What Can I Do With My Old Mac?

September 8, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Macs are great, but they have one key downside – they’re difficult to upgrade. This results in most users either hanging onto their Macs for years or selling them after just 18 months or so in order to upgrade to the latest version and avoid as many repair costs as possible.

This is in sharp contrast to PCs, which can be modified considerably by replacing all manner of components; on average a PC and motherboard will last around 7 years before being replaced. While a PC can be recycled in a number of ways the options for recycling a Mac aren’t as great, often due to issues of compatibility.

What Can I Do With My Old Mac?

Thankfully there are various ways in which you can use an old Mac. Some of these ideas are quite remarkable and you might think we’ve gone quite mad, but they’re totally genuine and would all make great projects that you can plan for the winter holiday… just be aware that all of these projects will render an old Mac unusable!

What Time Is It?

One of the most obvious customization jobs for pretty much any old and discarded hardware is to turn it into a clock. Analogue clock motors and hands are cheap to get hold of, so as you can guess turning any piece of an old Mac into a clock is relatively simple. Indeed, if you’re new to projects like this then creating a clock out of an old MacBook or any other obviously Apple hardware (with the emblem showing, naturally!) is simply a case of drilling a hole and finding a way of affixing the device safely to a wall!

Coffee Time!

You’ll probably need a bit of help with this next project, which requires an original iMac to be disassembled and then fitted with a coffee maker.

Don’t worry – you read that right. Courtesy of madcap Mac modder Klaus Diebel, an old iMac can have its screen and components removed and replaced with a display image of your choice and a coffee maker  complete with milk frother, which are embedded into the computer case.

Bless You!

A much simpler customization job is the modification on an old G4 Cube into something that can prove eternally useful – Kleenex dispenser!

After all, the G4 Cube was a hugely impressive design that turned plenty of heads upon its launch, so it is a shame that they’re largely unusable now thanks to being PowerPC devices. Fortunately all you will need to do with your old G4 is remove the internal components, remove the vent on top to act as a dispenser and establish a means of adding and removing boxes of Kleenex. A spring-loaded platform might also prove useful for ensuring you can always reach the next tissue.

Let’s Lighten Up

Another useful customization that should probably attract plenty of second glances is the conversion of an iMac into an angle-poise lamp. It’s a stunning customization, one that requires only the lamp components to be completed. Basically, the base of the iMac and the section on the rear of the display are swapped around and a lamp is added into the now empty base, which has become the lamp shade!

Swimming with the Fishes

Finally, this memorable modification will allow you to take an old desktop such as the G3 iMac or even an old Mac 512kE and turn it into an aquarium – or “Macquarium”!

You don’t have to refit your old Mac as a water-tight hi-tech home for the fishes, however – you might make it slightly less air-tight and use it as a home and play area for all manner of furry critters , such as hamsters!

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