Word & Image: Kermit Woodall, 43 

President & Idea Czar, Nova Design

The real challenge of the Atari was just how small it was and to see how much of a computer I could actually put in there while still retaining the look. Aside from very few things on here it still looks like an Atari except there’s a DVD drive hidden right underneath the lip of the front of the case. Inside, the case had all kinds of big pieces of plastic that held the original boards in place. Taking a saw and solder gun I carved out everything in there to whittle out more room. I did a little bit as I had time. … over a couple of months.

In one of my first designs I tried to make the DVD come out of the wood grain area on the front. But it didn’t look good, and it also meant the drive was sitting on top of all the components. What I actually have now is the drive is on the bottom and the motherboard sitting on top of that.

My first project was a Nintendo Entertainment System, the original little gray box. I have probably done four or five systems; not all of them last a long time. I move from one thing to another. I have a few ideas sitting around. I have been experimenting with old Mac cases, portable (pre-286 CPU) Compaq cases and SGI Indy cases. I’ve also been experimenting with a design for a completely scratch-built case from found parts. A sort of Techo-Frankenstein case. — As told to Scott Elmquist; photographed by Scott Elmquist.

For more modding, see www.retro-system.com or Wired magazine’s October issue online, which featured Woodall’s project, at www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.10/makeover.html.


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