A different kind of upgrading

When Robert Hopp installs neon lights or a Plexiglas window to his personal computer, he says the PC is “pimped out.”

Don’t snicker. It’s a catchy phrase among computer afficionados such as Hopp, who spice up PCs. At 6:30 tonight, Hopp will offer tips on “pimping out” a computer case in Room 313 of Engineering Building II.

“It’s easy,” Hopp said. “All you need is confidence.”

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), of which Hopp is a part, is sponsoring a month-long case-modifying workshop, which is free to attend.Civil engineering student Anne Gercken said she received an e-mail about the workshop on Tuesday and wants to know more case-modifying tricks.

“Specifically, I want to learn how to (install) Plexiglas windows inside the case, because I already know how to add the different lighting effects,” Gercken said.

But case modification isn’t for everyone. Mechanical engineering student Hassan Syed has no interest. Instead, the 21-year-old said practicing with his rock band would be a better idea.

“As long as I can type my paper on it, I don’t care about pimping my computer,” Syed said.

But even if Hopp doesn’t get a full-house crowd tonight, he’ll still be content.

“People who come would be interested in computers,” he said. “It’s just like people who add rims or neon lights to their cars.”

Workshop attendees will work on donated computer cases and equipment from computer component manufacturers such as Antec, Cooler Master and NVIDIA, Hopp said. ACM received about $1,500 to $2,000 worth of equipment for the workshops.

Hopp also said ACM plans to show the audience tips such as how to better organize the jumble of wires inside a computer or how to install extra fans or water pumps to reduce the computer heat.

“The main enemy of a computer is heat,” Hobb said. “The hotter it gets inside, the slower it performs.”

For more information about tonight’s workshop, contact Hopp at rahopp@mail.usf.edu.