I believe it was from England (or possibly Germany). Sorry to hear you can't find it. It (quietly) rocks!
The clever name +1
I would answer 'not really' to development requiring a powerful graphics card. A lot of times in development, using a less powerful system for testing is better; to make sure your code works on all kinds of systems, especially less powerful ones. (Hence, it took me so long to build a new development system.)
'Development' is such a generic word. I've mastered over a dozen specific languages, and quite a lot more APIs. The developer's mindset is to keep on learning all the time. Enjoy!
That's tough to answer in a generic way. It really depends on what you'll be working on. Web vs. phone vs. PCs vs. MACs vs. business systems, and so on. Any particular area you're thinking about? That would help me answer the question.
There is also the issue of mounting stand-off screw holes that receive standard motherboard metal stand-off screws. In acrylic, this is typically done by welding a purpose-made receiver into the material (i.e., heat the metal stand-off and then insert it in an undersized hole, which then melts around the rough edge of the insert).
A simpler solution, such as I used, was to buy my own mechanical screw hardware and nylon washers/bushings/etc. HINT: leave a little slop in the motherboard mount holes (i.e., use a size larger drill bit), since it is easy to be a little off center on each hole, and if you have no room for movement, it can result in some screws not being able to align properly.
One could use cast acrylic, but it tends to be a brittle/unforgiving material, which needs much care in handling, drilling holes, cutting, polishing and such. (I would never use the cheaper extruded acrylic.) On the plus side, acrylic really can look nice, and is optically clear, transmiting light internally, where each edge tends to glow, if lit by LEDs, say. A frosted acrylic would really light up everywhere.
There are a multitude of materials that could be found if you go to a materials sourcing site. They often tell you the differences between them there. It just tends to cost more coming from a supply house, which is why I went with a cutting board.
I traced the old backplane's outline (and stand-off holes) onto the cutting board, then used a power jig saw to cut it out, and finally used a file, scraper and a small bit of heat to neaten up the edge. That cheaper type of plastic tends to melt a bit if the jig saw's blade gets hot. I just went slow and careful. It worked well for me.
The benefit is that I could make a neat, unique backplane for little outlay (less than USD$20). I used mechanical bolts, nylon spacers and washers to mount the motherboard to the backplane, instead of the normal metal stand-offs.
Fastidious! (Both the computer and your room.) Quite a step up from my first college computer...a Timex Sinclair.
+1 for retro case build, -1 for bad memories that old farts like me may have. Seriously, I'm thinking of putting my next build in an old oscilloscope case, with a fake screen that simulates the old tube display, but can also be used for graphic read-outs.
The answer depends on variables like ambient temperature, airflow, how hard the overclock, your CPU, etc. Generally speaking, I consider it fine for mild to middling OC, but I might go with a better air or liquid solution for heavy OC. This cooler is perfect for OC lite with a desire for quiet operation.
My old system took 10 minutes to rebuild my application. Now it takes 20 seconds! :) Newest CPU, plus threading, plus RAM, plus SSD equals developer happiness. Oh yeah, and it's totally silent.