Modder Alias: WIVO_Riley
Real name: Riley Stendel
From: Waterford, Wisconsin
Occupation: Small Computer Business Owner & Project Manager
Years in Computers: 25
Length of time Modding: 5
Modded cases: (2) A Coolermaster HAF932 (“HAF Naked”), and an ABS Canyon 695 (“Obelisk”)
MI-I want to thank you for agreeing to our interview and congratulation on winning the Featured Rig of the Month here at Modders-Inc.
What was the thoughts behind the winning mod? Why did you do it the way you did?
WIVO_Riley-I wanted a case that had a Steampunk tint to it, but not so complex- some steampunk “things” look just too busy in my eye. I didn’t want to merely paint it copper, as paint just can’t convey the changes in color depending on light, angle, etc. that the actual metal can. I knew when I ordered it that it was going to be stripped down and plated- I wanted metal, metal, and metal in it’s truest form- not covered by decals, coatings, and paint. Simple, clean, industrial, but yet not “battle used”- Down to using copper rivets during re-assembly and brass fasteners everywhere else, combined with the copper tubing used for the liquid cooling, it should be very nice without looking like I put every part and do-dad available on it. Once I got into the details on this case, I decided it wouldn’t have any paint on anything anywhere- and it won’t.
MI-Everyone has a story of what got them into Modding. What or whom got you into Computer Case Modding?
WIVO_Riley-First off, I’ve been intrigued by computers since they first popped on the scene. I wrote BASIC games like hangman and etc on the old green & black terminals in the “computer lab” in High School. I took every computer class they offered there. One project in high school (think back now, this was 25 years ago) was an apple II on a cart wired to a lego car with electric motors and photoelectric cells that could follow a line of electrical tape down the hallway- as long as you had enough extension cord so you could push the cart down the halway behind the car. I actually had ideas of being able to use some smaller type of these cells to recognize text on a page so I could basically “scan” things out of books to a word processor to help in English reports. Now it’s commonplace, but back then, It was a hell of an idea- but being 16 years old and coming up with the software program would have been tough, as you’d be writing it in “machine language programming” like I did with the program that make the car work. I could have made a few bucks, looking back now, lol.
What actually got me into modding was a general lack of disposable funds, lol- specifically re-purposing older cases. I’ve got a late 90’s Compaq Server case sitting around right now that to me looks somewhat like a classic 30’s roadster grill. This case will be my next project, but not right @ the moment. I’ve always got access to older hardware and cases and end up keeping the ones that are visually different than “just a box”. I look at them about the possibilities. Being (at times) short on funds, having a strong mechanical background, and a little bit of “McGyver” in you lends itself naturally with making do with what’s around you- saving the $ for the good stuff inside!
MI-Is there anything you like to have before, during or after Case Modding? Music, drink preference, or snacks?
WIVO_Riley- LOL- TIME! Finding the time is key. With a main job to pay the bills, the small computer business to fund the builds, the “me time” to work on the mod is the tough part. Thank god for energy drinks and twizzlers. Helps pulling the late nights sometimes. While working, I usually have a TV screen going with recorded “Archer” episodes (it’s on FX) , or History channel stuff playing. I have a 10tb Windows Home Server I built out of an old all-alumium case with a video capture card that keeps me supplied with the tv I want on my schedule.
MI- Where do you get your inspiration for your case mod(s)?
WIVO_Riley- Mechanical things. For instance, have you ever had the chance to look through a very old machine shop or factory? The artistry that the craftsmen put into those machines that they use is incredible- now everything is function, no style- back then it was both. Swoopy castings, decorative adornments- they were artists. Computers should be the same way. A plain-old box just isn’t worth the effort. It HAS to have some style.
MI- Do you have another project in the shop? Or in the planning?
WIVO_Riley-Yes, actually three.
- I do.- one is the aforementioned old 90’s era Compaq server case. The from bezel on that thing is incredible- like a street-rod grill. It is huge, but should be perfect. It’s going to take some work- total re-wire job, but should be awesome when done.
- A 2000’s era IBM server case. The thing weighs a TON. I’ve stripped it down, cleaned it up, and re-assembled it- it runs great. I appreciate the amazing quality of the parts put into it. It reminds me of some kind of “Borg” thing at first glance. It has some great angles- ready for some cool lighting, and room to spare for anything you could possibly put into it. It is a server case, though, so there is a lot of work to do before it’s ready to become more of a mainstream type of system- right now it sounds like a jet- way too noisy.
- I’m looking for a vintage antique radio to make a htpc that will sit atop my big screen in the living room. A small, artistic art-deco style of a radio. I’ll keep the internals pretty simple, as everything is fed from the big server on the network, so it won’t need much HP.