Ideas for "Upcycling" an iMac G4? (And reminiscing!)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cleo, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. cleo macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2002
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    My first Mac (like many folks') was a 2002 1st-gen iMac G4. I'd never even considered getting a Mac - I wasn't anti-, I was just comfy with my PCs - but when I saw the photo of the "iLamp" on the day of the keynote, it was like... I had this visceral reaction. It was beautiful.

    It lived a long and productive life, first as my desk unit (joined soon after by an iBook I wish I'd hung onto) and then later as my Mom's first Mac. It gave up the ghost almost exactly 7 years to the day I'd gotten it. I suspect the motherboard is blown - it simply stopped turning on one day, much like a MBP I had that experienced the same condition - and since it's pretty far out of AppleCare (heh), I've just had it sitting in a closet. I thought about investing the cash, one day, into turning it into a media server, but I already have a mini & AppleTV. It couldn't run Lion, so even if it's an issue with the power supply (not sure how much cheaper that would be anyway), it's not like it would be a practical machine for regular usage. (It *would* be cool to somehow swap an iPad out for the screen, but I'm not sure if that could be done...? Anyway, it would mean buying another iPad!)

    The thing is, it's so cool looking! I have never before or since felt an emotional connection to a computer the way I still do with that "iLamp." I would love to have it displayed in my apartment somehow, but it's kind of sad to just have it sitting there with a blank "face."

    So... any ideas? The best I've come up with is a (non-digital) picture frame -- just getting favorite photos printed in the right dimensions and using double-sided tape to stick them on the screen, changing them out periodically. Clearly, I am not a DIY creative genius. Any other ideas of how I can let this piece of gorgeous industrial design transition to being a work of art?
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    If you're very good at soldering small wires, you could replace it's computer innards with Mac Mini or Windows parts. There's a very informative blog about it. I forget the name right now, but a bit of Googling should reveal it.
  3. nospeed411 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2010
    east coast
    I originally had a 15" version and longed for a bigger monitor. I found a 17" with a bad logic board on craigslist and began the frankenstein project.

    Swapped all my good stuff into the 17" chassis and "adapted" the 500gb WD Green drive to work inside. Used a simple hack to install leopard and it runs like a champ. Granted it's no speed demon but is completely functional as a print server and occasional media server.

    I then took the old 15" screen back and made a clock out of it...

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