Deatomization: Build Your Own Mac

This is the first entry in a new project of mine called Deatomization – where old books, magazines, tapes, etc. will be digitized however possible- scanning, converting, emulating, etc.

The first entry is a curious book from 1991 by Bob Brant, called “Build Your Own Macintosh and Save a Bundle”, covering the landscape back then of taking Macs (from 128k to the almighty IIfx) and putting them into custom cases, with third party keyboards, mice, RAM, Hard disks, video cards, etc.


The book fascinated me- the concept of a “Hackintosh” long before the term was mainstream, was around long before Apple even moved to PowerPC. In fact, the book cites a 1988 mention of the exact term.


So the book then focuses on building your ultimate Mac on the cheap. Why would you want to do that? Save a bundle? Well, the author includes a table indicating the insanity of prices for Macs… in early 1990 dollars too. I think I’ll count my blessings on the amazing power we can get nowadays in a sub 500$ unit.


In the end, you’ll end up with what he calls a “CatMac” short for Catalog Macintosh. And sometimes its pretty bare-bones aesthetically.


But with enough prep, you can get all that put into a lovely beige box. I certainly think it’d hide perfectly in a 1990s era world, if you needed to keep your Mac love on the sly.


It’s only around 200 pages, filled with pictures, tables, and references. A product of the times, you’ll see Atari mentioned, Apple’s old address (20525 Mariani Avenue), MacWeek, and the upcoming 68040 processors. Given that the 68040 is where I became a Mac user, this book really helped me understand the landscape before I started.

Interested in reading it? Download or view a copy from this link (~25MB). Want to get a copy into your hands? Jump over to Amazon from this link.

I hope you enjoy my first entry in my deatomization project!

Update – 2/1/14 – OCR’d the book along with deskew and minor compression, with satisfactory results, and now it is ~25MB instead of ~90MB with searchable text!

2 thoughts on “Deatomization: Build Your Own Mac

  1. Thanks, man. It’s been EONS since I wanted to read that book. Now I am downloading your PDF.

    Once again, thank you!

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