Introduction: How to Make Your IMac Easier to Use

Picture of How to Make Your IMac Easier to Use
aaaargh, every time I need to plug headphones or a USB device into my iMac I have to climb over it or fumble blind !!!!

This is a bit of a pain but super simple to solve, I made this ible to show you how to put your ports exactly where you need them, on the front of your iMac. Just see what a difference a bit of sugru can make :)

Headphone extension cable
USB extension cable (male to female) (these are easy to find online or in a local store - I bought 25cm (10") cables - they are the perfect length for this project)
Masking tape

Why sugru is good for this:
1: bonds to Aluminium brilliantly :)
2: bonds to most other materials
3: you can remove sugru from most non porous surfaces without leaving any marks - take a look at this ible to see how




The success of this instructable depends a lot on the use of tape. 

To ensure that the inputs stay straight and do not move while the sugru is curing, it is important to tape the wire in place on the back of the computer.

Also, once the inputs are sugru'd in place, it is important to tape them in place, as the wires often offers resistance and try to pull the inputs out of place. Use tape to help hold the hack in place while it cures.

We found a strong masking tape worked best. It may not be as strong as duct tape but it wont leave marks on your beautiful iMac.

Step 2: Divide the Sugru

Picture of Divide the Sugru

You only need about half a mini pack for each input so divide in two and use half for the headphones input and half for the USB input.

Step 3: Headphones Jack

Picture of Headphones Jack

To bring the headphones input to the front of the iMac I decided to use a splitter. Not only is it just the right size to keep things tidy, it offers you two inputs rather than just one. Oh joy.

1. Don't forget to start by taping the wires to the back of the computer.

2. Work out where the inputs will sit comfortably. If you get a comfortable positioning they are lest like to meet resistance from the wire which could cause the hack to fail.

3. Take half the mini pack and make into a cone shape.

4. Press the small pointed end into the side of the computer and shape into a blob large enough to press the inputs into.

5. Press the inputs into the sugru gently. Don't press in all the way, you want some sugru underneath them to ensure a strong bond.

6. Press in the sides that spread out from underneath the inputs.

7. Use tape to hold the inputs in place so that they do not move while curing. Make sure no tape is touching the sugru so that it doesn't form a bond.

Step 4: USB Extension Cable

Picture of USB Extension Cable

We ordered some male to female USB extensions that were short enough, 25cm (10"), to keep the back of our computer tidy.

1. Again make sure that you tape the cable to the back of the computer so that the input does not move whilst curing.

2. Work out which way you want you USB input to sit. I wanted mine to have the top facing out so that those around me could see my super fly sugru USBs.

3. Take the remaining half of the minipack and make into a cone shape.

4. This time press the small end of the cone into the bottom of the USB input.

5. Shape the sugru into a pyramid shape.

6. Press the pyramid into the side of the computer, be sure not to place it over any of the tape from any previous hack.

7. Press in the sugru that spreads out from underneath.

8. Again tape is absolutely necessary to hold the input in place against any resistance from the wire whilst curing. 

Leave for 24 hours, USB use can be quite aggressive!

Step 5: Easy Peasy

Picture of Easy Peasy

Now your iMac is super improved and you will no longer have to fumble around the back of the machine like an idiot! Woop :)


scottjl (author)2015-12-10

lol. please come back in 10 year when you can have an adult discussion. but thanks for trying.

Churic (author)2015-08-02

What a Eye Sore. No thank you, I like my iMac just the way it is...

thegeeke (author)2012-04-13

Nice ible... but it just points out another reason I hate macs... ;)

astroboy907 (author)thegeeke2012-04-14

lol you get used to it after a while. I can switch out thumb drives like no other on a mac. Headphones are easy enough to get it.

*though a USB hub works too* :)
Just wish apple would get on the stupid USB 3 bandwagon by now. Feeling the need for speed here. Though on my 6 year old mac its not going to make much of a difference...

thegeeke (author)astroboy9072012-04-14

Hmmm... I didn't even realize that they didn't use 3.0 yet... I guess that is my new reason #300561 that I don't like macs...

My point of accessibility is that you shouldn't have to get used to it... Although hubs do work well, if I spend that much on a computer, I expect it to have a well thought out design, be faster than any computer that costs less, and be able to do anything I throw at it. Mac fails all of those. I spent $400 on a new laptop for my niece, $50 on more RAM, and I spent 2 hours getting it fine tuned for her. It now runs faster than all of her friend's MacBook pros. Just sayin... ;)

astroboy907 (author)thegeeke2012-04-14

(and this laptop would be...? :) )

My top 5 reasons to not like apple products:

1. Price- really, apple could be doing much better on this part, as nowhere but apple does it cost $200 to upgrade RAM.

2. Expandability. Apple products are designed to look nice, but not really user expandable.

3. Lockdown- really, get on the open source vibe apple.... grr.

4. Late getting standards- blu ray and USB 3 are becoming the norm on computers- apple thinks thunderbolt will do but it just cant..

5. Not supported half as much as PC's. Self explanatory.

What I would consider a nice apple product (I really want a laptop so this is all gonna be for it)- Low-ish price, some nice post i7 processor, support for an unhealthy amount of RAM (I would max out 16gb), and a good video card.

And I dont even play hardcore 3d games. More like angry birds. Oh and X-plane 10.

scottjl (author)astroboy9072012-04-16

your "top" reason for disliking apple products is the price they charge for RAM? really? like Dell or HP offers you any better of a deal? you do know you can buy ram for a mac from plenty of 3rd parties, at far better prices. right?

your second is they aren't "expandable"? hmm. i have plenty of devices plugged into my USB and Thunderbolt ports.

third, "Lockdown- really, get on the open source vibe apple" perhaps you aren't aware of OS X's open-source roots, apple's contributions to BSD or many other projects. try

standards like blu ray? really? when everyone else is moving to digital delivery. usb3 hardly has much traction, and apple isn't the only one behind thunderbolt, intel is pushing it hard too. PS. you can plug an external blu-ray drive into your mac and it will work just fine. mine is plugged into my "non-expandable" USB2 port.

"no supported half as much as pcs" really? what does this statement even mean. supported, by who?

astroboy907 (author)scottjl2012-04-16

oh s*** I started a war :(

Not just for ram- why do you think apple has $60 BILLION in revenue? Because they charge so much. An 8gb ram upgrade is $200 on apple and less than $50 from crucial. As for hardware, why should it cost $2500 for a laptop with the EXACT SAME SPECS as a $500 one? Surely, apple is not using some space age polymer for their products that costs the world to produce.

Expandability as in 3rd party upgrades. Upgrading a hard drive on a mac is harder than you think. As for any other parts, they are only produced BY APPLE, so good luck finding a replacement...

Heard of iOS? Its in major lockdown. I would also be in heaven if apple decided users might actually want to change settings...

Everyone else is moving to digital delivery? Yeah, in like 5 years when the rest of us have the bandwidth for it and everyone is connected. That idea sucks when you go outside. Sure, apple can get rid of the drive- most people dont use em anymore. They should at least be SUPPORTING standards with external products. Thunderbolt, while being pushed by intel, I havn't really seen it on any PCs lately0

Not supported half as much as PCs? Try and find software. I can find LOADs of FREE great working software for a PC, but try it on a mac and youre gonna end up with nothing or $50 out of pocket.

I really dont want to start this war about apple and macs. I do know my stuff when it comes to mac pricing, and theirs sucks. Many times, for a consumer, the decision comes to spending $2000 for $400 for a nice windows laptop. Most people are not going to spend $2000 on something they see is equivalent to a PC

scottjl (author)astroboy9072012-04-16

apple has $60B in revenue, apparently a lot of people agree their products are worth their prices, even if you do not. so how is apple wrong?

everyone knows apple doesn't use "space age polymer". they use fairy dust.

do you walk into a BMW dealership and tell them you can buy a chevy for 1/2 the price and demand they price match? after all they both sell cars with 4 wheels and use gasoline! the "EXACT SAME SPECS"!

erm, i've upgraded hard drives on macs since the early 80's. if you're competent with a screw driver you won't have much trouble. yes, i pulled the glass off my 24" imac to upgrade the 500G drive to a 1TB. wasn't that hard. certainly not for most of the people who probably hang out on instructables. ;) as for spare mac parts, there are plenty of 3rd party suppliers. try ifixit, ebay, owc, etc.

iOS. lockdown. maybe you didn't know you could download xcode for free from apple and write your own apps. and then there's this little thing called jailbreaking. there's also a settings app that lets you change plenty of settings. ohhh, wait, do you mean obnoxious themes? yeah. jailbreak and you can do those too.

sorry you won't have decent bandwidth for 5 more years. still on your dial-up aol account? and this is apple's fault how? maybe you can move to somewhere that you can get broadband. what isn't apple supporting with external products? i already mentioned that you can hook up a blu-ray drive via usb. speaking of, you didn't see it on too many PC's when the iMac was first released, it took PC's a while to catch up to Apple on that one. along with the 3.5" floppy. heck, even the mouse. Macs had been using mice since 1984, took PC's more than a few years to catch up, all that DOS ya'knkow.

oh yes. the billions of apps argument. well, we know how many of those LOADs of apps are quality software. there's a reason people pay a few hundred dollars for MS Office vs. using Notepad.

"you get what you pay for"

well, you've already admitted you don't want to pay for hardware, no surprise you won't pay for software either. but again, how is this apple's problem and not your own? infact most of your arguments seem to be centered around the fact that you won't pay for apple products, but as you opened with, apple has $60billion in revenue. so apparently there are quite a few people who believe that their products are worth the price paid. whatever Apple is doing wrong, they're taking it all the way to the bank!

mrElliot (author)scottjl2012-09-01

wow you guys should watch this


waterlubber (author)scottjl2012-06-05

Wow. So much for the "be nice" comment policy...o3o.

astroboy907 (author)astroboy9072012-04-16

ad for the record, I love macs! I grew up with pcs and find a mac easier to use. But I also see some huge flaws with apple and their products. Given the choice I would choose mac (If I had the money). Im not trying to convince you apple sucks at stuff, I'm just trying to say that there is stuff apple could work on.

thegeeke (author)astroboy9072012-04-14

The laptop was a basic MSI. It had an i5, 4 gb of ram which I expanded to 8... I think it will go to 16... And the video card was better than my current one. Regarding your soon to be new laptop, I would suggest an i5 processor as opposed to i7... The i7 is a battery hog and has some overheating problems in laptops, but the i5 does not, and the speeds aren't really different enough to merit the i7 for laptops. (Desktops, yes, laptops, no.)

I agree with all of your anti Mac reasons, but my #1 is that they think too much and there isn't a way to change default actions very easily, so for instance, if I plug my camera in, iPhoto takes over and there's no way to change that if I want it to do something else.

astroboy907 (author)thegeeke2012-04-14

MSI (I assume microsoft?)

On the contrary, I believe you can (when you first use iphoto) choose it not to open automatically. And I also think there is a checkbox to open automatically when a camera is found. So apple is flexible, but most people aren't going to take the time to find wherever the checkbox is.

Anyways I'm holding out until Ivy Bridge goes popular (or I think haswell is the next big intel processor group, i5 is getting a bit older in computer years.)

thegeeke (author)astroboy9072012-04-15

No, there is actually a brand called MSI. It's actually not a bad brand and they're reasonably priced.

Regarding iPhoto, maybe they've changed it, but as of a year or two ago, there wasn't a easy way to turn that off. To this day, one of my media production friends constantly complains about it, and he's pretty computer savy, so if there were an easy way, I think he would have found it by now. ;)

Regarding processors, that's great if you're willing to wait, but don't go rushing out to buy it the day it comes out... Wait for a month or two and see what kind of reputation it's getting. I have some friends who couldn't wait for the i7 to come out, and they got it immediately after it came out for their laptops, and they've regretted it ever since.

scottjl (author)thegeeke2012-04-15

well i wouldn't say he's that savvy. the "image capture" app has been in OS X for years now and it controls what, if any, app launches when an image device is connected. it also auto-launches the first time the device is connected to the mac.

people who trash macs are just jealous they don't own one.

thegeeke (author)scottjl2012-04-15

Granted he's not as savvy as I am... (I used to do data recovery for a living... I know a thing or two about computers), but he knows more than your average user.

In response to everyone, I am not afraid of a Mac vs PC debate, but let me be clear on my point of view:
I am not trying to convert Mac lovers to PC (as a matter of fact, I will buy a Mac before I will buy windows 8), everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect everyone equally in that. My personal view point is that I hate the OS, it's too expensive for what you get, and the security isn't that great. (and like I said, I used to do data recovery for a living... I've cracked into both macs and pcs more times than I would like to admit... So please don't try to argue with me on that one... I'll probably win.) Just a warning to those of you that are Mac lovers out there, please drop the "everyone who disagrees with us is stupid and doesn't know what the heck their talking about" additude... Obviously some of us do know what we're talking about, and that additude just makes you seem stuck up and arrogant. Not every one of you has that additude, but enough of you do to give the rest of you a bad name.

I'm sorry if I have hurt anyone's feelings, but that's what I believe.

scottjl (author)thegeeke2012-04-16

*chuckle* the arrogance of your post is pretty amusing.. pot calling the kettle black i'd say.

i welcome you to crack into my file vault protected mac any day. i'm sure someone with your "mad skillz" will have no problem. but hey, you didn't even know about the image capture app...

thegeeke (author)scottjl2012-04-16

What in the world makes you think I would be cracking into anything encrypted from a Mac OS? No one in their right mind would do that from Windows... Much less Mac!

I'm sorry, but when you get a job recovering data for a branch of the US government (or any other major government for that matter), you can start to insult me... Until then... Please keep the discussion respectful.

scottjl (author)thegeeke2012-04-16

um. i got that idea from you.

"I've cracked into both macs and pcs more times than I would like to admit..."

"recovering" a non-protected system doesn't count as "cracking". anyone can plug in a hard drive and do a dd.

astroboy907 (author)scottjl2012-04-16

Please sir, you can insult me, or macs, or whatever you want, but at least keep it respectful when talking to complete strangers. As you are not him you can't judge his work, as you don't know what he did, or to what extent.

And not just anyone can or will do data recovery- thus why people have the job as a living.
(sorry to throw you into this thegeeke!!!!)

scottjl (author)astroboy9072012-04-16

how was my response non-respectful? i quoted him. he can either provide proof of his abilities and actions or he can quite down. i've seen no evidence he's "cracked" anything.

for someone claiming to be "computer savvy" yet having no knowledge of simple mac administration (using image capture to control automated photo loading) i find his boasting to be slightly exaggerated and i'm calling him out on it.

maybe he can write an instructable on how to "crack" a mac and share his skills with the rest of us.

thegeeke (author)scottjl2012-04-16

I'm sorry if you don't understand the basics of "cracking". The first things you do once you've recovered a computer to be used as evidence is to write block the HD, make three copies of that HD, use another OS to get access to one of the copies, and it goes two different ways from there depending on if data is encrypted. I am the first to admit that with my current skill set I would have to play around with a Mac for a couple hours before I could be an admin (maybe a few days depending on what the employer wants done with it). The point is that I've seen a side of how macs work that you probably haven't... You would know more than I would about the operation of them... Granted.

I refuse to help just anyone learn to "crack", I need to trust their judgement first, and even then I can only show certain things due to an agreement with my previous employer, therefore I strongly refuse to write an ible on how to "crack" into a Mac or any other OS. You should be ashamed to even suggest it.

@astroboy907, don't worry about it... I got myself into it. :)

waterlubber (author)thegeeke2012-06-05

Like using ubuntu to change and/or delete sony files, for all sony haters out there.

thegeeke (author)waterlubber2012-06-05

Yes, but some macs use a low level encryption, so just using Ubuntu to get in to a Mac may not work. Same concept though! :)

scottjl (author)thegeeke2012-04-16

Chuckle. As I suspected. Can't put up, so really, you should just shut up.

thegeeke (author)scottjl2012-04-18

Chuckle. As I suspected. Can't put up, so really you should just think twice before you try to insult someone again. And the question I asked you is an ensanely easy question too. I knew the answer to that one in my first year of college! (Even before I took my first forensics class!)

astroboy907 (author)thegeeke2012-04-18

As a response to the question... my guess is to enable the cmd line functions and allow the disk to be read and written to? Or somehow through command line get the users password...

astroboy907 (author)astroboy9072012-04-18

lol sorry if that is wrong.. I'm basically using my knowledge of hacking a kindle, which I did this morning...

thegeeke (author)astroboy9072012-04-18

HaHa... No, actually you would never touch any key on the keyboard, you would actually at most move the mouse to be sure there aren't any programs currently writing data (if there are, in a perfect world you would wait for them to finish, but in the real world it normally isn't possible because you are probably in a hostile situation), then you would actually pull the plug on the computer. You would NOT shut it down correctly because that makes some pretty big changes to the HD, and for the level of recovery I did, you have to prove that no changes were made to the HD since it came into your posession until it arrives in the courtroom. You can make changes to copies, so you put a write block on the HD, make at least three copies (1 for working on and 2 for backup), recover the password on your working copy, test it on one of the backups, find your evidence on the working copy, bring the original to court, access the evidence in the courtroom, etc.

Obviously there are times when you have to change procedure, but this is a generic process. :)

astroboy907 (author)thegeeke2012-04-18

ah, I see. So its more sensitive than I thought...

So flip off, make drive read only, copy, and then get the data off the working copy. But the password stuff is the hardest part I'll bet.

And I dont really need instructions, as instructables is probably not the *best* place we want to spread step by step computer breakin instructions ;)

thegeeke (author)astroboy9072012-04-19

Right... I'm not going to spread around the actual process of how the actual "cracking" works, but I will tell you that it's not that hard. The hardest part is trying to find the evidence, since a lot of times it may have been deleted a few weeks (or even longer) before you get ahold of the drive. This much I can tell you: some of the tools that I have/had access to make everything from password recovery to data recovery look like child's play! My mom could probably do it with some of those tools. (And half the time when she's sending an email attachment I get a phone call saying "how do you do this again???") ;) (although you do have to prove that you can do it without those tools before you can get that job...)

thegeeke (author)scottjl2012-04-17

OK, since you think you know so much, let's see if you know a basic principal.
You are recovering a computer for evidence. You find the computer (let's make it easy and say it's a desktop), but it is turned on and is at the login screen. What do you do, and why do you do it that way? (This would be the same for both windows and Mac, and I'm trusting you not to use Google. I'm not sure if this is out there anyway... It probably is, but you might have to dig for it.)

srw724 (author)thegeeke2012-04-16

Here's a novel idea: how about if everyone who likes Macs buys Macs, and everyone who likes PCs buys PCs? Isn't it nice to have choices?

thegeeke (author)srw7242012-04-16

My point exactly. :)

waterlubber (author)thegeeke2012-06-05

I agree. Too overpriced. 10x as much as my $274 computer.

astroboy907 (author)scottjl2012-04-15

I trash macs and I own one :)

astroboy907 (author)thegeeke2012-04-15

Lol I just checked... Apparently Im still running iPhoto '08. Just a few years old... Anyways, I have aperture 3 so iPhoto is a bit lame ;)

spiceyweasel (author)astroboy9072012-04-15

Thunderbolt is three times faster than USB 3 AND you can daisy chain devices. Disc drives are so 2010....who needs one anymore, really? Price? Yeah....they are not cheap, but they DO run a superior OS. Expandability.....Mac Pro can utilize 128GB of RAM and has four on board HD slots that can handle 4TB each. It also has room for two video cards, a raid card, and more. Did I mention it's 12 core processing? If you buy it in it's cheapest configuration....allowing for the best processors, naturally, you'll pay just south of $6k. You can them max it out for about $3k more....vs. loading it on their site and paying close to $20k for it. If you want a have to be ready to pay for it.

astroboy907 (author)spiceyweasel2012-04-15

Ah, but you can get a pc just as expandable for less :) around 3k less.

Thunderbolt is proprietary. As its not anywhere close to universal, usb 3 is the best its gonna get. Just because its fast doesnt mean its functional
And really, how many of us NEED 12 core processing??

spiceyweasel (author)astroboy9072012-04-15

Actually, you are correct....Thunderbolt IS proprietary to Intel. PC's will have it soon enough, too. I haven't seen any PC's with 128GB of RAM, yet, either.

astroboy907 (author)spiceyweasel2012-04-15

hopefully, but its definitely not going to happen overnight (whereas USB 3 is a few years old).

Anyways, I havnt seen anything short of a huge budget graphics department use that much RAM.

spiceyweasel (author)astroboy9072012-06-05

Intel just shipped some Thunderbolt ready PC MoBos.

spiceyweasel (author)astroboy9072012-04-15

That's because you don't have an Ubergeek like me living next door. I am proud of my nerddom.

astroboy907 (author)spiceyweasel2012-04-15

lol probably so, as the nerds per square mile here is about 2. :]

waterlubber (author)astroboy9072012-06-05

Make that 3.

waterlubber (author)spiceyweasel2012-06-05

You do know that 128 GB of ram is useless, right?

astroboy907 (author)waterlubber2012-06-05

Not for a high-end, 3d rendering company. A nice 12 core Mac Pro would do better probably than a medium sized server farm.

omarruffo (author)astroboy9072012-04-15

I'm not a fan of apple computers either, but

1. You can easily upgrade ram from newegg, $45 for 8gig.

2. Their looks are not the only thing they excel in, apple computers are the standard for video editing, sound recording and image alteration.

3. Windows is just as locked if not more.

4. Apple is known for having standards before PCs, USB, SATA, DVI, Displayport, and now Thunderbolt. Intel is pushing Thunderbolt. PCs are slow at adapting to new standards because of legacy components many companies use for manufacturing and old mission critical software.

5. All file standards are compatible with apple products. If you need to run PC only software all macs are more that capable of running a virtual machine and sandbox windows7.

waterlubber (author)omarruffo2012-06-05

Yeah, Windows is locked. I hacked it, like 1,000,000,000 times!

About This Instructable




Bio: The team behind Sugru, the mouldable glue that makes fixing and making easy and fun. Do-ers of the world it's time to get excited ...
More by projectsugru:Attach a bottle opener to your bike with SugruLight up your tent with Sugru, magnets & a bottle cap!Make your BBQ Grill tools magnetic
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