Keyboard with a green recycle button

With Apple’s ever-increasing market share, stock price, and tendency to treat new hardware releases like children’s birthday parties (both in frequency and tendency to sheer mercenary money-grabbing), recycling old Apple hardware is technically the second-biggest computer growth industry. Especially with the way the fruit-mongers build devices more resistant to maintenance than terrorist bombs and with even shorter lifespans. That’s why we’ve found five of the best upcycles of old Apple hardware. Merely recycling implies looking at all the trash, sighing, and trying to do something slightly better than throwing it away. These are things that are cool in their own right and couldn’t have been built any other way.

1. The iClock

Apple wisely avoids recreating the clock in the same way an octopus wisely avoids recreating mittens. Almost every single other device they make already tells the time (except the Shuffle, which is almost defiantly functionless). Which is why pixelthis did it for them.

iBook Clock

iBook Clock

These stylish gadget-mongers have built clocks out of all manner of machines, but few are as simply stylish as the iBook G4 with working mouse pendulum. The only part of their pitch that rings false is the claim that Apple fans “are hard to shop for.” Shopping is what Apple fanboys are for. But we can forgive pixelthis because they probably panicked when they realized they had to fill an entire paragraph instead of shouting “JUST LOOK AT THIS YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT!”

And somebody did, because the iClock has already sold — but we’re sure an interested party could convince pixelthis to crank out another clock.

2. Click Wheel Conversions

The most iconic part of the original iPod was the click wheel, which somehow made MP3′s cool despite being a very large 4-directional button. If you own one you can connect it to whatever you like. Hackaday hero [Jason] shows it in action.

3. iMac Coffee

The iMac coffee system is the only entry on this list that’s more productive in its new form. The iMac integrates that most vital of fluid-providers with a sound system, a sleek shell, and even an iPod dock for those who want sonic sustenance along with their caffeine fix.

iMac Coffee System

iMac Coffee System

(Those interested in awesome coffeemakers should check out “6 Spectacular Coffee Systems“.)

4. iPod nano Packaging Speaker

Probably the coolest and quickest upcycling you’ll ever see. Most industries are hard pressed to re-use the device, while the fine folks at Bird Electron allow you to recycle the packaging — with the product they delivered. A quick conversion kit provides guts for your 3rd generation iPod nano’s plastic packaging, turning it into an instant speaker system for your cute little iPodette.

iPod nano Packaging Speaker

iPod nano Packaging Speaker

5. MAC necklace

KeyedUp offers probably the nerdiest jewelry we’ve ever seen, with computer keys set in sterling silver as necklaces. You can request your own button, but by far the geekiest has to be the “Black Sheep” Apple command key because even realizing what’s “wrong” with it confirms that you’re the sort of person who’d get it. Both the joke and the product.

Black Sheep Necklace

Black Sheep Necklace

Image credit: Falconiaz / iStockphoto

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