My large cat has a fondness for napping on top of my closed notebook computer, and past computers have not fared well. My HP has a plastic cover and I could see it flex under the slightest pressure. A true ruggedized computer was beyond my budget but I needed to beef up my notebook. While I tossed around the idea of grabbing some sheet-metal and the welding tools to build the HP an armor case, I glanced around for a faster, simpler solution. And there it was, hanging on the garage wall… an old license plate. License plates are aluminum, so they are light-weight yet fairly rigid.
Step 1: What you need...
One computer in need of ruggedizing/aesthetic improvement. Pictured here: HP/Compaq NC2400 running Windows XP. The already defaced cover is plastic and flexes alarmingly every time my oversized (not overweight, he’s just plain BIG) cat decides to use it as a heated bed.
One license plate of your preferred state. If you don’t have one or two hanging on your garage wall, there are sites online selling retired plates from everywhere imaginable. This particular plate is a bit scuffed due to a run-in it had with a Subaru while attached to an old Mercury wagon, which gives it character and street cred.
One ruler for measuring your marks.
One Sharpie for marking your measurements.
One rubber mallet for tapping out Subaru inflicted dents as well as shaping plate to fit laptop.
One pair of needle-nose pliers for further shaping corners.
Eight 3M Command Strips for attaching plate to computer.