Ben Heck, a custom computer modding expert, has been hard at work at making a laptop computer out of an original Apple ][gs. Mr. Heck has succeeded in putting the innards of an Apple ][gs, the pinnacle of the Apple II product line, into a laptop form factor, complete with a 15" LCD display and a custom acrylic keyboard. Oh, and it works.
Mr. Heck made the project for a client, and stresses that he will not be making any more of this specific mod -- i.e. donit bug him for one for your own collection -- but he fully documented the end result, including a video of it in use.
According to his Web site, he used an original Apple IIgs motherboard with RAM expansion, along with an original IIgs keyboard PCB. To make it match the design he put together for the project, he made custom acrylic keys for it, complete with laser-etched, painted black lettering.
Ben Heckis custom modded Apple ][gs original hardware laptop
(Photo courtesy of Ben Heck)
Because it uses original parts, including the ports, you can connect an original mouse to it, which is handy because the device does not come with a track pad. Youill need that mouse (or a joystick), too, for accessing many of the computers functions, and for playing Arkanoid II, perhaps one of the computeris most important uses.
Mr. Heck added stereo speakers inside the case, and a glowing backlit "][" logo that glows blue when itis on, and adds "a bit of yellow" during disk access. For a hard drive, he used a CompactFlash adapter inside the case, and you can always pop in a floppy disk through a side port.
The dimensions of the laptop when closed are 14" x 10.375" x 2.25", and Mr. Heck added a note for those with a modern ascetic that itis "not quite small enough to fit in an envelope, sorry." Accordingly, Apple need not be concerned for the MacBook Air.
Mr. Heck said that the cooling vents in front of the keyboard were intended to be reminiscent of the Apple II line, and he also wanted the whole effect to look like a laptop would have looked in the 1980s, if such a beast could have been made.
From the side: Note the speaker grills.
Photo courtesy of Ben Heck