or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Offbeat News: Apple's old Macs are for the birds
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Offbeat News: Apple's old Macs are for the birds

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
A macadamia farm in Australia is home to what may be one of the most innovative, ecologically friendly Mac recycling projects to date.

While Apple has drawn the spotlight to its new eco-friendly commitment and is offering schools a helping hand with a new recycling program, at least one organization is taking its own approach to spare old systems from the landfills.

The Australian state of New South Wales is home to Piccadilly Park, a farm just south of Bangalow that has seen a transformation from a cattle farm to a hybrid macadamia orchard and wetland restoration project where rainforest trees frequently outnumber the crops. Encouraging the growth has brought in an array of birds that not only lend a more organic feel to the farm, but also serve as a natural substitute for the toxic pesticides that would otherwise be used to kept insects at bay.

But to help these birds find a home, farm owner Rex Harris has thought of a unique approach to building nesting boxes: converting old Macintosh computers. Instead of building the avian homes solely from scratch, Piccadilly Park has taken to emptying and then reusing the plastic shells of vintage Macs as birdhouses, mounting them on poles throughout the farm to provide nests in open areas.

Reworking the classic computers has proven successful. The green and tan boxes are now home to the Eastern Rosella parrots shown in the photos. Butcherbirds and kestrels also find sanctuary if the entry holes are the right size, according to Harris. And in a perhaps unsurprising turn, the Mac casing of choice for the makeover is the original all-in-one design, first seen in 1984. The body is particularly well suited to the conversion process.

"The old Macs are perfect for nesting boxes with ventilation slots along the front, rear, and under the hand space where you lift them," Harris says. "We tried the original iMacs, but they are too big and get too hot."

Locating the preferred systems can be difficult. Most are "very very hard to find" in the present day, Harris adds, and will usually turn up in garage sales. Still, the pursuit is said to be worthwhile and results in a large batch of nests for the farm. About twenty receive the treatment on a rainy day, when the weather lends itself to working indoors.

Harris would also like to note that orchards aren't the only possible homes for the Mac aviaries. Repurposing the old systems could easily become "something schools and nature lovers could take up" as a hobby, he tells AppleInsider.

He also explains that while he isn't limited to using any one variant of the initial Mac chassis for the nesting boxes, there's at least one edition he would choose for Piccadilly Park above the others.

"We have used whatever we can get, even the last [Color Classic] model," he says. "[But] I love the original box, the one with the signatures of the development team on the inside."

Photo Gallery











post #2 of 31
strange...

We actually have a mac plus at home, wouldn't mind making a fish tank out of it
post #3 of 31
That's not quite ecological to drop plastic boxes somewhere in the nature...
post #4 of 31
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the inards of the machine are the toxic parts, not the shells. So it's not necessarily as eco-friendly as they are tying to make it sound.

Secondly, this isn't really an innovative solution either. Using old macs to house animals is an old idea... especially the "Macquarium". I know I know. I was disappointed too. I was like, dude, I should turn this iMac into a fish tank... and then found out that people had been doing so for many years.

Turning it into a birdhouse is much easier. Attach a piece of wood, drill a hole, voila.

Nice try... but not nice enough.

-Clive
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
Reply
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
Reply
post #5 of 31
give them credit eh! its not a bad start...at least it gives the plastic a use once more...better than nothing!
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


While Apple has drawn the spotlight to its new eco-friendly commitment and is offering schools a helping hand with a new recycling program, at least one organization is taking its own approach to spare old systems from the landfills.

I take exception to the use of the word new as in, "…new eco-friendly commitment…" and the suggestion that, "A macadamia farm in Australia is home to what may be one of the most innovative, ecologically friendly Mac recycling projects to date, is equally perplexing."

However, I do appreciate recycling and any, even the little things can help. Too bad we can't stuff the guy generating these suggestions http://www.freewebs.com/macssuck/antiapple.htm. Recycling him would be my last wish.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedric View Post

That's not quite ecological to drop plastic boxes somewhere in the nature...

Where does plastic come from?

post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Where does plastic come from?


Plastic isn't found in nature. It's created from oil along with other additives. The oil is found in the earth not on it.

     197619842013  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5 • iPad 4 • CR48 Chromebook • ThinkPad X220

Reply

     197619842013  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5 • iPad 4 • CR48 Chromebook • ThinkPad X220

Reply
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...
The Australian state of New South Wales is home to Piccadilly Park, a farm just south of Bangalow that has seen a transformation from a cattle farm to a hybrid macadamia orchard and wetland restoration project where rainforest trees frequently outnumber the crops. Encouraging the growth has brought in an array of birds that not only lend a more organic feel to the farm, but also serve as a natural substitute for the toxic pesticides that would otherwise be used to kept insects at bay.

But to help these birds find a home, farm owner Rex Harris has thought of a unique approach to building nesting boxes: converting old Macintosh computers. Instead of building the avian homes solely from scratch, Piccadilly Park has taken to emptying and then reusing the plastic shells of vintage Macs as birdhouses, mounting them on poles throughout the farm to provide nests in open areas.
.....

More than just reusing plastic enclosures...also avoiding pesticides.
post #10 of 31
The future generation of birds have something to worry about as those birdhouses will get slimmer and slimmer when the flat iMacs will find their way to wasteland.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Plastic isn't found in nature. It's created from oil along with other additives. The oil is found in the earth not on it.

By the same token, you would say that brick is not 'natural?' Or, more generally, anything that is mined or emits from inside the earth (e.g., lava) that is brought to the surface of the earth?
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

By the same token, you would say that brick is not 'natural?' Or, more generally, anything that is mined or emits from inside the earth (e.g., lava) that is brought to the surface of the earth?

I think plastics need a lot more processing that change the chemistry in radical ways. A lot of bricks are just fired from materials simply dug up.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

By the same token, you would say that brick is not 'natural?' Or, more generally, anything that is mined or emits from inside the earth (e.g., lava) that is brought to the surface of the earth?

Don't be intentionally dense. Defending the "naturalness" of plastic is weak--especially with the (lack of) logic that you use.

Lava is natural and no one would suggest otherwise.

Bricks are not natural, but they are relatively benign. They take little processing and if left in nature would, over human-scale timespans, degrade into something like what they started as.

Plastics are formed by processing hydrocarbons (usually oil mined from deep underground--but there are other ways) and have little resembalance to the material from which they came. They do not degrade into their original componants over human-scale timespans.
Some argue (though I don't know the chemestry) that they emit compounds that would not be found in nature and that have no relation to the chemical compositions of the original materials.
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Don't be intentionally dense. Defending the "naturalness" of plastic is weak--especially with the (lack of) logic that you use.

Lava is natural and no one would suggest otherwise.

Bricks are not natural, but they are relatively benign. They take little processing and if left in nature would, over human-scale timespans, degrade into something like what they started as.

Plastics are formed by processing hydrocarbons (usually oil mined from deep underground--but there are other ways) and have little resembalance to the material from which they came. They do not degrade into their original componants over human-scale timespans.
Some argue (though I don't know the chemestry) that they emit compounds that would not be found in nature and that have no relation to the chemical compositions of the original materials.

Ah, bring up a question with the environmental hoity-toities, and what do they do? They start their name-calling.

Bageljoey, frankly, there are so many silly assumptions in your response -- starting with the premise that somehow "human-scale timespans" (sic) are some necessarily relevant benchmark -- that it would take me way too long to address (and, in the process, bore everyone to tears). Not worth it, man.

Btw, it is spelt "chem-I-stry," "compon-E-nts," etc.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Ah, bring up a question with the environmental hoity-toities, and what do they do? They start their name-calling.

Woah. You think that "hoity-toities" isn't name-calling?
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Too bad we can't stuff the guy generating these suggestions http://www.freewebs.com/macssuck/antiapple.htm. Recycling him would be my last wish.

Wow, does that guy hate much??

He's also wrong about many of the Apple comparisons on his site, or is using outdated information...
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
Reply
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
Reply
post #17 of 31
I'd gladly turn my SE/30 into a birdhouse (or aquarium or hamster home), but I just can't bear to gut it when it's in perfect working condition. Too many happy memories.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Ah, bring up a question with the environmental hoity-toities, and what do they do? They start their name-calling.

Bageljoey, frankly, there are so many silly assumptions in your response -- starting with the premise that somehow "human-scale timespans" (sic) are some necessarily relevant benchmark -- that it would take me way too long to address (and, in the process, bore everyone to tears). Not worth it, man.

Btw, it is spelt "chem-I-stry," "compon-E-nts," etc.

Keep digging, buddy...You're doing great.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

The future generation of birds have something to worry about as those birdhouses will get slimmer and slimmer when the flat iMacs will find their way to wasteland.

I laughed when I read this.
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
Reply
"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
Reply
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

a farm just south of Bangalow

on a side note, thats where the tourist serial killer ivan millat did his terrible stuff,
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Woah. You think that "hoity-toities" isn't name-calling?

No.

Well........., maybe.

But I think it is much nicer than the term "intentionally dense" (which is what he used) -- don't you think?

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by iconsumer View Post

on a side note, thats where the tourist serial killer ivan millat did his terrible stuff,

Wow! Good catch!
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post

Keep digging, buddy...You're doing great.

Digging for what? I am not being intentionally dense (honest!): are you being complimentary, or sarcastic or, perhaps, threatening?
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

No.

Well........., maybe.

But I think it is much nicer than the term "intentionally dense" (which is what he used) -- don't you think?


I really don't think so. It just looked like the application of a double standard.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

No.

Well........., maybe.

But I think it is much nicer than the term "intentionally dense" (which is what he used) -- don't you think?


Actually, I didn't intend "intentionally dense" to be a name calling slam. I figured you were too smart to actually think lava and plastic were equally natural (or that you really believed the poster you were responding to actually believed it). Therefore I used that term to indicate that I believed you were just posting to start (or prolong) an argument without adding anything to the debate. If I was wrong, and you can't see the difference between plastic and lava, then surely I rescind the use of the term.

In regards to your other comments:
Yes, I have a terrible time with spelling. I don't use Windows computers outside of work and I don't know how to get it to help me with spelling from inside the website without cutting and pasting to a word processing program. I will readily admit to being relatively unconcerned with spelling and I know it can bug people. Sorry.

I am actually curious as to why you think human-scale time-spans are not relevant. You said that you didn't want to bore us, but could you try to condense it for me? The way I see it, if things degrade to their component parts at a rate that is somewhat related to the rate at which they are created (both human-scale) then they will not build up in the environment too much. On the other hand, something that takes hundreds or thousands of years to degrade (not human-scale) would build up almost as if there was no degrading at all. I do see that as a relevant issue.
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
post #26 of 31
This is truly welcome news. (Green grows Apple down under.)

http://ThunkDifferent.com
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Actually, I didn't intend "intentionally dense" to be a name calling slam. I figured you were too smart to actually think lava and plastic were equally natural (or that you really believed the poster you were responding to actually believed it). Therefore I used that term to indicate that I believed you were just posting to start (or prolong) an argument without adding anything to the debate. If I was wrong, and you can't see the difference between plastic and lava, then surely I rescind the use of the term.

In regards to your other comments:
Yes, I have a terrible time with spelling. I don't use Windows computers outside of work and I don't know how to get it to help me with spelling from inside the website without cutting and pasting to a word processing program. I will readily admit to being relatively unconcerned with spelling and I know it can bug people. Sorry.

I am actually curious as to why you think human-scale time-spans are not relevant. You said that you didn't want to bore us, but could you try to condense it for me? The way I see it, if things degrade to their component parts at a rate that is somewhat related to the rate at which they are created (both human-scale) then they will not build up in the environment too much. On the other hand, something that takes hundreds or thousands of years to degrade (not human-scale) would build up almost as if there was no degrading at all. I do see that as a relevant issue.

Wow, that's very nice of you: now I feel really bad (as I probably should).

I will not prolong the argument: I will shut up after this.

Re. 'human-scale time-spans,' I was implicitly assuming that you meant one typical human lifetime. If so (and I could have been wrong with that assumption), all I was saying was that there are many things that outlast us.

Quite apart from that, I honestly believe that plastics have helped make our lives richer and helped make us live longer. I am not an engineer, I am not a chemist, and I don't work for a plastics company (or for a for-profit company, for that matter).

Can you imagine life without plastics? I am just looking around me as I type this (among other things, recovering from a broken leg): no x-rays, no x-ray machines, no ballpoint pens, no computers, no computer bags, no iPods, no TV, no remote, no CDs, no CD players, no refrigirator insides, no toasters, no airconditioner, no second-hand on my watch....... I could go on about dozens of such things that we take for granted and enable our lives to happen (let alone make it better off).

All I was implying was that we have to make trade-offs. I'll go a step further. I will be blunt (and probably will have to take some flak for saying this): I can live with a few dead Australian (or any other country's) birds for some/all of the above.

And, I challenge anyone who is dissed by this to live without a shred of plastics in their lives.
post #28 of 31
Well, note it is a 'Mac'adamia farm.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wow, that's very nice of you: now I feel really bad (as I probably should).

I will not prolong the argument: I will shut up after this.

And, I challenge anyone who is dissed by this to live without a shred of plastics in their lives.

You sadly should've shut up in the first place!

Nobody is talking about the impact of plastics in our daily life, they're everywhere and being very usefull. (Actually we should stop using fossil fuels to power our cars and solely keep it for future plastic uses, just a thought)

The problem is what to do after they've been usefull. Plastic products last for hundreds and hundreds of years and placing them in a forest will not see them just "disappear" and turn back to something that can be recycled in natural products (it is not a natural product whose compounds can be directly used by organisms).

Recycling means putting the basic elements of a product to a new use, like the heavy metals from batteries or motherboards.

Note 1: Using old computer casings for birdhouses is a cool thing to do especially if it means using less pesticides.

Note 2: It is being discussed in some media and scientific circles that some plastics give off estrogen (female hormone) like substances causing disruption in male/female ratios in some species (especially water born), the influence on human - or say bird- reproduction is not yet established.
Large effects from small exposures. III. Endocrine mechanisms mediating effects of bisphenol A at levels of human exposure.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum
post #30 of 31
that last photo is heavenly
post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I figured you were too smart to actually think lava and plastic were equally natural (or that you really believed the poster you were responding to actually believed it).

My post was in response to the one where he asked "Where does plastic come from?" inferring that dumping plastics back into the environment is okay because they are made from oil which happens to be natural. Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is safe. It just doesn't work that way. Oil is generally found deep inside the earth where plants, animals, etc. are not exposed to it. You don't want oil (or plastics with all the additives and extra chemicals used to process and refine it) to get into the water table for example.

Taken to the next extreme, would you agree to having nuclear waste dumped in your back yard? Why not? It originated from the earth after all so it must be natural. Nope. It all comes down to processing and refinement. Once you've done that it's no longer natural. There are some things you just can't undo.

As far as using the old Macs as bird homes I don't think it's a bad idea. They are old Macs made of older plastics that either cannot be recycled or were deemed too expensive to do so. It's better than seeing them decomposing in a landfill and leaking toxins like all those Lisas that Apple buried.

     197619842013  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5 • iPad 4 • CR48 Chromebook • ThinkPad X220

Reply

     197619842013  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5 • iPad 4 • CR48 Chromebook • ThinkPad X220

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Offbeat News: Apple's old Macs are for the birds