Instructables

The SteamPad - The Tablet Computer of a past Future

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Welcome Steampunkers, dear friends and followers

Finally I finishes it! It was a lot of work, but the finished Steampunk Tablet was worth the dirty hands!

Let's have a look back to the beginning of this project. You all know the small simple plastic thing which people call the "iPad". It's a great little gadget and even I like the functionality of this flat "apple"...
But as a Steampunker, there are too many iPads out there - and they all are looking exactly same... I had a dream of a unique tablet, made with real materials like brass, copper and wood. I tried to imagine how a tablet computer was looking like by the end of the 19th century.
As I found a broken DELL Latitude D600 in the electronic junk yard it was very clear what I have to create now!!

The SteamPad - The Tablet Computer of a past Future

Step 1: The Parts and Materials, and the DELL Latitude D600

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The Steampad was created mainly with parts and materials from the junk yard and from the recycling place. The wood I used is from an old furnishure, the brass rings and fittings are from the scrap metal.
I used a budget of less than 20$ for the whole creation. The money I used for brass screws and for the varnish.

The DELL Latitude D600 was completely broken, the whole power system with the connectors and the battery was trash. The screen was hanging at the cables and the keyboard had a huge crack.

So the first thing was to strip the whole laptop. It's interesting to know, but even you removed the keyboard, the CD-Rom and all the unnececary parts the computer was still running. Because the battery system was broken I have to power the Steampad with 19V.
At the end of the stripping the laptop became very small...

Then I installed the new software and the Steampunk Theme with Rocketdock and Rainmeter. I did that first because I wanted to be sure, that this old laptop really works before I start to build the other parts...
 
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thechocolatist (author)  needsmoresteam1 year ago
Hi. Thanks for your comment and for the nice pic of your work. Looks awesome!! Very nice. As you may now, I only work with stuff from the junk yard, so I had no touchscreen panel at the moment... but if I find one, I now what I will do with it!!
Last year I helped clean out a barn that the previous owners had used to store left-over's from construction projects...I brought home a huge supply of 1/2" PVC fittings. What I lack in device skills starting out, I can make up for with an airbrush in the final stretch. Bikers used to say, "chrome won't get you home" but I'm convinced brass is the way to haul ass!
gab3iel1 year ago
Looks great! I was wondering what is the way you use to communicate with your SteamPad. I can't see a keyboard or mouse!
thechocolatist (author)  gab3iel1 year ago
Hi. Thanks for your comment. At the moment I use a normal mouse and a virtual keyboard in the same look as the iPad.
But I'm workimg on something very unique for the SteamPad: a leather glove with an integrated mouse laser....

It will be soon here at Instructable!
Brilliant idea! I haven't enough exposure in programming computers/electronics to even begin researching what it might require, but sure would try repeating it if you posted how to! Again, thanks for sharing; it's a godsend!
dpatterson135 months ago
Excellently executed; greatly inspiring! I have a heavily-abused a500-tablet that I've been needing to build a housing for but couldn't settle upon an inspiring theme. Everything gelled when I saw your work, thank you for sharing!
jarikcbol1 year ago
Very cool project. I was thinking how awesome it would be if you ran a USB extension inside that braided metal hose, and rigged it in the valve, then built a steampunk USB drive to plug into the valve. (and easy to reach USB ports are always a plus)
Cool touch!
thechocolatist (author)  jarikcbol1 year ago
Thanks for comment. A good idea. May I will do that..
keyguy131 year ago
Very cool build. It's not comparable to an ipad though as it's not touchscreen. An addition that would make this much better would be to add a leapmotion controller: www.leapmotion.com
I would have to disagree. It is comparable with an iPad, because it's a computer in the tablet form factor. Apple didn't invent the tablet computer, by the way.
Actually they did. Way back with the newton. Not trying to offend you, I just wouldn't compare it to an ipad. It is, however a very cool build of an "all in one" with a nice case...
I at least agree with you that it is a very cool build...the best looking tablet I've ever seen.
thechocolatist (author)  keyguy131 year ago
Hey, thanks for your idea. Wow, this controller would be really great. But as you may know: I create all my Steampunk devices from used and trashed material... but I'm very sure, in a while you can get such a stuff in the junk yard too... :-) I'm looking forward to that!
demon66661 year ago
Awesome. Great work buddy
bLiTzJoN1 year ago
Interesting addition would be to hook a belt to the handle at the top and allow the screen to be rotated to landscape or portrait.
thechocolatist (author)  bLiTzJoN1 year ago
Hi. Thanks for your feedback. That's an interesting upgrade. To rotate the screen would be comfortable...
Dude! That is Awesome! I've been thinking of making an "All-In-One" out of a Dell (my fav computer to "Play" with) Steam-Style. Now I'm afraid to try for insulting what you've done. WAY Cool!
thechocolatist (author)  your_dragon1131 year ago
Thanks Dude! Give it a try! Feels great when you finished it - because it's unique!! I'm looking forward...
Dear inventer colleague. I´m deeply impressed and admire this sofisticated example !
With my humble regards
Air Mechanic Fritz from FritzWorks
Dear Mr. Luftmechaniker Fritz
Your praise is a honor for me! I'm fascinated from your great work. Thank you very much!
dcastro21 year ago
Might consider a wooden keyboard? Or even one with mixed keys. Cool concept. I have a laptop I might try this with as well. Nice job. I am inspired. http://inhabitat.com/the-oree-board-is-a-wireless-wooden-computer-keyboard-that-mixes-tradition-with-technology/
thechocolatist (author)  dcastro21 year ago
Thank you for your interest. I checked out your link: great wooden keyboard. It's planned to create a Steampunk keyboard to use it for the desktop arrangement of the SteamPad...
Great work I really like how you stripped the non-essencials off the monitor to give it a raw look, it adds greatly to it's appeal.
thechocolatist (author)  longwinters1 year ago
Hi Longwinters. Thanks. It was the easiest way to create something like that... I like the raw look of Steampunk things... the "Sandwich Technique" is ideal for this kind of machines...
pantalone1 year ago
This is beautiful work, and very creative. I appreciate all of the good photos from various angles. I like to see pictures from lots of different angles, because it helps me to get a feel for how something is put together. Great work!
thechocolatist (author)  pantalone1 year ago
Thank you very much for your interest. Hope I could give you some inspiration!
Cool.