Modder Upgrades Vintage Macintosh with iPad Mini Brains

Do you have an old Macintosh lying around gathering dust? While you might want to turn it into an aquarium, you could also update it to run a much more modern operating system. Modder Travis DeRose of Curiosityness shows us how he cracked open a Macintosh Plus and converted it into a permanent home for an iPad Mini.

The computer is completely functional, though it uses the iPad Mini’s touchscreen instead of a mouse and keyboard. I think if I built one of these, I’d want to mod an original ADB keyboard and mouse to connect to the iPad Mini via Bluetooth. The system also has a button on the back which can turn on and off the Lightning charging cable, which is important since all of the buttons on the iPad Mini end up hidden behind the black acrylic frame that’s necessary to make the iPad Mini fit into the monitor cutout from the Macintosh. One downside of the home button being concealed is that you have to use gestures in its place.

Check out the full build video below, then head over to Instructables for the step-by-step instructions and parts list.

It takes a bit of work to strip the guts out of the old Macintosh, though you can also find some empty Mac cases up on eBay if you want to get a headstart on the build. You could also buy a right-angle Lightning cable and USB switch (affiliate links) on Amazon if you want to save time on that part of the project.

[via Instructables]

The “Smorgasboard” Is a Keyboard with Only Food Keycaps

Because I write thousands and thousands of words every week, I got myself a fancy $200 mechanical keyboard with good clicky switches and schmancy RGB backlighting just for fun. I’ve thought about getting some custom keycaps too, but I don’t think I’d be able to type very fast if all of my keys were made to look like food.

Artist Tiny loves to create custom keys for mechanical keyboards and has been spending months creating a series of keys that look like miniature foods. She recently completed the collection, and now has an entire keyboard filled with food. And no, I’m not talking about the Cheetos and Doritos dust that some of us might find between our keys.

Among the food keys are a cheeseburger, a cinnamon roll, a pink donut with sprinkles, french fries, and more yummy treats. I especially love how she made the longer keys like the submarine sandwich space bar and the watermelon and hot dog shift keys. Tiny walks through all of the keys and how they relate to their letter position on the keyboard then performs a typing speed test in the video below:

You can check out more of Tiny’s amazing custom keys over on her Instagram feed, where you can find everything from a Spongebob Squarepants keycap to keycaps that look like butts.

[via Nag on the Lake]

Commodore 64C Beige Paint Lets You Go Crazy with a Classic Computer Color

Back in the 1980s, computers were largely shades of beige or grey plastic. While this look might seem dated by today’s standards of slim, glass and metal devices, there’s no question that these retro color schemes immediately bring back fond memories of the early days of personal computing. Well, now it turns out that you can paint whatever you want in the color of the classic Commodore 64.

Polish company Retrohax sells this spray paint that’s aptly named “Commodore 64C Beige.” It’s actually the color of the C64C, which came out in 1986, rather than the exact color of the original 1982 C64, but it’s close enough for me. The spray paint produces a nice satin beige finish, though priming is recommended to ensure good adhesion.

Retrohax also offers classic computer paints in Atari XE/ST Grey and Amiga 500 Beige. Unfortunately, due to flight restrictions, the paint is currently only available in Poland, but its makers hope to ship it to other countries at some point. For now, maybe we can find some off-the-shelf beige paint that’s similar in color.

I think this stuff would look great on all kinds of modern devices. I’m considering painting the aluminum parts of my iMac with this, or maybe the back of my iPhone. What would you paint with this stuff?

[via CoolMaterial]

This Computer Case Doesn’t Run on Pyramid Power

Back in the 1970s, the idea of “pyramid power” was about as popular among crackpots as today’s flat earth theories. While the Egyptian pyramids and other pyramid-shaped structures possess no magical qualities, they are cool to look at and architecturally significant. If you think pyramids are awesome, perhaps you’ll dig this pyramid-shaped computer case.

The AZZA Pyramid Mini 806 is a mini-mid-size case for building your own custom PC. It features an aluminum structure along with four tempered glass side panels which let you peep inside and check out your computer componentry. It holds any standard Mini-ITX motherboard, and an SFX power supply. It also includes a 120mm cooling fan with RGB lighting, which sits above the computer components and extracts heat out of openings at the top of the glass.

 

Measuring 17.1″ tall, with a 14.5″ x 14.5″ footprint, it’s not exactly a conventional small form-factor computer case, but it definitely is eyecatching, and its stacked design makes for easy access to components.

If you’re ready to build your own desktop pyramid, you can find the Pyramid Mini 806 case over on Amazon for $249.99. For those looking to make a larger ATX-based computer, they make a larger model called the Pyramid 804V, which sells for $297.87.

[via Gadgetify]

I Wish This Retro PC Model Was an Official LEGO Kit

Something is appealing to me about the aesthetics of old personal computers from the ’80s and ’90s. I know they’re not streamlined or sleek like the stuff that Apple is churning out these days, but I liked that those old machines felt more purposeful in their design. Like, hey, this is a place to get work done. This is a piece of serious equipment.

To celebrate old school PC style, Mr. Motinjo put together this cool concept for a LEGO set.

The setup incorporates a primitive beige PC keyboard, along with a chunky CRT monitor, a boxy workstation tower, a pair of matching speakers, and of course, a desk for it all to sit on. There are lots of other neat details, like a LEGO mouse and joystick, along with tiny 3.5″ floppy disks, which are sadly not available as official LEGO parts at this time.

While I’d love to see this turned into an official LEGO kit at some point, the current design is actually a photorealistic CG rendering made with Mecabricks and Blender. Now I’m even more impressed because that seems like way more work than actually building this out of LEGO parts.

[via r/MOC via Brothers Brick]

White House budget proposal would hike AI and quantum funding by 30 percent

If the US is going to build a quantum internet and otherwise claim technical supremacy, it’s going to need appropriate funding — and that might be forthcoming. As the Wall Street Journal reports, The White House has proposed a 2021 non-defense budget...

The Durgod Fusion Mechanical Keyboard Is Straight out of the ’80s

Having cut my teeth on computers back in the 1980s, I have a very soft spot in my heart for the aesthetics of the era. I also happen to be a fan of clicky mechanical keyboards. So when I saw this retro-infused mechanical keyboard pop up over on Kickstarter, I was definitely intrigued.

Created by mechanical keyboard company Durgod, the Fusion keyboard features a high-contrast, multicolor scheme that’s reminiscent of the keyboards on old computer terminals, with hints of Commodore PET, Atari 800, and TI-99/4A among others. It’s a small keyboard, measuring just 12.4″ w x 5.3″ d x 1.2″ h, so it’s easy to carry in your backpack or briefcase. The Fusion comes in three different colorways: Navigator (blue, off-white and yellow), Original (grey, off-white, and orange), and Steam (grey, black and red). Combined with an embossed top bar, you can definitely see the ’80s design influence here.

On top of its looks, the Fusion is quite capable, loaded with high quality Cherry keyswitches, and offering both a wired USB-C connection and a wireless keyboard via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz dongle. Battery life is rated at 40 days for wireless use. In addition to the three color schemes, you can choose from MX Black, MX Red, MX Brown, or MX Blue switches, depending on your pressure, tactile feedback, and noise preferences.

The Durgod Fusion keyboard will eventually sell for $199, but those who buy early over on Kickstarter can get one for as little as $119 (or $109 if you move really quickly!) Shipping is expected to start in October 2020, and since Durgod has an extensive track record producing keyboards, it’s likely to be a pretty low risk as crowdfunding campaigns go.

I Love Spreadsheets Mug Is for Digital Masochists

When I worked in the corporate world, I think my time was equally split between sitting in mindless, unnecessary meetings and staring at massive spreadsheets. While I consider myself to now be an expert at manipulating PivotTables and complex Excel macros, I by no means love spreadsheets. It’s just something I learned in order to get my job done. But I’m sure there are some people out there who see something like:

=INDEX(C3:E9,MATCH(B13,C3:C9,0),MATCH(B14,C3:E3,0))

…they get all warm and fuzzy inside. This coffee mug is for those people.

Simply pour your favorite hot beverage into the I Love Spreadsheets mug and it’ll calculate your undying love for endless grids of data – at least up to 65536 rows and columns. Whether you cut your teeth on Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or even good old Lotus 1-2-3, this mug is perfect for you. I’m dating myself, but the first spreadsheet I ever used was VisiCalc on an Apple II. Good times. No AutoSum or Conditional Formatting back then. We did our spreadsheets the old fashioned way!

This mug is the perfect gift formula for the accountant or business person on your shopping list. You can grab one over at Firebox for just $9.99, though according to the calculations on my spreadsheet, you’ll pay a bit more for it if you need it shipped to the U.S. from the U.K., which is where Firebox is based.