iMac SL with PC mods?

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Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 3

I'm trying to find the mods that put a pc inside a slot load iMac. Blueberry I think. There was a mod at the MacMod site, but it has been down for at least a week now. Now I can't access the forums on there due to errors.

There is a good list of mods at http://www.applefritter.com/node/9274 topic of putting a mac into a pc case.

The iMac works, video and all, except I tried upgrading the os to linux, and HD.

I'm thinking of pulling out the logic board, HD, CD tray, and the metal logic board/drive holder, to put in a Parallax Propeller micro controller with VGA, and PS2 mouse/keyboard. Later on when the analog driver of the CRT dies, gut the rest, put in a LCD in, and a PC with linux, switched with a KVM.

How hard will it be to run the CRT off the VGA? Does the mouse and keyboard work good with usb to ps2 connectors?

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Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 3
tray, not slot load

sorry about the mistake

TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 615
.

Blasphemy!

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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1204
Re: iMac SL with PC mods?

capdiamont wrote:

I'm thinking of pulling out the logic board, HD, CD tray, and the metal logic board/drive holder, to put in a Parallax Propeller micro controller with VGA, and PS2 mouse/keyboard. Later on when the analog driver of the CRT dies, gut the rest, put in a LCD in, and a PC with linux, switched with a KVM.

How hard will it be to run the CRT off the VGA? Does the mouse and keyboard work good with usb to ps2 connectors?

So...

A: The monitor in the iMac has a fixed horizontal scan frequency. All the video modes it supports are "non-standard" divisions of said frequency. (In MacOS you'll see, for instance, that 640x480 is only supported at 100-something Hz refresh, 800x600 is only 85-ish, and only 1024x768 69-ish. The monitor physically won't sync with anything else.) You might have noticed when running Linux on it that your distribution probably automatically inserted some special modelines into the xorg.conf file to deal with the situation.

So what it boils down to is you could certainly wire it up to a VGA port and drive it as long as you adjust your video driver accordingly. (The pinout is the "mac standard" 15 pin D-sub connector) However, it won't work at the standard VGA BIOS refresh rates, which means if you're using a PC you won't be able to see the BIOS screen, do a "normal" OS install, etc.

As for using it with something *other* then a PC, I guess (from reading) that the VGA display on a Propeller microcontroller is completely software driven. Thus it *should* be pretty trivial to hack up code to work with any arbitrary set of timings. Just remember that you'll have to hack *every* piece of example software you might want to run, and you'll also likely have to be much more precise in said timings since you'll have to work within a much narrower band of tolerance then you would with a normal multisync monitor.

B: I've never seen an adapter to use a "real" USB-only keyboard or mouse on a PS/2 port. (Yes, I know of the little green widgets that came with some older USB mice and keyboards to let them plug to a PS/2 port, but those arn't protocol translators. When one's present they signal the dual-mode circuitry built into the peripheral to switch to PS/2 mode. That's not gonna work with a Mac keyboard.) Not saying they don't exist, just never seen one.

--Peace

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Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 3
thanks!

now to figure if it can be done, and how. Thanks again!