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Hello everyone,

An IMac 12.2 landed at my place yesterday extremely unexpectedly. I was allowed to pick up my new work laptop (Dell XPS 17, I7, 32 GB RAM, NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4070, 1TB SSD...quite okay for a Windows computer ;-) ).
I had a little chat with my colleagues while handing over the laptop. At some point we talked about the IMac, which had been sitting unused in their office for about 2 years.
The IT colleagues told me that the computer had been used for MDM and had not had an operating system installed after the hard drive had been replaced. They had now given up and the "thing" was going to be thrown away.
They then asked me if I wanted it as a gift.... Yes, I did.
About 35 minutes after arriving at my home, MacOS 10.11.6 was running on the IMac. About two hours and several PRAM resets later, MacOS 14.3.1 was running ;-)

View attachment 2354728
View attachment 2354729

Wonderful story and even more wonderful thing to be gifted! :)

It’s not too dissimilar from how I was gifted a late 2013 21.5-inch iMac i5 2.9 a few years ago.

I was helping a friend pack up their apartment, because they were going to move closer to their sister and their niblings several provinces away. In March 2020, they were one of the earliest people around here to contract a severe case of COVID. Then long COVID followed. All the work on their Ph.D. came to a halt. By moving nearby their sister, they could help to teach her kids for the duration of schooling-from-home and video classes, and also to have family close by to look after them as they made their slow recovery from long COVID.

As I helped to disassemble their IKEA furniture, I noticed an iMac on the floor, with the disconnected power cord resting over its top edge. It was tucked away near the wall and looked like it hadn’t been used for a while. I asked them about it, and they said they already had the computing setup they needed (a gaming-oriented desktop and also a laptop). They also said it was their only dalliance into the world of Macs and it left them unsatisfied for what they needed. They said, “You’ve been helping me to pack up, and it’s helping me a lot. If you want the Mac and can bring it home, consider it yours.”

I expressed my gratitude, but I replied how I‘d be willing to be the iMac’s custodian until they returned to the city. They were OK with that. So I was able to fit it in my messenger bag for my bike ride home. To this day, they are still living out west. And at the moment, that iMac is on a nearby desk, doing some encoding with Handbrake. I still consider myself its custodian, not its owner.

Hope you get many years of enjoyment from your generous display on the highly versatile Sandy Bridge iMac! :D
 

bobesch

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2015
2,135
2,212
Kiel, Germany
Well, about "Early-intel-Mac-Setup" does mean here only "one-screen on one-machine"

late2008 15" c2duo MBP5,1
Mojave und Installer.png


late2008 15" c2duo MBP5,1
OCLP_Monterey MojavePatch.png


mid2012 15" quad-i7 MBP9,1
mbp mojave.png


mid2012 15" quad-i7 MBP9,1
OCLP TripleBoot.png
 
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Certificate of Excellence

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2021
836
1,275
I was searching for a thread with this title. I could have sworn we created one, but I cannot find it. Perhaps I've been using two other threads as a substitute. If there is one already, maybe somebody can point me to it.

For now, since there is already the "Post Your PowerPC Setup" thread, I will start one here for Early Intel Macs.

The latest for my MacPro.

View attachment 2254959
I could have sworn there was already one as well but couldn't find it either. Anyways. here's the only early intel setup I currently have going on which I think I posted in a ebay/CL thread somewhere on here lol.
IMG_0170.jpeg

a cMP 1,1 with two apple cinema displays that lives out in my garage.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
28,839
26,951
I could have sworn there was already one as well but couldn't find it either. Anyways. here's the only early intel setup I currently have going on which I think I posted in a ebay/CL thread somewhere on here lol.
View attachment 2357275
a cMP 1,1 with two apple cinema displays that lives out in my garage.
Prince Albert and Chase Sanbold cans, LOL. Haven't seen those in years. A staple of any 1970s garage, at least most of the ones I was in as a kid in the 70s. My dad use to have the old green MGB cans. Probably still out there.
 

Captain Trips

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2020
1,855
6,301
Here are my early Intel MacBook Pros (typing these posts on the 2008 MacBook Pro 15" that I got earlier this week).

MacBook Pro late 2008 15"
When I get some time this one will get a memory upgrade to 6GB and an SSD (got one lying around that already has patched Catalina on it, so that might save me some time).
MacBook Pro 2008 15 - About This Mac.png

MacBook Pro 2008 15 photo.png


MacBook Pro 2009 17"
MacBook Pro 2009 17 - About This Mac.png

MacBook Pro 2009 17 photo.png
 

bobesch

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2015
2,135
2,212
Kiel, Germany
I could have sworn there was already one as well but couldn't find it either. Anyways. here's the only early intel setup I currently have going on which I think I posted in a ebay/CL thread somewhere on here lol.
View attachment 2357275
a cMP 1,1 with two apple cinema displays that lives out in my garage.
Chapeau! That's so well organized! 🤩
 

mslilyelise

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2021
115
151
British Columbia, Canada
I have an 27” Late 2009 11,1 iMac with the Core i5 750 CPU working as a video archival/encoding machine and then I have a 21.5” 2014 iMac running as an Emby media server.

Initially I thought the hard drive was dead on the 2009 and picked up the 2014 to replace it but I got it running again and since it’s got beefier CPU cores than the 2014 (which is the cheap 1.4Ghz dual core variety) I’m using it to encode discs and things, but as it only reliably seems to run Monterey or lower (it didn’t like OCLP Sonoma one bit) I’ve moved server duty (which requires an open external port and IP) to the newer machine that can run Sonoma for security reasons.

The 2014 wasn’t able to do encoding work in Handbrake while serving transcoded video over Emby. Just asking too much of that lil dual-core.

Only downside to this setup is the hardware on the 2009 isn’t able to handle Universal Control so the two keyboards/mice are kinda awkward. But otherwise this setup performs day in and day out, and both machines can rack up months of uptime between reboots. Apple really built stuff to last.
 

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Before anything else, a “THIS GIRL CAN” sign is what I needed in my life 30 years ago. 😭

(Also, am I seriously seeing an SU terminal background there? And lastly, that one sticker is everything.)

I have an 27” Late 2009 11,1 iMac with the Core i5 750 CPU working as a video archival/encoding machine and then I have a 21.5” 2014 iMac running as an Emby media server.

Oh wow. You have the gutted, mid-2014 education-only model. I kind of wonder how many of those are still kicking about in school computer labs these days.

Also, the Emby brand always makes me think, “Uh, y’all misspelt that…” :D

Initially I thought the hard drive was dead on the 2009 and picked up the 2014 to replace it but I got it running again and since it’s got beefier CPU cores than the 2014 (which is the cheap 1.4Ghz dual core variety) I’m using it to encode discs and things, but as it only reliably seems to run Monterey or lower (it didn’t like OCLP Sonoma one bit) I’ve moved server duty (which requires an open external port and IP) to the newer machine that can run Sonoma for security reasons.

Hurrah on reviving the 2009!

I really began loving the iMac form factor once again with the 2009 redesign, whose basic idea carried over into the 2013 redesign (minus, alas, the SuperDrive and FW800). The main downside is getting inside them for upgrades and repairs. That’s where the 2007–2009 models, with their magnet-attached glass, had them beat.

I’m guessing yours still runs with a spinner and not an SSD. Regardless, the CPU in that 2009 model, despite being five years older, benchmarks 31 per cent faster than your 2014 does and can use up to four times as much RAM. It’s a relative beast and also runs Snow Leopard, when it’s needed, like a dream.


The 2014 wasn’t able to do encoding work in Handbrake while serving transcoded video over Emby. Just asking too much of that lil dual-core.

Yah. That poor thing is running at speeds similar to the low/mid-range 2010 iMacs. By this point in time, Apple really went all-out with hobbling basic performance for education-only models. If one went back by just a few years, edu-only models were also barebones, but at least made it possible to upgrade some of the internals. 2014 was when Apple, more or less, went all-in with their soldered-earth strategy across the entire Mac product line, the carried-over 2013 Mac Pro excepted.

On the upside, the key things going for it are the 802.11ac/AirDrop capability, USB3, and Thunderbolt ports.

Only downside to this setup is the hardware on the 2009 isn’t able to handle Universal Control so the two keyboards/mice are kinda awkward. But otherwise this setup performs day in and day out, and both machines can rack up months of uptime between reboots. Apple really built stuff to last.

If omitting the several GPU failures in several models between 2006 and 2011, or the post-2015 butterfly keyboard mess, for the most part, yah. Their structural design, especially once they started going with unibody construction, made them — especially the desktops — very durable goods.

I use a late 2013 iMac i5 2.9 21.5-inch as a media player and SDR receiver these days, and the only thing which seems to force a reboot on it is when power blip in the neighbourhood takes it down.

Lastly: I know it’s not Universal Control, per se, but you may have some success with Synergy instead.

It’s been many years since I last used Synergy (ca. 2009 or so), but it worked flawlessly for when I wanted to use Macs which lived on my desk, yet preferred to only use the keyboard and trackpad on my daily driver MacBook Pro to control them all. Synergy was, basically, the Universal Control before Universal Control.
 

mslilyelise

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2021
115
151
British Columbia, Canada
Before anything else, a “THIS GIRL CAN” sign is what I needed in my life 30 years ago. 😭

(Also, am I seriously seeing an SU terminal background there? And lastly, that one sticker is everything.)

Also, the Emby brand always makes me think, “Uh, y’all misspelt that…” :D

Thanks! Always nice to meet a fellow queer or ally, especially in tech spaces! :) I posted a picture of the top of my MacBook awhile back as I'm prone to putting stickers on every available surface but it disappeared after one of the stickers ruffled some feathers. Some folks just can't handle the tea. 🫖 The Girl sign was a gift from my mom who passed on a few years ago so I always keep it somewhere she can encourage me.

Heck yeah, I use Terminal often. I've got Homebrew and MacPorts installed on both machines and usually leave a terminal up with HTOP running so I can monitor uptime and loads. I add a different background in Terminal for each physical machine I have in the hopes of not forgetting which one I'm presently on. Works 60% of the time.

My partner and I routinely call it Enby as a running gag, since they are one. The server is effectively our Public Universal Friend.

Hurrah on reviving the 2009!

I really began loving the iMac form factor once again with the 2009 redesign, whose basic idea carried over into the 2013 redesign (minus, alas, the SuperDrive and FW800). The main downside is getting inside them for upgrades and repairs. That’s where the 2007–2009 models, with their magnet-attached glass, had them beat.

I’m guessing yours still runs with a spinner and not an SSD. Regardless, the CPU in that 2009 model, despite being five years older, benchmarks 31 per cent faster than your 2014 does and can use up to four times as much RAM. It’s a relative beast and also runs Snow Leopard, when it’s needed, like a dream.

Yah. That poor thing is running at speeds similar to the low/mid-range 2010 iMacs. By this point in time, Apple really went all-out with hobbling basic performance for education-only models. If one went back by just a few years, edu-only models were also barebones, but at least made it possible to upgrade some of the internals. 2014 was when Apple, more or less, went all-in with their soldered-earth strategy across the entire Mac product line, the carried-over 2013 Mac Pro excepted.

On the upside, the key things going for it are the 802.11ac/AirDrop capability, USB3, and Thunderbolt ports.

That'd be right, a 1TB spinner in the 2009. Somebody went to the trouble of installing a 250GB SSD in the 2014, unless they came that way, which I doubt, but it's nice. However it's barely any faster than the 2009 even with that leg up. I have a 1TB SATA SSD I would like to put into the 2009 but I'm afraid of breaking the glass or the screen during the procedure. I used to work in a computer shop and watched seasoned techs bust up a few of them. I thought the issue with the 2009 was the HDD, but as it's happily humming along on Monterey now I'm going to place the blame on Sonoma instead. Was just a bridge too far.

USB3 is probably the major reason I wouldn't go back to hosting the server on the 2009. It's a monumental speed increase vs 2. And I can copy files from the 2009 to the 2014 over gigabit LAN just as if there was a USB3 drive attached to it, so that works out well. I am going to get a DAS so I can mirror the media drive as a backup, just haven't done it yet cause it's about $400 in gear and I'm not flush at the moment.

If omitting the several GPU failures in several models between 2006 and 2011, or the post-2015 butterfly keyboard mess, for the most part, yah. Their structural design, especially once they started going with unibody construction, made them — especially the desktops — very durable goods.

I use a late 2013 iMac i5 2.9 21.5-inch as a media player and SDR receiver these days, and the only thing which seems to force a reboot on it is when power blip in the neighbourhood takes it down.

Lastly: I know it’s not Universal Control, per se, but you may have some success with Synergy instead.

It’s been many years since I last used Synergy (ca. 2009 or so), but it worked flawlessly for when I wanted to use Macs which lived on my desk, yet preferred to only use the keyboard and trackpad on my daily driver MacBook Pro to control them all. Synergy was, basically, the Universal Control before Universal Control.

It's true they have struck out sometimes, especially with the butterfly keyboards. Due to an unfortunate accident my M2 Air got destroyed and I didn't have the cash to simply replace it, so I picked up a 2017 Air, knowing it was the last machine with the old style keyboards. It's been working well for me.

I have found Sonoma to be less stable on these machines, via OCLP. And like, OCLP is a community project and I'm happy it exists at all, but sometimes you just can't push em any further. When I'm not asking too much they've been great.

Thanks for the suggestion about Synergy! I went looking for solutions along those lines after you mentioned it and I actually found an open source app that does something similar, called InputLeap. I installed it off MacPorts and I'm now happily dual-wielding these machines with a single mouse and keyboard. So that's perfect. I wouldn't have thought to look without the suggestion.

Thanks for the thorough and enjoyable response. ❤️ Made my afternoon.
 
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Thanks! Always nice to meet a fellow queer or ally, especially in tech spaces! :) I posted a picture of the top of my MacBook awhile back as I'm prone to putting stickers on every available surface but it disappeared after one of the stickers ruffled some feathers. Some folks just can't handle the tea. 🫖 The Girl sign was a gift from my mom who passed on a few years ago so I always keep it somewhere she can encourage me.

I’m sorry to hear you lost someone dear to you, but glad to know your memory of her is a blessing each time you see that sign there. I wish I’d had that kind of figure in my life as well, but am always happy to know other folks have and have had them in theirs.

Heck yeah, I use Terminal often. I've got Homebrew and MacPorts installed on both machines and usually leave a terminal up with HTOP running so I can monitor uptime and loads. I add a different background in Terminal for each physical machine I have in the hopes of not forgetting which one I'm presently on. Works 60% of the time.

“Sixty per cent of the time, it’s works everytime.

I distinguish which system I’m looking at in full screen, via ARD, based on their desktop backgrounds (which stay pretty static after I’ve found one I love for it). This post is five years old but those three systems still use those backgrounds, and there’ve been a few others added along the way.

My partner and I routinely call it Enby as a running gag, since they are one. The server is effectively our Public Universal Friend.

I burst out laughing in a “hell yah” way upon this sentence. That was awesome. :D

That'd be right, a 1TB spinner in the 2009. Somebody went to the trouble of installing a 250GB SSD in the 2014, unless they came that way, which I doubt, but it's nice.

If the SSD is on the NVMe/PCIe/AHCI bus and not the SATA III bus, then it would have been configured at order that way (which was possible even with the education models. But if a 2014 iMac was ordered with an HDDD only (and neither SSD not hybrid setup), the m.2 riser (with the Apple-proprietary pin-out) was omitted from the main board. On late 2013 iMacs, no matter which one, no matter how configured, that riser is present — which is great if moving up from the HDD to a SATA SSD and adding an NVMe m.2 SSD (when running High Sierra or later).

However it's barely any faster than the 2009 even with that leg up. I have a 1TB SATA SSD I would like to put into the 2009 but I'm afraid of breaking the glass or the screen during the procedure. I used to work in a computer shop and watched seasoned techs bust up a few of them. I thought the issue with the 2009 was the HDD, but as it's happily humming along on Monterey now I'm going to place the blame on Sonoma instead. Was just a bridge too far.

I’ve yet to do the iFixit foam pizza-cutter method (and I remember the failure of opening one with an iMac Pro on LTT a while back), but given some of the tricky disassemblies of other Macs I’ve opened, upgraded, and/or repaired, I would just need to prepare and move gingerly.


USB3 is probably the major reason I wouldn't go back to hosting the server on the 2009. It's a monumental speed increase vs 2. And I can copy files from the 2009 to the 2014 over gigabit LAN just as if there was a USB3 drive attached to it, so that works out well. I am going to get a DAS so I can mirror the media drive as a backup, just haven't done it yet cause it's about $400 in gear and I'm not flush at the moment.

USB 2.0 and FW 800 are inevitable bottlenecks for sure. While I’ve never been thrilled for USB as a bus for moving data, I’m glad Thunderbolt seemed to be the direct replacement for FireWire, in that there’s an IP layer hard-baked into the protocol for LAN applications.

It's true they have struck out sometimes, especially with the butterfly keyboards. Due to an unfortunate accident my M2 Air got destroyed and I didn't have the cash to simply replace it, so I picked up a 2017 Air, knowing it was the last machine with the old style keyboards. It's been working well for me.

I have found Sonoma to be less stable on these machines, via OCLP. And like, OCLP is a community project and I'm happy it exists at all, but sometimes you just can't push em any further. When I'm not asking too much they've been great.

Monterey on OCLP seems to be the sweet spot right now, whereas Sonoma is still not fully baked, whether as an OS or in the patch update accommodating that final OS iteration. Ventura also had that be trouble for folks running it with OCLP, but it seems some of that has died down a bit.

For now, it may be best to wait on a Sonoma verdict until after the final, 14.6.x or 14.7.x is sent out the door and the OCLP team can accommodate for its final form.


Thanks for the suggestion about Synergy! I went looking for solutions along those lines after you mentioned it and I actually found an open source app that does something similar, called InputLeap. I installed it off MacPorts and I'm now happily dual-wielding these machines with a single mouse and keyboard. So that's perfect. I wouldn't have thought to look without the suggestion.

Yah. Synergy used to be open-source, but along the way, it appears they were reorganized into a typical, for-profit Silicon Valley thing and are now zealous about how they make Synergy available. I’m looking at finding the last of the released source code from 2014 to see about compiling them for stuff to have come later. Or…

What I didn’t know about until now was Input-Leap. I’ll be giving this a test go soon, via Macports, soon. Cheers! :)

Thanks for the thorough and enjoyable response. ❤️ Made my afternoon.

That’s awesome. I’m glad. 💙
 
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mslilyelise

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2021
115
151
British Columbia, Canada
Also, @mslilyelise , I'd encourage you to get hold of some suction cups - the iFixit ones are good, but others may be cheaper - and get that spinner replaced! The whole sequence is on iFixit also.

I appreciate that, I might try it with suction cups. I'm amazed the spinner has lasted as long as it has.

A slight update. View attachment 2366711
HP2211X attached to the Mac Mini 3,1 via Apple mini-DVI-to-VGA adapter and standard VGA cable. The DVI input has the Windows machine on it.
Will take a shot of the two Macbooks at some point...

This looks great with the HP monitor. It took me a minute to figure out where the "second" computer was in the picture (it's the iMac). The open-source MacPorts might work on the MacMini even though it's running Snow Leopard, I know there's a pkg installer for 10.6 but I'm not sure if InputLeap supports going that far back. Worth a look for sure.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Aug 31, 2011
28,839
26,951
Thought I'd show a couple 'behind the scenes' shots of my new(er) setup. As you can see I am repurposing the stands from the two 23" Cinema Displays that are no longer working.

The first pic shows the eMachines display on one stand. It's fairly light so I didn't have an issue letting it free stand here.

2024-04-17 04.56.04.jpg

For the Dell monitor, it's a little heavier. I used fishing line to secure it to the base.

2024-04-17 04.56.28.jpg 2024-04-17 04.57.33.jpg

And then we have the LG HDTV. It did not come with a stand (just a wall mount). I can't make it stand freely without risking it crashing down due to the slightest bump of the tables. So, I put the music stand behind it and wired it to the music stand. The stand has a heavier base and tends to lean back. I have no illusions that if the tables are bumped just right or hard enough that it'd fall forward (with devastating results). But I've leaned it back at enough of an angle that this is unlikely to occur with due care. So far, it hasn't moved.

2024-04-17 04.57.17.jpg

PS. You might note that the LG has an ethernet cable. I'm using this to keep the firmware updated. Since the screen is turned sideways and the backlight is going, watching TV on it really isn't desirable. I could, but I already have another TV for that.
 
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kzk32

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2021
11
8
Here is my iMac 27inch Mid 2011 with Mac OS Sonoma streaming music from my Plex server, with my powerbook g4 with Mac OS Leopard which is not an early Intel Mac but who cares.
IMG_5303.jpeg

For audio I have this fame sound system in the first photo you can see the speakers and in the second the amplifier.
Beside the amplifier is my iMac early 2008 with Mac OS High Sierra with dosdudes1 patcher and my steinberg UR22mkII.
IMG_5302.jpeg
 
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