The Top 5 Crappiest (but still running) Mac Setups - Macenstein

The Top 5 Crappiest (but still running) Mac Setups

We’ve all seen those top ten lists of killer Mac setups that cost more than your car, house, and family. Well, unlike those sites, we here at Macenstein are not into shining a bright spotlight on how much your life sucks or how horrible the career choices are that you’ve made. We understand that most of our readers can only dream of those killer setups, and are currently getting by on beat-to-hell machines held together by gaffer’s tape and love. That’s why last month we announced our “A Thousand Pictures are Worth a Word” contest, and we are happy to say, after our bitching request for entries, we did eventually receive a respectable 11 submissions, and were able to come up with a Top 5 list that will bring tears to the eyes of of any true Mac fanatics. Entries were judged on their overall crappiness, the machine’s ability to still serve a useful daily function, and the creativity/ingenuity their owners showed in keeping them alive.

So, if you think you can handle scenes of uncensored technological carnage, behold, our unholy list of the Top 5 Crappiest (but still running) Mac Setups.

Crappiest Mac #5 submitted by Mars Man

Ok Here it is… It is a 1.3 GHZ 40 GB HD 12″ Combo Drive The Screen is completely loose there is no resistance it just falls, the rest you will see by the pics… LOL

Continue on to Crappiest Mac #4

37 Responses to “The Top 5 Crappiest (but still running) Mac Setups”
  1. ob81 says:

    I feel kind of lame now for giving away my old powerbook that had a minor dent in it :(march release

  2. Rowlings says:

    yeah, i keep all my old systems, not sure why. but they don’t look bad, they’re more like that old powerbook guys deal. Just old.
    Some serve as media servers, most gather dust, but i won’t sell them.

  3. Brad says:

    oh man I want that 3400c

  4. Jon says:

    As I am new to the mac world I don’t have any of these type of things to share. Someday my macbook will be there, but for now it still has 2 years on applecare. I salute these macs!

  5. LeAstrale says:

    Is it possible to take “too good care” of your laptop, i think highly of a person that comes into my work with a 3 year old laptop that only got a single scratch and thats about it. The ability to treat your things good should be of higher value than the opposite.
    However i would like to know the background stories and reasons those mac machines ended up that way


  6. darrell says:

    @Rowlings – you should consider donating your old machines to local schools or public facilities that don’t generate the income needed for new machines. they would go towards helping unfortunate children learn more about computers. of course that place would probably get broken into and pawned for crack.

    good contest – #2 is hilarious but #1 TiredBook is indeed a fire hazard waiting to happen.

  7. Rodney says:

    Thanks guys! I’m honoured to be bestowed with such a dubious accolade. Now I can look forward to the challenge of getting Office 2008 running on it.

  8. Richard says:

    Yay, my crappy leopard server got its picture on the interwebs.
    (#7 in the collage)
    Congrats to the winner!

  9. Mark says:


    Funny thing that. I actually have quite a few old macs from school computer auctions. For some reason they didn’t want the “Woz Edition” IIgs or the LC575(I think).

    I guess there’s only so long old machines can be functional in education. Seems odd, since I remember using similarly old systems for writing classes, but that was about 8 years ago. At least the upside is nobody wants to steal hulking old Apples or IBM systems that only run DOS.

    I’m sure schools would gladly take a G3, though. They can run up to 10.4 and are great for basic web and word processing.

  10. Tristan says:

    I used to keep all my old Macs and even their manuals! But I just didn’t have room anymore 🙁 So I gave most of them away… The only things I have kept was a Netwon 100 🙂 and the manual for my Classic II (the first machine I bought brand new)… All my machines were in perfect order and sometimes I wish I didn’t let them go… 🙁

  11. Craik says:

    Thanks for the honourable mention… Maybe I’ll try submitting a picture of the Powerbook 170 I have next time… alas, no ethernet on that one.

  12. new302 says:

    If you look close at Titanium Powerbook/TV setup, that looks like a vintage Personal LaserWriter printer to the right…seeing that thing brought back some bad memories.

  13. Photar says:

    Whateva, I’ve got pics of a AlPowerbook that got melted by a motorcycle’s tailpipe. Half the keys were melted off and most of the ports on the right side quit working.

  14. Amavida says:

    I dont have room to keep them all & so try to find a good home for them. I always feel I’ve betrayed them when I hear back that they have died a few weeks after being given away.. 🙁

  15. Old Time mac user says:

    I still have a working Mac IIe (read HDD is in megs, not gigs), which still runs beautifuly, and a pair of older mac laptops which sadly no longer work (one does unless you touch the screen, then it inexplicably shuts off)

  16. EmSaidSo says:

    The theme song for this post should be Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up”

    I have a 1994 laptop that I use for storage files. I very sadly passed on my indigo iMac a few years ago and still regret it. I have two more recent iMacs in the house. I had one overhauled recently and had a real argument (okay exchange of opinions) with the service guy, who said I should just sell and upgrade. I think, what the hell, it’s a gorgeous machine, it can hold all kinds of stuff…and I haven’t thrown out my husband jsut because I’ve had him for 20 years!

    So I upgraded and also bought a MacBook Air. They are the perfect pair now and I am very happy.

  17. sarge says:

    I thought most macs were crappy. I mean that dopey kid on the commercials really tells the Bill gates look a like that his PC sucks. Good marketing scam. I’ll take a two button mouse any day.

  18. shdwsclan says:

    I assume your past warranty….
    Man these are fucking AWEFUL !!!!

    Replace you keyboard – $25
    Take the screen panel off and tighten the outer screws on the hinge.

    Something is wrong with your backlight.
    Open up the screen and test the inverter board with a multi-meter.
    Its either the lamp – $9
    Or the inverter board itself $50.

    15′ Macbook LCD – $230

    The cheapest tower case is like $30, dont be so poor.

    Wow, this would probably cost more to replace than its worth.
    You can try the individual parts, like resoldering the usb ports and the head phone socket and new power sockets on ebay or craigs.
    A replacement cd rom can be found for cheap.

    When you buy an IBM (now lenovo) thinkpad, it comes with the full repair manual and part number. Most of the part numbers are not propriatary components like apple, so replacing any failing part on a thinkpad is really cheap. Thinkpads may not be pretty, but they are easy to repair and can handle the abuse…

  19. Dobbs says:

    Man, wish i’d known about this contest… my first gen macbook fell off my car at 30+mph then got ran over, only broke the screen, replaced it by hand with an ebay buy…that was a year and a half ago…still works (stepped on the screen a weeks back rebroke it…)


  20. Stephen says:

    I don’t think that the macbook with the cracked screen really qualifies. That is a pretty simple fix just by ordering a $150 screen off ebay. The first place winner, now that’s impressive! Soldering jobs that work? Sweet!

  21. Stephen J says:

    I don’t think that the macbook with the cracked screen really qualifies. That is a pretty simple fix just by ordering a $150 screen off ebay. The first place winner, now that’s impressive! Soldering jobs that work? Sweet!

  22. Ludwigk says:

    In college, my roommate and I ran a web server off of a Macintosh SE/30 with a Nubus ethernet card and 8 MB of RAM, an OS 6.0.x. It had a tiny site that was basically a picture of the SE/30 running “Prince of Persia”, and a couple paragraphs of text.

    I still have that SE/30 in the basement, and as far as I know, it still works. Don’t make me pull it out!

  23. Durf says:

    Every one of these machines does a better job with firewire connectivity than a MacBook Air. Win!

  24. mp3dog says:

    About #2… Your power supply would not need a fan to cool it, if you unwrapped the wire. The reason it is running so hot, is because you have that thin section of the power cable all coiled up like that.

  25. mp3dog says:

    Oops… I meant #4 not #2

  26. odin says:

    I use a PowerMac G4 400mhz Yikes! for a media server. It hooks up to my HDTV and basically does the job of an AppleTV for free. However other than ripping out the old modem and a couple of scrapes, it is in good cosmetic condition. I think the #2 setup was the coolest btw.

  27. James says:

    If only I had known about this. Its a toss up for me between the mini-mac that hangs by a power cable… externally… from a HP server rack located in a HP Datacentre I work in. This would have to be the only Mac in a four storey data centre, and the fact that no body even bothered shoving it into the amply sized rack is just gold. I’m told it was installed on a dev server to test HP backup tools on it, which is probably a good idea since any day now its likely to fall onto the floor and smash into many mini-mac pieces. Hope DR protocols for it are tested.

    If not for that, it would be the caseless macenstein that runs my loungeroom TV, radio, image slide show and functions as a file server. Its a G4 that has been built from 3 lesser G4s with a pioneer DVD/CD burner and a large capacity drive that requires special disk drivers to be compatible with OS X Tiger (and access the entire drive without causing all the files to corrupt). Tough as nails, but you have to press the motherboard reset every time it updates itself and shuts down or it won’t switch back on. I should also mention it doesn’t have a working keyboard. The mac is only operated remotely from the loungeroom remote (an XP notebook with ultraVNC since realVNC doesn’t seem to be able to talk to macs reliably)

  28. @ shdwsclan
    I attempted to repair it with an ibook G3 and now i have a pile of dead computers in my closet because that endeavor failed miserably.

    PS. Do THe other people who didn’t win get a Prize???? LOL

  29. JapanJon says:

    I have a screen on my 9-odd year old Lombard G3 that tries to emulate the ‘suicide doors’ on those old 1930’s gangster cars – at any moment the hinges lose what little friction they have left and send the whole (not inconsiderably heavy0 screen and lid smashing down to horizontal. No screen damage, but i’ve broken a glass, ruined a carpet and (of all the dangerous things for someone to leave lying around) put out a candle with it so far. We’ll have to see how long it lasts…

  30. Keith says:

    Shoulda entered my wife’s G4 PowerBook. I started off with a $70 “it doesn’t work anymore” 400MHz which I trusted had a working screen, swapped out the logic board (scored a 550MHz from eBay), discovered the 550MHz model was a different series so had to track down a new bottom case and keyboard, but it all worked when I slapped it all together. It’s burned through two of those thin-cable Apple power adapters (they make a neat popping sound when they go) but I found a third-party one that’s been working well for over a year now. It’s got all the usual cracks and creaks and flaking paint of an old, abused Titanium’s casing, but it works well in its task as an Internet terminal in the living room… and it’s nowhere near as bad as the winner’s PowerBook. I salute you!

  31. Tawny says:

    Man, my Powerbook is pretty crappy, but not this crappy. However, it should win a durability award. My boyfriend left it on top of my car and let me drive off, with the PB sliding off at about 35 mph and smacking the curve. We drove back and got it, and the only thing broken (besides a ridiculous dent in the middle of the hinge) was the inverter board that powered the back light for the screen. I made him buy the $70 part and install it, and it’s as good as new. He initially installed the CD/DVD drive improperly, so the computer made obnoxious noises on start-up, but another accidental drop of the PB inside my backpack from about a foot magically cleared that up.

    When I worked for Apple, that was my favorite story for why a customer should buy one over a PC. =)

  32. Aaron says:

    I should’ve submitted my wife’s iBook G4.

    Originally, I bought it from a friend whose brother spilled water into it. I purchased a new motherboard from eBay, which obviously came from a completely trashed iBook G4.

    Because of the damaged motherboard, I had to re-solder the connections for power and audio. I’ve never had to solder directly onto a motherboard before, and I pray I don’t have to again.

    That being said, the computer is still working perfectly… so I guess it wouldn’t qualify for this contest after all…

  33. kermin says:

    see now this is 1337 and not just a broken screen

  34. Lance says:

    A lot of these aren’t bad. I had a fully disassembled G4 cube set up on top of my mini-fridge with a 15″ Sony monitor… made a great front row jukebox.
    (Yes it is sitting in a Mac Classic shell. Yes I eventually replaced it with a Mini.)

    I submit a photo for your enjoyment:

  35. I am far too late, and I had a real contender.

    The story is, I bought this laptop for the sole purpose of taking it on long Wardriving expeditions. I bought it off eBay and found that the seller had incorrectly put it up as a 333Mhz with something like 128MB of RAM. It was actually a 300Mhz with 32MB of RAM. It also had a flat dead battery. I ended up adding 128MB of RAM and a new battery from BTI and then I used it for about four years consistently. Somewhere along the lines, my “hockey puck” power cord started shorting out (as they all do). Rather than buy another puck and watch it die – I pulled some McGruber-ish maneuvers.

    Removing the display from the backing plastic, I drilled a few holes. The puck is “liquid welded” onto the back of the display, with the power leads running down through the laptop, through the hinge, and then soldered right to the board. Then you can see there is a thicker wire running into a Whitmans chocolate tin which simply houses a standard PC female power plug. This allows me to plug it in like any normal PC power supply using a very common cable. I also switched the power to plug into the opposite side of the laptop – so I could charge it while sitting in bed (my wife likes the other side of the bed, and doesn’t like a cord draped over her head).

    The white attachment is for a Cantenna’ connection. I glued that down to the back (again using liquid weld) and then ran a stiff copper wire back inside the lid and soldered it to one of the antenna wires. This allows me to connect my external cantenna rig using a BNC connector.

    I used to travel with the laptop when I ran my own little business. As you can imagine, airport security often took an interest in my customizations. This laptop has seen the inside of a lot of bomb scanners.

    Now it stays under my bed. When I am watching TV at night and want to explore a website, I reach under there, pull it out, and surf away. It’s obviously not at all fast … but it still works … and I still love the keyboard on this model.

    Also, the laptops name is “Audrey” which inspired the name of a magazine I later put together called “Oddree” @

    -Ray Dios Haque

  36. StephenC_IRL says:

    the honorable mention shouldnt qualify, thats quite clearly a white apple keyboard to the left, which is probably attached to atleast a g4 iMac,

  37. Computerden says:

    even a crappy mac setup beats a cracking pc setup

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