It is truly a testament to how far we have come in a few decades.
While I barely had a few months to remember the debut of the very first Macintosh computer, it’s not something I’m oblivious to. The Mac has had an immense growth trajectory, from that clunky white box with the word “Hello” scrawled across the screen, to those colorful iMacs, the slab-like aluminum iMac, and finally the latest 24-inch iMacs that are about as thin as a smartphone. It seems, however, that technology has come full circle, with John Calhoun’s SystemSix – an original (sort of) Macintosh emulator that’s as thin as paper! Running on a Raspberry Pi 3 mini PC and equipped with a 5.83-inch e-ink display, the SystemSix pays homage to the original Apple computer that started it all 31 years ago!
Designate: John Calhoun (Engineers Need Art)
To be completely transparent, the System Six is not a “working” Macintosh computer, but rather an emulator that handles certain aspects deftly. “It looks like a computer screen that you could click or touch the screen on, but it’s pretty static – just showing your calendar events and weather forecasts in a retro computer-like interface. The source code is written in the Python scripting language and is available on my GitHub page. The display is laser cut from 3mm acrylic,” Calhoun said.
The display stand is laser cut from 3mm acrylic and heated to bend into the shape of the iconic computer. The Raspberry Pi and e-ink display are then mounted from behind. John managed to build the whole thing for around US$100 and even listed his detailed process on line just in case others want to create their own Mac-inspired desk accessory (or take this one a step further).
Want something simpler? You can opt for this instead Apple Watch Elago docking station that turns your smartwatch into a Macintosh.