new life for an old Mac mini

Started Jan 6, 2013 | Discussions
james_the_first
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new life for an old Mac mini
Jan 6, 2013

creative thinking required!

So my 2007 mini (intel core duo - not the 2core) is now beginning to really struggle with Aperture, is max memory bound and will not support the current OS (or even the last OS) and because of that I'm I've only just noticed that I falling well behind the update cycles of various apps (especially Aperture where I'm limited to 3.2.4)

It'll be retired from active service at some point soon and we don't have a low demand need for it to continue to act as a PC (this is not a discussion about what to replace it with)

but I hate throwing stuff away ...... so is there a new career it can follow

- could it be reinvented as a Mac TV point (what exactly is mac TV)

- it might be used as a kitchen digital radio (current one slowly failing) with a small screen and no need for regular keyboard use (one of the blue tooth ones could occasionally be brought in and a trackpad used for daily channel selection) - or would that be excessively power hungry (given that it'd be on alot of the time even if the power-saving does reduce the impact of that

any bright ideas?

do any know of charities (UK) that'll take a very old mac for reconditioning into 3rd world educational needs

j

threeOh
Regular MemberPosts: 325
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to james_the_first, Jan 7, 2013

james_the_first wrote:

creative thinking required!

So my 2007 mini (intel core duo - not the 2core) is now beginning to really struggle with Aperture, is max memory bound and will not support the current OS (or even the last OS) and because of that I'm I've only just noticed that I falling well behind the update cycles of various apps (especially Aperture where I'm limited to 3.2.4)

It'll be retired from active service at some point soon and we don't have a low demand need for it to continue to act as a PC (this is not a discussion about what to replace it with)

but I hate throwing stuff away ...... so is there a new career it can follow

- could it be reinvented as a Mac TV point (what exactly is mac TV)

- it might be used as a kitchen digital radio (current one slowly failing) with a small screen and no need for regular keyboard use (one of the blue tooth ones could occasionally be brought in and a trackpad used for daily channel selection) - or would that be excessively power hungry (given that it'd be on alot of the time even if the power-saving does reduce the impact of that

any bright ideas?

do any know of charities (UK) that'll take a very old mac for reconditioning into 3rd world educational needs

j

An '07 is hardly obsolete as a server. We have an '08 as a dedicated media server (video, internet, TV, DVD, photo's and music) connected to 8tb of drives. It's runs Plex which can also control the DVD in the mini. If that's something of interest, it would be an easy task for an '07.  Need to be on 10.6.x.

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Tom_N
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to james_the_first, Jan 7, 2013

james_the_first wrote:

- could it be reinvented as a Mac TV point (what exactly is mac TV)

An Apple TV is a small box for streaming audio and video from an Internet-based service, or from a local Mac or iOS device, to your TV.

Apple - Apple TV

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harvey lexton
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to Tom_N, Jan 7, 2013

A friend of mine has a 6 year old Mac Mini (Intel version) and it was slow and running in a poor way. The hdd was full, so he backed up and replaced the hdd with a much larger one  for £160 and now it works very well.

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quickfella
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to harvey lexton, Jan 7, 2013

My old mac mini is host to my iTunes music collection. I put a 500MB drive in and I've ripped about 500 CDs so far - uncompressed they take up about 190MB.

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EricWN
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to quickfella, Jan 7, 2013

quickfella wrote:

My old mac mini is host to my iTunes music collection. I put a 500MB drive in and I've ripped about 500 CDs so far - uncompressed they take up about 190MB.

I think you mean GB (Gigabyte) instead of MB (Megabyte).

But I agree, a mini is a nice option as an iTunes computer. iOS devices and Apple TVs could stream content of it too.

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quickfella
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to EricWN, Jan 8, 2013

EricWN wrote:

quickfella wrote:

My old mac mini is host to my iTunes music collection. I put a 500MB drive in and I've ripped about 500 CDs so far - uncompressed they take up about 190MB.

I think you mean GB (Gigabyte) instead of MB (Megabyte).

But I agree, a mini is a nice option as an iTunes computer. iOS devices and Apple TVs could stream content of it too.

Yes, you're right I do mean gigabytes. Apologies for any confusion.

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qstudios
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to james_the_first, Jan 8, 2013

Well like others have stated you could turn it into a media server keeping OSX (iTunes, Movies) or convert to a more powerful version (PLEX or XBMC) which is always a good option.

To your question of donation don't know about in the UK but, I have to believe you guys would have something like we do (US):

Komputers 4 Kids

If that is something you want to do it would be a great option and I would search around for it.  People always want to help out abroad (which is great) but, there is always a need in country as well.

Either way the '07 Mini has life left, I had an '06 for a long time. Swapped it from child to child as a study station (internet, word processing, dictionary, reference) until it died an early death (from my upgrading madness..lol).  Good luck!

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james_the_first
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to james_the_first, Jan 8, 2013

Thanks to all for ideas

media centre it is for now, charity later

j

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kb2zuz
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Re: new life for an old Mac mini
In reply to james_the_first, Jan 8, 2013

If you have a spare HDMI or VGA input port on your TV, it should be pretty easy to get an adaptor to hook up your mini to the TV. If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad there is a nice remote app Apple has that can remotely control iTunes for playing music and movies. I have an old laptop hooked up to my TV and I use a relatively cheap logitec wireless keyboard with a built-in trackpad, it's very nice for basic web browsing using the TV.

If you don't go that route a small monitor, speakers, a keyboard might make it a nice addition in the kitchen for not just music but also looking up recipes (or cooking videos) on the internet.

You can also set it up in a closet with a couple external hard drives attached if you need an extra place to back up data.

I don't know if you play any games, but some people use them for things like having private game servers. My laptop I have hooked up to my TV hosts a Minecraft server that me and 3 friends play on.

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