The Monster Mac

by Lee Hart

I was working the lab, late one night,
When my eyes beheld an awesome sight.
I flipped on my Heath to process a byte
But when it warmed up, to my delight...

Once it was a Heathkit, square and gray
But my trusty tools took its mind away.
In its place I installed a Mac motherboard
From a flea market bargain that Igor scored.

Instead of that "beep" that I've heard so long
It now powers up with a Macintosh "bong".
Its great glowing eye is twelve inches, not nine.
And its cavernous case makes expansion divine.

Now the graphics and fonts have all gone to my head.
I put Mickey Mouse pictures in my letterhead.
And its voice synthesis is the joy of my life.
My computer talks back like my kids and my wife.

Oh, the mouse and the games are all such fun.
But at last comes the time to get real work done.
Then I have to go back to my old CP/M,
Which I run on the Mac's emulation program!

Happy Halloween!


This was inspired by the 1962 #1 hit song "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers. Imagine it being recited by a creepy voice like Boris Karloff.

I had quite a few old Heath/Zenith computers after Technical Micro Systems closed down in 1985. I discovered that the motherboard from an Apple Macintosh fit the case perfectly, and could be quite easily be wired up to work. The IBM PC was being widely cloned at the time, but no one was cloning the Mac. So I did.

The "Monster Mac" became rather well known, and even appeared in a Mensa newsletter. I wrote the following letter to accompany an article describing how it was built for REMark magazine; but they also folded before the article ran.

My Dear Sir,

You may recall our discussions on the lamentable conclusion of the late Dr. Frankenstein's experiments upon the occasion of our last meeting. I maintained that our colleague was primarily limited by an inappropriate choice of cranial material for his patient, which he only identified as P.C. from Armonk NY.

Many researchers have achieved remarkable success in cloning brain material derived from this source. However impressive their accomplishments may be, clones derived from this source tend toward giantism and dementia. At the very least, the original brain must have been derived from an accountant; or if our worst fears be true, a bureaucrat.

I therefore proposed a different source of brain material for cloning. It is well known that those of Scottish descent possess a remarkably well-ordered brain (much like that of an engineer). My experiments have thus centered on cloning the brain of one I shall identify as A. Macintosh.

Sadly, the times in which we live are harsh. My laboratory is well stocked with the inert bodies of former servants with whom I spent many fruitful hours (faithful Heath, lovely Zenith...) I therefore resolved to attempt a brain transplant, and thereby restore these faithful servants to useful and productive lives.

I am writing to inform you of my success in this endeavor. It's alive! I have therefore enclosed my laboratory notes and technical details for your review and comment.

Yours truly,

Dr. Frankenbyte

P.S. I named my creation "Mac Heath", only to later discover that this is the name of the notorious murderer "Mac the Knife" in the Three Penny Opera. I have created a monster!

A poem by Lee A. Hart, © 1984-2019 by Lee A. Hart. Created 9/6/1985. Last updated 11/17/2019.
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