Hey there, I’m Kathleen and I want to share my fun journey building a PC Briefcase. I have no formal education in technology as I didn’t study information technology at school so I apologies in advance if my terminologies may be incorrect or my guidelines are not structured (I will do a better job next time, ha!).
However, I’m happy to share that since I was a little kid, I spent a lot of time playing video games at home. Technically speaking, I had my first lesson on a computer at grade school and did well in class. From there I realized technology is a way of life, unfortunately, I didn’t pursue a technology course in college because I was more interested in science and law.
Okay, that’s another story.
The reason why I want to build a PC briefcase because I am used to Windows and 21” monitor at my home office. I have a fiber (1 Gbps) and all the gadgets that I need to do my work. It was the sweetest days of my life in Singapore until I took my startup career to the next level and I need to be flexible when I travel for work hence, I have no choice but to buy a laptop.
I dislike the laptop because the processor is slow and I dislike carrying it.
I put my CPU and other old gadgets in the storeroom since I am no longer using it and I need space in my small apartment. One day I realized I need to get rid of my stuff in the storage room because soon I will relocate to Ireland (ha! Now you know where I want to live!) and I’ve thought I need to remove some of my “junks”. In the process of cleaning my home, I saw an old box with a label “do not touch you will be dead” and I laughed at my own joke because I knew what is inside – it’s my old computer parts and some hard drives! I have a bunch of old computers/parts in the storage room and I’ve thought I could have used some of it but I didn’t want to assemble again my PC and tear it apart.
Then I had an aha moment that maybe I can make a PC briefcase.
Here are the basic and realistic guidelines. If I forget anything, dude just Google it!
- First, you will need a briefcase. The size is up to you but I suggest to get a big one because that’s where you will store your computer parts. Since I don’t have an old briefcase, I purchased on Aliexpress.com.
- You need a Mobo placement to set everything to mockup where you can put your stuff.
- Zalman, a low profile CPU cooler. Alternatively, you can also get a heat sink. Nope, ventilation is not good enough because PC takes a lot of heat.
- Antenna for wi-fi.
- Basic tools like screwdrivers, pliers, craft knife, box knife, a fine pencil, glue gun, drill with a metal step-up bit, 3 RGD LED’s speakers (optional).
- Testing connections because you will plug all the cables, electric drill and install some parts.
- Audio ports visible, USB, Intel brackets, spider drive, twist tie, mounted below PSU, and basically all the parts from your CPU.
Here are the other basic and realistic preparation you need:
- Patience and a lot of it because you will never get it done right in the first attempt. Haha! 😂
- Decline all social invitations or possible dates. Yup, you read it right because to build a PC briefcase is definitely time-consuming.
- Meal-prep because you won’t have time to cook whilst you are in the process of building your briefcase. I’m just lucky I have a helper in Singapore and she knows what to cook for the entire week.
- Sneakers bars because you will need sweet and brain food! Haha! But watch your calories you wouldn’t want to gain weight in two weeks.
- Lastly, download all the bad rap ass songs you want on Spotify and get the party started!
Since I ordered some tools and computer parts from Aliexpress.com it took a while before I received it all in Singapore. Whilst waiting for all the items to arrive I opened the CPU.
How much it cost? Depends on what you will need. In my case, just less than $300 because I have the old parts of the CPU.
Before I ordered the briefcase I measured the space where I will install the motherboard and parts. I got bored halfway so I played the BFV. lol
Then I started putting all parts together in the briefcase (see the instructions below).
First, you need an empty briefcase and be sure to remove all the padding or whatever is inside your briefcase.
Then take the PC you intend to install in your briefcase and remove all hardware you want to use from its original case.
Take out the power supply, hard drive, and motherboard.
Next step is to rest because to tear apart of CPU can take an hour or so, if you are an amateur like me. Haha!
The next day after work, make a good excuse to your friends that you don’t want to have drinks with any of them after office hours. Book a Grab home and have a quick dinner!
Spend your night to take all of the components you will be using and place them in a briefcase. Don’t forget to play the songs of Post Malone, G-Eazy, Eminem, Cardi B or Nicki Minaj because their songs will give you the drive to push forward. Remember rap music is all about motivation, hustle, getting things done even it is means you have no partner in life. #TrueStory.
Expect you will be confused so inhale and exhale. Tips: Check your WhatsApp from time to time just in case the bae is checking on you and you haven’t replied for hours. You wouldn’t want to look suspicious that you are “on a date with someone” when in fact, you are busy building your PC briefcase. Again focus is the key here and hence communication with your loved ones is important so there will be no unnecessary drama or worries that you are “missing”.
Then back to work.
Place the motherboard in the front right section so you can have room to connect things in the back of the board and also to have a large space for other parts.
You will need to drill holes in your briefcase to mount your components.
The Power Supply is important here for better ventilation and also to make it easier to mount. I used fan ventilation and heat sink. Please be warned that power supply contains components that are operating at very high voltage. Please be careful and don’t assume to assemble a briefcase is easy. If you don’t know what you are doing don’t do it!
Mount the motherboard. Place it where you want to put in the briefcase.
Hard drive – I mount my hard drive to the middle right side because it fits well and I have enough space. Also because at first few nights I didn’t know what I was doing. LOL
Additional hardware: You need extra USB ports, audio ports, Power LED, Power Button and basically all the parts from your CPU.
Power Button and Ethernet port are easy to install.
After you put all the parts together it is time to mount the screen.
I purchased a small screen because I couldn’t find a large size but the small monitor is fine because monitors have a standard mounting plate on the back.
Make all the connection of your components together.
Then add the keyboard you want to use. I got a new keyboard and it has colourful lights. It looks cool.
Once you install the monitor compile the files from your hard drive and test it. Be patient because you will not make it perfectly done on the first night. Once the monitor is working well, it’s pretty much done and it’s time to congratulate yourself because you will feel awesome!
I am using Windows but I am thinking to use Linux soon…but that will be another project if I have time.
Once you’re done in your PC briefcase don’t forget to share it with the bae. If he is not impressed, he or she doesn’t love you much. LOL
When my hands are tired I chill on the balcony at night. I love the quiet evening at 11.30pm I have the fancy time to process my thoughts. That’s also the time I realized I haven’t replied to J’s messages for hours. haha!
Finally, I enjoy a glass or two of fresh Australian milk before night night. In a way, it is my reward for myself.
My bedroom is soooooo pink and I love it. I have a batman pillow because growing up as a kid I love Batman movies in the ’90s. He is into gadgets, he is quite, witty, and doesn’t have a family. In a way, I can relate to Batman’s story except that I’m not rich. haha.
I tested the monitor if it is working and also I checked the temperature.
My helper Sumi cooked delicious meals at home. If I have leftovers, I eat it for lunch. I love well-balanced meals.
If you are a chic and you are techy and vain at the same time, I advise having a trip to the salon because to build your PC briefcase your fingers will be very dry. Also, don’t get gel nails because you will break it when you drill holes and connect the USBs and ports.
Lastly, don’t forget to shower and still look after yourself because the goal is not to look like a dude in a caveman island…the goal is to have fun!
The next morning, I teared up the parts again because fan ventilation is not good enough. I installed the heat sink.
After a few days, I realized my specs are broken and I can barely see. lol My eyes grade is 180 (despite after Lasik in 2006). I went to optical to get new specs so currently, I am wearing dark brown lens. I like it because it feels comfy. 😊
Though it is not yet done I am enjoying the process. I spent my evenings at home having my meals whilst fixing the PC briefcase. It looks lonely but I actually enjoy what I do. I wish I can bring the PC briefcase when I relocate. I can imagine playing BFV whilst my dog is chilling next to me or whilst I am waiting for J to come home from work.
I talked to J on a daily basis and I am so happy we are working things out together knowing that I am stubborn, self-centered and not easy to be with, haha! Working in a startup, doing my projects, meeting the girlfriends and working out at the gym are my platforms to enjoy my stay in Singapore.
When the project is done… oh, boy it feels great! Though it is not 100% complete I’m happy for the result of phase 4 design.
At night I watch my favourite TV series, #Billions and Bobby of Axe Capital is my favourite character. I like that he is smart, he knows what’s up and he is ahead of the game. I learned from Bobby that “you have to be brave enough to lose everything before you will gain more and be successful in life. Nothing comes for free.”
I am so happy when the PC is working. Press play to watch the short videos.
P.S. my song choice is always impolite. haha! Be warned!
To J, I love you and as cheesy as it sounds I can’t wait to build
another PC briefcase with you my dreams around you. Let’s have fun this year and for the years to come! xo
If you want to see the final phase check it out here.