The Macquarium has been around for decades, starting as a project to make use of old compact Mac cases. Subsequent iterations have seen many different variations – beige Performas, G3 iMacs, G4 Cubes, etc.. But this latest iteration is unique, and probably has the best structural integrity of them all.
Steve Shaw recently created his Macquarium from a PowerMac G5 case (mislabeled as a Mac Pro in the video), elbow grease and some powertools. He did a nice job, bright and airy. I love the Apple logo in the rear and overall industrial look. And the totem head.
Next up we need a Siamese fighting fish in a Mac Mini…
Sure, those old computational machines are making some collectors serious new money. But love of Apple doesn’t always translate into hard cash.
Over the years, we’ve covered a lot of cool things to do with your obsolete – but still near and dear! — Apple gear.
Here are some of our favorites.
The museum-worthy design of Apple devices has inspired a number of artists over the years. The smashed iPhones above and below by Ryan McIntosh were part of an art exhibit about Apple called “Programmed” that debuted in Brooklyn. The curators hoped to invite “discussion on recycling, the history of these items..” and to get people thinking about “the fetishizing of these electronics that are then discarded.”
If paint is more your medium, check out the work of Satta van Dahl, whose colorful portraits of Steve Jobs and Woz on early Macs are truly iconic.
Repurposing your old computer to hold a new device is one of the best ways to keep the people you live with off your back for collecting too much stuff. If you’re ready to tackle one of these projects some long, dreary weekend, more details on how-to here.
Take the innards out of your old iMac, add some cushioning and voila’: a stylish yet cozy home for your cat or doggy.
iMac Base as Desk Lamp
Creator Nicolas didn’t tell hardmac exactly how he did it, but did say it was easy:
“I decided to recycle my old iMac G4. With some spare parts, one can easily transform it into a nice lamp fully articulated thanks to the famous arm.”
Another illuminating idea courtesy Apple.
This is nearly as classic a DIY project as the computers it uses to house the fishes. If you’re ready to swim with the big boys, try the how-to in low-end Mac.
iMac G4 as Clock
Though the 2002 iLamps were declared “obsolete” by Apple in 2009, the re-purposed stainless steel base plate of this iMac G4 makes a nice wall clock. It’s the handiwork of a Japanese Apple fan, who published a step-by-step DIY project.
Over at the Macintosh 512K section of the 68K Macintosh Liberation Army forums, user macman142 posted a great find – the body of a Mac 512K ED that had been gutted to create a Macquarium. The reason he paid $65 for this remnant was, he wrote, because it came with the original mouse, the 128k/512k style keyboard, and an original keyboard cable – a pretty rare find, as he mentions in his post.
Unfortunately, along with being gutted, the case of the very retro Macintosh had the handle cut out of it, assumedly so the previous owner could manage the fish tank they had installed within. Now macman142 is looking for ideas about what to do with this treasure.
Rising from the dead like a Newton running Mac OS 9, a new form of Mac Zombie is evolving in the wilds of Apple Geekdom: recycled old Macs being used as iPad stands.
One way for old computers to beat mortality is emulation: early Macs had Apple II emulators, PowerPC Macs running Mac OS X had Classic mode, even the venerable Lisa has an emulator. Software emulation gives life to vintage machines long after the actual hardware ceases to function.
A new trend seems to be developing with the iPad: rather than running software within iOS, the iPad is making a home for itself inside the modified cases of old Macs! We’ve coveredtheseitemsbefore, but taken in aggregate a new form of Mac recycling seems to be evolving within the Cult of Apple.
Yes, we have an official replacement for the MacQuarium as the best use for a 25-year-old Mac: Cut a slot into it so it can serve as the ultimate past-meets-future iPad stand. Great work from Flickr user Mapgoblin, though you might want to consider washing the front of your old Mac if you decide to emulate him.
(And yes, I know the photographer thought it was a Mac Plus — I’m pretty sure it’s actually a 512k Fat Mac)
When a computer gives up the ghost, there are a lot of things you can do to keep it around the house.
Here are a few ways we’ve found, if you’ve found a new way to give new life to your dead Mac, let us know.
Macquarium: when your mac is swimming with the fishes.
There are a ton of these — flickr counts nearly 700 — but this slick black version was made by Dave D’aranjo who rescued a Mac from a Singapore sidewalk and turned it into an aquarium. He spent a couple of months fashioning the fish bowl, following the how-to in low end Mac, then adding his own touches and getting a custom logo to give it a screen-saver look.
Looks uncomfortable, doesn’t it? The Mac Store in Maryland Heights, Missouri, blew out some old stock by building a couch from a few dozens Macintosh IIs. Wouldn’t a collection of Performa 6500s be a big nicer to sit on? Always to nice to see the spirit of the original Macquarium kept alive.