FS: One Mac Mini inside a Disk II floppy case

September 24th, 2012 1:45 PM
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You may not know Charles Mangin's name, but you know his work. Almost six years ago, he put a Mac G4 inside a Mac Plus. Two years later, he put a 2006-era Mac mini inside a Disk II floppy drive case. He's like a cat who just loves being inside things.

cat cpu DarkOne of Mangin's early failed hybrids.

Having recently completed his Kickstarter-funded PressurePen project, which brought a pressure-sensitive stylus to the iPad and other tablets, Mangin is now returning his attention to his retrocomputing hobby. He's privately shown me some ideas he's working on, and they have the potential to be killer. But instead of using Kickstarter to fund the development, Mangin is turning to eBay. Specifically, he is selling the aforementioned Mac mini.

Mac Mini II

But does it still make that grinding noise at boot-up?

The auction, which ends on Monday, October 1, 2012, does not yet have a taker on an opening bid of $500 or a Buy It Now price of a cool $1,000. Either one is a significant investment, and one I'll unfortunately have to pass on — but only because I'm waiting for Mangin's G4 IIc to go on sale.

G4 IIc system, completeMac OS X has never looked better.

Want to save a buck and try to create your own thing-inside-a-thing? Get more details on how to perform the Disk II hack from the RetroMacCast forum, the RetroMacCast podcast, or on Flickr — or follow John Bumstead's video tutorial.

Mac Mini in a Disk II video tutorial

March 28th, 2011 12:47 PM
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One of the first blog posts to Apple II Bits was old news even when it was published: a hardware hacker had gutted a Disk II drive and replaced its innards with a Mac mini. It was a creative marriage of new and old tech, reminiscent of the many unnatural monstrosities of Ben Heck.

More recently, John Bumstead has decided to make his own go at such a conversion. Due to not wanting to permanently damage his hardware, he aborted the process halfway through, but his video tour of the Disk II still provides some insight into how one would go about inserting a Mac mini inside this Apple II peripheral's case.

What other combinations of new tech with a retro look — or vice versa! — can you imagine?

Disk II on the outside, Mac Mini on the inside

May 3rd, 2010 10:10 AM
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It seems almost every time Apple is due to refresh their product line, the Mac mini is rumored to get the axe. But this model, the most affordable (though perhaps underpowered) of all Macs, is an excellent low-end product that most people overlook. For consumers switching from a PC who already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, the Mac mini is the best value. Three years ago, I replaced my father's beige PowerMac G3 with a Mac mini. After I upgraded the RAM, he couldn't have been more satisfied with his first OS X machine, which serves him well to this day.

But an average Apple II user might find the Mac mini underwhelming, as we like to trick out our rigs, and the mini, with its compact size and modest horsepower, doesn't afford much opportunity to do that. So if we can't go forward with the Mac mini, why not go backward?

Dr. Steve Weyhrich of Apple2History.org posted to csa2 the story of Charles Mangin, who has taken his Mac mini and encased it in a Disk II floppy drive, which was popular with the Apple II. Like the TARDIS, the Disk II must be larger on the inside than it appears!


Mac Mini II

Copyright Charles Mangin

This same gentleman made a similar internal upgrade when he put a G4 Macintosh into an original Mac Plus. I wonder what he does with the discarded guts?

(Hat tips to Gizmodo and Blake Patterson)