The collector with a special passionMarkus Schneider is a fan of collections. But it’s not the conventional items such as stamps, rare coins or autographs he seeks for: He is a collector of Shuttle XPCs in extraordinary designs!
In 2002 he fell in love with the so-called Small Form Factor (SFF) PCs. „A friend of mine brought along a SV24 from the US,“ remembers the 25 year-old fan of SFF PCs and adds: „I loved it right away and wanted one myself.“ Since these units are incredibly easy to carry, they’re well-suited for regular visitors of LAN-parties. Of course, performance deserves the same attention as mobility. For that reason the SV24 was equipped with a Pentium 3 processor with 1 GHz, a synonym for performance in those days. The only drawback was the PC’s noise level. „Those PCs were a bit too loud,“ remembers Markus Schneider and continues: „But this has clearly changed!“ So Schneider didn’t hesitate and bought a Shuttle XPC Barebone after he had come across the Tomb Raider collectors’ edition. „I just thought: Wow! I definitely want one of these,“ Markus Schneider describes his first impression. Just a short time later he became the owner of Shuttle’s first collector’s edition. Once he surfed the web and paid a visit to the Shuttle page, he discovered a Shuttle XPC Barebone featuring the popular NVIDIA characters „Dusk & Dawn“ that finally caused his passion for collecting limited special editions of Shuttle XPCs. „This was the reason when I decided to get a unit of each of these editions,“ says Markus Schneider. It’s five units in total each featuring one of these rare designs that Schneider owns today: Tomb Raider, Dusk & Dawn, Battlefield 1942, Need for Speed Underground and WCG 2005. Moreover, a „normal“ Shuttle XPC Barebone SD31P and a SB61G2 of the RefleXion series belong to his hardware equipment. Being asked for his favourite design, Schneider thinks twice: „It’s hard to name a favourite, since they’re all beautiful.“ After some minutes he concludes: „I really like the Need for Speed Underground Edition – a really impressive design.“
But wait. These collectors’ editions from Shuttle were never officially for sale. How did he manage to get one of these then? „I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you in order to keep the number of competitors down,“ explains Markus Schneider winking, but also hints: „Keep your fingers crossed and browse the web regulary.“ There isn’t anything else he reveals, since he wants to have a complete collection one day. The overall value of the number of Shuttle XPCs he possesses remains a secret as well: „Let’s not talk about money.“ As the most expensive unit he names the special edition of the World Cyber Games 2005. „I had to buy this PC as a fully-configured unit with both hard- and software in it right in the US. This unit is my pride and it came directly from New York where the National Finals took place.“ Most of the collectors’ editions he owns are just empty cases nowadays. He just kept the front and the case, while the interior components had been removed and sold. Those cases rest in empty boxes at the moment, since his appartment is currently being renovated. After this is done, the collectors’ editions by Shuttle are showcased in a glass cup board - their place of honour. „It’s just like collecting model cars,“ explains the fan of SFF PCs. But not all of his collectors’ units are retired yet, two of them do their daily job: „They’re too good for simply showcasing. Additionally, people should see them work.“ Next week Schneider expects another unit of a brand new collectors’ edition. Which one is it and where does it come from? „I won’t comment on this. It would bring bad luck and maybe it doesn’t work out at all.“