My Vintage Macs

Hackintosh IIci


This is actually my media server. It's a NUC hackintosh that lives in a Mac IIci I got that was DOA. The case is full of hard drives, I converted the mouse and keyboard to work on USB, found some new old stock speakers, and it lives next to my TV.

The CRT is just a typical shadow mask monitor, but I pushed it past its original limits to run at 1280x1024 and when you push 1080p video to it, it looks incredible. If video is 4:3, I watch it on this rather than my modern TV, the color response is really something else and it's just a lot of fun.

I gutted and retrobrited the IIci case, kept the power button plastic piece and the power LED. Couldn't use the original monitor I got with it after buying a shapechanging converter cause it was sync on green, so I bought an Apple Multiple Scan 15 (these are just VGA) which came with an original VGA to DA15 cable, so I decided to carry on with the shapechanger, cause it fits right into the hole in the case for the monitor out.

The original IIci had a PSU where you plugged the monitor power cable into the main unit to get power, so I wanted to replicate that as well. I bought a power strip that terminated in a male IEC connector and that lives inside the case next to the NUC and provides power for it and the monitor. Most of this stuff is just velcro taped into place.

I wanted to keep it running Mac OS for the comedy value of an old Mac running $currentYear OS. Originally the plan was to just drop a Mac mini inside, but I felt like saving some money, so I bought a NUC8I3BEK. Hackintoshed that with OpenCore, it's gone from running 10.15 to 12.4 without any problems. For peripherals I was pretty limited to external hard drives only, so I'm just running 4 x 5TB external drives on all the USB-A ports. I figure with it being a media server, as long as I back up anything hard to find, if something dies I can just download all that stuff again as long as I keep a record of what's on each drive. I also have to run the NUC with the lid off cause I wanted a scratch drive for downloading to/seeding off in addition to the boot SSD, so I'm using a 1TB 2.5" driver attached to the internal SATA header for that.

For mouse and keyboard, I'm using a converter running the t.m.k. ADB to USB converter which also handles the mouse passthrough. It's mounted on a carrier PCB I designed to reduce trailing wires and dangling resistors. Also running an HDMI -> VGA + audio dongle off the HDMI port, which both the VGA->DA15 converter and audio cable for the speakers (AppleDesign Powered Speakers II) are plugged into.

Software wise I'm running Mac OS 12.4, Jellyfin and Ombi, the sonarr/radarr/bazarr/jackett/qbittorrent stack, AdGuard Home, Home Sharing via Mac OS for music, and a MITM proxy so my PowerPC macs can get on TLSv1.3 sites.

Proudly made on my iMac G5

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