Upgrading an Apple Powerbook with modern components @apple @imgur

P posts on Imgur a cool retro computer upgrade: taking an old Apple Powerbook 145 and replacing the internals with more modern components.

About two years ago, I put my gaming rig in and old 386 case. This is cool enough, and gave me a lot of experience with Arduino micro-controllers and reverse-engineering hardware, but what if you wanted to take your cool 90’s computer aesthetic with you? I’ve had a working Powerbook 145 for a while, and began to think, “This thing has a lot of space inside it…” (Spoiler alert, it really doesn’t). Cue the idea for Powerbook with modern internals.

There were a few rules I laid out. First, it had to be use Apple hardware. No cheating and throwing a Pi in there with a RDC to a mac box or anything hokey like that. Second, it had to be able to operate off battery power. If not usable for hours on end, it had to at least be able to be unplugged and moved to the meeting room without dying. Third, the original input had to work. No carrying around an external keyboard and mouse.

The components chosen include:

  • An Apple Powerbook 165c display (size and pointer input built in)
  • A Mac Mini 2014 (coolest running, 2012 with replaceable ram ok too)
  • A Teensy 3.5 board for decoding inputs
  • Li-Ion batteries and buck/boost converter
  • Adafruit’s HDMI and USB ribbon cables and connectors for the display and Teensy. A lifesaver.

Read about the whole process on Imgur. And for nifty cables, check out Adafruit’s wide selection.

As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email circuitpython2022@adafruit.com to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 32,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org

Maker Business — Pololu’s account of the chip shortage

Wearables — Stay frosty

Electronics — High voltage logic

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: CircuitPython 2022 Survey, Python #1 in 2021 and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — 2021 in Recap!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 1/12/22 Feat. Adafruit QT Py ESP32-S2 WiFi Dev Board with uFL Antenna Port – STEMMA QT!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.