Old MacMini - what to do with it?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Giuanniello, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Giuanniello macrumors 6502

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #1
    I have a MacMini with a Core2 cpu which can't support, if I recall correct, any OS newer than 10.6.8, I don't know what to do with it, was actually thinking to use it as a print server so that we can access the printer from the other computers around home, to attach to it an external drive as to use it for backups or to connect it to the NAS through USB and to make of it a sort of a hub to access the printer, the external drive and so on but, honestly, don't know where to start from and if worth the pain.

    What would you do with it rather than to give it to somebody?

    Thank you
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    The oldest Core 2 Duo Mini can run 10.7.5 and the newest can run 10.13.x. Some models in between can run 10.11.x.

    I don't know what printer model you're referencing but there aren't many these days that aren't network capable in some way or another...so a printer server may not be necessary.

    Which model is it exactly?
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    You could use it for an iTunes server. Just turn on homesharing and put your library on either the internal or an external drive. I have a 2014 mini dedicated for this, but an older one can certainly do the same thing. This article is a few years old, but still newer than your mini ;) https://www.techradar.com/how-to/software/applications/how-to-set-up-an-itunes-home-server-1305683

    Aside from that... if you had to come here to ask, then you just may not have much use for it. I stopped using my 2008 core2duo MacBook Pro several years ago and it just sits in the closet. Then there are several other old computers up in the attic that really should go out in the trash....
     
  4. mike9449 macrumors newbie

    mike9449

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #4
    I use a Macmin3,1 (750GB HD, 4GB Ram) as an iTunes movie server, a couple of Macmini1,1's and Mac Mini G4's as data collectors for my home-brew house automation and security system. They are very versatile low power consumption machines and have been running for years with no issues whatsoever.
     
  5. Beachguy macrumors 6502a

    Beachguy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #5
    While mine is much newer than yours, I swapped the stone slow HD for an SSD and discovered it was still a good desktop unit. I had a Core2 machine I changed and it also became very usable. A small investment may reap great rewards, no matter which way you go.
     
  6. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I got a 2011 Mac Mini from a coworker for $200. It now serves as my main machine. I put in 8GB of ram and an SSD and although the CPU fan goes on a lot, I put it on a laptop cooling pad (helps). It is connected to dual monitors. It handles all my data backup, cloud syncing, I watch netflix on it daily and do my "work & college work" on it. Definitely getting a little slow tho. When I graduate to a newer computer later this year, it will be my file server / Arq Backup server.

    Definitely swap the hd for an ssd - that is a night and day difference - takes 15-20 mins (first time) to do so. Definitely VERY usable.
     
  7. MrWillie macrumors 65816

    MrWillie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Location:
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    #7
    I second the notion of using it as an iTunes server. I’ve got a poor man’s NAS (WD), and it works great.
     
  8. Giuanniello thread starter macrumors 6502

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #8
    I don't know if it makes sense to spend 70-80 euros for an SSD (I won't upgrade to 500GB, priority would go to my old trusty MBPro end of 2011 which deserves more attention than the mini), I have been trying to install 10.7 but got no success, I know there are some hacks to do on the install before attempting but too much hassle for no much of a gain.

    The printer is an USB/FW one, the iTunes server could be an idea but I use to listen to music through my vintage stereo setup and it usually is FLAC music and not MP3 in which case iTunes is of no help at all not to mention that when streaming through wifi the music gets downsampled and as such the advantages of uncompressed files go down the drain.

    I have too much gear around, in the storage there is my old PowerMac Dual G4, in a drawer there is a PowerBook G4 and then this iMac late 2009 to whom I changed the spinning HD for an SSD and which serves as main computing machine, then an 11" and a 13" Air, the Mini is redundant but rather than selling I'd like to make some use of it...

    Thanks everybody for suggestions
     
  9. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #9
    I have a 2.0ghz C2D 2009 mini running 10.13 high sierra, and I use it as my media Center PC. It's hooked up to my tv, It runs kodi and never skips a beat even with 1080 video in h.265.
    I've upgraded it to 8GB of ram, and put a 2TB hybrid drive in it and loaded it up with all my movies and TV shows. It also runs as a plex media server so I can watch things in the other room as well. The only problem I've had is if you set plex to transcode for some reason, the mini isn't particularly fast enough to do it real time and it ends up buffering every 30 seconds. This doesn't happen watching it locally, or if the media is already in a format the plex client can play.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    Can you install a desktop version of Linux onto it?
     
  11. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #11
    Definitely. The mac is only a mac because of mac os. And I suppose you could argue the proprietary EFi.
    Anyways, yes. Linux doesn't care who the manufacturer is. It's just a PC with a core 2 duo as far as it's concerned.
     

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11 February 21, 2018