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Old Feb 18, 2013, 04:19 PM   #1
HyperliteG4
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Tax Refund: Which new toy to get?

I plan on setting aside about $1000-$1500 of my tax refund to get some new toys and I would love to hear your advice!

A little background: I have 3 young kids who are at the age where they need to start using a computer. I love movies and have always wanted a home theater system as well.

In our house, we currently have:
  • 24" iMac (Late 2008) - used as a home media server (24000+ songs/450+ movies, most in 1080p) and also for our master iPhoto library. The iTunes library is stored on a 2TB LaCie HDD which is nearly full. I also have a second 2TB LaCie that I use to store some old files backed up from old computers over the years.
  • AppleTV (2nd gen)
  • 50" Panasonic plasma
  • 2 iPads (3rd gen + mini)
  • 2 iPhones (5 & 4S)
  • 3 iPod touch's (all 4th gen - got for kids this past Christmas)
  • 2 MacBook Pro's (used only for work)
  • I do not currently have a network HDD for backup because I use Backblaze Cloud backup on all my computers
  • Airport Extreme router


So... here are the three ways I'm debating on spending the tax refund:
  1. Buy a home theater system (Yamaha RX473 & front/center speakers - no rear for now). I've been wanting to get a surround system for some time now. Benefits: home theater system for me (might be a bit selfish, I know...)
  2. Buy a NAS device to expand my storage at home and possibly use the excess for Time Machine backups of the MacBooks. I was looking into the Synology DS411 and putting 4x 2TB HDD's in it. Benefits: storage expansion, local backup.
  3. Buy a Mac Mini and turn my 2008 iMac into a computer for the kids to use. I would transfer everything from the iMac to the Mac Mini and use the Mac Mini for the home media server instead. If I went this route I might buy another LaCie HDD to expand my storage. Benefits: computer for the kids to use.

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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24" iMac // 15" 2.3 i7 MBP //  iPhone 5,  iPhone 4S (VZW) // the new iPad (3rd gen), iPad mini
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