OutletPC had the opportunity to talk to Bill Owen, Owner of MNPCTech.com. Bill and MNPCTech customize and mod computer cases for businesses and individuals, built with Bill’s expertise as well as his own personal twist and style. Bill has built cases modeled after the popular Joss Whedon show Firefly, Doctor Who, Medal of Honor, Star Trek, Battlefield 3, and Wolfenstein. Bill’s a really interesting guy and we’re really, really glad we got the chance to sit down with him. He even wore an OutletPC shirt in one of his latest videos!
Check out what Bill had to say after the break.
OUTLETPC BLOG: What services do you offer at MNPCTech, and what sort of clientele do you cater toward?
BILL OWEN: I started out customizing cases for private parties in 2001, but cater primarily to commercial clients today. The majority of the PCs I’ve built are used for giveaways, trade shows or marketing hardware or games.
O.P.C.: How much do your cases usually cost? How is that cost determined?
B.O.: Each case mod is different, so I don’t have a price list. The cost of custom case will depend on complexity of the work involved. Costs have ranged from $1,500 – $30,000.
O.P.C.: How long do your custom cases take to build?
B.O.: Turnaround time will depend upon the complexity. The largest amount of time I’ve invested was two hundred hours on a build in 2006.
O.P.C.: You come across a new surplus store, thrift store or junkyard. What things are you immediately on the lookout for?
B.O.: I love old Industrial equipment, switches, lights, car and motorcycle parts, old PC cases, and any old electronics.
O.P.C.: How many mods do you do per month? How many are you working on at any given time?
B.O.: Most of the projects I do will take longer than a month, but I try to keep commitments limited to four different builds at a time.
O.P.C.: Why did you start making custom case mods?
B.O.: It’s a lot of fun! You will learn many skills and techniques.
O.P.C.: What’s your favorite mod you’ve ever built?
B.O.: The “Shiny PC” I built for Corsair’s booth at 2012 CES. It was a tribute to the “Firefly” series. I love creating things that look they were used.
O.P.C.: Do you consider modding more of a hobby, or an art form?
B.O.: It’s a hobby with a subculture of artists online. Case modding derived from the need to modify your old case to improve your PC’s performance. The most popular modifications over the past decade have been installing larger fans, lighting or fitting radiators for liquid cooling. It’s grown into mainstream hobby of personalizing your case with custom paint and aesthetic modifications inside and out.
O.P.C.: What would you say to someone who may want to start PC modding and doesn’t know where to begin?
B.O.: I co-host a Modding Podcast with my friends, Kyle, EEL, and Cheaps. We named it the “The Mod Zoo” and discuss everything from the basics to pro-level tips. We also invite listeners to submit their Modding Questions and share their own projects in our community forums.