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Cool ways to reuse an old Mac


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Most Mac users will be among the first to tell you that they can be a little overprotective about their hardware. Of course, Apple has a great recycling program for older computers. But for some, sending off their old Mac that way would be a little like sending off your old faithful car to cash for clunkers. Sure, there is a benefit, but the idea of what happens to that old reliable friend once it's out of its owners hands inspires shudders.

Of course it would be entirely possible to make good use of your old Mac if something predictable, like a media center, or a server for extra storage. Heck, even a reliable little Mac that still works at 10 years old could be put to use as a kid-friendly Internet-free computer for your child's bedroom. Even more fun would be using the ROM disc from an old Apple II to run an emulator for those old classic games that you still love on your shiny modern Mac. And all of these would be good uses, and in the case of the latter a fairly fun one. But, in true Mac geek creative style, some users have put their old Apple computers to even better use -- or at least more creative use.

How about turning your old Mac into a planter? This enterprising Apple lover turn his old Apple Computer into the perfect plantar for catnip treat for his beloved cats. But the fact is you could use this clever technique to turn your old Apple Computer into the perfect planter for just about anything you wanted to plant. See the link above for photos and instructions to create your own Apple Computer planter.

When the company that's famous for it's all in one computers introduced a G4 Mac tower, they probably didn't envision it being used one day as a mailbox. At least, not your average on a post by the side of the road mailbox. Even so, that's exactly what a New Zealand Mac fan did. That's true old school.

Not interested in getting into the nuts and bolts, one user turned an old eMac front into a static photo frame. Now that's an interesting gift for Mom. And she doesn't have to be a techie to enjoy it.

In a similar move of reusing plastic case parts from old Apple Computer, one crafter turned a G4 tower side panel into a wall clock. Strangely, this particular application seems to get as much scoffing as it did praise. But, whether you like parts from old Apple Computer the design of the actual clock or not, it's still an off the wall -- or maybe on the wall -- way to reuse an old Mac.

If putting plants in your old iMac doesn't do it for you, how about pets? Here is an old iMac DV that's outer shell has been repurposed into the perfect home for a cat or small dog. And that's sure to have the whole neighborhood barking.

Ever wonder if it was possible to get the oldest of systems running the newest software? Well the answer is probably not, but one of the coolest ways to repurpose your old Apple computers is to stick a Mac Mini inside their shells. Here's here's an Apple SE 30 running MacOS X. Not to be outdone, how about sticking the insides of that Mac mini into the floppy drive of an old Apple II?

While we are on the subject of an Apple II, after you grab that ROM disk for an emulator, and use the disk drive to trick out your Mac mini, about finding a good use for those old floppy disks? Check out these floppy CD-R's. it looks as if they needed tray loading CD-ROM drive, but if you've got one that's sure to get you Interested looks at the local coffee shop.

Now we come to the truly unique. What does an old iMac need besides a Mac Mini and a subwoofer to be the ultimate audio broadcasting solution? Why, a coffeepot of course. It's true, cutting that big hole in the screen for the coffee dispenser will put a limit on the computer's abilities as a visual device. But thanks to a fully functional Mac mini, the machine will run for audio purposes. The creator says they're perfect for trade shows, or anywhere else you might want to dispense your coffee from a computer.

But, that's not the most unique way to recycle an old Mac. No, the title for the most unique recycling job goes to this G4 tower that became a motorcycle. It's a safe bet not even Steve Jobs thought he'd ever see an Apple run quite this fast. Now that's what I call mobile computing.

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Image credit Flickr: maczydeco

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