View Full Version : Here's something you don't see every day

Jan 6, 2009, 09:49 AM
Start with an old SE.

Get rid of the interior bits.

Cut the top off.

Paint it.

That was fun, now do some more.

Hackity hackity.

Paint them too!

Now what?

Put plants in them.

They live!

Well, that's what I did with my weekend. :)

Jan 6, 2009, 09:51 AM
Wow.. cool spin on the Macquarium! You have a lot of time.:cool:

Jan 6, 2009, 10:14 AM
interesting. You could sell them now! where did you get all of those?

Jan 6, 2009, 10:29 AM
where did you get all of those?
In the early to mid 90s, I ran the service department for an Apple store and picked up quite a few that were abandoned there. Then in the late 90s and into 2000 I bought a whole lot of them on eBay. I think I've had over 100 total over the years.

This dozen I did over the weekend is the end of my supply. No more.

Jan 6, 2009, 03:54 PM
that's crazy

Jan 6, 2009, 04:54 PM
Very cute!

Jan 6, 2009, 04:59 PM
Blasphemy! (although I did like the Nano-chromatic variant!)

Jan 6, 2009, 06:42 PM
Wow... I have to say, that's pretty neat!
Nice job!

Jan 6, 2009, 07:12 PM
Thats awesome... kinda makes me want to do that.

hahaha :) :apple::apple:

Jan 6, 2009, 10:29 PM

Jan 6, 2009, 10:32 PM
Did you at least keep a few in tact?

Jan 7, 2009, 05:14 AM
Did you at least keep a few in tact?
Nope. In fact, the last one I cut up was the Mac Plus that I purchased for myself (for over $2000) in 1986.

Look at the bright side. I just made every other surviving classic Mac a little more rare.

Jan 7, 2009, 07:31 AM
well, i'm always thinking about getting an old Mac plus and put a Mac Mini in there with a LCD panel and a Huge HD and use it as a retro style Media center for Itunes.

If I just had the time.

Jan 7, 2009, 07:33 AM
Pretty cool.

I like the color idea.

Jan 7, 2009, 07:59 AM
That's a definite win.

Jan 7, 2009, 08:27 AM
OH man I really need two planters for my apartment. if I can only find a g3 or se like this to do that with I'm there in a heartbeat

thanks for the inspiration

Jan 7, 2009, 08:32 AM
Now introducing...the iPlanter!!!

Jan 14, 2009, 05:54 PM
Here's my parting shot for this project. I completed the baker's dozen of new planters and then turned around and refurbished the dozen I already had. Now all of them are nice and fresh and clean with new pictures from this past year.

Group shot. A few of these are leaving for new homes, so this is the last time to get a pic of this many.

And here's an OMGHUGE version of the same, in case anyone is interested in the details.


Jan 14, 2009, 05:59 PM

I am shocked as well, its a collector now... :(

Jan 14, 2009, 07:06 PM
I am shocked as well, its a collector now... :(

Dont worry i have one sitting around lol :p

Jan 14, 2009, 08:50 PM
What I loved more than the pictures or the concept was your captions!

Also, the orange one looks fantastic!

Very cool post. :) Nice work!

Jan 15, 2009, 06:38 AM
Coming next (although probably not soon) - conversions for a Performa 5xx, a pair of 1st gen iMacs, and a pair of Lisas.

I've also got an old Dell laptop that I started long ago to convert to an ant farm that I'd like to finish someday. Oh, and also a giant Gateway 2000 tower that I want to turn into a trash can.

Stay tuned!

Jan 15, 2009, 07:30 PM
Coming next (although probably not soon) - conversions for a Performa 5xx, a pair of 1st gen iMacs, and a pair of Lisas.

I've also got an old Dell laptop that I started long ago to convert to an ant farm that I'd like to finish someday. Oh, and also a giant Gateway 2000 tower that I want to turn into a trash can.

Stay tuned!

Keep atleast one LISA !!!!!!!!!!! If not im goingto have to kill u

Jan 15, 2009, 07:31 PM
That is very awesome! And I agree ... rip 'em all up and use them for something else!

Sep 30, 2009, 07:07 PM
I didn't think these new pics warranted their own new thread, so I'm reviving my old thread instead.

I've recently dug my airbrushes out of storage. After a 6 year vacation from them, I'm playing around and got some practice in on a couple of my planters. I thought they came out pretty good considering I'm not much of an artist and don't know a lot about airbrushing.

I picked out one whose color I didn't really like and splotched on some color.

Then I used a brush and filled in some details.

Next back to the airbrush and add shading and highlights.

And it's back in service on the lanai. The camera flash brought out the white shading way more than it appears in natural light. I was pretty happy with it.

Then I picked up a black planter and started painting. Here is the finished result.

Other side.

Back to work.

It was really a lot of fun and I've got about 18 of these planters left so I'm sure there will be a couple more every weekend for the next few weeks. :)


Sep 30, 2009, 07:10 PM
finally, a Mac worth owning :cool: nice idea and thanks for sharing

Sep 30, 2009, 09:30 PM
I am shocked as well, its a collector now... :(

Glad i still got mine then!

Oct 2, 2009, 02:29 AM
novel use for a old computer haha the airbrushing romps :D nice work :D

Oct 2, 2009, 03:03 AM
What he said.

Oct 2, 2009, 11:37 AM
Those. Are. Awesome! :eek:

Unspoken Demise
Oct 2, 2009, 11:43 AM
You're very talanted. I loved the "drag queens for obama/ biden" flower air brush. Keep up the stellar work!

Oct 2, 2009, 12:57 PM
Every post the OP has made since joining has made my day:)

Oct 2, 2009, 04:46 PM
Here's today's work.

What I started with.

Mask off the areas I don't want painted and lay on some color.

Add the black.

Add the white.

A splash of pink and yellow and it's done!

Back side.

Back to its spot.

More to come!

Jul 6, 2010, 08:18 PM
Freaking flames. I watch other people do them and it looks so easy. Anyway, these were good enough to not get repainted a solid color immediately. I shall keep trying.

This was my first one. It's actually kinda pretty, but not the true fire effect I was going for.


Try try again. Still not there.

Trying again, on a mailbox this time. Getting closer, but still disappointing.

I've got another practice mailbox so I think I'll sand it down and try a variation of this theme on it.

More to come!?!?

Jul 6, 2010, 08:35 PM
Nice work! While I wouldn't care to put my plants in those crazy designs, they're interesting and well done nonetheless. :)

Jul 7, 2010, 03:43 AM
I quite like the flame one! You're very good at painting them too!

I'd love to turn an old Lisa or Mac II etc. into a powerhouse! If only I had the time.

Jul 7, 2010, 03:56 AM
Wow, those are fantastic! What a brilliant idea! Skills, you have them.

Jul 7, 2010, 01:44 PM
lol. Do people buy these? It's great to look at, but I wouldn't know what to do with them! :p

Jul 7, 2010, 02:00 PM
ehh not a fan.. good work and great creativity though. Im sure a lot of people would like them

Jul 7, 2010, 05:26 PM
lol. Do people buy these? It's great to look at, but I wouldn't know what to do with them! :p

I've had offers, but am not interested. It's all for fun. I've given quite a few away.

Jul 7, 2010, 06:12 PM
Neat idea! I love the solid pink one, haha.

Jul 7, 2010, 08:21 PM
Heh, that's pretty sweet. Great idea turning those old Macs into planters. Not sure if I like this or the Mac aquarium better.

Knowlege Bomb
Jul 8, 2010, 07:27 AM
Wow!! I'm really impressed by your airbrushing skills. It's certainly not as easy as it looks.

I wish I could find my artistic side again. My spare time has been consumed by tinkering with electronics for far too long.

Jan 8, 2012, 03:53 PM
Posting here since it features several of the planters and a brief cameo by my iPad and old MacBook Pro at the end.

40 seconds of something you don't see every day, created by me this afternoon with the aid of my iPhone and several cheap light beers. :D


Mar 11, 2012, 03:09 PM
How about a "Rainbow Smear" unicorn shirt? :)

Patterned after this (http://mlkshk.com/r/DFA0).

ETA: Gonna try it again with 3 unicorns. :D

Mar 11, 2012, 06:38 PM
How about a "Rainbow Smear" unicorn shirt? :)
Image (http://techquarium.com/gallery2z/d/43970-2/DSC_9767.jpg)

Patterned after this (http://mlkshk.com/r/DFA0).

ETA: Gonna try it again with 3 unicorns. :D

I never laughed so hard at a t-shirt ever before. HAHA. :p

Mar 11, 2012, 07:09 PM
Nice! Very well done. Keep 'em coming.

And whoever is downvoting your photos is a dumbass.

Mar 12, 2012, 05:18 AM
Very nice post....thanks for sharing with us

Mar 12, 2012, 07:10 AM
Hmmm....I have a working Mac SE sitting in the corner of my office. I wonder what a collector would pay for it.....hmmmmmm.....


Apr 7, 2012, 08:11 AM
My first try at pregnant tummy painting. :)

Apr 7, 2012, 08:22 AM
How about a "Rainbow Smear" unicorn shirt? :)
Image (http://techquarium.com/gallery2z/d/43970-2/DSC_9767.jpg)

Patterned after this (http://mlkshk.com/r/DFA0).

ETA: Gonna try it again with 3 unicorns. :D

This is THE most awesome t-shirt I've ever seen! :)

Apr 15, 2012, 02:30 PM
Doodling on yet another mailbox this fine afternoon.


Paul Graham
Jul 13, 2012, 05:51 AM
Awesome way to re-use these cases and sick airbrushing skills dude!
No doubt my comment will get a down vote as it seems every positive comment about your work and your posts themselves have been getting voted down.:roll eyes:

God knows why lol:confused::D

Nov 18, 2012, 01:25 PM
Painted up a new planter this weekend.



This old Mac was an unusual beast. For those not familiar, the HyperDrive was an internal hard drive that clipped directly to the 68000 processor. It was blazing fast compared to Apple's external HD at the time and insanely expensive. As I recall, that hard drive cost about the same as the computer itself (~$2500). :eek:

Nov 18, 2012, 02:28 PM
How do you water the plants? :confused:

Nov 18, 2012, 02:35 PM
^^ With a milk jug full of water. Just pour it in like you would with any planter.

Nov 18, 2012, 03:06 PM
Very nice.

Dec 4, 2012, 06:53 PM
i think i saw these in a MacLife article....
Darn, i cant find the issue

Mr. Retrofire
Dec 4, 2012, 07:27 PM
Good work!

that's crazy

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world,
Are the ones who do.

Btw, here is an extended version (from the Apple Headquarters):


Dec 22, 2012, 04:30 PM
Every year in December I clean up all the planters, repair them as needed, and print new pictures to go in each. I also repot and trim the plants and add new ones as needed.

Anyway, all done for this year. It's interesting to watch those early paint jobs. Some are fading pretty badly. I'm learning as the years go by that nothing lasts for long against the Florida sun.

Here's this year's lineup. I have 21 planters here at home and 1 more on my desk at work.


I still have a couple Lisa/Mac XL cases and a Performa LC5xx case that I want to get around to doing something with. Maybe 2013 will be the year!

Oh, and here's something you don't see every day. It's cold today so I dug in my closet for some warm clothes and came out with this vintage gem. Merry Christmas!

Dec 22, 2012, 06:08 PM
HAHA so creative.
I want a custom mailbox!

Jul 26, 2013, 06:09 AM
I've been scanning old photographs.

I tried several times to make an iMacquarium and failed. I wasn't happy with a rectangle tank but couldn't figure out how to make a shaped tank. I spent good money on that iMac, too.

My very first Macquarium. No filter, no lights, no easy way to access the tank (top not cut off case). But, it was hella stout, I've still got it and no doubt it would still hold water.

One of the last tanks I built. Much improved design from the first. Room for a filter, designed for a light, holds almost twice the water of the first design.

These were the last 3 I built, late 1999 or early 2000. I wonder if any of the approx 50 tanks I built are still in use.

This was my first tank. An Apple 2 page monochrome monitor. I was working at an Apple store and we kept this on display out front.

Here's my first Lisaquarium with the front & top removed. This was the perfect form-factor for a computer aquarium.

Lisaquarium #2.

And lastly, the old hex tank, still one of my favs. Holds a nice amount of water but the light in a tube scares me. I never had a tank break, but this was the one I worried about.

That's it, maybe more to come. I'm hoping to find some pictures of my Mac TV aquarium but they may be lost forever.