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Mod of the Year 2013

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kier 31st December 2013, 21:33 Quote
Al I wanna say about this.... don't let casemodding be a competition. It's just for fun and for most of us a hobby.

Wish you guys a happy new year with lots of great builds.
The_Crapman 1st January 2014, 02:50 Quote
I may have done enough damage in this thread already, but I'd just like to say it doesn't matter how a build is made, be it purely hand tools, dremel, scroll saw or cnc, it's about the imagination, creativity, execution (regardless of how it is done) that makes a build great. Probably something that gets overlooked is dedication, cause god knows i know i can't be arsed going down the shed when it's cold and wet, that's why it's taken me 18 months to do nothing but strip a case. Ha ha!

And happy new year all. :-)
mnpctech 1st January 2014, 15:41 Quote
Thank you for inviting Mnpctech to sponsor MOTY and Good Luck Everybody entered!
Spreadie 1st January 2014, 21:12 Quote
I know enough about machining to call much of the milled projects lessons in craftsmanship, as much as any other type of work. It's more about realising the vision needed than the machines available. You can have a hefty bank balance, your own workshop and all the expensive toys available, but it doesn't mean a damn thing if you have the creative capacity of a garden gnome.

I would normally lean towards the hand-tool craft projects, just because the skill on show leaves me feeling completely inadequate but, on this occasion, I voted for The Microprocessor - because he's taken a relatively simple idea and blown my mind with the result.

And I hate the Intel NUC! So much so, that I ditched my CPC sub in protest over the issue that devoted 25% of the mag to NUC! (that's a rant for another time or place)

Keep up the debate - as far as I'm concerned, the more modding is talked about the better - shine a bright light on the creative efforts of those few who continue to entertain us with their skills and imagination.
Meanmotion 1st January 2014, 21:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Crapman
I may have done enough damage in this thread already, but I'd just like to say it doesn't matter how a build is made, be it purely hand tools, dremel, scroll saw or cnc, it's about the imagination, creativity, execution (regardless of how it is done) that makes a build great. Probably something that gets overlooked is dedication, cause god knows i know i can't be arsed going down the shed when it's cold and wet, that's why it's taken me 18 months to do nothing but strip a case. Ha ha!

And happy new year all. :-)

Well said! I just about managed to clear the table in my garage two weeks ago. Haven't actually used the space to do anything yet, though.
SchizoFrog 2nd January 2014, 10:10 Quote
You would like to think that money and access to specialised equipment doesn't matter but they stand out to me and others as key factors and you only have to look at previous MOTM and MOTY winners, or even the majority of entries to see the evidence.

I would ask what the purpose of these articles and comps are? If they are meant to inspire others to mod their own computers at home across the board, across all abilities then I personally can say that they fail. If they are meant as technical showcases then they succeed. You can not say something is good or bad without keeping in mind it's intended purpose.
Nexxo 2nd January 2014, 10:24 Quote
How many of the current entries were made using specialist equipment? Count 'em please.

And yeah, modding costs money (unless you go ghetto and recycle hardware, which is what I largely did with my HTPC). This is not a cheap hobby --even model engineering is cheaper (I could buy a substantial lathe or mill for the price of a single high-end GPU --you have no idea). Yet I see plenty of people here with less than half my salary happily splashing out on a dual GTX 780 setup. And some lf the Folding rigs here? My car is cheaper. This hobby is expensive. It's not nice to say it, but it is true. Beekeeping costs me peanuts compared to this hobby. My wife's silversmithing costs very little in comparison --and she makes money out of the products she sells.

So should people who can afford to spend some money on it be excluded from articles and competitions? Does that happen with custom car shows? Does that happen with model engineering shows? Every hobby driven to its pinnacle comes at a price, not just in time and skill but also in tools and materials. If it bothers people, we can start introducing categories based on cost (ghetto, budget, mainstream, high-end, blow the budget) like CPC does.
SchizoFrog 2nd January 2014, 11:06 Quote
I am merely stating that the elitism shown here turns myself and many others off and pushes us away from engaging in the community. This is my personal opinion and they are some of the reasons why I feel this way, which is also echoed by others. If you wish merely to defend your own opinion with no regards to others then go ahead. You are proof of the arrogance within the community and can spend your time engaging with the few that are left when the community is dead.
Nexxo 2nd January 2014, 11:13 Quote
I am merely stating that I don't experience it in that way. If you call that proof of arrogance, then perhaps that indicates that there is a problem of different interpretations.

When I visit a model engineering show I see people showing off and winning awards for projects that have cost them years of work and money and took decades of skill, and a workshop the size of a garage with tools the combined value of which probably exceeds my car twice over. Elitism, or simply the results of a long-term commitment to a hobby that they feel really passionate about? Should we begrudge them their achievements because they are out of the immediate reach of us mere mortals? When you see virtuoso violinists play on their leased Stradivarius, is that elitism (after all not everybody can afford to go to a Conservatory and gets the loan of a superb instrument) or just people who have by hard work reached the pinnacle of their craft? What about sponsored Olympic athletes? Professional race car drivers? The Red Arrow pilots (who get whole friggin' jets to play with)?

Why do we like to see such achievements, even if they far surpass the skills, tools and means that we ourselves are capable of? Because they are inspiring. Of course we may never reach the level of ability or achievement that some master craftsman or artist has, but it is nice to have something to aim for. The Japanese have a concept of michi, or path: of striving for an ongoing perfection of the mastery of a craft. It does not matter where you start; it does not matter how good you are relative to others. It is not a race; it is a journey of self-actualisation. What matters is that you strive to improve on your own skills and achievements, every day, no matter how modest they are.

In terms of having parts made rather than making them oneself, don't we buy motherboards, GPUs, water cooling parts, LED-lit fans etc. off the shelf? Much of that stuff was made by hand in the olden days; now we can buy it. Is that wrong? As a beekeeper I could argue that you should not buy honey. "If you want honey, you should do it the hard core way: get your own beehive, keep your own bees. Only when you have suffered their stings, learned how to keep them, spending a whole Spring and Summer inspecting them weekly, preventing them from swarming, harvested your own honey, filtered it, potted it, treated the bees for parasitic illnesses, fed them in Autumn, nursed them through Winter, then you are entitled to honey. You should make your own. Buying it is a cop-out." That's BS of course. For one if nobody bought honey in shows, professional beekeepers would soon be out of a job. Second: why should you not be able to buy and enjoy honey just because you are not in a position to make it yourself? That's silly.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with "elitism", to be honest. There will always be people who have more money to spend on a PC (I'm not one of them). There will always be members who have a bigger workshop, more tools, better skills (again, I'm not one of those), access to industrial equipment via work or via friends. There will also be people who can only afford recycled hardware and have more limited access to tools. They can still mod and submit project logs and they still turn out impressive work. As I have always said: all mods are worthy.
Waynio 3rd January 2014, 00:52 Quote
So much better than my silly rambles Nexxo, glad you are about so I didn't go knobhead mode. :)


Voted, actually remembered I was supposed to vote. :D

And guess what, +1 all lol, silly vote from me since I didn't want to discount any, I can judge but I don't want to, useless judge is useless. :D
Attila 3rd January 2014, 00:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I am merely stating that the elitism shown here turns myself and many others off ..................................................

Competitions, by their nature are meant to showcase the very best. Thus it has always been here at bit-tech. The very first MOTY in 2006 was won by an incredible creation called 'Dark Blade' by G69T. This work took over two years and was built using state of the art (at the time) CNC machinery. In the following MOTY comps, it's fair to say that the very best examples of modding/building have taken out the winners spot, right up to last year when Paslis won with his beautiful creation 'The next level'.
You are not alone in your feelings about these kinds of contests and the kind of work that's featured in them. The main difference is at one point your view was in the minority here at bit-tech. That does not seem to be the case anymore.
I'm just about to start a new project. I have been getting together the hardware and materials for this, for nearly a year. I'm a working person with a family and I'm on a slightly below average wage now. I can't just rush out and blow two or three grand on parts whenever I want to. But I don't go down the pub either so the money saved goes into my hobby. I'm just like you, I'm not elitist or rich or from another planet, I'm just an ordinary Joe. But I am, for the first time, thinking very carefully about whether or not I should start a project log on bit-tech.
jrs77 3rd January 2014, 01:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila
Competitions, by their nature are meant to showcase the very best. Thus it has always been here at bit-tech. The very first MOTY in 2006 was won by an incredible creation called 'Dark Blade' by G69T. This work took over two years and was built using state of the art (at the time) CNC machinery. In the following MOTY comps, it's fair to say that the very best examples of modding/building have taken out the winners spot, right up to last year when Paslis won with his beautiful creation 'The next level'.
You are not alone in your feelings about these kinds of contests and the kind of work that's featured in them. The main difference is at one point your view was in the minority here at bit-tech. That does not seem to be the case anymore.
I'm just about to start a new project. I have been getting together the hardware and materials for this, for nearly a year. I'm a working person with a family and I'm on a slightly below average wage now. I can't just rush out and blow two or three grand on parts whenever I want to. But I don't go down the pub either so the money saved goes into my hobby. I'm just like you, I'm not elitist or rich or from another planet, I'm just an ordinary Joe. But I am, for the first time, thinking very carefully about whether or not I should start a project log on bit-tech.

Your projects are special, as they compete with the fancy CNC-milled builds in here, but you do it with your bare hands, and that's what we'd rather see more often, than those fully machine-built rigs.

I'm one of those with tons of ideas, and lots and lots of completely 3d-modeled designs, but I'd never post a worklog, as I simply don't have access to the tools needed to built them in a fashionable way. And the worklogs I started a few years ago with simple stuff simlpy werent appreciated that much, so I stopped posting worklogs alltogether and only post some smaller things in the modding-section.

All this shouldn't stop anyone from posting their machine-built stuff tho, as I sure like to have a look at them from time to time, but then I see all the watercooling and am turned off again, as I see watercooling as a total waste of time nowadays compared to when I did it with aquarium-pump, car-radiators and lab-hoses to overclock a Celeron 400A to some 600MHz.
Those were the days ;)

I think we need more specialized contests instead of those general ones like MOTM or MOTY. Contests like mITX-only, aircooled only, the NUC-contest, the PI-contest, etc etc etc, as these contests would have some rules, and some rules make it a contest to begin with.
With no rules at all it's simply not fair to vote for one or the other, as we can't compare the builds and basically have to decide by taste. And what did the ape say, when he bit into the soap?
m0zes 3rd January 2014, 04:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila
I'm just like you, I'm not elitist or rich or from another planet, I'm just an ordinary Joe.

90% of the time you may be an ordinary Joe, but put a hack saw, file and block of aluminium in your hands and you are elite in your capabilities, rich in imagination and desire to produce the highest quality of work you can; to the point that most people would question whether you are in fact from another planet ;)

Congratulations to everyone nominated, and I look forward to seeing what people create this year.
Nexxo 3rd January 2014, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila
I'm just about to start a new project. I have been getting together the hardware and materials for this, for nearly a year. I'm a working person with a family and I'm on a slightly below average wage now. I can't just rush out and blow two or three grand on parts whenever I want to. But I don't go down the pub either so the money saved goes into my hobby. I'm just like you, I'm not elitist or rich or from another planet, I'm just an ordinary Joe. But I am, for the first time, thinking very carefully about whether or not I should start a project log on bit-tech.

Same here: I'm a jobbing NHS professional and sole income provider for my family, and I don't even have a workshop or tools like you do (this is turning into that Monty Python sketch: "You had a shoebox?!?..."). I'm still on my 2003 rig: dual Opteron 250 with a Radeon 1650XT. I have been planning an upgrade for five years, made numerous designs and then eventually had to trim them down to much more realistically affordable levels. What I'm doing now will have to last me for a while. And yes, sorry, I had some parts CNC'd but this was done for peanuts by a fellow forum member --I could not have afforded it if it was done by a commercial company.

I am also wondering whether there is a point to doing a project log. I'm happy to do it but life's too short to put up with butt hurt because I might have used methods or parts that people perceive to be out of reach, while they casually mention their latest GPUs on the Latest Purchases thread. I gave up moderatorship partly for the same reason; this is not the place it used to be anymore, or perhaps I'm just turning into a grumpy old man and outgrowing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
All this shouldn't stop anyone from posting their machine-built stuff tho, as I sure like to have a look at them from time to time, but then I see all the watercooling and am turned off again, as I see watercooling as a total waste of time nowadays compared to when I did it with aquarium-pump, car-radiators and lab-hoses to overclock a Celeron 400A to some 600MHz.
Those were the days ;)
Those were the days indeed. :) Unfortunately they seem long gone.
Spreadie 3rd January 2014, 13:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
...I don't even have a workshop or tools like you do (this is turning into that Monty Python sketch: "You had a shoebox?!?...").
I don't have a shoe box, but I do have two sheds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I am also wondering whether there is a point to doing a project log. I'm happy to do it but life's too short to put up with butt hurt because I might have used methods or parts that people perceive to be out of reach, while they casually mention their latest GPUs on the Latest Purchases thread. I gave up moderatorship partly for the same reason; this is not the place it used to be anymore, or perhaps I'm just turning into a grumpy old man and outgrowing it.
The cost stopped me in my tracks and my first attempt at a "nice" project went on a back burner - it's now a collection of parts in the shed - I wanted to send off a side panel to have a design lasercut into it and was quoted the best part of £150 +vat

When modding an old case is going to cost me more than a Obsidian 800D, something is going wrong. I have neither the skill nor the time to produce works of art akin to those in MOTY, so modding for me was more about making something fit - function rather than form. I'm proficient enough at turning and milling to make a decent fist of things, given the opportunity (guess what my lottery win would be spent on), but not having easy access to the tools prevents me from even thinking about ambitious projects.

None of that stops me from appreciating the effort put into producing the mods on the forum.
Boorach 3rd January 2014, 13:21 Quote
I haven't come across any elitism on these forums. In my own project log I have been delighted with the messages of encouragement, tips and advice given to me by other forum members, including many with vastly more experience and skill than I could ever muster. This has made me feel welcome and given me motivation to improve my build and even continue when I have felt like giving up. This support has more than justified posting my build and, for me, is ample reward.

As far as sponsorship is concerned, I think that in most cases the modders concerned have put in the time and effort over the years to deserve it. I don't mind admitting to a little jealousy at times but know the companies don't throw expensive parts around willy-nilly and that if I want sponsorship in future I will have to show them that I deserve it. If that time ever comes then I would be upset if I thought my build was being treated differently just because I had been lucky enough to gain sponsorship as a result of my previous hard work.

The second issue mentioned is tools and specifically CNC routers and milling machines. Equipment such as this is obviously not cheap, modders with access to such equipment have had to fork out a substantial amount to obtain it and have had to put in a lot of time to learn how to use it all. I don't think they should be penalised in terms of modding recognition just because they are using automated equipment that the rest of us are not willing to buy or are able to use. With the advent of such companies as ModwithMe these tools are now becoming available to all of us which makes the issue even less contentious.

The last point I'd like to make is that MOTY as well as MOTM are voted for by us. If you don't like a certain type of build then just don't vote for it. Of my original 30+ nominations only a small number were CNC builds. Most were on the list because they demonstrated skill, ingenuity and more than anything hard work in realising their ideas. This was why Abbas-It earned one of my three final votes for Samurai Sacriligium. I will give credit where I feel its due and I'm confident that the Bit-Tech community are educated enough to give credit where it is due and vote for a worthy winner no matter what tools were used to achieve it.
jrs77 3rd January 2014, 13:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
... so modding for me was more about making something fit - function rather than form.

You should read about Bauhaus. One of their design-rules was: "form follows function".

Industrial design is an artform of itself, and we should celebrate it more often and not hail the unique designs too much.

A fine piece of art gets alot of praise - sure, but it's the industrial design manufactured for everyday use that changes the world ;)

And like it or not, but Apple has absolutely mastered the industrial design in the last decade.
Nexxo 3rd January 2014, 14:11 Quote
£150,-- is too much for a laser cut. I'm sure it can be done cheaper. Have you tried these guys?

I know that there are a number of members on the forum who do small CNC and laser cut jobs cheaply, and in the Netherlands there is a small company called ModWithMe (as mentioned above).

And +1 for Bauhaus.
Spreadie 3rd January 2014, 14:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
£150,-- is too much for a laser cut. I'm sure it can be done cheaper --let me do some research. In Birmingham we have a school of jewelry and they have a huge workshop --and an innovations centre which will help people with prototyping. I'll have a chat to them and see what services they offer.

To be fair, this was a local island company I sought out, rather than cough up for packaging and return shipping to a mainland firm. It probably is much cheaper elsewhere, but it was sufficient to put me off.

Still, I'd like to know what you find out, because I will eventually resurrect the project.
Waynio 3rd January 2014, 15:57 Quote
Ugh, my interest in modding has vaporized. :)

It just has & I just thought I'd bung this in here, won't be seeing me on here ever again. :)
I should have stayed away from here when I left for a short time in 2012 but the idiot I am I came back like a quality idiot.
Shirty 3rd January 2014, 16:22 Quote
It'll be sad to see you go matey, Stealthlow was one of the most inspiring and passion-fuelled mods I've seen on here.
Nexxo 3rd January 2014, 16:52 Quote
Indeed. They are all awesome mods.

Is there such a thing as modding fatigue?
jrs77 3rd January 2014, 17:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Indeed. They are all awesome mods.

Is there such a thing as modding fatigue?

Not really, but people start to mod other things than PCs eventually :p

I know that I get less and less interested in PC-modding, as I basically don't need anything bigger anymore than a mITX-board with an i7 strapped to it, powered by a picoPSU and a heatsink like the Thermalright AXP-200. A little square box of 190x180x90mm (3 liter) is totally suffcient for that and doesn't need to look fancy at all.
Cheapskate 3rd January 2014, 18:22 Quote
@Waynio - That's a bad joke. -It had better be a joke...
@Nexxo - Yes. There is a modding fatigue. The filing on Bloo was so brutal, I ended up with shoulders so stiff it was difficult to swallow or even lay flat. That was one of the main reasons I bought a CNC machine too. ( Yeah, different fatigue than what you were talking about.)
Combatus 3rd January 2014, 18:47 Quote
PC modding isn't inherently expensive. I've done countless builds and guides with little more than a Dremel, some files and a few bits of acrylic. Yes, if you want to make one of the top 20 mods the world has seen in the last 12 months, you'll likely need to factor in additional tool and material costs but if you just want to get into the hobby, improve your skills and have some fun, which is what I suggest everyone does, then if you can afford a PC, you can usually afford to mod it.

I don't even have a garage, I just work in my pokey garden on a bench, weather-permitting, and in the kitchen if its wet and I've done smaller stuff in my office/second bedroom before now too, so if you want to do it badly enough, I can't see any of that stopping you.

As for why we hold these competitions - we do it for several reasons:

1) They generate good traffic which helps to put food on the table and keep the site going
2) People want to read about the projects - even those that rarely visit modding forums - this can only be a good thing as it gets more people interested in the hobby and keep it from becoming stagnant
3)Those that are featured benefit as they'll find it easier to get sponsorship and commissions and get traffic driven to their own websites plus the prizes can be fed into their next PCs saving them money and manufacturers benefit from exposure too which is why they agree to offer prizes in the first place. Plus you also get amazing things happening like the Red Harbinger Cross Desk.

Anyone talking about elitism, competitiveness and not being able to afford to mod is taking things WAY too seriously! If you're building projects solely to win competitions and beat other people, you're doing it for the wrong reasons and you'll only end up bitter and disappointed...
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