Posts categorized “DIY”.

Apple II Watch

April 9th, 2015

Amazing. Sign me up.

[via Kottke]

Print your own Newton battery tray

November 7th, 2011

Davis Remmel shows that hard-driving spirit that Newton owners are known for, especially after discovering the price of battery trays for his Newton MessagePad 2000:

The two clips on the front AA battery tray, the ones that hold two of the batteries in, were very damaged. One was missing entirely (!), while the other was broken on one side and about to fall off. Yada yada yada, I went online to buy a new one, and the only place that had them priced them at “ONLY $95!

THAT is absolutely ridiculous, so I loaded up trusty ‘ol Inventor and started modeling a new one to be 3D printed.

Amazing what today’s 3D printing technology is capable of doing, but be sure and heed Remmel’s advice and actually try the thing.

[Via Ron Parker on Twitter]

How to fight feature creep

December 1st, 2010

Allen Salkin at the New York Times:

Newest is not always best. For Andre Ribuoli, the director of Pamplemousse Press, a fine-art printing studio in Chelsea, there was never a better inkjet printer than the Iris 3047. Capable of rendering perfect full-color images on sandpaper, fabric or anything else that can bend, the lifeboat-size machine was made in the early 1990s by an Israeli company that is now defunct.

“If I have to be the last man in the world running a 3047,” Mr. Ribuoli said, hands on his hips and gazing lovingly at the beige and black machines one recent afternoon, “I will be the last man running a 3047.”

Isn’t that true with all of us who appreciate the finer, older things in life?

Two G3s in one: iMac brain transfer

October 11th, 2010

Since I made the decision to retire some of my classic Macs, I had some thinking to do: what parts, if any, would I keep? And would I miss any functionality?

I thought about all the hard drives, with their drivers and software, that were going bye-bye, when it hit me that I could install a hard drive or two into the PowerMac G3 I was saving. And since the iMac G3 was the only Mac that would work with my serial-to-USB adapters, maybe a brain transplant was in order. So that’s what I did – took out the iMac’s hard drive and installed it into the Blue and White, just to see if it would work.

This meant opening the iMac and getting to the hard drive. I’ve covered how to get into an iMac G3, but getting to the hard drive was a bit trickier since it sits snugly below the motherboard tray in some infernal metal sleeve.

iMac hard drive tray

There were screws to unscrew – quite a few of them. The CD-ROM drive also sat on top of the hard drive:

iMac CD-ROM tray

To top it all off, there are power and connection cables snaking around both drives, squeezed into that metal tray pretty tightly. So I had to figure which cable went to which drive and yank them out:

Yoink!

After I unplugged the cables and got the CD-ROM drive out of the way, I had to remove a few more screws in the side of the drive and get rid of the little metal prong that held the drive in place. A little bit of wiggling and the hard drive was out.

iMac HD in the PowerMac G3

From there I placed the iMac’s hard drive in the second bay of the PowerMac (above), set the screws in the side to hold it in place, and plugged in the connection and power cables. After the installation was complete, I got the question mark Mac folder on startup, meaning either one drive or both were conflicting. The iMac’s drive was set to be a master drive, which is a no-no in the ATA world. So I set the original PowerMac drive to master and the installed iMac drive to slave, and the issue went away.

iMac HD on desktop

When the PowerMac did start up, it booted into its usual OS 8.6 drive, and what do you know – there was the iMac’s hard drive on the desktop.

Something weird that I never expected: the PowerMac and iMac desktops were combined. Looking at the desktop above, the Entrega file, Doom.jpg, and Grackle file were both on the PowerMac’s desktop, not the iMac’s. But each time I reset the system with a different startup disk, both environments seemed to share the desktop files. Pretty neat.

One weird issue that hasn’t gone away, however, is my iMac’s tendency to not shut down or restart. Heading to Special > Shut Down or Restart made the iMac’s screen flash, the icons blink out for a second, but then no restart or shut down would happen. To turn the thing off, I had to put it asleep and then unplug it.

Maybe installing the hard drive in the PowerMac would help, I thought. But no dice. After setting the iMac HD as the startup drive, the restart/shutdown problem was still there.

One suggestion had me dumping the OS preferences and emptying the trash. Trashing the Mac OS and Finder prefs didn’t help. Others suggested a complete reinstall of OS 9, which is a method that sounds more like a Windows thing than a Mac thing.

I tried a series of boot-up key combinations to no avail. The only thing that worked reliably was setting the iMac HD as the startup drive, and boot with extensions turned off (holding Shift on bootup). That let me turn off and reset the iMac HD.

The other weird issue: I set up Multiple Users on the iMac, thanks to OS 9′s then-new feature, but a while back the iMac started booting into the Owner account automatically – there was no login required and no Multiple User welcome screen. Heading to the Multiple User extension manager, I found the strangest thing: there wasn’t one. Well, the extension was there, but it wasn’t working. It showed up in the Applications menu as an option, but offered no interface for managing the actual extension.

It’s hard these days to find reliable troubleshooting information for OS 8 and 9, and a lot of my searches have come up empty. But really, I have the iMac’s hard drive in the PowerMac – saving both space and time. And I can still accomplish most of what I need without the physical iMac being present. So mission accomplished.

Next up: connecting my Newtons to this new setup.

Installing a 2 GB hard drive into a Newton

April 21st, 2010

Courtesy of Riccardo Mori

Riccardo Mori over at System Folder (which gets better with every post) tried a fun experiment: installing a 2 GB PCMCIA Toshiba hard drive in his MP2100:

I don’t think I’ll ever need 2 gigabytes with my Newtons — my biggest flash card is 32 MB, and it’s more than enough for my needs — nevertheless I wanted to try a little experiment to see to what extent such PCMCIA hard drive is actually usable.

A few ATA drivers and a fresh set of batteries, and what do you know – it worked. Mori is experiencing some battery drain and slower read/write speeds.

“The only way to make good use of this PCMCIA hard drive, I guess, is by putting a rechargeable battery pack and leaving the Newton connected to the AC adapter,” Mori says.

Getting Einstein running on your Mac

February 8th, 2010

Now that Paul Guyot’s Einstein, the Newton emulator for Mac and Windows, is available for Snow Leopard, users with up-to-date Macs can play around with the Newton OS.

This seemed like the perfect time to give Einstein a spin on my new iMac.

First, I downloaded the latest Einstein app from Google Code, plus the Users Manual. The Users Manual is handy because it gives instructions on how to grab a ROM image of your OS 2.x Newton device. In my case, I’m grabbing my eMate’s ROM with a package of file called Lantern DDK (thanks to Macintosh Garden).

Lantern DDK gives you ROMs from an eMate and an MP2000, along with a few other pieces of debugging software.

Einstein setup screen

Einstein has you pick which Newton device you want to emulate, and point it toward a viable ROM image. Then you pick how much RAM you want the thing to have, native or full-screen resolution (warning: full screen is a bear), and how to run the screen and sound.

Eintein booting

After a few minutes of booting, Einstein pops up with a Newton screen showing that it’s working fine.

Einstein setup

From there, the pseudo eMate runs through the name, address, and time setup process. What’s nice about Einstein is that it grabbed my Address Book information automatically.

Then you get a simple Notes interface. And that’s about it, at least from what I saw, so it could be that the ROM only has certain features from the eMate. But it’s a fun little project to get running on your Mac. Note, though, that Einstein also has a Windows version.

[Thanks to Riccordo Mori for the inspiration to give it a try, and NewtonTalk for the link.]

eMate as wall clock

January 22nd, 2010

eMate wall clock

Genius: a Newton eMate serving as a light-up wall clock, using BigCountdown, naked as the day the screen was born.

Check out the photo gallery to see the nitty-gritty.

[Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog.]

HowTo: clean a keyboard in the dishwasher

January 19th, 2010

Keyboard vs. Dishwasher - prep

A few weeks ago, my clumsy self spilled a cup of coffee on my Apple Pro Keyboard.

I loved the keyboard, a late 1990s model that shipped with Power Mac G4s and later iMac G3s, and used it everyday with my new iMac. It was too important to me to simply let go.

So I washed it in the dishwasher.

More… »

iMac G4 as a lamp

December 1st, 2009

iMac G4 lamp

Want.

[Via Pomme C.]

Notepods: the best HWR…kinda

October 19th, 2009

notepod

Take the iPhone form factor, marry it to the Newton’s stellar handwriting recognition, and you have the latest in PDA technology.

Well, kinda.

Above is a Notepod – a simple notepad shaped like an iPhone. For $18, you get three pocket-perfect notepads shipped from Australia. On the outside, you get a blank iPod Touch-like page, while the inside pages have grid-style paper for notes, doodles, or iPhone app ideas.

Maybe best of all, it recognizes your handwriting no matter how drunk you get – even if you don’t.

Or you can simply make your own with the Hipster PDA templates over at Active Voice. Whichever.

Via DIY Planner.