Give 1984 Mac a Leopard makeover

[Jake Howe] brought his 1984 Mac up-to-date by cramming new guts inside of the classic case. The goal from the start was to run OS X Snow Leopard on the machine without altering the externals. He heated and formed acrylic around the original CRT screen to make a bezel for the replacement LCD screen. The floppy drive slot was used to hide an SD card slot and USB port. The original serial port openings were even outfitted with their own USB ports. In the end he did a brilliant job of hiding the Hackintosh mini-ITX board and components inside this iconic enclosure.


  1. Ciric Tech says:

    We use those as door stops in our CS department, lol. But very nice work.

  2. salsa says:

    Nice mod, but that tiny screen (in an already small screen area) sort of ruins the look.

  3. Putty color isn’t livingroom-compatible, so this mini-itx mod is semigloss black primed with laminating epoxy (otherwise the paint flakes off). DSL linux, squeezebox mp3 jukebox, lcd tv. Fanless like the original. Diskless too. URL leads to photostream.

  4. walt says:

    instructables booooo!

  5. Paul Potter says:

    “Do not alter, cut, deform, change, or break the original Mac in anyway, I wanted to be able to return it to its original state if I chose to.”

    Always nice.

  6. xunker says:

    Full points for creativity here, but I think he should have gone with a CRT instead of the LCD. You know, one of those 9-inch Point-of-sale VGA displays?

  7. adam says:

    normally i hate macs with a passion but i love case mods so i’m torn.

    the fact that it is a hackintosh (so you didn’t pay way to much for overpriced hardware), and i do like these old macs from back before macintosh became mac. i like this.

  8. therian says:

    good luck trying to read on this without hitting you head

  9. Polymath says:

    Too bad its a mac… oh well, nothing in the world is perfect. As far as the hardware mod goes this thing is pretty sweet.

    I wonder if there is a niche market for old computer cases? You could probably crank out blank “skins” from a vacuum mold press, and a CNC laser cutter. I don’t know how accurate it would be though. Meh, I have neither the time, patience or drive.

  10. iramot says:

    he should have also used retr0bright (it’s free):

  11. mrgoogfan says:

    i saw that on instructables

  12. mrgoogfan says:

    also he definitely needs to retr0brite it.

  13. Doug says:

    If he was serious, he would have used a flicker-removing card and run the computer with the original monitor ;)

    still pretty awesome job!

    also, those speakers are so mismatched that they make me cringe :(

  14. nes says:

    That’s just too cool!

    Now do it to a Vectrex, please :-)

  15. NatureTM says:

    Ahh, my first computer as a kid. It hurts me a little every time I see one of these get turned into a fish tank or some other case. I promise I will never gut my first love and use her skin to make a lampshade.

  16. JB says:

    Very nice hack, but at my age I wouldn’t put a tiny monitor in an already small monitor frame. I don’t need glasses (yet), but it is starting to get tiring to read small print.

  17. j9 says:

    Does the floppy drive work? Or, at least modded to accept mini-opticals?

  18. Anonymous says:

    That LCD must be 6-7″. I would have rather seen a 9″ point of sale CRT jammed in there. Hiding a slot loading DVD drive behind the floppy slot would have been nice too.

  19. Gizmoguy3000 says:

    I am actually working on a project similar to this, Except I am using an old Mac SE case. I plan on giving mine an 8-inch LCD touch screen, but also an external monitor port because the screen is way too small for everyday use. I like the idea of using the perspex/acrylic to make it look almost like a CRT still.

  20. cmholm says:

    Other than as a collector item, about all I’d use an M68k Mac for is to play old games, which is why I still have a ][ci handy to plug into my monitor… but the various emulators on current hardware shouldn’t have any problem delivering an 8MHz system experience.

  21. DeFex says:

    Its a bit ironic considering that apple has become the very thing the “1984” Mac ad was supposedly against.

  22. therian says:

    yep, I remember famous quote by Steve that apple will not be like big brother to customers.
    But after iphone caught phonehome with info on what app is running(,
    and after phone update that disable unlocked units or OS X update that disable jailbraking tools ಠ_ಠ wtf (,
    or drive developer to suicide who lost prototype of phone and might caused leak (
    they sure look like Big Brother

    But would you rather live in an Apple World, than an Obama World?

  23. DBX says:

    Good, but the screen is tiny

  24. venetian says:

    webster doesn’t define *iconic* to mean *ugly*

  25. therian says:

    ugly but it was ahead of its time, and notice the more shinny apple product get the more useless it is

  26. junkhacker says:

    working on a similar hack, and i understand why the screen is so small, it’s nearly impossible to find a screen the original size, at an affordable cost.
    9″ 4:3 displays are just hard to find

  27. bob says:

    Lilliput do an 8″ 4:3

  28. SnowMan says:

    There was a similar project on here a couple of years ago, except it had a b/w monitor and used the original keyboard and mouse:

  29. strider_mt2k says:

    Points for both re-purposing the old case and finding a use for those butt-ugly speakers.

  30. r3nrut says:

    Why? I longed for the death of ugly yellow stained boxes that waste space and are a terminally obsolete and yet people keep cramming sophisticated guts into this old dead crap. This isn’t hack. I can put my computer monitor into a fish aquarium and say I made a case mod too. X(

  31. Sandesh says:

    actually i don’t like the model of Screen. It is quite bigger in shape.

  32. mac leopard says:

    Super information,I have bookmarked this site for future and will keep a eye on your other postings. Thank you

  33. Hey, Hey give this guy a break. If that’s what he wants to do, then let him do it, and don’t ride him for it. Sounds fun to me. Maybe he was bored and maybe this isn’t his main computer, i am assuming. Anyway, good job man, and keep up the creativity. Btw, if anyone is interested in learning how to closet grow, then go here.

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