This post is VERY long. I have included a table of contents for those of you who want to simply read a certain section, or just help me by viewing the questions section and offering advice right away. All questions posed during general post will be repeated and listed in the QUESTIONS section.
All section titles will be in bold green, so it will be easy to view them and skip right to a section.
A. Summary of SFHym
` ` 0. Who is Abe Shmookler?
` ` 1. What is SFHym?
` ` 2. Why do this?
` ` 3. ARE YOU CRAZY?!?
B. The Lawrence Model I
` ` 1. General Internal Ideas
` ` 2. Aquarium Design
` ` 3. Screen Design and Plans
` ` 4. Lighting Design and Plans
` ` 5. Front Port/Switch Panel
` ` 6. Power Supply Design and Plans
` ` 7. Questions
` ` 8. Want a Lawrence Model I for you?
` ` 9. Production for Public / Sales of Lawrence Model I's
C. Important Company Information
` ` 1. What? What company info? What are you talking about?
` ` 2. GGJ and UR-INC.
` ` 3. MSS and OCP
` ` 4. OCP and LDI
` ` 5. D.A.Z~PL
` ` 6. What this means for you
D. Thank You!
Who is Abe Shmookler?
Hi everyone. My name is Abe Shmookler. I am currently 16, LOVE older Macintosh computers, and have successfully started (and shutdown) more than 6 companies. This is currently my only project (besides life as a teenager and high school), so it shouldn't be TOO long until I finish.
What is SFHym?
The project is codename "SFHym" (pronounced S-F-hymn). It stand for "Something Fishy - Honoring Your Mac." To date, that I am aware of, nobody has built and documented a working MacQuarium. The project is primarily to convert an old Mac SE and PowerBook 540c into an amazing desktop computer/fish tank. The second function of the project is to come up with a base plan for building these stunningly beautiful machines to order for people who wish to honor a Macintosh model. The final machine, as of this post, will be named The Lawrence Model I, hereon abbreviated as LM1.
Why do this?
I have always believed that Apple and Macintosh computers were something more than just a machine. The beauty of the sleek lines of the PB5xx series always called to me...the simple yet effective design of the amazingly powerful Apple IIgs...I remember my first Macintosh. It was the LISA. Big, easy to access...and like nothing I had every seen before. I also remember the first time I saw a picture of the TAM...then the first time my hands touched the leather handpad of the compact keyboard...it was love. However, I do not have the funds to buy my own TAM. That is a dream that will not come true for a long time...but anyway, I have always believed in making these machines more beautiful. My PowerBook 540c has been one of the few Mac computers that I actually use on a daily basis, and has been my best friend and companion for a long time. I believe that by converting it into something with sleek, shiny fish behind a see-through monitor will bestow upon it an honor that it deserves. I have decided that if I begin to sell (or give away at no profit!) these, i will make only a limited number, making it a true honor to any Macintosh that goes through the process of conversion to a LM1.
ARE YOU CRAZY?!?
The short answer: YES. Mixing water with power supply components, fish with electricity in the same box...I must be. However, I have my mind made up. I am going to design and build at least one LM1. To honor my PowerBook 540c.
General Internal Ideas
I began SFHym by opening my Mac SE and ripping (gently, of course) all the guts out. This left me with an interesting observation. There is a mobo shelf that separates a small portion of the bottom of the internal cast from the rest of the cast. Well, after playing around for a while I figured out the almost everything fits perfectly with the motherboard down there, and the FDD and HDD above the shelf. I plan to put two layers of emergency water-stop devices (such as a sheet of plexiglas) between the tank and the computer components, therefore making the chances of a leak and electrocution very slim. The tank, located above the emergency water-stop devices, would be a smallish one, for one to three small fish. Lighting will be by either small cold-cathroid tubes or some other small tubed florescent light. All of this is discussed in more detail below. Of course, I wish to maintain as much of the original Mac SE design as possible, therefore I have decided NOT to cut out the handle and make a sliding tray to feed the fish. Food will be put on it, it will be slid into the case, food will fall into the tank, and the original design of the computer will not be compromised. Also, MOST of the computer ports would be re-located to the front of the unit, below the indent. Lighting switches would be on the inside top of the indent as well. From a distance, these changes to the front of the SE would be almost unnoticeable.
Alright, this is tricky part 1. Because there will be working computer components in close proximity to the tank, a double water stop system will be implemented on all sides of the tank (except the front viewing side). This will reduce the chance of electrocution to almost nothing. The tank itself will be smallish, with room for one to three small fish. Gravel on the bottom, you know...all pretty. I think gravel in the shape and color Apple Symbol would be a nice touch ;-). The tank itself would be square, except for the back left corner, where the filter where be. The filter will be located outside the water. A tube will run from the tank bottom to the filter intake, and a motorized pump will pump the water back into the tank. This will avoid an unsightly filter in the viewing area of the tank. The filter will be the small, 5-gallon or less vertical filter made by Whisper. A small air pump will aerate the tank through an independent airline into the bottom of the tank gravel. The tank will take some caulk, fiberglass or plexi, and some elbow grease (and a few nights to try and all).
Screen Design and Plans
This is a slightly tricky. Because the PB540c LCD screen is larger than the original CRT, the hole in the plastic will be enlarged. I am not sure if the screen will be a LITTLE off-center as the side-board of the LCD cannot be relocated. The LCD will be attached to the inside of the case, but I don't know how I am going to do it yet, as I can not screw threw it... Also, I plan to use the two top screw wells to hold the original light that came with the laptop unit.
Lighting Design and Plans
The lighting plan in my head is kind of hard to explain. All lights will be operated by switches and will be independent of computer equipment power. Each light will have its own on-off switch so any type of lighting effect can be created in the tank. There will be three sets of light: Rear, mid-section, and front. The rear light set consists of four lights basically framing the back panel of the fish tank (two vertical on either side, horizontal on top and bottom). The midsection lights consist of two horizontal running lights halfway up the tank and near the top of the tank along the side panels (and maybe one over the top of the tank?). The front light section consists of two vertical lights on either side of the front panel, one over the LCD screen and one below it. The front section lights will be used to illuminate the LCD panel during computer use, and to help make it translucent while viewing fish. The rest of the lights are for fish/tank plant and viewing use.
Front Port/Switch Panel
The laptop mobo fits perfectly with the ports facing the front of the computer. I plan to remove the plastic port frame from the laptop casing and fit it under the overhang. This way, when the ports are in use the cover can be flipped down, and when the computer is being moved or used as a fish tank for a long time, the port cover can be closed and the original look of the computer will be retained. Single throw switches are what I have in mind for the light switches. An on and an off position. These will be neatly hidden on the top of the overhang, right under where it cuts in. This way, you can discreetly control each light. I plan to internalize an AUII-->Ethernet adapter, putting the Ethernet port on the rear of the computer. This way, when you want the AUII port, you can unplug the Ethernet adapter from the frontal port. Also, I plan to create a homemade Modem<-->Mobo cable to locate the modem in the rear of the computer, right next to the Ethernet port.
Power Supply Design and Plans
As you can imagine, all of this requires power. As one power supply would overload in two seconds with all of this, a power strip will be integrated inside the machine. The power supply, a standard high capacity strip would be plugged into the wall via a normal computer power cable. I have a device that converts three pronged plugs to a normal male three-prong computer power supply port. Everything will be plugged into the internal power strip. It will be on always. Also, it will most definitely have all the safety features in case something does happen with the fish tank and the water creates a short.
This will be updated with questions as they come up.
1. Is there any way for me to get around using the internal laptop ribbon cables? They are delicate, hard to manipulate, etc. etc. Perhaps build my own cables? I have miles (literally miles) of Cat5 cable i can strip and use to connect pins.
2. Can I extent the ports on the laptop mobo? I want to re-locate the modem to the back of the unit, and I would need to create my own extension cable...
3. Has someone done this already? If they have, please tell me right away! I came up with all of this on my own (except the original idea of a fish tank in a Mac), and want to know if someone else has beat me to it!
Want a Lawrence Model I for you?
Do you want to honor your favorite Macintosh? Well, as this is still in the design stage, I have not firmly decided about selling or creating units for people. However, I do believe I will accept a limited number of requests to honor favorite machines of people. Perhaps 25 or less. Make this a truly rare item. If you REALLY like this idea and want to "pre-order" one for yourself, send a reply here or email me at . Perhaps one day a Lawrence Model II or III will come out for sale on the general market.
Production for Public/Sale of Lawrence Model I's
At this time I have no plan to sell the basic plan of the Lawrence Model I or mass-produce it. Although this may come up in the future, I doubt it as I want this to stay a rare item to see. For more info, see previous question.
What? What company information? What are you talking about?
This section of the post is about what happened to about four companies that suddenly disappeared one day and what to do if you were affected by this. THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT SECTION! It is simply to inform people.
GGJ and UR-INC
About a year and a half ago, two small companies named GGJ, Inc. and Unique Rarities, Inc. opened up. Nine months ago, they disappeared. If you had a two-year plan from GGJ, Inc., please contact me at for a full refund!. I dissolved GGJ, Inc. due to lack of profit and sold Unique Rarities, Inc.
MSS and OCP
MoonStar Systems, Inc. is most likely my most widely know company. For about two years I have owned and operated MoonStar Systems, Inc. at a profit. However, I got bored and needed something new to do. One of my friends had recently began a company that manufactured bluetooth technology. It was failing horribly. However, the name caught my attention: OnCheck Productions and Communications, Inc. I bought the company and dissolved it. However, I kept the name and created the current operating company. OnCheck Productions, Inc. was born. MoonStar Systems, Inc. was Incorporated into OnCheck Productions, Inc. as a daughter company.
OCP and LDI
At this point, OnCheck Productions, Inc. was missing something essential. Original design ideas. The rare parts division was flourishing, while the newly adopted section taken over from MoonStar Systems, Inc. was dieing. I decided to go with an idea I had a few months earlier and create Lawrence Design Industries. In association with OnCheck Productions, Inc. and MoonStar Systems, Inc., Lawrence Design Industries employs a reasonable amount of people and works on the professional solutions for OnCheck Productions, Inc. customers. Two months ago, I sold Lawrence Design Industries with long-term contracts to the new owners. If you have stock in the private LDI market, do not worry. Its value will not drop unless the company is dissolved, which is a very low probability.
I created a small custom programming group named D.A.Z. Programming Labs a long time ago. Due to lack of business it is now dissolved. If you had private stock or any other holdings, I am sorry to inform you that they are now null. DAZPL has been dead for some time now.
What this means for you
If you have any questions for me, please email me at . All of us here at OnCheck Productions, Inc. appreciate your business and patience during the mergers. IF YOU WERE AN EMPLOYEE OF D.I.'s USED COMPUTER SERVICE of IDAHO and IOWA PLEASE CONTACT ME!
If you are reading this, you got through my post. I would like to personally thank you and offer you premium placement on the "pre-order" list if you want a Lawrence Model I. Even if you think you may want one, please email me with *PREMIUM PRE-ORDER* in the subject line. No Obligation!!
Anyway, I do want to thank you for reading all of this. I know it was long, but I had a lot to say! Hehe. Anyway, for me and my entire collection of rare and antique computers and paraphernalia, Goodbye and Goodnight. And thank you again for reading.