Technology is a wonderful thing. There is no denying that. However, leaning too much on specific ends of it too far greatly impacts other areas. As an example, I find a continuing commonality in the late teens to early twenties age bracket that I seal with. It would seem that somehow they have very little exposure to real world spatial relations that severely hinders their everyday problem solving. As an example, I recently had seven employees in this age range faced with a flat tire on a company vehicle. Each of them drives and owns their own vehicle. Between them, not a single one knew how to change a tire. This isn’t all that surprising, given today’s norm of having AAA or roadside assistance offered by your vehicle manufacturer. What is surprising is the fact that in two hours these seven people could not figure out how to do it, even with instructions included in the owner’s manual. This was not an exotic car, it was a Jeep Liberty, nor were they sandbagging it, since the sooner it got done, the sooner they could leave. This is a single example, but I am typically greeted with slack jawed, vacant expressions when something requiring these types of problem solving skills are involved.



One thing that would probably help is Tinker Toys. I know it sounds silly, but Tinker Toys are an incredible educational tool. Kids didn’t think of them that way when they were at the height of popularity, they thought of them as really cool toys. Somewhat like Legos with more extreme possibilities and flexibility. With Tinker Toys and a little imagination you could build and design just about anything, and have it come out functional. It is the ultimate tool to teach spatial relations and problem solving in real world conditions. Kids generally don’t do this any longer because iTinker iToys don’t run apps, and it is really a shame….but it does explain a lot of the really bad case designs I see. All is not lost, however. Every once in a while, a case comes through that lets you know that there are still some designers out there that get the concept of Tinker Toys and spatial relations.



The Silverstone TJ08-E is a small case that makes incredible use of the space given. Where most smaller form factor cases fall short, the Silverstone TJ08-E excels in fitting larger components into a case specifically made for m-ATX, ITX and DTX motherboards and cooling them all very well. Using a very unique inversed layout and single AP181 180mm fan, the TJ08-E can easily house GPUs up to 13.25” and CPU Coolers up to 165mm in height, all in a 210mm (W) x 374mm (H) x 385mm (D) chassis. In addition to merely fitting them, the TJ08-E offers supports for the CPU cooler to reduce motherboard strain, as well as GPU support for longer cards to prevent flex. The AP181 180mm Air Penetrator Series fan at the front is aligned perfectly with the CPU for incredible cooling potential, while the case’s positive pressure and dust filters at every intake keep the inside of the TJ08-E much less susceptible to unwanted dust. SSD mounting to the bottom of the case frees up the four drive HDD cage and one fixed 3.5” slot for larger drives. This unique mounting solution also allows for the HDD cage to be removed in what is becoming the more typical 1 SSD/1 HDD drive setup, which can increase working space. The TJ08-E also features an easily removable motherboard tray, which has a large, well placed opening for backplate access. There is ample room behind the tray for cable routing, and even a pocket to tuck in unused or longer cables. Mounting of the PSU is done from the top into a rail system that also offers room for storing unused cables. The TJ08-E is no slouch in the looks department, either, with a black brushed aluminum nose with two 5.25” and one 3.25” drive openings, and all black steel all around, including internal components.