Massive but Cheap Pismo Hack Ideas: Internal USB 2.0?
While I am waiting for a hard drive to get my Pismo going again I have been thinking of some hacks that would be interesting without costing too much.
There are a lot of little ones I've thought of:
Changing sleep light to white (to match the more modern Macs)
Adding a hard drive light (sorely missing on Macs)
Moving the headphone and microphone ports to the front, below the trackpad
Adding a switch to disable sleep on close (for playing mp3's, etc.)
Lighted back IO panel
Keyboard light at top of screen (like some ThinkPads); etc.
More adventurous ones:
Replace motherboard with one from a MacBook!?! (Yes, I know this one is wild!)
Replace trackpad with larger USB one from a late model MacBook or Pro
I think the most interesting one is internal USB 2:
I was perusing the eeePC hack sites and it is amazing what these guys manage to squeeze inside these things! The main thing the eeePC has that a Pismo doesn't is USB 2.0.
How about removing the AirPort slot (and modem if necessary), replacing the single slot PC Card cage with a dual slot one from a Wallstreet and using the top slot for a $10 USB 2.0 card cut down to fit inside the chassis? This would leave an open PC Card slot for future use and the USB 2.0 could then be wired into the existing USB ports in the back, maybe add one on the side between the PC Card slot and the left battery (where the modem card sits) and use one of those micro USB hubs to have some available for internal use.
Possible uses: Internal Airport Extreme (802.11n using modified existing AirPort antenna); Bluetooth (current adapters are about $2 and one cm square!), internal webcam, GPS, maybe wireless USB (when it gets more popular), etc.
From prices I've seen on ebay I could probably do the USB, 802.11n, Bluetooth and webcam mods for less than $100 in parts (802.11n is the most expensive part at about half that cost)
I know a Pismo is now the trailing edge of modern technology and about the minimum to keep up with the modern web but I've got three, I might as well do something interesting with them, right?
Now; The THREE BIG QUESTIONS:
Is internal USB 2 a reasonable possibility?
Can a Wallstreet PC Card Cage be fitted to a Pismo motherboard?
Does anyone have a spare Pismo motherboard cheap I can use for hack practice?