The Mac9000 — A Photo Frame with Style (Maybe?)

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Digital photo frames — as tacky as they may be — are a handy way to show off photos, especially considering how few photos get printed these days! [Rene] decided he could really use one at work, but he wanted it to look cool as well. Feeling a bit nostalgic with the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh Classic II, he decided to gut one and turn it into this awesome linux based “Mac9000″!

He started by picking up the Mac off eBay and cleaning it up a bit. It had definitely belonged to a school considering how worn it was. A bunch of sandpaper, bleach wipes, and elbow grease later, and it almost looks like new again! The next step was gutting the insides to make room for the new hardware. This is a bit tricky because you are dealing with high-voltage equipment! Make sure to discharge it safely before sticking your hands in!

Once the unit was empty, he began upgrading it with some more recent technology. A 7″ LCD, a Raspberry Pi (with PIR sensor), and a WiFi adapter to name a few. In addition to his blog, he also has a great photo gallery of the entire process over at LYTRO. He’s set up Raspbian “Wheezy” to automatically snag photos off of a DropBox directory, making this one of the easiest to use photo frames we’ve ever seen. He also plans to show videos on it, but alas, that is a project for another day.

10 thoughts on “The Mac9000 — A Photo Frame with Style (Maybe?)

  1. “Feeling a bit nostalgic with the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh Classic II”

    Actually it’s the 30th anniversary of the Mac 128k, the Macintosh Classic II is from 1991.

  2. The display looks terrible like that. He should find a small 4:3 lcd and use that. I have seen 800×600 displays that ought to fit.

    1. When I was in grad school, one of my students designed and cnc milled a toilet seat in a bathroom ergonomics class. True Story.

  3. Cram some readily available parts into a Mac case and make it ugly as hell… No, not exactly the sort of hack i’m looking for. Sorry… I’ve seen some Mac hacks that are really worth a look.

    1. A ruined Mac case. Retr0brite would have eliminated all the yellowing without destroying the surface texture. As it stands now, the newly exposed plastic will yellow, and the already-yellow spots will get worse, so the patchy jaundice look is permanent. You can’t Retr0brite it now either, because the fresh plastic will get bleached and spotty.

      The tiny LCD swimming in a huge bezel doesn’t help much either. An iPad fits perfectly in a compact Mac’s screen hole. If that’s not in the budget there are also Android tablets around the same size, with 4:3 displays, that are far more powerful than the Pi, and for around the same price as all those parts put together. (It could even run Mini vMac to bring the project full circle!)

      At least it was just a Classic II and not an SE/30. (If you don’t get it, imagine if he did this to a working antique radio, or that ADM-A3 terminal featured a few days ago.)

      1. Anyone want to chime in with which original Mac cases are worth more than others? I may or may not have milled out one to fit a 10″ tablet already because it was dead, but I am sure I didn’t touch the SE model I have that does work. I grew up with the II and IIe so I’m not sure about the value of old Macs.

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