The tiny Raspberry Pi computer can power many cool DIY projects. Photo: Lucasbosch/Wikimedia CC
The credit-card-size Raspberry Pi has taken the tech world by storm. Thousands of geeky kids and adults use the tiny, low-cost computer boards to learn about coding and create fun projects like motion detectors, birdhouses that tweet when birds are present, and mini weather stations.
You, too, can use this sweet little nerdy device to reproduce some of the cool things your Mac can do, without dedicating your entire computer to the project. Let’s take a look at what kinds of things might be interesting to an Apple fan with a new $35 Raspberry Pi 2.
You can turn your Apple Extended Keyboard into a full computer. Photo: University of Chicago
We never cease to be amazed at all the amazing DIY projects that Mac fans do with old Apple hardware. Case in point: see this vintage Apple Extended Keyboard? It’s not hooked to a computer. It is a computer, thanks to the embedded Rapsberry Pi inside.
A Steve Jobs doll towers over this 1/3 scale mini Macintosh. (All photos: John Leake)
It stands shorter than a Steve Jobs doll. It can be held in the palm of your hand. It runs System 6, and elicits squeals of delight from vintage Mac fans.
It is the Smallest Mac in the World.
Hot on the heels of the news of the world’s oldest working Macintosh comes a breakthrough of much more modest proportions. John Leake, co-host of the RetroMacCast, has created what may be the world’s smallest working Macintosh using a Raspberry Pi computer, PVC, some off-the shelf parts and a Mac emulator running under Linux. He calls it “Mini Mac.”
Why? As Leake writes on his blog, “this is one those ‘because I can’ projects with no practical use – my favorite kind!”
The Raspbery Pi project is a darling little exercise in ingenuity. It looks like a USB thumb drive, but instead of 2GB of flash, it’s a fully functional computer running Debian Linux, featuring a 700 MHz ARM 11 processor, 128 MB of RAM, a USB port, and an Ethernet port… all for just $35. Splendid, splendid geekiness. Hanging this from your car keys, you can literally get connected anywhere. But where’s the Apple angle?