As I'm trying to nurture my hobby of powder coating car parts (among other things) into a fully-grown big boy business, I'm ever-striving to keep up with the 'Technological Jones's'. My garage has always been online, but it was via a wheezy 13-year old Winbook that was just as likely to randomly reboot as wink it's HDD light at me. I used it primarily to play mp3's and occasionally surf, when I could stand using the execrable trackpad and wonky keyboard.

So it was a whopper of a coincidence that my son did bring home six cast-off laptops from his work about a week ago (with his manager's permission, and the caveat that he wipe all the PII's- my IT colleagues know what I'm on about), and I wasted no time swapping one in.

I'd tossed that pine "holder" together years ago for the Winbook (keeps the unit in place, and elevated for heat dissipation). The new HP shown here, while itself already a digital dinosaur, still out massively out-performs its predecessor, fit almost like a glove- I had to route out a channel in the left bolster for the audio cable...

But it still was saddled with not only the loathed trackpad, but also a keyboard nearly devoid of alphabetic signifiers. But worse still, the keys that did display their fuction had been re-arranged! Despite having worked in IT- e.g., sitting behind gawd-damned keyboards- for 19 years myself, I still only use 4 fingers total to type, and still need to LOOK at least a quarter of the time too. I do not touch-type. This was untenable. So with the filthy lucre I made teaching my first powder coating class the day before, I got this shiny new wireless KB (mouse included but not shown- the router too is new, and like most Harbor Freight tools I own, I bought it to do one job and will be hard-pressed to find future uses for it...)


But how to "place" it in such a way that it could sit securely atop the unit in a usable fashion? A fabricating challenge!

The first rule of "mod all the things better" is, throw nothing away. Personally, as an adjunct of my interest in powder coating I've also become invested somewhat in metal working and polishing, and now cannot bring myself to get rid of anything shiny, hard or heat-resistant. And so it was that I came upon this scrap of a frame from a laundry hamper. It's a perfect length to bridge across the width of the laptop, but just a mite too tall.



After grinding off the burrs and such, I had thought to just drill four holes in the pine frame to seat it securely. Mmmmm, pine... so soft and relatively pliant... it then occurred to me- soft pine- hard roundish, nail-like metal... grinder?


Yes, grinder! I love me some grinding... I'll make those flat ends into pointy things, and by god I'll bang that sucker right to China...


It was another awesome coincidence that just as I started to bang, the Clash's "Know Your Rights" began to play (the live version), and provided a perfect beat for my banging...


The resultant impalement was terrific- more secure- than I expected, yet it isn't so mightily affixed that I couldn't yank it out in a jiffy to use in a zombie apocalypse.


And while I still haven't settles on a way to brace it in the front, I am able to prevent the keyboard from casting itself in gravity's wicked grasp to the concrete below, by the careful application of some navy blue push-pins.



A final note (or two); any Opponauts reading who also dabble in antiques are likely wondering if that isn't a four drawer dresser from the latter half of the 18th century under that toss-off Xmas afghan, and I'm here to tell you that it is indeed. Hit me up if you might be interested, I'd likely let it go for 500$ or so.

And finally, about the stupid POTC bag- recall what i said prior, about throwing nothing out? I saved that bag, because this happens!


MOD ALL THE THINGS! As always, thanks for looking.