Hide a Mac Mini in a PC case?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by matznentosh, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. matznentosh macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2002
    Ok, now calm down, I have a real reason for looking into this. My work won't allow me to hook my Powerbook up to the network. I got Virtual PC and got every version of Windows, from NT 4 up to XP Professional, running on the powerbook. But when they walk into the office and see the apple logo, they turn around and walk out. The head of IT actually sent an email to all IT workers that they were not allowed even to talk to me about connecting an Apple to the network. :mad:

    So here's my idea: somehow hide the Mac Minin inside a PC case, with an opening for the CD drive, so the IT guy can insert their CD with all their Windows junk into the computer. The case hides the Apple logo, and I just tell IT I got a No Name PC. Fire up Virtual PC before they get there, and when they walk in, they think it's just a PC. They connect my computer (through Virtual PC, but they don't know that), they walk out, I can then toss the case if I feel like it. :cool: Of course I would have to use Virtual PC to connect to the network, but I bet I could then print to the PC printers and go on the internet in OS X (I've done this at other all PC sites)

    What do you think? How could I do it?
  2. Jopling macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    Will never work

    That will never work. You should just ask a friend at work to burn you the necessary files onto a cd. Or just take the IT guy out for lunch and be like, "Oh yeah, you think I could borrow that disc sometime? I'm missing a few files from it." Or some other ******** excuse like that. Even if you have to sleep with him, it's worth it.
  3. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    You can find someone who does PC case mods to help with the project. It can be done.

    Regarding hooking up your Mac to your network at work. What you need to find out is if there are any UNIX or LINUX servers on the network. Finding either server is a big help to you because if there is you can say "Did you Mac's OS X runs on a modified BSD kernel which just a custom GUI on top?"
    Geek translation: "Macs run on UNIX, you know how UNIX works, and it should do any harm to the network."
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Why not just get a big fat (but removable) Shuttle sticker (or Dell, IBM, Sony or whatever) and slap it over the Apple logo... of course if you've already flashed the little beauty around the office it might be recogniced, but it may be worth a shot...
  5. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Your post doesn't explain why you NEED to use a Mac at work. So, WHY do you need to use a Mac at work? Just because you want to, or because there's an actual business need that can't be fulfilled with a PC? You've clearly documented the fact that your employers don't approve of Macs, so it would appear that you are risking punishment or termination by defying them. Your reason for wanting to do this had better be a good one.

    All that said, I don't think it's really possible, not without major surgery on the Mac mini. You'd essentially have to tear it apart in order to get all of the external interfaces (the ports, the CD slot, etc.) in a position to where they'd be accessible inside any sort of PC case.
  6. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    As a Mac fan, I commend your ingenuity. As an IT professional, I warn you that you are playing with fire.

    An IT department responsible for everything attached to a given network must know how to work with and secure everything on the network. Don't get mad just because your IT department doesn't consider OS X training a worthwhile priority. You may know how to secure your box, but you're not the one responsible for the network.

    What do I think of your plan? Misguided. And if you're discovered, expect to be fired, and for good cause. It's not your network, it's your employer's network.

    By the way, competent IT departments may employ intrusion-detection systems to detect unusual or unauthorized network traffic. These frequently inspect packets for signs of unapproved software (among many other things) and/or perform OS fingerprinting of hosts attached to the network.

  7. matznentosh thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2002
    Why use a mac instead of a pc? well, I find pc's slow, irritating, and counter-intuitive. I also have an extensive filemaker database that I have all my information. I asked them to put filemaker for the pc on an office computer and they refused.

    They seem to run a Windows NT, now 2000, server. No unix that I can tell. I can plug the Powerbook ethernet cable in and get one website, that allows me access to the company email. When I use it, no PC police come to break down my door. So as far as I can tell, it shouldn't violate any actual physical aspect of the network to do what I want.

    I want to emphasize also that I would be using Windows, which they would control completely. As I said, they refuse even to look at the Windows screen and consider connecting it to the network if the machine has an apple logo on it. Yes, maybe just a sticker on top would do it.

    What I was thinking was a box just wide enough to fit the Mini, with either a window big enough to show the cd slot, or maybe an actual bay the right size for the mini - like the automobile radio slots people are saying are the right size for the Mini.
  8. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I think you're playing with fire here*. They want you to use a PC; they don't want you to use a Mac; you insist on trying to use a Mac. It doesn't really matter whether you think no harm will come from it; it's their sandbox, and they make the rules. If you can convince them that no harm will come from running Virtual PC on a Mac, great. But clandestinely (there's your 25¢ word for the day) bringing a Mac into the office when they've already made it clear they don't want Macs there is gonna get you fired the instant they find out about it... and they will, someway, somehow.

    My recommendation: Let it go. Use what THEY want you to use at work, and use what YOU want to use when you're NOT at work.

    * Just realized I used the exact same words as vga4life. Regardless, it's the most appropriate phrase for what you are proposing to do.
  9. matznentosh thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2002
    Yah, I suppose so. I use my powerbook with full approval of department chairman, who (along with everyone I work with) is extremely impressed with my database. Much more useful than anything available in the rest of the organization. They let me use my Powerbook, with my database, and in fact rely on it all the time. In fact I got a grant for the PC version of Filemaker and installed it on some PC's in a secondary site (not controlled by IT, but approved by the Department) and everybody there raves about the utility of the database. So it's not exactly that the organization is against my using it. But for sure IT refuses to accept it into the network.

    Still, what a great idea, eh?
  10. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Do other people bring their own PCs in? If so, I don't see the company's logic - you're bringing in your own Windows PC (thanks to Virtual PC) but they won't support it, yet they'll support other people's Windows PCs. :confused:
  11. matznentosh thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2002
    Not sure, I think people do have laptops they use, and of course as I said when I or others get grants that allow purchase of new PC's, IT comes in and hooks them up; cripples the operating system of course so it is only a slave to their system, but still, it works.

    It's strange and hard to parse actually. For a long while I was told I had to get NT 4, which of course is not sold any more. I tracked down a copy on ebay finally. I don't understand how they could require an out of date database but not supply it themselves?! My pet theory is that the IT department is actually completely out to lunch.

    One idea I had is to wait; about every 6 months the entire IT department is fired or quits (not all at once, but one after another) and I'm hoping someday a new head of IT will not be aware a previous one banned Mac based Windows computers.

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