iMac hacking

I recently decided to start work on a pretty large project to repurpose an old iMac. I'm still not sure, exactly, what I'm going to do with it in the end. I am going to put either, an integrated Raspberry Pi system into it, or a top-end built hackintosh mini-system. I would obviously rather do the hackintosh build, but finances will be my determining factor in this. If I can somehow swing an extra $500-600 for this build, it will be something along the lines of a quad-core i5 with 16 gb of ram and a solid state hard drive, running OS 10.8ish. 
On the other hand, a Raspberry Pi is only $35...

Anyway, I jumped onto craigslist and found this beauty for $35,

and promptly dismantled it: 


I spent a rather long time attempting to interface with this monitor, using the original interface, but it was pretty uneventful. It uses a 20 pin connector that I have only been able to find partial pinouts for. I tried several different methods to interface with it, but I could never get the monitor to turn on, unless it was plugged back into the original motherboard. I could get it to power up into standby, but not actually tun on...
It's not a big loss, however, I was prepared to replace the monitor for this build anyway if it came to it. So I got to discharge my first CRT, which was absolutely terrifying until it was over, and pull out the screen. I was shocked by how I ended up with pieces of this thing all over my work area, so I took some pictures for you guys.

The motherboard (under my iPad) and some side paneling:

A great pile of parts:

The discharged CRT tucked under my work table:

I picked up this monitor for free, to see if I could use it in this build. It had a strange video connector when I got it, but I swapped it out for a DVI connector. You can read more about that on this page

Once i changed out the connector, I had to see if it would fit into the housing of the iMac. Sadly, it is just too big. 

This is a better shot to show just how close it is:

If there were any way to cut into the metal sides of the display I could squeeze it in there, but they've put too much circuitry in there to even try it... I mean, it's like 1/4 inch from fitting :(

So I am on the search for a new monitor. To fit perfectly it needs to be about 10" high and 13" tall, frame included. In other words, about 14.5" diagonally. I have found an abundance of 15" ones online, but 14 seems to be a hard find. If you know of where I can get one, leave me a link in the comments below.

For now I've pieced the shell back together until I find a suitable monitor.

It's so pretty :)

I somehow convinced Caytee that she needed to stick her head inside the shell and I snapped a pic of that so here it is:

One of her friends asked her how it smelled inside, to which she replied "like apples" :)
That's my girl lol

As always, I'll keep you updated as I get more done!


So we're starting back into the iMac project. I had initially wanted it to be a gaming rig, but I've come to realize over the years that the monitor is just way too small for that. So I've decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and put my old laptop inside of it. This laptop has had many forms over the years and it's served me quite well. I'm going to be using this as a showcase piece in the studio, as well as my computer for use in there. As with all of my newer work, this will be documented primarily on my YouTube channel. 

Check out the first video here: