Repurposing Old Macs with the iLamp

Keeping old Macs running is the primary goal of most collectors, but sometimes that’s not possible or practical. Apple made millions upon millions of machines, which means there are lots of cases and parts lying around awaiting better fates than recycling. Why not repurpose that old Mac into something useful?

iLampIn 2002 Apple released the iconic iMac G4, featuring a groundbreaking flat panel display floating on a polished silver arm above a white half dome base – “Flat Out Cool” said Time on the occasion. Very quickly dubbed the “iLamp” due to its floating arm design, the iMac G4 always cried out for alternative uses once its primary computing days were over.

Enter Jake Harms. Taking inspiration from a discarded Macintosh and the original Macquarium, Harms has been making beautiful iMacAquariums for several years using G3 iMacs, and eClocks out of eMac disc drive covers. Once enough G4 iMacs started to pile up, he knew exactly what to do: give them new lives them as iLamps!

These lovely, whimsical lamps are part Mac collectible, part object d’art. Harms cleaned and polished the parts, flipped the base upside down, mounted the arm to the bottom plate, then attached a lamp harp, bulb socket and pull chain to the end where the dome sits. Both the iMac dome and baseplate have their original port markings, and the original (non-working) logic board is included. As an additional bonus, a USB power adapter for an iPhone or iPad is built into the base, just add your own cord.

To use iLamp: (1) plug it in, (2) turn in on. Let there be light. There is no step three.

Nice job Jake. The iLamp now sits on my office conference table, adorned with an eClock. It’s sure to be an entertaining and illuminating conversation piece for years.


2 responses to “Repurposing Old Macs with the iLamp”

  1. Enjoyed your site and collection very much! In awe of your outbound and test Intel Powermac!

    I had a very early Mac 128k in the late 1990s, before they became collector’s items.. sold it to an Uncle for $100! Years later after I realized my huge mistake(!), I contacted my uncle to “get that junk back/off your hands(!)”, and he said, “Yeah, I know how valuable it is now…!”

    So I never throw anything away ever now!

    In addition to the items on my mac museum page, I also have every newton (including the Motorola Marco and another 3rd party one), every powerbook 100 series and 200 duo series (incl a 2300c I made wireless w/ the ethernet mini-dock and a wifi to usb access point!), a 540c touchscreen(!) and 550c with the “c” pcmcia expansion bays for 802.11b wireless (one or both have a PPC upgrade), a G3-upgraded (by newer/Sonnet/Vimage) Powerbook 1400c & 2400c, a 2400c (incl a 2400c Might Cat 240mhz PPC), and just about all Powerbook and iBooks and Macbook and pros, Airs after that…

    I want a TAM Mac!

    and I had forgotten about the tablet MacBooks until I saw your page! I remember when I was all into the Assistive tech (see my page) Freestyle and Gemini collecting that someone was making a tablet mbar! AND NOW I HAVE ONE AS WELL from Ebay!


    • Adam Rosen says:

      Hi Craig, glad you’ve enjoyed the site. Sounds like you have a decent collection yourself. I don’t have a Freestyle yet, but I’ll need to get one eventually. Because I don’t have enough things in my house already! :)

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