Mac Pro 1.1 - Server/Optical Drive Station and AirParrot ISO Player

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Gizmo22, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Gizmo22 macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2009
    Midwest USA
    I am currently exploring all options for the purpose of a media server as I transition from Windows x86/x64 hardware to Apple materials. One item of concern is revamping the media center from Popcorn Hour with DAS storage and integrating Time Machine support as much as possible.

    One option involves using the DAS with a Mac Mini, but I do not like the idea of having extra hardware laying around the living room.

    The second option that I like much more is using a Mac Pro as a VNC machine. That said, I am uncertain on my understanding of options and necessary hardware. I would like to have a Mac Pro 1.1 tucked away in a closet with a few large 3.5" drives installed internally, and the system ran as a VNC.

    If I shared the optical drives and hard drives on a network, could I then...
    • Share the optical drives to a MBA and rMBP on the same network?
    • Use the Mac Pro internal drives as Time Machine destinations for the various hardware on the same network?
    • Use software like AirParrot to play ISO files on various ATV3 units?
    • Lastly…if all of the above is true, and if I am running the system only as a VNC, would I actually need a video card installed in the system?
  2. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2013
    I can't answer all of these, but the ones I can I will:
    First bold; Yes
    Second bold; Yes
    Third bold; No

    On number three, you would need to access it via "Remote Desktop Client" once this is set up you could remove the video card.

    My wife is in school, she has study groups come to our house, when they do this I set up my pro sharing a CD/DVD to be played on other network devices. I can work without interruption as they study, this causes no slow down for my pro. If they have technical issues on the other network devices I can use RDC to fix their issues by remote.
    Setting up an aggregate link with both ethernet connections on the pro gives it 4 lanes (two duplex connections) for communication as well (2Gb/s), and a redundancy for the connection.
    You even can set up Hardware Monitor to monitor your Pro by remote as well.
  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    You can get by without a video card for your purposes, but it is handy to have one for when problems occur or if you need to reinstall/update the OS.

    A Mac Mini will have a much smaller physical and electrical footprint. The current model Mini has USB 3.0 ports which is relevant because for some damn reason USB 3.0 external drives are often less expensive than their internal counterparts of the same size.
  4. supermariofan25 macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2011
    I'm pretty sure that if you get the Mac Pro Server you can allocate entire Hard Drives to a Time Machine server, you may have to do some research into that through
  5. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2013
    Yes you can I have one of my hard drives setup as a time machine server for three Macs on the network.
  6. supermariofan25 macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2011
    Also as of July 10 there has been a new Mac Pro announced that makes no room for internal expansion, so if you don't mind Thunderbolt HDD's or PCIe Thunderbolt Chassies than go for it, if not then buy now. As for your idea of Air Parrot ISO server, I dont think that's possible, but if you mount the ISO files and convert to DVD files to a single mp4/m4v file using handbreak, you can stream them to your ATV3 using iTunes (this will remove DVD menu capability such as extended features, subtitles, different languages e.c.t). Otherwise you could try to jailbreak your ATV3 and install XBMC (Xbox Media Center, yeah I know it sounds strange for a Apple TV), this could open some possibilities for DVD/ISO streaming.
  7. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    For what you have said you want to do then personally would use a modern mac mini, 2011 or later.

    If putting a Mac Pro in the Closet then why not the mini in a closet. Electrical usage vastly reduced, compared to the Pro and also if using a mini 2011 then can use Airplay to send the output to the ATV's, rather then additional software. Also means that can run later OSX releases.

    I put off upgrading to 10.8 from 10.7.5 on my 2009 mini, however glad I did as has solved my iTunes / ATV connectivity issues, where was having to reboot my mini to get the connection to stay working. 10.8.4 seems to have solved this for me.
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Do you really mean a Mac Pro 1.1 (i.e. the original 2006 model)?
    One problem with this is that it won't* run OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion.

    It will run 10.7 Lion, though - which should meet your needs for the moment. Unless you already have a Mac Pro 1.1, I'd advise looking for a newer model that supports 10.8 and might support 10.9.

    As for the time machine server: I got this sort-of working on my 1.1 under 10.6 Snow Leopard - there are plenty of instructions online for setting it up manually. However, it kept freezing up.

    Updating to 10.7 server (the server version makes setting up Time Machine servers trivial) fixed that for me.

    (* Apparently, it can be done, but with lots of catches and much messing about, plus the expense of a new graphics card: )
  9. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2013
    I don't even have a slow down!
    I started it with 10.6.8, and now run 10.7.5. I don't see a need to update the OS for years to come using it the way he is planning to.
    Facts are, if you don't have mission critical software updates to do, then you won't need OS updates either. I have 2 mini's still running OS 10.5.8 and for what they are used for, work perfectly. After 10.5 there wasn't anything added I need.
    Personally I wish Apple would come up with a stripped down version of Mac OS, none of the pretty stuff, or the pro grade drivers, or bloat.
    As far as the power used for the OP's Pro in the closet, sharing drives, network stuff, uses almost no CPU power, so almost no electricity.
    The main reason Mini's use less power is the drive spins down, and goes to sleep, this can be done on any PC. At the expense of access time when you need it. But for his purposes it would be fine.
  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    10.7 will be fine until you want to use a piece of software than needs 10.8 or later. I'm not suggesting it *will* happen, but I wouldn't fall off my chair if, say, a future version of AppleTV requires a future version of iTunes.

    All I was saying is that if I were *buying* a secondhand Mac Pro for server use, I wouldn't go with a 1.1 unless it was really cheap. I have a 1.1 and am not planning on throwing it away any time soon.
  11. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2013
    IF that happened and IF I had to use that old pro for that purpose, I would install Parallels. Or Windows.

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