This month, we are pleased to announce a new collaboration with top purveyors of memory technology, Corsair. Each month, they have been choosing a case mod from the community as their Mod of the Month, and have been publicising the winner on the Corsair website. From this month, we are working in conjunction with Corsair Memory to bring you the full detail behind the winning mod each month.
This month, Shaun McKinney, aka 'Vazzini', has created an awesome 'Lan in a Box' rig. As his prize, Shaun takes home 1 gig of top-rated Corsair RAM. If you're interested in winning next month, take a look at This Thread
for details. You can see the Corsair Modding Homepage here!
Without further ado, I hand you over to Shaun...
The Newspaper Box
As a regular Lan-goer, my clanmates and I - of Clan  - have long wanted a simpler way to get together and game. We attend a lot of smaller Lans that fall into the 10-20 people bracket, but theconsiderations involved in even a small Lan can be a little daunting once you attempt to get all the networking equipment set up correctly and power issues sorted.
We came to the conclusion that we could take care of all the issues by putting together one portable unit that would contain everything needed for a smaller size Lan to run smoothly and efficiently to maximize the time spent on actually playing games. We named this idea for a unit "The Lan Party in a Box".
Here are some pictures of the unit we ended up with, before I talk about how it came to life!
We realized that the unit needed basic networking gear such as a router with wireless capabilities and switches with enough ports to connect approximately 30 people. We wanted to have a server directly connected and controlling the network for network administration, file sharing, game servers, and backup purposes. The unit would also need to have the monitor for the server enclosed in it as well, to be able to use the server. In order to avoid any power issues, such as surges or blown fuses, the unit would also need to contain some type of uninterruptible power supply. With all these requirements we also realized that the unit must still remain mobile for transportation and still be something fun to look at and and work with.
We planned on adding some fun things aside from the directly functional parts of the 'Lan Party in a Box'. The unit would need to be highly secure both physically along with electronically. For the physical aspect the unit needed to have a key operated or hidden power button, the Cat5 cable needed to have a way to lock into the unit to avoid getting ripped out by wire pulling, and the system would need to have a strong casing for durability. For the security from within, it was decided that a safe and stable operating system must be chosen along with having a way to quickly check on system and network info. We also thought that the unit should have some sort of functional work area for use of the machine as a computer. For mobility reasons we decided that some sort of wheels would be required for transport and that water cooling would be ruled out as an option as a result of that required mobility.