Top 10 completely bonkers Mac mods

Exquisite designs, strokable curves and sheer lickability.

These are fundamental design concepts in Mac land.

But that shouldn't stop you from 'improving' on the work of industrial design guru Jonathan Ive and his crack dream of Apple designers.

No, if you really want to Think Different you need to create a Mac just like one of these.

Here, in reverse order, is our pick of the 10 most bonkers Mac mods...

10. MacQuariam
It started out as a joke by Mac writer Andy Ihnatko, but the MacQuarium has taken on a life of its very own. Fundamentally, you take an old Mac - old SEs, Classics and iMacs preferred - remove the guts and install a fish tank instead. You can see lots of great examples on the Apple Collection website along with detailed instructions on on how to build your own. We're particularly fond of the G4 Cube fish tank from Small Dog Electronics.

9. Leah Culver's MacBook Pro
You can't afford to buy a new Mac laptop, but you really, really want one. So what do you do? If you're like Pownce's Lead Developer Leah Culver, you ask for companies to sponsor chunks of the MacBook Pro's case and then get their lovely logos laser-etched all over it. Nooooooo!

8. The Lego Mac
It's an oldie, but a goodie. Daniele Procida from South Wales couldn't bear to throw away an old PowerBook 5300 that was brought into his Apple Juice consultancy. So he decided to mod it using his son's Lego collection instead. It took him a month to build and won him instant infamy and glory when he sold it on eBay.

7. The Biohazard iMac
It's hard to believe looking at this mod that the Rev A iMac was Apple's saving grace when it arrived in May 2001. Its fundamental beauty wasn't enough for its former lady owner, so she painted it black and stuck biohazard logos all over it. It's enough to make many Mac owners weep.

6. The PowerMac Mailbox
Once upon a time the PowerMac G4 was one of the fastest computers ever made - Mac or PC. Gutted, one of its kind now stands by a kerbside in Auckland, New Zealand waiting to be filled with junk mail, wistfully remembering the glory days. Sniff!

5. MediaMac
The Media Mac is a 12-inch PowerBook with a whole bunch of speaker drive units and a big chunk of plywood bolted on. Its creator - John Calhoun - had aimed to produce an MP3 jukebox/DVD player/TV recorder/iChat AV machine. But he ended up with one if of the ugliest computer mods ever - Mac or PC. Now that takes some doing.

4. The G3 PC
We still can't get our heads around this one - Flickr poster Jud Cameron has taken the guts of a G3 Mac and installed them into a beige ATX Lian Li PC case, which presumably means that it's both a very, very slow PC and a very, very ugly Mac. Maybe he's ashamed of being a Mac user or something. Or maybe, just maybe, he still thinks the whole Mac experience is superior to Windows no matter how ancient it is.

3. The carbon fibre MacBook Air
Love it or loathe it, the MacBook Air is one of the thinnest laptops ever made, but that simply wasn't good enough for John at He wanted his to be the thinnest, lightest MacBook Air ever made. So he removed the bottom case and substituted his own creation from carbon fibre instead. "I haven't weighed it yet, but It's definitely lighter than the stock aluminium version," John says on Make "... and a little flimsier." Why, John, why?

2. The Hackintosh
A Hackintosh can be two things - either a PC running a hacked version of Mac OS X, or a PC lurking inside a Macintosh case. We're looking at the latter here. Obviously, the aim is to sate someone's desire to create a PC that a) isn't beige or b) doesn't look like it fell out of the ugliest tree in Ugly world, hit every branch and then gave itself a back-end-of-bus makeover. Of all the PCs Apple makes, it's the Power Mac that gets most x86 transplants. Which rather begs the question: why don't you just buy a new Intel-based Mac and run Windows on it under Boot Camp?

And the maddest Mac mod ever is...

1. The Psystar Open/OpenPro
Currently one of the subjects of a bitter court battle between Apple and Psystar, the OpenPro is a PC-based Mac clone that runs Mac OS X - rather like a Hackintosh. The big problem, of course, is that Psystar has had to circumvent all kinds of EULAs and copyright protection measures to create its computers and then sell it to the public.

If you build a Hackintosh yourself, you have to take full responsibility for the consequences - Psystar seems to be passing the buck on to the buyer. Certainly Psystar reviewers haven't been kind about the build quality or reliability of its Hackintosh machines. Plus, if Apple forces Psystar to shut up shop - who are you going to turn to when you want your Open or OpenPro computer repaired?

For more Mac mods, check out, or Beware, though: currently doesn't play nicely with Safari and Google. They both think the site contains malware.


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