Review of Small Form Factor PCs

Computers & Mobile
Review of Small Form Factor PCs

Todd Weiss, of Computerworld, has a nice review of Make: Books’ Small Form factor PCs, recently released at Maker Faire:

The idea is to build around a mini-ATX motherboard, which can be fit inside small containers due to its miniaturized size, giving lots of flexibility for a wide variety of innovative cases. Were you envious of Secret Agent Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone in the old 1960s TV show, “Get Smart?” Maybe you could one up him and find a way to build a shoe PC? Hey, somebody’s going to try it, I bet.

This book shows readers how to build several small form factor PC projects, from a digital audio jukebox in an old wooden antique radio cabinet running Gentoo Linux to a mini digital video recorder, a mini home network gateway, a Wi-Fi extender and more.

Forget shoe phones — how about a shoe PC?

From the Maker Shed:


Small Form Factor PCs by Matthew Weaver and Duane Wessels
Price: 29.99
Buy: Maker Shed

Shoebox sized and smaller, small form factor PCs can pack as much computing muscle as anything from a PDA to a full-sized desktop computer. Small Form Factor PCs is the only book available that shows you how to build these small form factor PCs — from kits and from scratch. With thorough illustrations and step-by-step instructions, this book makes it easy for anyone who wants to get started building these tiny systems.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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