Control a Macintosh Classic CRT with a BeagleBone Black – Part 3


This is the final part of my series discussing my Macintosh Classic CRT project. In this article I want to give you a summary of my future ideas for the macdisplay project. I will write a dedicate article for each idea as soon as I finished it. The links to these articles will be in this one, so look at it as a table of contents.

After I (finally) found the time to fix the display bugs that bothered me (the article discussing the software was updated), I was more or less done with my macdisplay project. My actual goal was to display black/white images on the CRT, which was a success after all. Now I want to take the project to the next step and I have some ideas to make it even better:

Display linux console/desktop

I want to display the BBB’s console and desktop output on the display. At this point I do not really know how to do this, but I have an idea that has to do with the X window server. After this is done, I would love to emulate the Macintosh Classic’s original OS on the BBB and display the output on the CRT.

Figure 1: Macintosh Classic OS

Link to the article (will be available soon).

Connect the old Keyboard/Mouse and make it work

I probably could just buy a cheap ADB to USB converter for that one, but of course I want to build my own solution for this. I have the original mouse and keyboard the computer came with, which are both in good condition.

Figure 2: Macintosh Classic’s Mouse and Keyboard

Link to the article (will be available soon).

Refresh the colors

The plastics on the computer itself and both, the keyboard and the mouse, got pretty yellow over the years. I want to fix this and get the default metallic grey/platinum look back.

Link to the article (will be available soon).

3D-printed case for the BBB

I want to assemble the BBB into the Macintosh Classic’s case. I planned to dismount the HDD (which is obviously not needed any more) and to design a case for the BBB that replaces the HDD. I will then build that case with the help of a 3D printer and I will rework the internal wiring of the Macintosh to feed the BBB.

Link to the article (will be available soon).

A new floppy disk drive

The Macintosh used a 3.5″ floppy disk drive to read data that was stored externally. Even though this format is more or less outdated (and useless) today, I absolutely love the look of floppy disks. Also the drive made characteristic noises which give me a warm feeling in my heart. So I decided to modify the FDD and some floppy disks to work as an USB or SD-card reader.

Link to the article (will be available soon).

Table of contents

Part 0 – The story behind the project
Part 1 – The CRT
Part 2 – The Software
Part 3 – Additional Thoughts (You are here)



7 thoughts on “Control a Macintosh Classic CRT with a BeagleBone Black – Part 3

  1. Hi, I’m trying to do the same thing with a classic Macintosh.

    Did you directly connect the BeagleBone to the Mac?
    I’m hesitant to do that so I’ve been looking at some high speed line buffers, but I wondered what you had done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I directly connected the beaglebone to the signal lines of the monitor back then, mainly because I didn’t know a whole lot about digital electronics by the time I made this project. So a buffer would make a lot of sense in this case and it might fix some of the glitches that are visible in my final version.


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