heat, but on capacitance.  Like an iPod scrollwheel, they set up a bunch of electric fields and measure how they change when something capacitive moves about inside.  The fields pass through things like paper and plastic just fine, but metal (as one would think) sort of "short circuits" (NOT detrimental--don't worry!) it back...
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Datamancer
Hero of The Realm
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Gomi no sensei


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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2007, 07:44:28 pm »

hmm...that's interesting...good to know. It's something I guess I never stopped to think about. I haven't  really had a reason to delve into the guts of a touch display (I actually despise them...ill use the eraserpoint or an external mouse if I can), so I just figured....touch = heat.
Thanks for the info!
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CapnHarlock
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« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2007, 09:17:41 pm »

The older Hitachi/Clevo touchpads, at least, seemed to, in fact, sense temperature.  My old laptop had a "Mood Ring" application that read skin temperature. This may, of course, be a capacitance-based reading,I do not know.

I attempted to use the warm xenon-bulb of a "magLite" flashlight as a (VERY) crude pen input-device, and it worked occasionally.

Another possibility: for cursor-input, I prefer an external pen-pad. Mine is painted in wood-grain, parchment writing surface and painted brass trim, but does not look nearly good enough to show on this particular thread  Smiley
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