Ever wonder what happened to all those G3 iMacs from the dot-com era? Besides haunting our dreams — along with novelty mousepads and barefoot CEOs — piles of them await destruction. An enterprising Nebraskan has a better idea: turn 'em into personal aquariums.
Jake Harms, a 28-year-old in Omaha, Neb., first got the idea when the office where he worked wanted to toss a defunct iMac. He brought it home and tinkered with it, transforming it into an aquarium. (Hat tip to Inhabitat's Yuka Yoneda.)
His process involves taking an Apple G3 iMac, disassembling it and then polishing each case to make it look new. Then he installs a custom 3-gallon fish tank where the monitor used to be, along with a filter, custom rope light, light switch and power cord.
A friend saw it and asked for one. And then another wanted one. And another. Harms made a website to sell his "iMacquariums" and then got overwhelmed with orders. Currently he has a bunch of iMacs awaiting customization and just needs capital to buy all the equipment for converting them.
He's also selling a do-it-yourself kit with all the hardware needed, including the tank. The kit comes with a warning: "Danger! Do at your own risk!" Those monitors do hold a lot of volts.
"I save discarded computers that are on their way to be destroyed at electronics disposal facilities and I give them a new life," he said in a video about his project on the fundraising site Kickstarter. As of today, he's raised more than $7,400 of his $5,000 goal.
Even though funding won't come through until April 16, Harms has received such a huge response that he's already started buying new materials. He's also posted photos showing rows of iMacs just waiting to be converted.
Have to hand it to the guy: Those computers never had such great resolution.
Photo: An "iMacquarium" made from a DIY kit. Credit: Jake Harms