Like any good hacker, Benjamin Heckendorn knows that the best way to pay homage to a beloved piece of gear-say, a classic Atari 2600-is to rip it apart and transform it into something else, preferably something portable, with wood grain. So when the sign shop he was working at got a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machine-an industrial device that cuts three-dimensional parts from solid blocks of metal or plastic-he used it to craft a custom-designed handheld case from two one-inch-thick slabs of acrylic. Then he stuffed in a 2.5-inch screen from a portable TV and the guts of an Atari 2600, which he´d chopped up and resoldered to make more compact. Powered by three AAs and a nine-volt, that first portable system came complete with a brightness switch, speakers, buttons from an
old Nintendo controller, and the signature faux-wood-grain trim.