Making a Tiny Mac From a Raspberry Pi Zero




Introduction: Making a Tiny Mac From a Raspberry Pi Zero

About: Retired developer. Artist/Maker

01/21/2022 - Please note this is in the middle of an update to work with a different screen. The original is no longer available. THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE INCOMPLETE.

Years ago I saw that John Leake, of RetroMacCast, built a 1/3 scale Macintosh. I was so envious... I really wanted one but didn't have the time or resources.

Times have changed and technology has moved on. Smaller, cheaper components and new fabrication methods have made the process far easier. I was able to make a smaller, cheaper and simpler version. Now you can make one for yourself!

You will need access to a 3d printer for the case. All the other parts are readily available.

NOTE: The STLs are updated for use with an updated screen.

Version 1 has a faux with the SD card slot out the side.

Version 2 has the relocated SD card that is inserted in the front where the Mac disk would be inserted.

Check out the differences in Step 1.


Let's assemble what we need.

For Raspberry Pi:

These can often be found as part of a starter kit. It will probably save you some money.

In addition:

Amazon has a number of kits that include the above items. Here is the one I used. The small case is really not needed for the final project but is a nice to have. You can use it to protect your Pi while configuring it.

For The Case


Step 1: There 2 Versions of the Case and 4 Fronts

Version 1 has a faux disk in the front of the Tiny Mac. It is a slightly simpler build.

Version 2 moves the SD card to the front of the Tiny Mac. It is inserted and removed similarly to the real Mac Plus.

The cost difference between the 2 versions is minor. A few bucks for the SD card extension. The real difference in the build is the lack of space inside the case. For those of you with larger hands, V2 can be a little tricky to safely squeeze it all inside. Take a look at the instructions before deciding which build.

Be aware of which case build you are following. I will plainly mark them for the Faux Disk and the SD card. I've also included the SketchUp file if you'd like to tweak the designs. There are also a couple of files you can use to test your supports without printing the entire part.

If you have the old iUniker screen, those files are available on Thingiverse. The new ones will be up there soon as a remix of the original.

Step 2: Let's Start With the Case

Support tests:

There are 2 stls used strictly to test supports. The toughest areas to support are the handle on the back and the details on the front with the disk opening and the slots for the SE and SE30 versions. caseBack_supportTest.stl was printed with supports from the Build Plate Only. front_supportTest.stl was printed with supports Everywhere.

Version 1 has the faux disk.

The V1 case version of 6 parts. All are printed with a layer height of 0.20 in PLA. I have a Prusa I3 MK3S printer. I made a point to print it on the smooth plate. I arranged the back and front so the support fins are oriented to make easy removal. This made finishing easier.

caseBack_fauxDisk.stl was printed on it's back with supports from the Build Plate Only. Beige PLA.

The fronts were printed upright with supports Everywhere. You have 4 choices for the front. The Mac Plus, SE, SE30 and the Mac Classic. The fronts have extra supports in the design that will need to be removed with the supports.

fauxDisk.STL (or fauxDisk_SE.stl if using the SE front) was printed with NO supports. Black PLA.

toggle_fauxDisk.stl, driveSupport_front.stl and driveSupport_back.stl were printed with NO supports in whatever PLA you have on hand.

Version 2 has the relocated SD card.

The V2 case consists of 5 parts. With the exception of printing different files, the instructions are pretty much the same as the other version. Again, all are printed with a layer height of 0.20 in PLA and I printed them on the smooth plate of my Prusa.

caseBack_SDcard.stl was printed on it's back with supports from the Build Plate Only. Beige PLA.

The fronts were printed upright with supports Everywhere. You have 4 choices for the front. The Mac Plus, SE, SE30 and the Mac Classic. The fronts have extra supports in the design that will need to be removed with the supports.

toggle_SDcard.stl, driveSupport_front.stl and driveSupport_back.stl were printed with NO supports in whatever PLA you have on hand.

Common to BOTH builds.

Guide To Smoothing PLA Prints on Instructables. All I did was use 200 grit sand paper and sanded them under water. A small sanding block was used for the flat areas. Since the surface of the Mac was matte, it works fine. The few serious flaws I filled in using the same filament in a 3d printing pen.

Step 3: Inserting the Nuts in the Case

Once printed and sanded, it is time to insert the nuts into the back of the Mac. We require 3 - 3M hex nuts.

The nuts are meant to be pressed in. Carefully align the nuts and press into the depressions. This will be a tight fit. Flip the case over and press each nut against a hard surface, being careful to keep the flat sides of the nut parallel to the surface. If need be, insert a screw on the opposite side and carefully tighten to pull the nut into the depression. Don't use too much force. Don't allow the nut to turn.. Worst case scenario, you can press them in place with a hot soldering iron.

The backs have 1 nut in the front lip. The toggles and the drive support each get a nut. Note thee are 2 different types of toggles. Insert 1 - 3M x 12mm cap screw from the underside of the case into the appropriate toggle and secure itin place. Don't make it too tight right now

If you are using the Faux disk (Version 1), continue to Step 4.

If you are doing the relocated SD card (Version 2), continue to Step 5.

Step 4: Version 1 - Preparing Faux Disk

Cut off a narrow strip of Painter's Tape. I placed the tape on a clean work surface and cut a strip 22mm (7/8") wide. I then carefully wrapped the tape over the disk insert, centering it. Using a utility knife I cut off the excess.

Continue on with Step 7.

Step 5: Version 2 - Preparing the Disk Extension

Following the photos:

  1. Carefully split the SD card extension cover with a utility knife.
  2. Open the cover and remove the board and cable.
  3. Insert the extension's ribbon cable through the slot in the MiniMacDiskFront_V2.stl, being careful not to disturb the cables on the underside of the board.
  4. Continue to feed the cable through the slot. Pull all the way through
  5. The board must be under the small tab. Again, be careful of the underside where the cable is attached.
  6. Slide the MiniMacDiskBack_V2.stl onto the drive support. It is keyed and should slide on easily. It will click into place.

Step 6: Version 2 Continued - Verify the Pi Fits

There is very little space inside the back of the case (MiniMacDiskBack_V2.stl) and there will be 2 ribbon cables attached to the Raspberry Pi Zero, so we want to make sure there is no stray bits of plastic preventing the Pi form sitting in the case properly. Place the corner of the Pi in the slot found on the lower left of the back case. Swing the Pi up and slide it behind the protruding tab as in the second photo. If you have trouble now, it will be even more difficult later with the cables attached. If it is not fitting, check for bumps or irregularities in the print. The USB and HDMI ports should be accessible. Once you are sure it slides in and out smoothly, remove it for now. We will add our cables and reinsert it in another step.

Step 7: Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi Zero

There is a bit you need to do to your Raspberry Pi Zero W in preparation for setup. If your 40 pin GPIO header was not preinstalled, you will need to solder one on. There is an Instructable for How To Solder. If this is intimidating, you should be able to purchase a Pi with the header already installed. Attach the Heatsink.

I'm not going to go over just how to get the Pi OS on your SD card. The imaging software and instructions are on the Raspberry Pi website. Watch their Youtube videofor instructions. Use the recommended Raspberry Pi OS operating system. You do need an OS with the GUI interface.

Now that we have an SD card with the OS, insert it into your Raspberry Pi Zero W, attach your HDMI monitor with the HDMI adapter. The Pi has one micro USB port dedicated to power and one dedicated to data. Attach your mini USB hub to the data connection. Attach the keyboard & mouse to the hub. Power it up with the power supply.

Let the Pi go through it's initial setup. Select your Country, Language, Timezone and Keyboard. When asked, change your password. We are going to enable SSH, and it is a security issue without a good password. Select your network and enter it’s password. When asked, perform the system updates. These updates will probably take a while.

We now need to make some changes to the default settings. Go the upper left and click on the Raspberry icon. Select Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration. In the Dialog, if not selected, pick the System Tab. Check that the Hostname is raspberrypi. This is the name you will use to access your Pi over your wireless network.

Next pick the Interfaces Tab. Select to Enable SSH. Select OK to close the dialog box.

Just in case, let's record your IP address. Roll your mouse over the WiFi icon in the upper right of the Menu bar. You will see an overlay that has network information. Take a look at the photo. You will see wlan0:Configured followed by an number in the format XXX.XXX.X.XX/YY. Write down the XXX.XXX.X.XX. In my case it is, yours will most likely be different.

After the updates are complete select Restart.

Step 8: Collecting Your the Software

There are some very smart people out there. Paul C. Pratt has created the Gryphel Project. His goal was to help preserve software made for early Macintosh computers. He has created emulators that will run in multiple environments... MacOS X, Windows 10 and Linux, including one for the ARM processors used on the Raspberry Pi. There are many standard varieties that are readily downloadable. In addition, he offers a service to create specialized versions. These premade versions don't meet our needs.

You could download all the files directly to your Pi Zero, be be aware that it can be very slow. The Pi Zero is very underpowered for tasks like these. Another option is to download them on your desktop and use a terminal window to scp the files or FTP program. I use CyberDuck. It is available for both Mac and Windows.

It's time to assemble all the files

On your hard drive create a directory called Mini_vMac. You are going to place your files here. These will be copied over to our Pi.

Using the Gryphel service, I created 2 ARM executables. You can download these from my dropbox. This zip contains 2 files. One, Mini_vMac_ARM, takes advantage of the full resolution of the screen, the other, Mini_vMac_ARM_2x, doubles the pixels for an easier to see version. Place thes 2 files in your Mini_vMac directory.

You will need a ROM image. Macintosh ROMs can be downloaded here. You need to download the 9779D2C4 - Macintosh II.7z file. Expand the file and rename it MacII.ROM and place in the Mini_vMac directory. (Note: MacII.ROM is CASE SENSITIVE)

ToughDev has a great tutorialabout installing System software for the Mini vMac. We will download our files from there. Halfway down the page there is a link to the files. Download them and unzip the file. You will have a directory of compressed files called old_mac_softs containing additional zips. Unzip those as well. There is also a hfs500M.rar file you need to decompress. To do this, you will need a utility as it is not a natively supported compression format. You can find out how to decompress the file on How To Geek.

Once decompressed, RENAME the hfs500M.dsk to disk1.dsk. This will be your virtual hard drive. Mini vMac mounts disks automatically if they are named correctly. Don't bother with the hfv500M_sys755_clean.dsk... It is an image with the system software installed but it doesn't quite everything you will need.

Move the following to your Mini_vMac directory

  • disk1.dsk (Your new 500M Hard Drive image)
  • a Mac701 directory containing 6 disk images
  • mac753.img Your Mac OS system 7.5.3 install disk
  • mac755up.img Your Mac OS system 7.5.5 install disk

Step 9: ​Transfering Files to Your Pi Via CyberDuck

Launch CyberDuck. The first we need to do is create a shortcut to your Pi. See first the image. In the lower left hit + to add a bookmark. In the dialog that pops up, change the protocol to SFTP. Enter raspberrypi.local for the server name. pi for the user name. Enter whatever password you used when setting up your Raspberry Pi. Close the dialog.

Double click your new Bookmark and you should connect to your Pi. If you get any messages about an unknown fingerprint, select Allow.

If you cannot connect by Hostname, you can do the same thing with the IP address recorded earlier. Set up another bookmark by clicking on the + in the lower left. In the new dialog box, change the protocol to SFTP. Enter your Pi IP Addressrecorded earlier. Use pi for the user name. Enter the password. Close the dialog. Double click your new Bookmark. If you still have problems, take a look online for instructions on how to transfer files via scp.

It's time to move our files. These are the items you are interested in:

  • Mini_vMac_ARM - 640x480 version downloaded my Dropbox
  • Mini_vMac_ARM_2x - 320x240 version downloaded from my Dropbox
  • MacII.ROM downloaded and renamed from the ROM repository
  • disk1.dsk (Your new 500M Hard Drive image)
  • a Mac701 directory containing 6 disk images to install system 7.0.1
  • mac753.img Your Mac OS system 7.5.3 install disk
  • mac755up.img Your Mac OS system 7.5.5 install disk

Using CyberDuck, double click on the the bookmark. It may ask for permission. Grant it. It will open a connection to your Pi. You should see a listing of the directories and files in the /home/pi/ directory. Doubleclick on the Desktop directory.

We new a new directory. Right click and create an new folder called Mini vMac. Doubleclick on that directory to open and drag all of the items listed above into this new directory. The files will be copied over to your Pi.

Step 10: Setting Up Mini VMac on Your Pi

These are the instructions for System 7. Some have asked about older versions of the Mac OS. You can find System 5 and 6 on Mini vMac Applications. The instructions will be slightly different but pretty intuitive.

Now we move over to your Raspberry Pi. On your desktop you should have a Mini vMac directory. Doubleclick to open and you should see

  • Mini_vMac_ARM
  • Mini_vMac_ARM_2x
  • MacII.ROM
  • disk1.dsk
  • Mac701 directory containing 6 disk images
  • mac753.img
  • mac755up.img

The Mini_vMac_ARM executable runs at the native resolution (640x480) of the display used in this project. This can be a little small to maneuver, but is really cool. The Mini_vMac_ARM_2 version runs at half the resolution (320x240) with the pixels doubled. Easier to see but a bit small if you are going to run some software.

First we need to make these to files executable. Select the 2 files Mini_vMac_ARM and Mini_vMac_ARM_2x files, right click and select Properties. Select the Permissions tab and change Execute to Anyone. To make setup easier, are doing the set up with the native resolution version. Since the setup is actually makes changes to the hard drive image, setting up one, sets up the other. When showing it to others, you can launch either version.

Doubleclick on the Mini_vMac_ARM file and select Execute. It should open full screen and you will see a flashing disk Icon. Press Ctrl-F to exit full screen.

Note that there are a number of control options with Mini vMac. Pressing Ctrl-H will bring up a list of options. For more informations see the Mini vMac Documentation.

On your Pi, open the Mac701 directory and drag the Install 1.image onto your Mini vMac window. Dragging a disk onto the Application will mount the disk. It should boot to an installer screen. On your Pi, go back up a level and drag in the disk1.dsk. The screen should update to say it will be installing on Mac500M. Select Install.

Drag in each of the disks when prompted... Install 2.image, Tidbits.image, Printing.image, Fonts.image and finally drag in again the Install 1.image. When finished Quit the install, and Select Restart.

You will have a flashing disk icon. Drag in disk1.dsk and it will continue the boot to system 7.0.1. Success!

Note: to Shutdown/Quit, you should always go to the Menu Special and select Shutdown.

Step 11: Optional System Upgrade

You can just stop here and you will be running Mac System 7.0.1.

If you wish to upgrade to System 7.5.3, drag in the mac753.img. When the new disk window opens, doubleclick the System 7.5.3 01 of 19.smi file. The software will validate and mount a virtual disk. This new disk will show up on the desktop as System 7.5 V7.5.3 CD inst. Doubleclick that image. When the disk opens, run the Installer and follow the instructions. Restart when asked. Drag in disk1.dsk.

When 7.5.3 is finished installing and you wish to upgrade to 7.5.5, drag in mac755up.img. Open the disk, doubleclick the System 7.7.5 Update folder, and run the Installer. Follow the instructions.

Step 12: Adding Software

Some of the software sites:

There are 2 ways to mount disks in Mini vMac.

  1. You can drag a .DSK or .IMG file onto the window
  2. You can change the name of the .DSK file. Disks are mounted in order and the emulator will look for disk images in order. You have seen this already when we renamed our hard drive image disk1.DSK. It is important to note that if there is a gap in the numbers, the automatic mounting will stop where there is a gap. If you have a disk2.DSK and a disk4.DSK but no disk3.DSK, mounting stops with disk2.DSK.

Since we are going to copy files on the hard drive, we don't need to mount extra disks every time. I will use the first method.

If in full screen, you need to exit using Ctrl-F. Drag your disk image onto the App window. The disk image will appear on the desktop. (To unmount, drag to the trash.) If this were just a regular app or game, I would just drag the Disk icon into the hard drive. It will create a directory with the same name as your disk. You should be able open that folder to doubleclick the application icon and run.

A Game Example:

I'm going to install the game Lemmings. I've downloaded One important note, to make your life easier, try and find .DSK or .IMG files. Avoid .SIT files.

I've decompressed the zip and dragged the disk image on to the App. Once the disk appears on the desktop, just drag that disk image onto the hard drive and all the files will be copied to a new directory on the hard drive. Open the directory and run.


I'm chosen the screensaver After Dark. The file I've picked is After Dark 2.0x (1993) for emulators. You should download zips of DSK or IMG images. I've expanded my zip and used CyberDuck to place the .img file in the same directory as the Mini vMac App. Again drag the disk image onto the Mini vMac app. The disk mounts. Drag the After Dark 2.0x app and the supporting folder into the Control Panels directory inside the System Folder. Restart and drag the disk1.dsk image back into the Mini vMac window. Setup your screensaver.

If you want your Pi to go to the Emulator directly on startup, follow the instructions Step 19: Launch on Startup. You could follow the instructions for setting it up from the Raspberry Pi desktop.

Step 13: Setting Up the VGA Screen

At this point, I would recommend that you make a backup copy of your sd card.

Remember, this is specific to the screen I have selected.

The manufacturer has a PDF with the software instructions. It also includes uninstall instructions.

Here it is in summary.

Open an new Terminal window on your Pi and enter the following:

cd ~/
git clone<br>cd MZDPI/vga
sudo chmod +x mzdpi-vga-autoinstall-online
sudo ./mzdpi-vga-autoinstall-online

When the install is complete, shutdown your Raspberry Pi. We are going to move our pi and Screen into the case.

Step 14: Assembling the Mini Mac

Remove protective cover on the display. Slide the display into place on the front panel. The upper and lower right corners of the should fit tightly into the retainers. If any of this is too difficult, a bit of sanding on the guides should do the trick. When facing the front of the case, check that the display is centered.

Carefully attach the ribbon cable to the top of the display. Make sure it is aligned and fully inserted.

Attach the other end of the cable to the Pi. Check the photo to see just how the cable should be aligned.

Be sure to remove the SD card. You can't install the Pi into the case if the SD card is still inserted.

If building Version 1, continue to Step 15.

If building Version 2, continue to Step 16.

Step 15: Version 1 - Continue Assembling the Mini Mac

Slide the Pi into back of the case. The connectors go into the holes on the back of the case. Check that the SD card slot is centered in the opening on the right of the case. Insert the card.

Hold the Pi in the case, turn the toggle and tighten with a 2.5mm Ball Allen wrench.

Carefully fold the ribbon cable into the case and slide the front of the Mac upwards into the back. Insert the remaining 3mm screws into the underside of the front and carefully tighten. Be sure you don't pop the nuts out of the lip.

Turn the Mac around to the back and insert your unpowered hub into the left port. Inset the power connector into the right port.

Continue to Step 17.

Step 16: Version 2 - Continue Assembling the Mini Mac

Following the photos:

  1. Carefully fold your ribbon cable as shown in the photograph. The cable should exit the connector to the rear and the red edge should be up. This is important to insure you are aligning the cables to the correct pins. If your cable is multicolored, it should still exit the connector to the rear but pay attention to what color is at the top edge.
  2. Attach the Ribbon cable to the Pi. The SD card slot is up and the GPIO pins are to the right. Note I have the red edge of the cable up and that the cable exit exits the rear of the connector.
  3. Carefully insert the SD card extension into the SD card slot.
    Verify your setup looks like the final photo and the ribbon cable is on ALL the pins.
  4. Attach the ribbon cable to the rear of the display being careful of its alignment. Note the red edge of the ribbon cable.
  5. Reinsert the Pi into the case as before. It will be a tight fit and you will need to be very careful of the case. Once again, the top edge must be behind the tab and the ports are aligned with the holes in the case. The SD card extension should fit up into the cutout in the case. Be careful not to damage any of these cables.

  6. Place the MiniMacToggle_V2.stl and its inserted nut in position. Note the arm is to the left. Attach from below with one of the 12mm cap screw. Rotate the toggle so that it prevents the board from sliding out.

  7. Carefully slide the case closed from below and fasten it with the remaining 12mm cap screw.

Insert your SD card in its adaptor into the disk drive slot. Turn the Mac around to the back and insert your power connector into the bottom port (note the power symbol) and your unpowered hub into the second from the bottom port.

Step 17: Adding Sound (Optional)

This is a bit of an update. Folks have asked about sound. I was looking onto Raspberry Pi Zero sound cards but finally decided on using the Pi's built in Bluetooth. These instructions are a summary of those on the RaspberryDIY site. How to Connect Your Raspberry Pi to a Bluetooth Speaker. Check it out for more detailed instructions.

You'll need a Bluetooth speaker. I just pulled one out of an old junk drawer. Put it into discovery mode.

Click on the Bluetooth Icon in the Menu bar. Select Add Device. You'll get a list of available Bluetooth devices. Select your speaker. You'll get a confirmation dialog telling you to select your speaker as an output device. This is where it gets a little counter-intuitive.. clicking on the volume icon in the menu gives you just that... volume. You need to right-click on the speaker icon and you will get a little dialog box. Select Audio Outputs and your speaker. You should be good to go!

Step 18: Let's Boot It Up!

When the Pi starts, up it boots to the Raspberry Pi desktop. Doubleclick your Mini vMac directory. You have 2 executables in this directory. Both will launch with the same hard drive image.

The Mini_vMac_ARM file launches a version that runs full resolution, 640x480.

The Mini_vMac_ARM_2x launches a version that runs with pixel doubling with a screen resolution of 320x240.

If you want to make your little Mac look a bit more like the original Mac Plus, you can change to grayscale or even better Black & White in your Monitors control panel.

When Shutting down your Mini vMac be sure to do it by going to the Special Menu and select Shutdown. Once back to the Raspberry OS desktop, shut the Pi down as usual... The Raspberry icon in the upper left corner, select Logout. Select Shutdown from your options. Power down your Mini Mac.

Have fun!

Step 19: Addendum: Launch on Startup

I'm setting this up as a seperate section for those that have already made their tin Mac. We going to set up our Pi to autolaunch the Mini Vmac. There's a great video showing what we are going to do.

There are may ways to do this... you can do it from the Pi desktop, through an application like CyberDuck, or from the terminal using SSH. We are going to create a file called Launcher.desktop that runs on startup in your /home/pi/.config directory. I'm going to show you via CyberDuck.

Open your Pi with CyberDuck as you have done before. You will see a directory listing of your /home/pi directory. The folder we need access to is a hidden folder. Luckily, CyberDuck allows us to see these files and directories. From the top Menu, select View -> Show Hidden files. You should now see a number of additional files and folders. We are looking for the hidden .config directory. Open the .config directory. we are looking for the autostart directory. If it does not exist, create one by right-clicking and creating a new folder with that name. Be careful to use all lowercase.

Open the autostart directory and right-click to see your options. Select New File. Name that file Launcher.desktop. Again, this is case sensitive. Right-click the new file and select Edit With -> TextEdit. There may be different options on a PC but it should be pretty straight forward. We are going to edit this new file.

Add the following text to your new file.

[Desktop Entry]
Exec="/home/pi/Desktop/Mini vMac/Mini_vMac_ARM"

Note there is a space in the name of the directory and that the path is in quotes. Save and close the file.

We now need to set this new file's permissions. Right-click on our new file and select Info. Select the Permissions tab and check Execute for all 3 groups.

Head over to your Pi and tell it to reboot. It should now start up and launch the emulator on startup. To shutdown, use the same procedure you would normally use... shutdown the emulator then the pi vial the menus.

You can do this from the Raspberry Pi desktop as well.

  1. Open the file explorer from the top menu
  2. If you don't see a .config directory, go the explorer's menu select View -> Show Hidden.
  3. Open the .config directory. Look for the autostart directory. If it does not exist, right-click and select New Folder. Name it autostart (case sensitive). Open the autostart directory.
  4. Right-click once inside the directory and select New File. Name it Launcher.desktop. It will probably appear with no extension once you create it. We will verify the name is correct in an upcoming step.
  5. Right-click on the new Launcher.desktop file and select to open it it in the Text Editor. Add the text above to your file, save and close.
  6. We now need to set permissions. Right-click on the Launcher.desktop file and select Properties. You should see the file name is Launcher.desktop. Select the Permissions tab. For Execute, select Anyone. Select OK to close.
  7. You can test it here by double clicking the new file and select Execute. It should launch your emulator. If it doesn't check to be sure you've followed the steps correctly.
  8. Exit the emulator. From the Pi menu, select Logout and then Reboot.

You should be good to go!

Step 20: Sources and References

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7 days ago

QQ: How would get a file, like a jpeg, on to the emulator. I tried turning on AppleShare but it crashed every time.
Still struggling with the faceplate, but everything else is just about there! I would like it to show a pic of my family while it's sitting on my desk. Actually, I'd like it to do a slide show, but I'm guessing that's wishful thinking on 7. So, easiest way to get a JPG on?


Reply 4 days ago

What you want to do is surprisingly complicated. The problem is there were nojpegs, gifs or pngs then. There were PICT files and TIFF files. I don't even think the system understood BMP files. Next problem... At the time, the OS did not distinguish file types by extensions. I believe there was additional information in the resource fork.
There is a way around all this. There is a utility, ImportFl that lets you drag a file into the emulator and save it to the virtual disk. There's another utility called Finder Info on the Gryphel Project site that lets you set that information. I tried an online tool to convert JPG to PICT. You need a really small image size... remember it's a small screen. I used ImportFl to bring it in to the emulator and saved it to the disk. I launched Finder Info tool and changed the type to PICT. When I double-clicked it, it gave me the option to open it in Simple Text. Tada!
My recommendation is to go the the Gryphel Project, download a MacintoshII emulator for your PC or Mac. You can use the same ROM. Do all the conversion on your usual computer and then you CyberDuck to get the disk image over to your Little Mac.
Hope this helps.

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 5.01.12 PM.pngScreen Shot 2022-01-17 at 5.01.41 PM.png

Reply 1 day ago

Wow! This is exactly what I needed and very few people could have answered that question! Thanks for taking the time! Stoked to try it. I added a pic of my Mac collection. Most of them just cycle through family pics (via screen savers) and shut off at the end of the day (via the energy savers schedule function). I can’t wait to add this to the mix.


Question 26 days ago on Introduction

When do you think you will have your update finished with a different screen.
I like to make one but I think I better wait for the update. I can get a 3.5" 480x320 TFT Touch Screen with HDMI for all Raspberry Pi from the swedish for about $38. Will that one work?

3.5 inch 480 x 320 TFT LCD screen.jpg

Answer 4 days ago

Updates to the Instructable coming soon! Along with new STLs. Mac Plus, SE, SE30 and Mac Classic.


Reply 2 days ago

Can’t wait! By the way, that “similar” display I ordered turned out to be the Waveshare. Since I received mine, the seller increased its price to match the “official” listing.


Reply 18 days ago

Looks like it. Different listed manufacturer. Same screen size.


Reply 24 days ago

Just to understand you correct, will everything work with your first design if I get the old 3.5" screen and with the S/W you have suggested and the .stl files, or do I have to go with your new update with the 2.8" screen?


Reply 24 days ago

I need to remove the link to the display. Amazon swapped out the display on the site with a larger, lower resolution display. The Waveshare display is really close to the original in size and resolution to the original. A 3.5" screen they sell now never fit the original design. I have some Pi configuration issues with the Waveshare screen and as soon as I work it out, I'll start updating the instructions.


12 days ago

Thanks to cgenco for this great instruction! I also started to make this using the 2.8" Waveshare display (see comments by sjbaird). I share the initial software installation steps here:
1. After writing the RPI image (I still used Buster and not Bullseye) to the SD card, I installed the Waveshare display according to the instructions given in 2.8inch DPI LCD - Waveshare Wiki, copied the lines to config.txt and the DTBO files to the overlays directory. A rotation of 90° [add "display_rotate=1" to the config.txt] is required to have the display in landscape mode. I didn't rotate the touch functionality as I won't be using touch on a Mac.
2. Attaching the Waveshare display to the rpi zero and booting will show the rpi desktop. So there is no need for a HDMI display. Additionally Step 13 is not needed.
3. Followed then Step 7 of cgenco instructions. Besides SSH, I also enabled VNC. Subsequently I was using VNC Viewer on my PC for installing the software, which I think is handier.
4. Then I followed cgenco instructions.
I hope this helps others for building a tiny Mac

edited on 21.Jan:
I printed in the meantime the case. Two modifications were required to fit the Waveshare 2.8" - display inserted so connector is at bottom - in the case:
1. You will need to shave off some material on the TinyMacFront as well on the TinyMacEnd to make the connector to the display fit.
2. I printed some spacers for the display to be nicely centered: 2 pieces [BxHxT] 60x6x0.85 mm as top/bottom spacers glued on TinyMacFront. 1 piece [BxHxT] 50x6x1.25 mm as side spacer glued on TinyMacFront. 1 piece [BxHxT] 50x6x3 mm as side spacer glued on TinyMacBack.


Question 22 days ago

Hi cgenco

Inspired by your Tiny Mac, I'm making something like an Old Mac of the same size. The chassis is created from zero with CAD, and the Raspberry Pi is like starting a Mini vMac with CLI.
I would like to post the making to this instructables when it is completed, but just in case, I will check with you before posting. May I post it? (I think the post will be from January to February next year)
I hope you get a good reply.

*I do not speak English. I use a translation tool.


Answer 19 days ago

You really don't need to ask my permission but thank you! You should feel free to post a new Instructable. I would very much like to see what you come up with. If your startup is better, maybe I'll link to you as an alternative. Happy New Year!


Reply 18 days ago

I am glad to receive a good reply, thank you.
Even though I was inspired by you, there are many points that I have been able to refer to. For example, regarding how to create an image disc, your information is better than my knowledge, so I would like to write "See making cgenco". (There are many others)
Currently, I am doing output with a 3D printer and painting tests. Also, some parts are being procured and I am waiting for them. (There are 2 parts that cannot be used, 2 parts that have been burnt down ...)
So it will take a little more time to post.
Again, thank you very much for your good reply.
May this year be a good year for you!

*Although it is still in the middle, please see the rendered image on CAD.


Question 5 weeks ago on Step 13

Got it - I was confused by the highlighted area of the script (attached image). I figured out it was a separate line/command and all is well. Sorry!

GREAT project, excellent instructions! I'm finally getting to building it but hit a bump, I think. The github link for the VGA screen install isn't working for me. I think the path has changed but I don't understand enough to figure out a work around. Can anyone help, or is it operator error on my part?


Answer 4 weeks ago

cd ~/
git clone
cd MZDPI/vga
sudo chmod +x mzdpi-vga-autoinstall-online

Sometimes coping it adds extra characters. Just verify. Maybe copy it line by line.


Reply 21 days ago

Greetings and THANKS for your reply. I've reattempted the driver installation and have attached screenshots from the process. Because the screen is not working all of the "warning" messages at the end of the installation make me curious. Is the problem a failed installation, or something else? Any suggestions would be very appreciated. Thanks!


26 days ago

Thanks for sharing! Congratulations! God bless you!!


Question 4 weeks ago on Step 20

OK. I want to build this so it has either. 5 inch or 7 inch monitor. However, none seem to fit the specs. I figured if I doubled the size of the one used it would work, but it doesn't seem to be a fit.

Any help would be great