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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

iMac G3 Mini-ITX Mod 2012 [Complete... mostly]


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333mhz

 
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iMac G3 Mini-ITX Mod 2012

Why? What?

This iMac G3 project is not an original idea, in that its been done before, and perhaps to a better extent in the past years by one or two people. But where are all the modders of 2012 bringing life into old Macs?

I love the iMac G3. And I love the Clamshell. At the time of writing I'm 16 years of age, so I grew up with these futuristic units in my classroom. I always wanted one but they cost too much.

Now days I could collect every flavour of the iMac G3 for half the price of an original back when it was released.

I wanted to keep the design alive. I wanted to be able to experience what it was like to use one of these machines! I only got to use them for school work, where is the fun in that (okay so playing in Garageband and Kidpix was fun in 2003, but still, I WANT MORE).

So I decided, lets gut a unit and stick a mini-itx in. There was no straight forward guide on how to do this, and I've never built a computer before. Thats right, I have zero building experience. I know all about how a computer runs and what to look out for in a CPU, or a graphics card, etc. But I had no first hand experience.

Everyone kept saying "don't bother" or "good luck with that" online. But I knew this could work. Time to pave the way for others who have dreams of renovating old Macs.


The Rules

The Mac must be power efficient and near silent
Jobs hated fans, so I can't have a buzzer in there. I want a greener computer.

The Mac must have an LCD
I am not an electrician. I can't be playing with CRT monitors, out it goes. Blasphemy? Maybe. It has to be done though.

The Mac must be cheap, less than $400 NZD
This is my first build, so if I screw up, I can't have invested too much in it. I don't have a job, this is funded by freelance web work and pocket money-- literally.

The Mac must recycle and prevent e-waste
To keep it cheap, and to prevent e-waste, I decided to recycle old obsolete and broken parts from a range of machines donated to me by friends and family. We need to be less inclined to chuck out working hardware; a reused 40GB IDE is more than enough for this system, a new 500GB drive would be ridiculous.

The Mac must retain its outer look
No cutting ports or mutilating the case. The only case work I'm allowed to do is inside.

The Mac must remain technically basic
No special tools, no radical wiring. This mod must prove anybody can make their dream hack easy... and hacky.

The Mac



Specs

Nickname: Companion Cube (its my loveable pink box lol)
Intel Desktop Board D525MW
1.80GHz Intel Atom
2GB ram
Intel GMA 950 Graphics
40GB Hard Drive
CD/DVD (pending)
15" LCD Screen
Windows XP (going for 7)

Runs on 12 V 5A adapter using only 80W, with no fan.

Hardware Origin
Motherboard - New Intel D525MW Mini-ITX with integrated CPU, graphics
RAM - New 2GB Kingston Stick
Hard drive - Recycled 40GB laptop IDE from broken Compaq Presario (includes mount case)
LEDs / front panel button - Recycled from old Packard Bell desktop
Case & Speakers - Recycled from iMac G3 Strawberry 333mhz (1999) (I rode home with this on the bus after buying it in 2009 for $20NZD lol)
PSU - PicoPSU 80W (12 v 5A) Mini-ITX power supply
Screen - Recycled and repaired from a previously broken Packard Bell desktop monitor (it was heading for the bin before I saved it!)
Optical drive - Not complete, but I have a few laptop drives laying around... gimme time

Additional new parts:
2.5-3.5" connector converter
IDE to sata converter
Y Power cable
P4 plug for PicoPSU


You can read how I built this, and laugh at my lack of technical skills by reading my ongoing development log here on another site. (note, outgoing link) More photos there too.



The Conclusion

This computer build has saved a lot of e-waste. Its been a fun learning experience for my first computer build. I've achieved what I wanted. I'd like to think I've proved that you don't need to be a master of wires and have all the tools to have a shot at doing a fun mod.

The iMac G3 isn't to everyone's taste. And certainly, using two converters to run an IDE drive might make some people cringe. But I have found this build to be great fun.

This is a basic machine, and I'm going to enjoy using it for school work and programming a chat bot. I can even use it as a second monitor for my laptop hehe. It looks great and I love it.

Last edited by chscag; 11-22-2014 at 02:12 AM.
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RavingMac

 
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Have to say it looks nice.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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333mhz

 
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Thanks, I think so. Ended up being tidier than I thought.
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chas_m

 
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It always makes me sad to see Windows running on anything designed by Apple, but putting that aside you did a very neat and clever thing there. Nice job!
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333mhz

 
Member Since: Aug 16, 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
It always makes me sad to see Windows running on anything designed by Apple, but putting that aside you did a very neat and clever thing there. Nice job!
Thanks

Haha yeah, I was hoping for a more "original" OS on it but unfortunately I've been told I can't discuss that here. I checked in advance haha.

For now Windows will do.
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MacDude121

 
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Been thinking about doing something similar to this to one of the old iMac G3's I have laying around...couldn't bear to put windows on there though. If I ever come across a cheap early Mac Mini, maybe I'll give it a go, sounds like an interesting project.

Your build came out very nice though, always happy to see one of these computers still serving a purpose and not going to the landfill.

-Evan
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333mhz

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDude121 View Post
Been thinking about doing something similar to this to one of the old iMac G3's I have laying around...couldn't bear to put windows on there though. If I ever come across a cheap early Mac Mini, maybe I'll give it a go, sounds like an interesting project.
It sure was. Using a Mac Mini instead of a mini-itx board is something I've heard proposed as well, not sure if anyone actually succeeded. I think it would be harder trying to customize Mac hardware, but definitely worth doing if you can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDude121 View Post
Your build came out very nice though, always happy to see one of these computers still serving a purpose and not going to the landfill.
Thanks. I agree.

I've got a slot loader I'm fixing up. But its the tray loader iMac's that really don't cut it for people anymore. I see people bidding on the glossy, faster, usable old G3's still. But the really dated hardware in the earlier models is just too far gone I guess.

The tray loader turned out to be a better choice practically as well, as its case is more opaque so I was able to worry less about its look.

Nice to see someone else interested in the original iMac still.
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I went ahead and moved it into 'Other Hardware and Peripherals'. It probably shouldn't go into Schweb's Lounge, because it's not truly "off topic".

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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333mhz

 
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Alright, thanks for sorting it out.
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charliemac

 
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Well I love it, I have a highly modified PowerMac, now as both of these are just upgraded Apple branded hardware, why can't we discuss OSes?

Sent from my PowerMac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemac View Post
Well I love it, I have a highly modified PowerMac, now as both of these are just upgraded Apple branded hardware, why can't we discuss OSes?
Using the mini-ITX Motherboard (or any non-Apple motherboard for that matter) would be a violation of the EULA for OS X and, our community policy does not allow discussions involving OS X on non Apple Hardware.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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charliemac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
Using the mini-ITX Motherboard (or any non-Apple motherboard for that matter) would be a violation of the EULA for OS X and, our community policy does not allow discussions involving OS X on non Apple Hardware.
No, you are wrong.

Using OS X on non Apple branded hardware is a violation. He is using Apple branded hardware that has been upgraded.

or are you saying that a system with crucial (or any other vendor) memory would be in violation. ?

Sent from my PowerMac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemac View Post
No, you are wrong.

Using OS X on non Apple branded hardware is a violation. He is using Apple branded hardware that has been upgraded.

or are you saying that a system with crucial (or any other vendor) memory would be in violation. ?
I am not wrong, but not here to argue but to explain since you asked the question.

There are several components that by design (and Apple's intention) are user replaceable (HDD and RAM to name two that come readily to mind). Changing the Logicboard (Motherboard) is not such a component and if you have ever replaced one you know that iTunes etc recognizes your system as a new/different computer based on the changed Logicboard.

Regardless, you asked for an explanation of why no discussion of OS X on non-Mac Hardware. You have been given one.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemac View Post
No, you are wrong.

Using OS X on non Apple branded hardware is a violation. He is using Apple branded hardware that has been upgraded.
How did you come to the conclusion that the OP used "Apple branded hardware that has been upgraded"?

The OP installed all non-Apple hardware into an old iMac G3 case. From the OP's description of the build & origin of the parts...I don't think that one Apple branded part was used (other than the iMac G3 case). The most important thing is a NON-APPLE logic board was used.

So guess who's wrong??

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
How did you come to the conclusion that the OP used "Apple branded hardware that has been upgraded"?

The OP installed all non-Apple hardware into an old iMac G3 case. From the OP's description of the build & origin of the parts...I don't think that one Apple branded part was used (other than the iMac G3 case). The most important thing is a NON-APPLE logic board was used.

So guess who's wrong??

- Nick
If you want to be snarky,

You are.

He used the biggest part of the Apple Branded hardware. The case. Look and feel for the hardware, absolutely, Looks like a G3 iMac to me...

1. General.
A. The Apple software (including Boot ROM code), any third party software, documentation, interfaces, content, fonts and any data accompanying this License whether preinstalled on Apple- branded hardware, on disk, in read only memory, on any other media or in any other form (collectively the “Apple Software”) are licensed, not sold, to you by Apple Inc. (“Apple”) for use only under the terms of this License. Apple and/or Apple’s licensors retain ownership of the Apple Software itself and reserve all rights not expressly granted to you.

Sent from my PowerMac
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