The original Macintosh, released in the ’80s, was, at the time, a model of both programming and design. Nobody had ever seen something with such a simple, intuitive interface, or a computer put into such a simple all-in-one package. It’s become an icon of geekery… and recently, one geek decided to build a replica of it… in one-third scale. The result is an adorable little mini Mac that took an absurd amount of work.
First of all, yes, it works, and it even runs the proper software thanks to an emulator. That was pulled off thanks to another fruit from the technological tree, the Raspberry Pi. You’re probably heard of the Pi: It’s a tiny computer on a board that hackers have been going ape over. It was loaded with emulator software, which is freely available online, and had some extra connections soldered directly onto the board. Then it was wired to a 3.5 inch LCD screen to serve as the “monitor”, and then it was time to make the case.
Building the case, however, was a lot trickier. Ultimately, John Leake, who built the whole thing himself, had to get some PVC and shape it himself to get the proper form, and then cut out everything with an Xacto knife, including the floppy disc spot. Unsurprisingly, this was not a fun task and Leake is planning to use a 3D printer for future builds.
Surprisingly, nailing the color was also tricky. It turns out it’s really hard to get that hideous beige color that Apple so loved in the ’80s, and Leake ultimately wound up using Krylon spray paint in cocoa to evoke the years of neutral tones that so infected computer design.
The result? A tiny, fully function, mini Mac. Now, Mr. Leake, what can you give us in terms of building a scale iMac?
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.