Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

The Rotten Apple

You know we hate Apple, right? Maybe not as much as you think...

Apple has some great things going for them. No doubt they have a killer OS and they put those OS's in nice boxes. Once you get past all of the interior decorator color schemes and lackluster hardware that Apple tries to pass off for PC competition, we find something that is a true gem. That is the G4 case itself. We were sitting around thinking one day that it would be a great LAN box. You got handles built in, and an easy open case. Now if it just did not look like a chick's box and have that other stuff inside of it, we would have something of value.

I happened to be talking to the editor of CPU Magazine, a mag I write a monthly column for, and he brought up this exact project. Convert a G4 to PC and make it look like it belonged to a man in the process. Funny thing was that I already had gotten the virgin G4 case and was ready to make it my own project box. Well, Samit at CPU talked me into doing an article on it and at that point I realized it was going to have to look good so I called on Brian "Duckman" Holmes, the creator of the original [H]ardBox. We let him do all the hard work, which is outlined in detail in this month's CPU Magazine.

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Of course we had to go with maroon and black. The apple on the side is now black, hence the "Rotten Apple".

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Front and back shots. Notice the Duck's handy work on the custom backplate. I think the brushed aluminum gave it a good contrast look.

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Crack the case open and out pops the heart and soul of a monster that is far from a G4. Duck took extra care to keep all the cables tucked away or neatly loomed. What you can't see in these pics is the "refrigerator light" that was installed. You know, so when you are at the darkly lit LAN and you need to pop your box open to do a bit of work. The Rotten Apple has two white cold cathodes that come on when the door is opened to guide you on your way...no flashlight required.

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While we are not going to get in-depth on this, we did have to take two steps to get the fit just right. Removal and repositioning of some capacitors was needed as well as the removal of the sound header. Hehe, we drilled the first one off with a drill press. Not pretty.

Anyway, here are the specs of how she sits today and is currently loaded with a new OS for a night of gaming at Brian's house later this evening. Article Image Some things have changed from what you see in these pictures.

CPU - AMD 2400+ clocked at 2.25GHz (150*15)

Mainboard - EPoX EP-8KHM

Video Card - Originally a VisionTek Ti 4600, now a ATi Radeon 9700 Pro

Ram - Corsair 512MB XMS3000 tweaked at 300MHz

HSF - Thermalright SK6+ with 7K RPM Fan

Sound - Philips Rhythmic Edge

NIC - Intel 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet

Hard Drives - 2 X Western Digital 120GB 8MB ATA100

Optic Drive - VisionTek Xtasy 48X CDRW

Zip Drive - Iomega 250MB

PSU - Allied 400 watt

Cold Cathodes - 2 X White

Thanks to all of our sponsors on this outing, they truly made it possible and some of them went above and beyond the call of duty. Both EPoX and VIA worked with us on getting the right boards fitted the right ways so we could fit it in "easily".

Azzo Computers found us the white cathodes, which are rare, not to mention the high dollars drives and NIC.

Thanks to Corsair for the RAM, their stuff always works great.

And thanks to VisionTek...if they are still around after today.

Thanks to Eric at Techseekers for supplying the case. He had gutted it for a customer that wanted his G4 in a more road-worthy case and supplied the case to us in pristine condition.

The biggest thanks goes to Brian for taking the time to build such an awesome piece of work, the pictures really don't do it justice.

I highly suggest picking up CPU to read the article. Brian went into a lot of detail and you would be surprised at what a pain in the ass this was to do. Hell, we about died just getting the paint off the damn thing. OK, maybe not "died", but buzzed up anyway.

You can get a FREE Issue of CPU Magazine at this link.