Thursday, June 20, 2024

MicroMac: a Macintosh for Under £5

Matt Evans (via Hacker News):

A Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller (on a Pico board), driving monochrome VGA video and taking USB keyboard/mouse input, emulating a Macintosh 128K computer and disc storage. The RP2040 has easily enough RAM to house the Mac’s memory, plus that of the emulator; it’s fast enough (with some tricks) to meet the performance of the real machine, has USB host capability, and the PIO department makes driving VGA video fairly uneventful (with some tricks). The basic Pico board’s 2MB of flash is plenty for a disc image with OS and software.

Update (2024-06-26): Jeremy Cook (via Hacker News):

The original Macintosh’s boxy all-in-one design is iconic, but has long been surpassed by modern computing options. If you’d like a reminder of this techno-touchstone, in a boxy beige form factor that won’t dominate your desk, the Tiny Mac III uses a Pi 4 to cram lots of retro goodness into a very small package.

The device was inspired by the Tiny Mac running on a Raspberry Pi Zero, which was in turn inspired by a similar little Mac built a decade ago. Creator The_Old_Wolf first built a Tiny Mac II with a Pi Zero 2, then branched off from its predecessors with a Pi 4 processing unit. This gives the Tiny Mac III lots of power to perform functions like running Pi-hole for ad blocking, using xscreensaver as an electronic photo frame, or even running gnome-weather to display conditions outside.

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I always thought that Apple needs a real Mac Micro, a Mac that's small (small like e.g. the Apple TV) and cheap (less than half of the cheapest Mini). Could be good for certain markets, e.g. in developing countries, education etc.

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