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There’s something fishy going on with old iMacs: DIYer turns them into aquariums, lamps

For nearly 10 years, a DIYer named Jake Harms has taken a rather clever approach to getting the most out of his old iMac computers — instead of trashing them, he’s transformed them into lamps, clocks, and aquariums.

After first constructing an aquarium out of a soon-to-be-trashed computer he salvaged from work in 2007, Harms has since completed over 1,000 such projects. Citing an affinity for any and all things Apple design, he expanded his scope to include other appliances and furnishings for the home or office. Though it’s likely Harms’ creations weren’t part of Steve Jobs’ ultimate vision for Apple, they are wildly unique.

An admitted handyman prior to starting his innovative new business, Harms acknowledged he wasn’t entirely sure what to do with his employer’s old iMac after saving it from a life spent in a landfill. After researching designs and ideas, a desire to craft an aquarium out of the dated rig was born. Harms ordered the lighting and filtration materials needed for the build, and in a matter of time, he was hard at work building a small army of iMac-themed aquariums.

“I made a few more for some friends, and the next thing I knew I was ordering materials in bulk and creating my own website to offer them for sale,” Harms told Digital Trends. “I get the old computers from individuals, schools, and electronic recyclers. They are usually broken beyond reasonable repair, so I save them from being thrown away and give them new life in homes and offices as aquariums and lamps.”

Harms turned to Apple’s third-generation iMac for the aquariums and the fourth-generation iMac for his lamps. With a bit of tinkering on the G4 iMac, he was able to successfully craft a working clock outfit with an LED light, powered USB port plug-in for an iPhone or iPod, and a classic pull chain. In terms of his clock designs, Harms points out that he’s taken bits and pieces from various computers — such as Apple’s eMac — to build aesthetically simple desk clocks.

“I spend a great deal of time polishing the cases to look as new as possible, so most of the compliments I get are customers who are pleasantly surprised at how good they look,” he said. “In the end, I hope my projects inspire people not only to recycle or reuse items to keep them from the trash, but also to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit — after all, I’m just a small-town guy doing worldwide business from the little shop in my basement, nothing else fancy about it.”

Perhaps the ultimate way to show off your Apple fandom, Harms’ custom iMac creations are a gorgeous addition to anyone’s home or office — eat your heart out, Bill Gates.

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Rick Stella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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