What can you do with a Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by onions, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. onions macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011
    So I'm at a bit of a loss. I managed to score a brand new Late 2012 2.3 i7 for an incredibly good price. I think I picked it up more for the deal than out of an actual need for the machine. So now that's it's sitting on my desk unopened, what can I do with it? I already have a tricked out late 2011 macbook pro, an apple tv that talks to my itunes to stream all the kids movies, and the wife has her MBA. The mini just sitting there kinda not doing much of anything at the moment so I'm looking for suggestions on what I can do with it. Help?
  2. TPadden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2010
    Sell or gift it, that's what I do with things I don't know what to do with. :D
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Not to be a jerk here, but if you didn't have a plan for it.... why did you buy it? We can all tell you what we do with OUR Mini's, but those are particular use cases for our situations. If you didn't have a use case for yourself in buying it, then I would just return it if you can or sell it on eBay.

    With all that said, here are some of my use cases:
    1. Centralized Time Machine
    2. Web Server
    3. VM Box
    4. iTunes and Plex Server
    5. File Server

    Hope this helps....
  4. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    I've got four in active use currently. The first is the hub of my entertainment center, and holds my iTunes library. An older model that previously served that function is now in my wife's exercise room, and holds all her fitness DVDs. A third is in a home recording studio, and a fourth is attached to an old scanner.

    Where is your iTunes library currently? Is it on your MBP, or in the Cloud? If it's on your laptop, I would consider moving it to the Mini, to use as a dedicated entertainment server.
  5. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    What do you want to do with it?
  6. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Flip it. It's going to waste if it's not be used.


    Gut the innards and use it for a really cool cig/joint ash tray. It would be large enough to burn incense in it as well.

    Seriously, I understand the excitement of finding a great deal. How about use it to drive a big monitor on a wall to scroll continuous news and weather? Or for a security video setup? Or participate in a grid computing project?
  7. psound macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Smash it with a hammer, upload video to youtube, post on this forum to annoy those who are searching for 2012 minis even more.

    Do you need advice on what to do with your new car as well?
  8. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Good stuff. Some others to think about:

    - Move your iTunes library to it and relieve the job from your tricked out 2011. Also, give you a central server for media... (#4 above)
    - Adding the Server pack to it (from apps store for $20), give you the ability to host a central time machine (#1 above)... also, you can set up a personal blog with it (sort of #2)
    - It can be an update server for your other macs (included in the server pack)
    - Register it with SETI's massive parallel project, check out the thread here on macrumors
  9. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Or the Stanford Protein Folding network:

  10. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Your Apple TV talks to your iTunes via home sharing-- meaning you need your Macbook Pro to be running all the time, or whenever they want to stream, right?

    If only you had a dedicated machine that would be running all the time, using very little power, serving up content from an iTunes library....

    Also, attach a USB blu-ray drive to it, and rip blu-rays for your library as well. MakeMKV and then Handbrake to convert them to iTunes format.

    Or replace your Apple TV with the Mini completely.
  11. jdphoto macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2014
    In addition to some of the things listed above, I use it for a central Crashplan backup server for all my devices and media.
  12. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2013
    get it off your desk so you won't have to look at it and stick it in a closet. you'll find a use for it someday. or someone else will when you die. i've got a couple of working macs in my closet that i just don't have any use for right now except to replace macs i use if i can no longer get parts for them. fixing to get a couple more next year also.
  13. TPadden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2010
    If you are going to be a hoarder, you'd never have to worry about replacing those Macs if you'd just throw a couple of Apple shares in that closet :rolleyes:.
  14. Ics1974 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2014
    Do a bend test like the iPhones or just give it to me
  15. grandM macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    Never open it, the last untouched quad four mini
    Over 20 years it will be worth a fortune. Keep the invoice
  16. Faruha macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2013
  17. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    They are hitting $1000 on ebay now, and I expect will keep rising, so you might want to flip it at some point if not using it.

    First time I've ever seen a computer *appreciate* in value!
  18. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Hey, since it's on your desk unopened, it'll make a great paperweight. Or, even a great doorstop. How many other people have paperweights and doorstops that can suddenly take the place of a computer that randomly died in the middle of a project? ;)
  19. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    There are easier ways to get your movies onto ATV;)

    But seriously, pop that puppy under your tv with a decent amount of storage and it can be the household hub for Time Machine backups, iTunes server and Spotify client at the very least.

    Or just give to someone in more need. Like me...:D
  20. grandM macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    naaah, he'd better give it to me. You are way too rich, I however am poor!
  21. rajivhifi macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2014
    Similar to my situation but here's what I did with it. Runs headless with the fit-headless dongle (its fantastic!). Bought a Samsung 250GB SSD and made it the main drive with the OS, the 1TB HDD is the secondary drive for media storage.

    Moved my 250GB iPhoto library from my aging 2008 unibody MB to the mac mini. With Screen Sharing, the library can be accessed via my MB and wife's MBA. This was the most important use case for me. This will allow me buy any low storage (256GB) MBP or MBA in the future for consumption purposes. No need to buy large storage laptops any more.

    The mini is the hub. I can grow my family picture and video library by adding external hard drives/NAS. They are cheaper than Apple's internal flash drives.

    Moved my movie library to the mini as well.

    Runs Plex Media Server. Serves movies/videos to the Apple TV2 and Amazon Fire TV to be played in the family room TV.

    These were more than enough reason for me to decide for the 2012 i7 mini a couple of weeks ago.
  22. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    Go to your nearest doughnut shop and call out all the boys in blue for what they are...
    overweight, out of condition, doughnut stuffed servants of the establishment, all the while madly waving your new Late 2012 2.3 i7 mac mini in the air.
    Mind you, there are other less destructive things you could do with your new mini.

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