Category Archives: Projects

Macquarium photos

Well, here are some photos of the G3 iMac. Unfortunately, it boots up quite nicely, even with 32MB of RAM, 233MHz processor, 4GB hard drive and potentially AppleTalk instead of IP, it makes it harder to just rip all the components out and size up a potential bowl to fit in to the chassis – but let’s get on with it!






Christmas project: Macquarium

For the longest time, I have been wanting to undertake a computer related project. You can see some of my ideas in previous posts. This weekend however, my need for a project took a much needed kick up the rear-end when I stumbled up on a second hand Apple iMac G3. What made this find even better was the fact it was collection only in Liverpool and this weekend I was up in Warrington visiting my girlfriend. Normally I wouldn’t do this but with me having a nice little Christmas bonus from work and being 10 miles away from the address of the seller, I thought “Why the hell not?” Well, I sit here now as a proud owner of a G3 iMac in amazingly good nick for a grand total of £4.99!

Photos to come later… If it boots I will be really impressed!


Another project idea

I swear I need to set my office up in the shower!

All my good ideas or inspiration always materialize whilst I’m in the shower. Innovation Excellence investigate this phenomenon here. Anyway, this morning I had a wave of inspiration of finding a way of disguising a PC in my living room. For a while now, I’ve had a low spec PC acting as a media centre where all my movies and TV shows are stored, but in all honesty, it is an eyesore and has horrible blue LEDs flashing whilst it is powered on. The PC has a micro-ATX motherboard which, I think, would be perfect to fit into another chassis or case and make it a little bit more… “cool”.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System

My idea is simply this: why not fit the micro-ATX into… wait for it… a NES case?! Genius I thought. Being an 80s child, I grew up in the 8-bit world of the NES. It was my first ever games console and I spent hours playing games such as the original Super Mario Bros, the one with Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros 3 and Kirby’s Adventure.

The only problem I envision at this moment is whether the micro-ATX motherboard will fit into the chassis. If it doesn’t, my alternatives include boards such as the Raspberry Pi or the OlinuXino.

I’m currently watching a few NES auctions on eBay for spares and repairs so hopefully I will have one in my possession to rip apart and measure up the motherboard. Stay tuned =)

– M^

Upcoming projects

Since starting my dissertation project, which I will post details up when it is nearing completion as to prevent any plagiarizing and to keep updates as accurate as possible, I have become more aware and enthused by computer science in general. I have taken on a lot of programming for my dissertation, something that I must confess, am not very good at. To further my understanding, and potentially increase my “employability ” after I graduate, I have began to think of projects that I could complete in spare time, obviously in between work, gaming and being a father. These are some projects that I am planning, and I am currently working on at the moment:

– Point of sale solution

Aim: To become accustomed to using a Raspberry Pi and connecting external components such as a touch screen monitor. Decision needs to be made to use one Raspberry Pi as a server for testing purposes as well as using another Raspberry Pi as a client. SQL database back-end with either a Python or Microsoft Access front-end for logging in and navigating menus.

– Baby monitor

Aim: Using previous experience of using the Raspberry Pi and connecting an external component, further components will be attached to the Raspberry Pi such as a WLAN adapter, 1.3MP webcam, a high definition microphone and external speakers on one Raspberry Pi. Potential to connect LEDs to Raspberry Pi as to simulate sound levels when baby cries. Project will incorporate building a program from ground up that will automatically run when devices are booted. Two Raspberry Pis will be used. Pi number 1 will be situated in baby’s room and will stream video and audio. Pi number 2 will be connected to a T.V or computer monitor via HDMI which parents can switch to if sound is omitted from external speakers and/or LEDs light up. Secure ad-hoc WLAN will need to be established between the two Raspberry Pis automatically when booted up.

– Automatic DTMF navigation

Aim: To create an Android smart phone application that will connect to a company’s PBX. The user will be able to swipe through different departments that the company offers i.e: Sales, Customer Service, Deliveries without having to wait through the automated voice detailing which option to select. App will have the ability to be re-branded to fit a company’s brand such as green for Lloyds TSB, blue for Halifax, black for KnowHow etc. If options change, the app will need to be flexible enough to update to reflect any changes on PBX.

These are just some ideas I envision I will be creating in the next six months and I will post updates of each project as and when they happen =)


– M^