we wanted to PUT things where you could reach them

The next re-think was regarding access.  In typical AIO's all of the connectors and components are housed together - hardwired to the motherboard.  Unfortunately for the user,  the motherboard inevitably sits behind the screen.  That means if you want to plug something in or burn a CD or something, you have to stand up and reach behind the screen get the job done.  It's tedious, and strictly a product of engineering efficiency taking priority over user experience.  The original MODO concept accepted this as a constraint, but over time it became clear that we had to make this experience better.   Once again, the solution was to take advantage of smaller, more efficient mobile components to move all of the important access stuff to the base.   It wasn't easy, but Tim Nguyen figured out how to wire and cable a 9.6mm BluRay ODD and IO board in a way that worked wonderfully and still preserved a magically thin base.