X68000 Desktop

Abstract:

Raspberry Pi Desktop, styled after the Sharp X68000 with an oversized power switch and floppy disk, drive.

Prototype:

1. Raspberry Pi 3B+
2. Heat Sink A / B / C
3. Case Fan
4. Floppy Drive
5. mSata Adapter
6. 120GB mSata Drive

Concept Art:


Analysis:

If the Raspberry Pi were around in the mid-ninties, it probably would hve blown people’s mind that the power of a full tower desktop would fit into the size of the credit card and be powered by 5v 2A. Having a 1.4Ghz dual core, 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive would have been a more than respectable desktop. Though now just opening Chrome causes even the most powerful computer to start hemorrhaging RAM (faster than you can download it).

So the idea behind the X68000 is to make a traditional looking desktop PC, powered from a Pi, running an Xfce4 theme made to look like the IrixOS. Though looking back at my list, it seems like there are a few issues that could be fixed. One is the hard disk drive. This is a point of contention as the floppy drive is going to take space, and it depends on what storage you choose to go with it. mSata is the obvious choice, but do you slot it vertically next to the Pi, or under the floppy? A normal 2.5 inch drive might actually make more sense as you could have a drive bay that can be added and removed as needed. Though it kind of depends, if USB is the fastest speed possible, and there’s a fast enough flash drive then it’s probably easier to just go with that.

The other hard part is the cooler. I think a massive heat sink combined with a silent fan would make a really good combination for an overclockable desktop. Though it doesn’t make for easy prototyping. Assuming it fits, something like the Latte Panda Cooler would be easy to apply and keep things cool. So you could get away with just a USB stick and a semi-decent cooling option to get started. As for the floppy it actually does have functionality. Assuming you’re working with code, it could act as a secondary backup messure outside of git.