What Can You Do with Your Aging iMac? Go Fish!

Nine years ago, Macworld columnist Andy Ihnatko published detailed instructions on how to turn a Mac Classic into a fish tank. Since the first-generation iMac is turning three this year, we asked Andy if it was time for the 233MHz Bondi blue machine to join its older sibling and become the world's most colorful aquarium.-Ed.

My original Bondi blue iMac is by far the most reliable of the half-dozen Macs operating round-the-clock in my office. Maybe that's because it's the only one I haven't inflicted some sort of bizarre pre-alpha operating system upon.

But I think its consistent performance is due to the fact that it sits on the same table as my iMacQuarium Prototype C. It steals nervous glances at this identical iMac, whose brains and guts have been ripped out, and it suddenly thinks, "You know, maybe this stack-override error I'm experiencing isn't really worth throwing a whole Restart hissy-fit over."

I had to build an iMacQuarium. The whole top naturally lifts off like a cake stand's for easy access! It's already empty inside - no cutting or slicing necessary! And with all that inside volume, there's enough water for a few tropical fish and a heater!

Still, an iMacQuarium isn't the same beast as a MacQuarium. When I developed the original MacQuarium plans, Mac Classics were good for little more than becoming fish tanks. An original iMac is still a credibly swift G3 Mac. And with so many nonprofits subsisting on computers made of twigs and dried animal skins, it's hard to rip up a perfectly functional iMac without imagining that karma is filling a sock with nickels and eyeing a spot just behind your left ear.

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