Life After Death

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Life After Death


First-Generation Desktop Garden

 

Bring nature to your desk with a bonsai tree, cactus, or other plant in an iPod.

 

Our desks are cluttered with in-review products, papers, cables, hard drives, empty soda cans, and nothing to remind us of the landscape outside of technology. Add some green with this wry, first-generation iPod planter. If the case is tilted slightly, excess water drains out of the FireWire and headphone ports, but feel free to drill a few drainage holes between steps 3 and 4. We planted a small bonsai tree, but any petite plants will work to keep the air -- and a workspace -- fresh.

 

Parts: First-generation iPod, small circuit board (optional), soil, plants
Tools: Guitar picks, tiny flathead screwdriver (optional), T6 Torx screwdriver, drill (optional)
Degree of difficulty: MEDIUM

 

 

 

Work the guitar pick all the way around to separate the plastic tabs that hold the iPod shut.

 

1. Crack open the case.
Activate the Hold switch to keep the iPod from waking up on the operating table. Gently insert a guitar pick or thin, flathead screwdriver into the tight seam between the metal back and plastic front. Use a plastic tool as much as possible, because a metal screwdriver might gouge the plastic part of the iPod’s case. Begin working from the top of the iPod, along the metal backing near the FireWire port and parallel to the screen. Separate the plastic tabs that hold the iPod together on all sides. Lift the halves apart.

 

 

 

When the iPod is open, remove the battery and hard drive from the metal half of the case (shown on the left).

 

2. Remove the battery and hard drive.
Unplug the battery cable from its socket, being careful to remove it by its plug and not by pulling on its wires. Lift the hard drive (and glued-on battery) from the headphone jack end, pivoting it on its still-attached ribbon cable. Hold the cable end connected to the hard drive, and pull the drive out of the socket. The hard drive and battery can be set aside.

 

 

 

After unscrewing the Torx screws, you can access and remove the circuit board and scrollwheel from the plastic half of the case.

 

3. Remove the circuit board and screen.
Unscrew the four Torx screws with a T6 Torx driver. Lift the entire circuit board out of the plastic housing. Then remove the scrollwheel, leaving just the white plastic front and empty metal back.

 

 

 

We dig our mini tree, but use any plant you like. Bamboo or cactus could work.

 

4. Add foliage.
Rinse the case and add dirt to the metal side. Try to keep the dirt close to the edges but with a tiny gap. Plant a garden to rise out of the scrollwheel hole. We seated a bonsai tree, trimming the plant’s original root structure and spreading it out to accommodate the shallow, wide tray of dirt. (We regularly trim the tree to match this base shape, keeping it from growing too tall.) Or try a cactus or another small plant.

 

 

 

Put something in the screen window unless you want to look at the dirt. We used a circuit board.

 

5. Make a scene.
We set a circuit board from another dead iPod above the dirt. It shows through the screen window, playfully reminding us of this iPod’s previous life. Or, if you try printing something to sit behind the window—we tested a happy iPod icon—be sure to laminate it to protect it from the moist dirt.

 

 

 

Dress up your desk and start conversations. Just don’t forget to water the tree.

 

6. Close and grow.
Fit the plastic case around the plant and press the two halves together. With a little effort, the tabs should lock the case together. If not, try to make a small trench in the dirt to leave room for the tabs. Keep your secret garden watered and well lit.

 

11

Comments

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benet

Were not smart, but also learn from others bald.omega watchesChing had no water to fish, one to the cheap is invincible.replica watchI left Dragon, White Tiger right shoulder tattooed Mickey Mouse.replica watchesEfforts should be made! ! For your Audi Dior me.wen

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mixmagtmb

Wow this is a really second life, amazing aahh super i do that 100%.

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Anonymous

You can add iPod adapter to pretty much any car now. So now I'm using my 3rd gen 30 GB iPod solely in my car as a kind of musical server. Locked in a glovebox, no-one knows it there, it's filled to the brim and it's always there. Always ready and charged. Problem solved:-)

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Scott

These are cool, and dare I say cute mods. You oughta think about submitting them to Mac Mod (http://macmod.com/). When my 20GB completely dies I`ll have to do something like this. (It doesn`t ... won`t play music as an iPod, but I can still use it as a `source` in iTunes.

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Anonymous

Gaaah!

I have a neat idea for a glue gun and the genitalia of those responsible for this act of vandalism...

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Anonymous

Read thru it rather quickly so I may have missed it. I apologize in advance if I did. You didn't say what to do with the parts you took out, people will likely just throw them in the garbage.

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JM

I have a pretty high tolerance for iPod related stuff, but this is just a waste. I love Maclife...but why are you wasting a perfectly good 1st generation nano. There are many people who would love to get one of those. Some people have too much time and money to burn...I'm still going strong with my 3rd Gen Touch Wheel iPod... This article is pretty hard to stomach.

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Anonymous

A nice breath of fresh air to see/read something creative, rather than techno-centric. Something that requires a guitar pick, rather than a soldering iron. Bravo!

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Anonymous

Lol at your iPod tree.

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Anonymous

I found it quite interesting! Even though the chances of me making one is slim...it still sounds like fun!

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Frank

Seriously, worst Mac|Life article EVER. What a waste of space in the magazine.

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