anyone ever build a mac from scratch?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by codycartoon, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. codycartoon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    #1
    i am wondering if any has ever built a mac from scratch(succusfully). Like by buying a motherboard on ebay and adding a hardrve and everything. I think that sounds really fun and i have some money to burn plus im taking a hardwhare class whitch we took apart and put back together a power mac g4.
    thanks
    -cody
     
  2. SilvorX macrumors 68000

    SilvorX

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    'Toba, Canada
    #2
    there probably has been times when realllllllly smart mac users have, but they would have to really carefully select the right mobo/processor/etc
     
  3. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Location:
    State of Denial
    #3
    In theory it's possible

    ... and I even spec'd a G4 (didn't have the money to buy the parts), but in the end I only found that it would save me a few hundred, certainly no more than 500. The problem is that mobos and processors, unlike everything else on eBay, are somewhat of rarities, and it drives their price up higher than retail value, but you can't really buy the motherboards and processors retail at all. Other than that, the savings still are not that great, especially on the case, and, if you want one, a combo drive.
     
  4. phillymjs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #4
    Sort of...

    A couple years ago, I bought a 7200 on eBay for dirt cheap, also a 7600 logic board and G3 processor card, and put it all in. Sold the 7200 guts on eBay. I also added a USB card, IDE card and hard drive, 10/100 card, etc.

    That machine has run like a champ ever since. It's my X10 server, controlling the lights in my home, among other things.

    ~Philly
     
  5. DavPeanut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
    #5
    How do you get it to do that

    Also, I am taking a computer maintanance class in my high school, though I'm the only freshman, and I still know the most even though i don't use PCs, and my high school is one of the best in the nation. Anyways, Its easy to make the coputer, Its just hard to get the parts with Macs. Hard drives are easy, and so is RAM, but the mother board and proccessors are not sold anywhere. The case is also a problem. I've taken apart my iMac, and I've want to get another old mac to mess with (my family always gives away old computers, rather than selving them)
     
  6. codycartoon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    #6
    i will build case from scratch

    to cut the cost down even more i will make my own case(im taking an art class and a metal works class also). then all u need ta add to it is a powersuply. If any one is selling or has seen a powermac G4 or G3 mother board with the chip in it tell me and i would be happy to work out a deal.
    thanks for all the responces
    -cody
     
  7. phillymjs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #7
    Good question. One word answer:

    XTension.

    XTension is an application that lets the Mac communicate with/control X10 devices. It is highly configurable as well as AppleScriptable, so you can pretty much do anything you can dream up. There is quite a vibrant community of users of this product, and a very active mailing list where we support each other and swap ideas. The author of the app is the 'list mom,' and a very frequent contributor.

    Here's more of what my setup does:

    When I get into bed at night, I hit one button to put the house in "Sleep" mode. It turns off all the lights and is ready to alert me if any motion is detected near the entrances to my house.

    I'm working on a web interface for the house, using x2web, which lets you embed AppleScript into HTML pages. I bought two 3Com Audrey units when they were being blown out for $90 each, to use as touchscreen control panels for the system's web interface.

    I've been working on giving the computer control of as much as possible. I spent a few weeks creating, with HTML, AppleScript and JavaScript, an alarm clock. I can punch in my desired wake-up time on a numeric keypad on the Audrey's screen. When wake-up time arrives, the stereo comes on, low volume at first and getting progressively louder every few seconds until I wake up and hit the "Okay, okay, I'm awake!" button.

    I also use a modem that supports Caller ID, and run MacCallerID, which is AppleScriptable and lets me create a web page on-the-fly that will show me the list of people who have called my house during the day. When the phone rings, the computer also verbally announces who is calling via wireless speakers I have scattered around the house. It also mutes the TV/stereo if it is on, sending IR commands via the Zephir.

    Using X10 motion detectors, I also built some security functions into the setup. When the house is in "Away" mode and a motion detector is tripped, an email message is sent to my cell phone.

    Finally, I also have a few different means to get in my house on the rare occasion when I accidentally lock myself out. If I have my iBook with me, I can connect to the server via AirPort from outside my house and trigger a means to get back in. I can also send an email from my phone that will cause the same thing to happen. If I'm stuck without my iBook or my phone, I can walk to the payphone nearest my house and call a one of a few trusted people who can access a special page of the web interface to trigger my means of entry.

    Finally, in the spring I'll be putting a new HVAC system in my house, and I will have an X10-friendly thermostat installed so I'll be able to control and monitor the heating and cooling from anywhere.

    I've done some other cool stuff, but I'm tired of typing at this point. :)

    ~Philly
     
  8. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    #8
    wow, thats rele nifty. Can u put the clapper on that thing?? LOL.
    Well, seriously, thats almost the coolest thing ive ever seen done by a computer. Tell us of more creative stuff u came up w/ when it comes up.
     
  9. codycartoon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    #9
    WOW PHILLY

    that is amazing how mutch did that cost? and please list the other cool stuff you did!
    thanks
    -cody
     
  10. Choppaface macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Location:
    SFBA
    #10
    O_O_O_O

    wow nice setup! now all you need is to get some sort of viavoice thing working and chat with it :D :D
     
  11. phillymjs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #11
    Re: WOW PHILLY

    XTension costs $80, but is a free download at first and will work indefinitely in a limited fashion (I think you can control up to 6 modules) until you register it. A starter kit of X10 modules (a couple lamp modules, the computer interface, a Mac serial cable adapter, and possible a universal remote) costs less than $100, IIRC. It's been years since I bought mine. If you don't want to do a lot of demanding stuff, you can just pick up an old SE/30 or something to run the house. A lot of people use that. But if the whiz-bang stuff I described in my previous post makes your mouth water, get a PPC machine from the get-go.

    I couldn't tell you how much I've spent on this system total. It's kinda like crack. You start off slow with just a few modules, see how cool and convenient it is, and then you start adding to it. It's a hobby as much as anything. I spend a lot of weekends tinkering. I keep a notebook handy, and when I get an idea for something or think of a way I could improve an existing function I'll jot it down there. The security applications remained an idea until one day X10.com had a spectacular deal on the motion detectors to make it possible. I learned of the deal through subscribing to the XTension mailing list. The whole system of getting back into my house came to me the last time I locked myself out of my house. The wireless speakers for verbal alerts were bought from Brookstone. I bought 2 pairs, intending to put them in 'mono' mode and use them individually around the house. Brookstone donated to the cause through an apparent screwup, by sending me an additional pair I never ordered or paid for. :D

    As for the person who asked about using ViaVoice to give the system spoken commands, it is doable. A how-to was even written up a couple years ago in MacAddict. But it's not Star-Trek cool yet, you have to wear a tie-clip wireless mic whenever you're in the house for it to work properly-- putting a wired mic in every room is impractical, and wouldn't work well anyway. Also, most homes have more background noise than just the quiet rumble of the impulse drive. :)

    One thing I did forget to mention is that the X10 server also has its own AIM account. I can send IMs containing AppleScript commands to the computer and have them carried out. The computer even IMs me back to tell me it has carried out my order, or to give me status of something if I've requested it. And it also knows who my buddies are, and if I'm not signed on when one of them signs on, it will verbally announce that they're online. (unless the house is in "Do Not Disturb" or "Sleep" mode, of course).

    ~Philly
     
  12. ibjoshua macrumors 6502a

    ibjoshua

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    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Japan
    #12
  13. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    #13
    i bet if you got ur hands on a mobo from a mac, then the rest would fall into place. all u need is a mac compatable optical drive, a hd (or two or three or four depending) and some memory. Then you could make up ur own, rele cool case design and pop it all in there. i would do it if i had the funds, the time and the permission from my parents to do so.
     
  14. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #14
    I read through it yesterday. It is very interesting, but it seems that in order to get a decent performing machine, you will still be paying the big $$. Now, if it was possible to get a G4 quicksilver case without the insides, that would make it more worth doing! :D
     
  15. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #15
    I just saw a new mini-site on Cube-Zone that tracks Apple parts, like motherboards, processors, power supplies and drives.

    :) click me
     

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