There is a dirty secret we do not like to look at but sometimes a light needs to be shined on. That secret is the computing community is basically a den of thieves. I mean lets get real how many of you know someone that has a piece of software they did not pay for, or plays a songs they downloaded for free using something like Bit Torrent? What about the people you know that make copies of movies they rent or even download them while still in the theater?
The simple truth is we ALL know people like that, many of us are people like that. I hear justification for this every day from people I know. I thought it would be fun to take a look at a few of these explanations.
Software Costs to Much: This explanation is self perpetuating in the fact that as people steal the software companies have to charge more to cover the loses and so more people steal. There is this myth among the average joe that a software programmer makes a ton of money. While they make a fair wage they do not make as much as some would propose and have to work some seriously messed up hours. Deadlines and shoe string budgets makes this a very demanding job and one that can be hard to raise a family with. Deadlines mean you cannot be as home as often as you like because you need to fix that last bit of code and it has eluded you for months. Near release many programmers put in 20 hour days on their programs. As for the cost of the software that does not come from the programmer but the distributor that puts it on the shelf. The cost has to cover the development of the software, marketing, packaging, future patching, tech support as well as cover lose from theft.
Big Companies Will Not Notice: Okay so if you do not notice that some guy takes your prize fishing rod that makes it okay? Yes these companies might be making money but that is their job. That money is not going into some limbo but rather to programmers to produce more software. Also if they did not notice then why does the price go up as piracy rises?
Software is so buggy, I steal it so I do not waste my money on junk: This is a crappy reason that sounds good. There is a grain of truth here, over the years the quality control on software being released has fallen. However the consumer is as much to blame for this as the developer. Consumers today cannot wait for new software, they demand it now. Developers to keep an edge on their competition try to set release dates to hype their product but as with any complicated software this is just not realistic. If the product does not release as stated the consumer complains and moves on. If no date is stated the consumer tends to ignore the product. This forces the developer to rush production and thus we see lower quality on initial releases. Stealing the software makes it worse since it reduces development budgets and forces the developers to work more hours with less people opening to more mistakes.
Software, Music and Movies should be free to the world: Does this excuse sound as STUPID to you as it does to me. Yet there is a pretty good size movement out there that thing this way. While this may have a high intellectual and very opening sounding feel to it, this movement is simple to understand. We are to chip to pay for anything and you owe us because we exist. We do not have to play by the rules because we are too cool. Or in simpler terms, we are thieves and like it.
No matter your argument or excuse using pirated materials is being a thief. You are no different than the drug addict that steal prescription meds from his family or the guy that broke into the local Walmart for a TV. In fact a pirate is WORSE than either of these. I mean a drug addict is driven by a physical and psychological need for the drugs he is own. He really in many cases feels he will die without them. Also some thieves do not steal to steal but rather to feed their families because they are without work.
Now I am not condone thieves of any sort but think about it. A computer pirate steals because he wants it. Not because of a physical need to an attempt to feed his family. A pirate is simply greedy and does not think the rules should apply to him. Now put that in perspective of your life. I wonder how many pirates profess strongly of their faith and yet justify stealing? How many are in law enforcement and yet through piracy break the law daily and on purpose?
With so much quality software for free why do we still steal? I mean Microsoft Office is one of the MOST pirated programs in homes and yet there is a free office suite that can do the same job and cost no money. AV software with excellent quality is available for free, great games can be found for free and even music and videos can be had LEGALLY for free, yet we steal?
Now that I have you looking at bit in the mirror lets look at our community. We PROMOTE this behavior and protect it. We go out and buy a great new game and instead of inviting our friends over to play it and see if they want to buy it we give them a copy. We get a great album and make copies for everyone that asks, the same with movies. When the industry stands up to cry foul we unite and fight back.
I mean seriously we all know the music industry has carried their fight to far, but has the computer community stood and denounced the theft of music? ISPs look to cut off the pirates by monitoring behavior patterns in internet use and banning software who’s primary purpose is piracy. The computer community rises to denounce this, claiming our freedom is being torn from us. Freedom of what, to be a thief?
How can you make a difference, it is easy. The most obvious method is stop stealing. Do not copy your music of software for others. If they want to see it invite them over. Next change the conversation. Next time you and a buddy are talking bring up the idea that piracy is simple theft. If they buddy is religious and condones it ask if he condones adultery as well.
I mean after all over the year the marriage is getting way to expensive, she will never notice if I do not tell her, things are the same old and no new innovations have come out. Besides sex should be free for all. Sounds stupid doesn’t it? Yet we think this same argument is okay for being a simply thief.
I encourage all of you to go back through your PC, find the stuff that you paid for and the stuff you stole. Find free alternatives and get rid of the stolen software, or even better pay for the stuff you have been using. Are we a community that loves computing or simple a den of greedy, self serving thieves?
When we had our contest with Hi Tech Legion one of the companies we interviewed was Patriot. Over the last few months we have looked at Patriot SSDs and Memory and I can say I was very impressed. During the interview they mentioned a newly released product called Box Office. The idea behind this product was it allowed you to hook into your home network wirelessly and play your media files through this device and straight into your HDTV. Now this sounded pretty cool to me and so I asked Patriot to provide a Box Office for review.
The Box Office is a pretty plain jane looking device as you can see. The front consists of a USB port, and IR sensor for the remote and lights for the power, LAN, HDD and USB activity. The device is very compact and this makes it easy for it to fit into any home entertainment network setup.
The Remote that came with the device is pretty standard fair as remotes go. In fact you would be hard pressed looking at it to think is was nothing more than any other remote device for say a DVD player. While very light weight it is well constructed and the IR had a nice wide range of operation.
Now during the interview the people from Patriot left me with the impression that the wireless ability of this device was built in. I went back to the interview to verify this and even found that I had questioned the idea of using built in wireless G now that N has become so wide spread. This information however is incorrect. As the Box Office comes to you it does NOT have built in wireless. It can connect to your network directly with a LAN cable but for wireless you will need to add a USB device.
Patriot did ship me a USB Wireless Adapter that they make. If you where to buy the Box Office this adapter would be an extra purchase, however the good news on that front is that the cost is low at $9.00 on NewEgg. In the manual Patriot stated that the device could work with other adapters but after going through 4 brands and 6 models I could not find any that worked with the Box Office.
So we have our options of wired or wireless networking for a small additional cost, what about file support? Patriot made sure this device had the ability to play pretty much anything you threw at it. For music I played MP3 and WMA with no issues at all, I played a few different movies I had “acquired” and all of them played with no issues. Playback was smooth, image quality excellent and sound was exactly as it should be.
Playback can be done using either LAN connections, a USB device hooked to the Box Office line a Flash Drive or you can if you choose install a 2.5” HDD into the device and use that for local storage.
However great playback was hindered with problematic connection issues. The USB port on the rear and the front of the device had issues with the Wireless adapter. It would start to work fine and then die suddenly. I experimented a bit and found that the ports where not holding the device tightly and so it was slipping out. I put in a USB extension cable and the problem went away. Wired connection was solid from the start and made it easy to get clean smooth playback.
That is once we got it to see the computers. The device does not have the ability to easily hook into the Windows 7 file sharing system. It took a bit of playing with the file sharing options before I could get a stable connection and even then the best connection was the send from the computer to the Box Office HD. This would not have worked BTW if not for the HDD to store the media. While for someone a bit more Windows savy the networking settings might not be a big deal for the average user this would be an exercise in frustration.
The included Transcode Server software is supposed to easy this possess and even allow the ability to access your media files over the internet. That last option makes no sense to me since if my PC in not in my home I am likely not there either and do not need to see my movies on my TV. I suppose the small size means I could take it with you watch my home movies on the road, no that does not seem right either. In the end the networking can be done but a less savvy computer user will feel frustration quickly.
The rear of the device is where we have our hookups. The LAN connection as well as two different USB and for TV hookup we have HDMI, Component and Optical for audio. The TV hookup is easy since these offer the two major options for TVs. HDMI was imply plug in and go as was the component hookup when I tested on a regular TV.
Now as I stated the actual playback was outstanding however device use was not in the same ball park. The menu system used by the Box Office is serviceable for single file playback or even whole directory playback. However if you want to use this to pipe a mix of your music files into the home system the software is a bit bulky. It was not intuitive in the way it was able to create play lists and if you have a large number of files it can be a bit daunting to have to drill through the directory tree using the on screen menu system.
When I first heard about this device I was excited to see it in action, I liked the idea of what it could deliver. When it showed up however and I was finally able to getting working decently I must say I was underwhelmed. The Box Office only supports file playback. This means if you are wanting to use a site look Hulu to watch a show this will not move it to your TV. Now there are some freeware solutions out there to do this but that means another layer of software and settings to make this work.
It is hard to suggest this product when you look at the alternatives out there. No I am not talking about other boxes like this. For $200, or a little less than double the cost of the Box Office with a Wireless Adapter, you can get something like the Acer Aspire Revo. This is a full net PC with HDMI out and wireless built in. The system has a full OS so the interface is easier to use and you can use family apps like media player for EASY play list creations. Plus it can do more, like surfing the internet which means it can deliver sites like Hulu straight to your TV without additional software. Yes a NetPC costs more but when you consider adding a HDD to the Box Office the cost difference is not that great. However the versatility difference is huge.
Overall I was a bit disappointed. One of the things I loved about Patriot products is they just work. RAM or SSDs I have had zero issues, they have performed perfectly with no effort on my part. While I knew the Box Office would need some effort I did not expect the level of effort it required. While someone that understands networking and file sharing might not have more than a mild level of frustration for people without that base knowledge this poor device could end up thrown against a wall quickly.
This is only a first stab by Patriot at this kind of a device and so I am sure in the next revision they will resolve many of the nagging issues I encounter. For now however I think I would suggest most people pass on the Box Office. There are more versatile and easier to use solutions out there that may cost more but give enough to justify the cost.
For right now I have to give the Box Office a thumbs down.
The internet is not a safe place for little kids. I think we can all agree with this. Just as you would not drop a 5 year old in Times Square and leave them for the day, you should not let a 5 year old loose on the internet without an adult with them.
Over the years we have had many people attack the internet and video gaming as well. I love hear people claim that video games are the cause of violence because it is so easy to shoot them, pun intended. However sometimes you just get handed a chance to show how silly this argument can be and it is to easy to pass up.
This year at CES a different kind of guest speaker stepped up. For those that do not know Ron Jeremy is a major porn star that has made a ton of money from porn over the years. While at CES he gave a speech where he began by blasting the internet.
His first argument was how easy it was for identity theft to take place, claiming it has happened twice to him. However looking at his words you will quickly see that Ron is clueless. He claimed his bank account has twice been attacked. That is not identity theft that is robbery. No one tried to use his ID as the mighty Ron to get credit cards or make purchases, rather they tried to steal his money.
Next he bashes people that steal music, movies and software on the internet. Know this sounds good until he began complaining that no one in porn made money anymore except novelty sites. AAHH, the key to his argument is here. You see adult material on the internet, as it did with music and movies, gave rise to a large group of low cost companies. THESE have it seems taken a lions share of the industries in come. So the mighty Ron is not worried about protecting the people of the world from criminals of the internet but rather protecting his ability to make money for sex acts.
Oh wait it gets better. Ron then began to lambast the video game industry for it’s violent games. He even went so far as to say it had a bigger negative influence on kids than porn. WHAT!? This is a man that supposedly has a pretty solid education and even an understanding of kids, his education was in the education field with a Master Degree in Special Ed. His statement makes it obvious he degree is wrong, he is not trained to teach Special Ed., he was just in Special Ed so long they gave him a degree.
Take a really violent video game and lets compare it to porn. Does the video game actually depict things a person can typically do in real life? While some video games have a real life basis they all start from a fictional point. Porn portraits a sexual openness and promiscuity on the other hand that can be easily emulated by any kid down the street. I mean lets be real how many young adults go around and act like they have a rocket launcher? Now how many young adults grab a member of the opposite sex and play out what they have seen in a porn movie?
Video games show you a cartoony image that while it may look gory but it is still not close to reality in appearance. Adult films have some cartoons in the industry but the majority is with real people performing real acts, in other words it is not faked like in a computer game and thus the people watching the movie KNOW it is possible for them to do the same. I could go on but I think my point is coming across.
When he was asked about the negative impact of his own industry he quickly laid the blame for any on the parents. He even went so far as to say, “Parents can block this stuff and need to stop blaming porn for a bad case of parenting. Parents should watch what their kids are doing online and take some responsibility.” Interesting so parenting could not stop violence in video gaming and thus it is all evil but since they can stop porn it is okay?
Now I would point out how the porn industry uses internet address mistypes and spyware to get people, not caring about their age to the porn sites. However Ron would then blame that on the people he is upset with about stealing what he considers the real porn industry. So lets instead ask the question if he believes in these blockers and such where was his real porn industry when the web wanted to put in an initiative to create a specific adult domain making it easier to block for parents? The mainstream porn industry was fighting pretty hard against it saying it limited their freedom of speech. The only limit was it limited kids access because it was easier to block.
He went on to say how the porn industry has done it’s part putting on warning labels and disclaimers as well as helping to support software blockers. I guess he is really spent to much time in the special ed class since he does not realize the gaming industry has done the same thing. There are warning labels rating games, disclaimers and Windows Vista and 7 introduced an easy child blocking package that can block out certain game ratings.
This is yet another example of someone without a clue wanting to sound profound and caring. Hey Ron answer this, what the percentage difference of Porn being related to divorce vs. gaming. Gaming might be rising but Porn likely is still king. What about Rape Ron?
Should parents be paying more attention, absolutely. I have been preaching that sermon on the air for 11 years and will for a lot longer. However to lambast one thing and ignore the ills of another is not showing education or compassion. It is simply and purely self interest.
In the computer world the idea of a regular backup is the holy grail of computer activity. We preach it’s importance, strive for it to be done, even have made a mantra of it that we chant to new users. Yet for all the attention we give to it, it is one of the least correctly done things in the industry. In fact I would say backing up is the mirror activity to smoking. We know smoking is bad and yet people do it anyway, well we know backing up is good and yet no one does it.
In fairness backing up a computer is very misunderstood by the home user, very time consuming and just a pain in the butt. To help with this a number of companies have over the years offered automated systems to do the back up for you, take away the hassle. Of late the big push from the backup industry has been online backups. Companies like Carbonite and Mozy have begun a serious TV campaign in an effort to promote their services and preach the mantra of the importance of the back up.
The problem with these services is, they give a false sense of security. They make the average consumer believe that they do all the work for you and you will never have to worry about it again. THIS IS A LIE! Did you notice the bold letters and all caps? I am trying to make a point for you that have missed it, there is no quick fix easy backup solution just as there is no one pill wonder drug that will make you drop pounds while you sleep with you still eating anything you like and not exercising.
Over the last 6 months I have no less that 14 service calls that have all have used some form of automated backup. They ranged form the new online services to using external HDs, network drives and even DVDs. They all had one thing in common, they did not work. In every case critical data that was very important to the user was not properly backed up. This ranged from an outright failure of the automation to backup anything, to the automation not backing up the correct items.
There is an old saying that I have learned over the years again and again. It applies here and has been my mantra for backing up, I have preached this to every client I have and I will say it here. If you want something done right do it YOURSELF!
The problem with automated backup software in the home or small business is one that we are hesitant to mention because it makes people feel bad. The simple truth is it makes us LAZY! We rely on this automation and never check to see if it was done. The software says in it’s ads that it will do all the work for you and so we never take the time to find out how it works so we can be sure it is doing what we want it to do. We want that magic pill that makes all our worries go away. Backing up a home or small business PC is not all that hard provided you take the time to understand a few basics.
First you need to understand that you do NOT need to backup the entire system. This is the way people think a backup works. Well it can but doing it this way ti very time consuming as well as needs a lot of backup space. Plus it carries all the junk we have accumulated on our system including any virus or malware lurking and waiting it’s chance to pounce. The key is to just back up your data; your pictures, documents, financial records, the things you cannot reinstall.
Microsoft has made an effort to make this easier to do and the concept of the My Documents folder is their approach. This puts all your important documents in a single area and so performing a backup is much easier. In Windows Vista or Windows 7 gaining access to these folders is really simple.
IN the picture I posted here of a Windows 7 menu you will see my name at the top of the right side. By clicking on it you will get a windows as you will see below. You now have easy access to the folders that will hold the information you want to backup. Using an external HD, or USB Drive all you need do is drag the folders you want to back up to the device and you are done.
Now there will be some programs that might not store their data in these folders but they are still easy to back up. Each of these programs will likely have a backup option. They key is to send those backups to the My Documents folder. That means when you do your regular backup you will grab those files as well.
Now while this process is fairly easy to actually do it still has the draw back that it is time consuming. Also it is still a backup on location. What that means is your backup is still at the same location of your originals and this is not good for really valuable data. This is where online backups come in.
You see I use an online backup myself, however while it is setup for automatic backup they all offer an option for a manual backup as well. Ever week I do this manual backup to my online storage. This in conjunction with the automated backup and my local backup means I always have my data safe.
The advantage to the system I use is that I SEE the backup done each time. I know for a fact my files have been transferred and I know the files I need most where among them.
Now no backup system is full proof, there will be a time when it fails but if you do it yourself instead of relying on the magic backup fairy as the ads would have you do, there is a greater chance that when you need that file it will be there.
Talking about a Skeleton would seem something you want to do around Halloween, however here we are, first blog entry of the year and we will be discussing a Skeleton for your PC.
Antec is traditionally known for their simple designs that has a sense of elegance such as the Performance or Sonata series. Even their gaming series where of a fairly simple design that while sporting lights the effect was subdued compared to others and gave that same simplicity look. Other companies have taken the base design and tried to flash it up with lights everywhere or strange angles. In effect the basic case design has been stagnate for a few years now.
Oh do not get me wrong some have in the past and even today gone off the grid and produced a case design that was not a variant of the box we have all come to know and love. However these variants have typically been very expensive with many of these designs boasting prices of $500 or up for just the case.
A couple of years back some of the people at Antec went off the reservation so to speak and wanted to do something different in case design. Thus was born the Antec Skeleton. The Skeleton was a fairly radical move from the traditional box. It’s open design was something typically reserved for work benches and not something you would expect to build a PC in for long term use. Concerns where voiced about the cooling ability as well as the issue of dust build up and the open setup inviting accidental damage.
I actually looked at the Skeleton when it first released but at time only did the radio spot for the interview. Antec and I decided to take a second look so this review will have the unique perspective of an experience of long term use behind it.
Computer cases over the years have evolved from being just a box that holds our parts. They are now a vital part of cooling our PC as well as in many cases a bit of a show piece to show our love for computing as a hobby. The Skeleton is without a doubt a show piece and will quickly begin discussions in your home or office. People with only a moderate interest in computing will stop and look at a Skeleton case and then begin to ask questions. Kids love to see the lights. I can honestly say that I have never had a case generate so much discussion in my experience, in fact it began these discussions before it was even built up into a PC.
The Skeleton forgoes the old fashion beige or the new traditional black for a color somewhere between an off silver and gunmetal grey. While not a metal flake paint job the case is textured so the paint has a light metal flake appearance.
In the front of the case we see the usually Power and Reset switches as well as the obligatory USB and audio jacks. A firewire port and eSATA port round out the front panel. Right underneath the front panel you can see the motherboard tray and below it on the left the Optical drive bays and the right has the HD bays. These will each hold two devices with additional HDs being mountable on the sides of the case.
I have heard people complain about the limit of 2 internally, so to speak, mounts HDs but I really do not understand their reasoning. The majority of computer hobbyists I know typically have one and a few, two hard drives in their system. The size of modern HDs makes the need for more less of an issue than in the past. The so called speed boost of a RAID 0 system is seldom worth the effort or risk in a typical build. The external drive mounts could alleviate this problem but personally I am not a big fan of the mounting system or the placement.
However the ease with which we can now get large capacity external HDs in my opinion makes the need for internal HD space a minor issue. The external solution allows you to add additional storage space as needed, works as a great back up method and allows for easy portability to another PC.
Missing from this picture is the optional 92 mm Fan that can be mounted in front of the HD bay to provide additional cooling to the HDs. I have tried this with and without the fan and found the 92mm fan to be silent in operation and it does have a positive effect on the cooling of the HDs. It was not needed but if you want that extra cooling oomph for your hard drive this does deliver.
Speaking of cooling, the duty for this case is handled by a single 250 mm fan. With three speed settings this fan can range from 79cfm to 158cfm. Now that does not sound that impressive when you look at some of the higher end 120 mm fans or even some of the cases boasting two or even three 120 mm fans. However it is not just the fan but also the fan placement that decides now effective cooling systems are.
The fan in the Skelton is positions so it blows straight down onto the motherboard and all it’s components. This placement in combination with the open side design results in a splash of cool air hitting all the components of the computer and then rushing out of the case. These means the single fan is more than enough to provide some very serious cooling. How effective is it, my testing with a Phenom II 965 proves my point I think.
I first put the 965 in an Antec Three Hundred Case with 2 Antec Tri-Speed fans mounted in the front for intake. For a cooler I used a Zalman 9900 and fired everything up on the three different fan settings. Next I moved the system to the Skeleton and switched the CPU cooler to a stock AMD cooler due to clearance issues. Again tested all three fan settings. I used OCCT to push maximum CPU load. The result was that the Skeleton kept the CPU COOLER by about 4C average over the entire test. Now that might not sound like that much of a difference but remember we are dropping cooler potential as well. How much cooler potential? According to my test using the stock cooler in the Three Hundred case the Zalman was worth on average about 6C. Now these temps do not sound like that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things until we look at some other factors.
The Skeleton case provided better cooling to the motherboard, with temperatures about 9C cooler on average. Also my 4850 used for this test was one average 7C cooler in the Skeleton case. Now wait the Skeleton is a $150 case and the Three Hundred a $60 case, not fair, true enough, so next I tested with an Antec Twelve Hundred.
The results where interesting to say the least, the CPU cooler was only 2c cooler on average with the Twelve Hundred and Zalamn vs. the Skeleton and stock. Motherboard temperatures where still cooler on the Skeleton by an average of 3C and the GPU was cooler on average by 2C.
The Skeleton does deliver great cooling and does so without the need for an aftermarket cooler for the CPU. But not only was it cooler, it was also quieter. At low settings all three cases where silent, or close enough that no one could hear them over ambient noise. AT medium speeds the Three Hundred and Twelve Hundred began to become more audible while the Skeleton was still not heard. At high the Three Hundred got loud, the Twelve Hundred even louder and the Skeleton was only approaching the noise level of the Three Hundred at medium, in other words very quiet.
Lastly we come to the guts of the case. Removing two thumb screws allows the entire tray assembly to slide out. This holds all the PC components and the slide out allows for easy access to the motherboard area. The motherboard tray can itself be removed with just 4 screws making mounting even easier if you want. The two mesh side panels come off easily to make cable routing easier as well.
The PSU slips into it’s mount at the back of the computer. The PSU does mount so that the cabling goes to the one side and the power cable the other.
THIS is where we find the one thing about the Skeleton I did not like. Cable management in this case is a BEAR! More of the high end power supplies today come with sheathing in place. While this looks good it makes the cables stiffer and harder to manipulate. The Skeleton is a very compact design and thus it is hard to move these cables around the way you might like. With the open nature of these case design and the fact it will be used as a show piece I am a bit surprised Antec did not work harder on making the cable management easier.
Now this is not to say that this case cannot be made to look clean, far from it, it just takes a lot of time a patience compared to other cases.
The case design allows for full ATX cases down to micro so it is versatile with motherboard fitting. The various cards you will add require you to remove a clear plastic cross bar and then put it back to provide the mounting screw for the cards. The open design should allow for larger cards to fit okay, I have put in a 4870×2, GTX 275, 5850 card all without clearance issues.
In fact I have only encountered one clearance problem and that is the CPU heatsink. In theory some of the larger heatsinks could be made to fit but in practice the stock heatsinks work best. It you are determined to go with an aftermarket heatsink look for ones with a top down fan design like the Orb series from Thermaltake to gain full advantage of the air flow the 250mm fan generates.
Almost forgot the complaint about dust and safety of components. Well first let me tell you that as silly as this may sound this is the best case I have found for keeping dust out of my PC. I have to clean filers on my Element G or Twelve Hundred case about once a month. The Skeleton can go as much as 4 months with no need for any cleaning of the components. (It has no filter) The reason for this is the same reason the case cools so well. The blast effect of the fan blowing down onto the PC is similar to that of an air spray to clean the PC> The result is the very air that is cooling the PC is carrying away the dust from the computer components. After extended use I can tell you I have never gotten the same level of dust build up that I get from standard PC cases.
As for component protect I can tell you that I have changed a few of my habits around the computer. First this design does not sit on the floor but rather on a shelve next to the desk, raising it out of reach of clumsy feet or the dogs. I have also switched which side of the desk I have my drinks on. Now in fairness any modern case with a blow hole is just as at risk to drop drink as this case in the right circumstances. As for little kids with fingers my 5 year old just looks at it, has never touched and the raised position puts it out of the reach of younger kids.
Now if you have read this and come away think I love this case, you are right, I do, sort of. You see while I love the way the case looks and functions I HATE the work needed to build it. The case is a wiring bear that only experienced builders will be able to handle before throwing up their hands in frustration.
The Antec Skeleton provides a great cooling and near dust free computing experience. It’s unique look is a conversation starter and unlike other truly unique designs this one is priced at a point many people can consider. If you want a smaller case these same design is available in a micro-ATX only build.
Oh before I forget there is the fun factor as well. The fan on the case comes with some great lighting options that can be switched with the touch of a button. Find the color or flash pattern to fit your mood or decor.
If you an experienced builder that wants a great case that will get people talking this is a super buy. For the less experienced builder I would suggest holding off or at least be aware that this will be more of a build effort than you might have expected.