There are all kinds of mods popping up all over the Internets (like the kitchen cabinet mod), but this past week I’ve started to see mods that seem to harken to a different tech era (mostly courtesy engadget). The first one found the beautiful “magical” iPad implanted into what was called Apple’s Toilet Seat laptop when it was first introduced in 1999. In this updated version the modder replaced the LCD screen with the iPad and used the camera kit to attach the USB keyboard. In the spirit of the first iBook, the modder openly admitted that it’s a bit of kludge (because, for example, you cannot close the laptop without scratching the iPad’s screen), but it’s an ingenious mod nonetheless.
The second mod hardens all the way back to the original 1984 Macintosh. This modder took an empty or hollowed out Mac Classic case and cut a slot on one side for the user to insert the iPad, making the Mac case into an iPad stand. In a later mod (and video) the modder added a keyboard using the camera connection kit/USB. I love the new low profile Apple Keyboard, but the one in the video is very reminiscent of the original number key-less keyboard that I used on the Mac classics that I used in the late 1980s at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan college newspaper (in the entertainment section, the rest of the paper used AT&T’s short-lived DOS-based PCs).The last mod is crazy nostalgic. I love engadget’s write up on this mod commenting, “nothing compares to the pure, physical, carpal tunnel-inducing feel of a manual typewriter,” which probably explains my love of the low profile keyboards after years on manual typewriters. I remember well the clackity, clack, Ding! Watching the short video, however reminded me more of something out of the David Cronenberg adaptation of William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. That’s probably not the impression the modder was going for. According to engadget a DIY kit can be had for $75, while a ready-to-click fully-assembled version runs between $400 to $500. Further info on this project can be found at http://www.usbtypewriter.com/