Two Macs - two OS or one?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by smallspender, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. smallspender macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2011
    I'm looking for advice. I have a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 Tower and an Intel Macbook 1.1. Both now run OSX 10.4.11. I'd like to take advantage of some of the features in OSX 10.5, and I'd like to have both computers using the same OS (I think...see below). OSX 10.6 is inexpensive, but it won't run on the PowerPC machine.

    I figure I could...

    (Option 1): Install 10.6 on the laptop, and use the Tower as a sort-of external hard drive using Firewire, keeping it as an OSX 10.4 machine. In this option, I'm tempted to get a Henge dock and just turn my laptop into my effective desk top, using my keyboard and display from the Tower. (Plus, if I do this, I'll put in additional memory and maybe a bigger hd in the laptop - I've already done that with the Tower). This is relatively cheap, OSX 10.6 won't run on my Tower, but it isn't expensive.


    (Option 2): Get OSX 10.5 and install it on both machines. There's an upgrade to 10.5.1 from 10.4.x for about $150, but I'm not sure that it will let me upgrade both machines - there's no doubt a 'grey zone' work around. I don't think I'd need the Henge, in this case, just link 'em via Firewire.


    (Option 3): Spend lots more money and get a Mac Mini to use as my "desktop", and run OSX 10.6 on both laptop and mini - and my trusty ol' tower becomes a hard drive.

    My objective is to have things sync effortlessly among my two computers.

    Thoughts? And thanks!
  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Sell the tower, and use that to subsidize the Mini. The Mini will come with 10.6, of course. Get the upgrade from 10.4 to 10.6, which though pricey since, iirc it also includes iLife brings both machines up to the same level.

    Technically, and there really isn't any grey area, OS X upgrades are either for a single machine or they are a family pack for 5 licenses. The license is tied to the machine, not to the user, so one machine-one license.

    In this case a family pack won't help you, since the Mini is coming with one license you will only need a single license. However, in my experience at least, family pack licenses are usually cheaper than buying two single licences. So, once both machines are at 10.6 the upgrade to 10.7 can use the family pack.

    Buy the Mini from the refurbished store. They don't come up often, but you will save just about the cost of the OS upgrade for the laptop. Check the store a few times a day, and pounce when you see the Mini. They don't last long.

    All of this is IMHO, of course....
  3. smallspender thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2011

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