21" iMac

by Don Hardy


After a week of slaving over the hot coals I have successfully built my first 21" iMac! I took a first gen iMac and a Nokia 21" monitor and "merged" the two into one. I wonder if Apple is ever going to make a bigger screened iMac? I heard rumors about a 17" iMac. Well I couldn't wait. I always say, if it can be done...do it! It took a good bit of creative planning to get the iMacs insides mounted nicely into the Nokia. I cut and drilled and added and removed, etc.

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The idea first struck me when I noticed how much vram was being used on the little iMac (6megs) and whether or not it was enough to push a mammoth 21" Nokia Multigraph monitor? I was pleased to find out that it worked great when connected through the back video port via a Mac video adapter. When the Nokia was hooked up it of course rendered the iMac's monitor useless.

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I guessed the iMac was 90% monitor and 10% electronic hardware. It turned out later to be more like 60/40. It's amazing what can be squeezed into small spaces! At first I stared at the little iMac and then the big Nokia. Maybe crossing my eyes a few times to imagine the two merged into one. I quickly shouted, "Resistance is futile, you shall be merged into the Nokia collective!"


After days of fitting, cutting, rebuilding, lengthening, melting, drilling, glueing, and getting shocked a few times I finally have what I think is the world's first 21" iMac! Sort of like stuffing a Ford 9" rearend up under a Chevy or maybe putting two brains into one human. Hey, "The Man With Two Brains", what a great name for a movie!

Some of the obstacles I had to overcome:

  • sleep deprivation
  • shock therapy
  • burn factors
  • fitting an entire iMac less monitor into a Nokia Multigraph 21" monitor while making it look good
  • cutting holes in the front and praying they matched up with whatever was poking through the back
  • being ever conscious of distorting the sensitive electromagnetic field around the edges of the huge Hitachi monitor
  • lengthening Apples FoxConn cables to great lengths via soldering and shrinkconnecting no less than 230 wire ends.
  • Adding extra airconditioning via electric fans
  • Utilizing every option of the iMac into the Nokia, i.e. Infrared, microphone, output speaker connections, back connection faceplate, speakers and grills, and most challenging...the CD ROM! I could write a whole page of the problems I had to overcome concerning this little item. But I was persistent and it had to be included or else! It took almost a whole day in itself to get the CD rom installed correctly while still making in look well integrated. E-mail me if you want to know how it was done (talk about compression).
  • That's terraform@mindspring.com


The spiraling cable you see here is the actual video-in cable that used to be hanging out of the back of the Nokia. It is plugged into a Mac video adapter that plugs perfectly into the iMacs video out port.


Here is a view of the end of the FoxConn ribbon cable that hooks the CDrom up to the logic board, there was a total of 200 wire ends that had to be soldered and heat shrinked...a great deal of patience is required here!.


Here is the power supply board that I took out of the iMac and integrated into the Nokia, there is a plastic cover over it that protects it from shorting out against the metal housing...


Here is the main logic board and various cables minus the CDrom integrated into the Nokia.


This is an interesting view of the comparison between the logic board (on top) straight out of the iMac verses the redesigned logic board (bottom) fitted for the Nokia (notice the missing CD-ROM).


This shows the redesigned iMac logic board just before it is installed in the Nokia, note the "bite" out of the aluminum panel to receive the iMac board!

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This shows the overall advantage of a 21" imac over the standard 15" iMac. Maybe someone can calculate the additional viewing area for me? I bet it's close to 100%!

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simon_C's picture

ive gotta say that is kickass! now go for a 24" crt imac!
i can see in the first few pics that the screen pic is out of alignment. i was wondering if that was because you just didnt bother to fix it before taking pics or your having troubles with it. J/W thanks


westieg3's picture

you need to paint this like the origional imac, or have it painted. this would improve the look, but would be rather tricky.

westieg3's picture

ok i just got a slot loading imac from a friend that wont boot. its been taken apart and reassembled to find the problem but i think its the software. the computer boots, but shows the floppy with the blinking question mark. i have tried to insert disks to restore the software but the computer spits them right out, even if i restart and hold down the c key. any ideas on how to force feed the disk to the computer so i can fix it?

Can you do a higher resolution with the new monitor than you could with the old one?