7/30/14

My $752.64 cup of coffee

The current record for the most expensive cup of Starbucks coffee is $55 for a "Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino." If you aren't into Starbucks coffee you could pay $635 per pound for a bag of Kop Luwak coffee. The beans are collected from the feces of Civets after they are force fed coffee berries (Yuck!). But both of those pale in comparison to my $752.64 cup of coffee. And I didn't even get to drink it.



Like many of you coffee fiends out there I'm sure you love a nice hot cup of coffee while you check your morning email or browse the web. I do too. But if you aren't careful, a moments inattention can cause you to spill it. That's what I did. Not a big deal really. It's just a cup of coffee. But when any liquid is near your lap, especially hot liquid, you tend to jump back a bit. I did that too until I noticed that the brown flood of coffee was spreading and it was heading directly toward my new MacPro even though the Mac was a good 2 feet from the site of the spill.

Did you know that some of the most touted features of the of the Late 2013 MacPro are it's thermal core, quiet operation and new fan design? A single fan sits at the top of the Mac and draws air up from the base to cool the thermal core thus drawing the heat up and away from the electronics. As I watched the tsunami of coffee head toward my Mac I found out just how powerful that quiet fan was.

Like an over powered Suck-O-Lux vacuum the Mac pulled in the coffee where it disappeared inside.  I lunged forward to yank out the power cord but before I could get to it I heard a pop, my screen went dark and my heart hit my stomach. A trip to the Apple Store for repairs and over $750 later I had my Mac back. I vowed that this would NOT happen to me again.

During the week and half repair I thought about the accident and what I wanted to do to prevent any recurrences. The new MacPro is gorgeous machine. It should be on display. It's small, fits perfectly on your desk and I really wanted to keep it there. After thinking about it I decided that what I really needed to do was to get the Mac up off the table and away from any future spills. So, like many dedicated Mac fanboys, I decided to put my Mac on a pedestal, literally.

A couple of sketches later and knew I was on to something. I wish I had the skill and tools to make my pedestal out of anodized aluminum but I'm an amateur woodworker so I made it out of wood. I worked through several iterations of drawings to get it just right and even added a built-in slot for a USB 3.0 hub. I added a nice ebony finish it to match the black of the MacPro and I was done.


Here's the finished product


It's hard to tell in the photo but the Mac sits in a circular depression that I routed out on the top of the pedestal. Being an aerodynamicist by degree I knew that the airflow was critical so I made sure to round over the lip of the depression so as not to impede the airflow.



All in all I think it looks good, works well and will hopefully protect me from any future spills. If I were to do it over again there are a few improvements I would make in the design and manufacture but for now I'm happy.



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