Adafruit Industries, Essential service and business: NYC – Executive Order 202.6 - Read more.

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.

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, 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 16,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm 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

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — 1,000 True Fans, how creators can sustain themselves in the digital age

Wearables — Augmented reality IRL

Electronics — Free ICs!

Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery

Python for Microcontrollers — CircuitPython 5.1.0 Release Candidate 0 and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Hack-Proof Garage Door Opener, The Internet of Things is Sending Us Back to the Middle Ages and More!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Powered Flowerpot!

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

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.