How To: Build a mini-itx point of sale PC

So recently at work I’ve been building a stack of these mini itx PC’s for our clients who use them as point of sales machines. They’re small, but the new Intel motherboards are very fast and supportive. I built one with 8GB of RAM and an i7 processor just last week. Not bad for such a small box!

Step 1:

Gather all of your pieces you’re using to build with. Here is a list of our specs:

  • Intel DH61DL Mini ITX motherboard
  • FortuneTec KA-8k01 case with 200W PSU
  • 2x 2GB DDR3 1333mhz Team Elite RAM
  • 500GB 7200rpm Seagate SATAII HDD
  • LG Slim DVD/RW
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Step 2:

Collect the tools you need. Normal size screwdriver, little screwdriver, wire cutters, knife, cable ties, and a fastener.

Step 3:

Un-box your case and remove the cover.

Step 4:

Unscrew and remove the bracket that holds the hard drive and dvd drive.

Step 5:

Fit the backing plate for the motherboard. Make sure you clip all the edges in.

Step 6:

Screw down the motherboard. This Intel is held down by 4 screws.

Step 7:

Plug in the case light and power switches. The Intel motherboard has a diagram of what order these should be in.

Step 8:

Plug in the main motherboard power and front port USB connector. Don’t worry about tidyness yet, we’ll get to that.

Step 9:

Stick the fastener somewhere suitable and cable tie all of the cords out of the way. Keep them as low as possible as the hard drive will be sitting on top of them.

Step 10:

Screw the hard drive to the holding bracket

Step 11:

Screw your mini DVD drive to the bracket. Be careful, these screws are tiny and hard to replace. Try not to lose them 🙂

Step 12:

Screw the bracket back into the case. Make sure the DVD drive is lined up with the hole correctly to avoid case damage.

Step 13:

Slow in your RAM. Be sure it’s in properly and the correct way.

Step 14:

Plug in the mini DVD sata / power cable.

Step 15:

Plug in your hard drive to sata and power. I ran this one around the back to keep it neat.

Step 16:

Place your CPU in the socket. Ensure it’s facing the right way. You can usually tell via the notches in the side of them.

Step 17:

Clip on the CPU cooler / heatsink and plug in the fan.Step 18:

Plug it all in and turn it on, keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t blow up 🙂

Step 19:

Reward yourself to a refreshing beverage for some great work.. Just don’t spill it in your newly finished project.


I realize this guide isn’t very in-depth, but it gives a basic outline of how to go about cable management and installing non-regular PC components. These little machines can be very fast for such a small amount of space, and work great as point of sales machines.

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How to: Bypass a laptop wireless switch

It’s happened to me multiple times at work, a client brings me a laptop saying their wireless isn’t working and it turns out to be the hardware switch for the wireless card on the laptop. You can fix these, but with a lot of new laptops, they are done through a circuit board, and for me it seems a bit excessive to be pulling apart half the laptop and re-soldering or potentially replacing the old circuit board.

If the laptop is using a mini-pci-e wireless adapter (Pretty much industry standards these days) then there is this neat little trick to automatically bypass the switch and keep the wireless card turned on.

If you place a small piece of tape over pin #20, it will completely bypass the laptops on/off switch.
Pin #20 is the second pin after the notch on the side with more notches, on the under side. (Side without antenna plugs)
Make sure your tape is only covering the correct pin and not others. Use electrical tape and not “sticky” tape. It is pretty hard to hard to cut such a small size, but definitely possible!

Installing MXIE on Ubuntu 10.10 Linux

February 16, 2011 14 comments

Well, I set up MXIE on Ubuntu at work a few months ago and couldn’t remember finding a guide on how to do it, so here it goes.

Step 1.
Browse to your MXIE server and download the .RPM package.

Step 2.
Open up a terminal, you will need to install the libc++5 library for MXIE to run.

sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

Step 3.
Install alien to convert the .rpm package to a .deb installer package.

sudo apt-get install alien

Step 4.
Convert the .rpm to a .deb package

cd /home/user/Downloads
sudo alien mxie-3.0.18-0.i386.rpm

Step 5.
Depackage the .deb generated by alien

sudo dpkg -i mxie-3.0.18-1_i386.deb

Step 6.
Type mxie in a terminal to launch!

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