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sillycyber

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 30, 2016
52
29
The Great Northwest
Just received new MacBook Pro M1 Max/32GB . Ordered it from Apple w/trade-in of 2020 M1 Mac Mini (16GB) that's now ready to box up and ship back. But I noticed a minor ding on corner edge of the chassis (of the Mini) I didn't see before (nor mention in trade-in request).

Now that I'm realizing I might not get full trade-in value for Mini, suddenly, I'm curious -- as a computer-savvy SW developer, and all-around person trying to make a living, what would be a good use for the Mac Mini, if i decide to keep it?

Anything useful, interesting, or profitable for a spare computer with its capabilities?
 

AndyMacAndMic

macrumors 6502a
May 25, 2017
901
1,385
Western Europe
Just received new MacBook Pro M1 Max/32GB . Ordered it from Apple w/trade-in of 2020 M1 Mac Mini (16GB) that's now ready to box up and ship back. But I noticed a minor ding on corner edge of the chassis (of the Mini) I didn't see before (nor mention in trade-in request).

Now that I'm realizing I might not get full trade-in value for Mini, suddenly, I'm curious -- as a computer-savvy SW developer, and all-around person trying to make a living, what would be a good use for the Mac Mini, if i decide to keep it?

Anything useful, interesting, or profitable for a spare computer with its capabilities?

You can turn it into a file server (or a kind of NAS).
If you are into audiophile music you can turn it into a dedicated music player with a (Roon or Audirvana) music player app and an external DAC.
You can also turn it into a media server for your Home Theater System.
Maybe a dedicated machine for video or photo editing.
A dedicated machine for certain software development projects.
A secondary backup machine if your main machine fails.
Maybe a nice computer for your partner or kids?
A nice machine for in the attic, cellar or any other room so you don't have to carry your new MacBook Pro anywhere.
<If all suggestions above fail: insert your imagination here ;)>
 
Last edited:

sillycyber

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 30, 2016
52
29
The Great Northwest
Can you set it up as a server for something?
I guess. The thing is I have homepods and not really an audiophile per se. Not hard to find music to listen to or distribute around the house. And seems like a pretty overpriced NAS. And since ISPs limit the bandwith for upstreaming data, might not be a great webserver. A remote VM with a fast network connection like linode, seems to make more sense for Internet/web server. Maybe for testing/demoing web stuff.
 

BATman.Berlin

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2015
180
113
California
years ago one could cluster computers on the same network for distribution of render jobs in Final cut/Compressor. Not sure if this is still a thing.
 

JMacHack

Suspended
Mar 16, 2017
1,582
1,900
I’ll take it off your hands if you’d like 🙂

In seriousness, I’d turn it into a file/media server. I’m looking at doing just that to replace my MP 5,1.
 

wilberforce

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2020
1,681
1,543
SF Bay Area
On my last trade-in I honestly said there was cosmetic damage (which was very noticeable), but they ignored it and instead gave me full trade-in value (tripling the estimated trade-in value).
Cosmetic damage is apparently not very important.
 

steve217

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2011
396
463
NC
If you can afford it, keep the mini as a desktop and use it as your desktop.

Let laptops be laptops and desktop be desktops. I found the hybrid thing to be a hassle; with cloud storage, syncing is no longer an issue.
 

Boil

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2018
1,345
946
...as a computer-savvy SW developer, and all-around person trying to make a living, what would be a good use for the Mac Mini, if i decide to keep it?

Anything useful, interesting, or profitable for a spare computer with its capabilities?

Use it as a build server...?
 

sillycyber

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 30, 2016
52
29
The Great Northwest
On my last trade-in I honestly said there was cosmetic damage (which was very noticeable), but they ignored it and instead gave me full trade-in value (tripling the estimated trade-in value).
Cosmetic damage is apparently not very important.
Use it as a build server...?
That's what I was wondering, however I'm not sure what's possible with that. The M1 Max MacBook Pro is faster for builds, which is why I got it. Unless there's some arrangement or distributed model between the Mac Mini and the Macbook Pro that gives me even quicker build-to-run cycling. Any suggestions?
 

steve217

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2011
396
463
NC
That's what I was wondering, however I'm not sure what's possible with that. The M1 Max MacBook Pro is faster for builds, which is why I got it. Unless there's some arrangement or distributed model between the Mac Mini and the Macbook Pro that gives me even quicker build-to-run cycling. Any suggestions?

For what platforms do you develop?

What will you be building? Jenkins is the first thing that comes to mind. My pipelines are all .Net in the cloud.
 
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bobcomer

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2015
1,987
1,536
My Mac mini serves as my home share server for TV shows and movies, has a Windows 10 PC in a VM that does a VPN server and serves as my remote windows desktop for my M1 MBA. (It's an intel Mac Mini though, your couldn't do quite the same.) Just think up what you always need available and assign that task to it. Or take the $950!
 
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sillycyber

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 30, 2016
52
29
The Great Northwest
It's still very early in development but you could install linux on it.
There is that. I have a Linux running on a 32 core threadripper that I'm using as a dual boot, mostly Linux, for work, and that's pretty fast. I'm getting more inclined to keep this just because M1 Mac Mini's similar configured are $1700, so if I needed another computer for any reason, that's a chunk of extra change. I did install Linux on a 2009 iMac, but lost macOS. I'd hate to lose macOS, but nor is it likely I'd really take advantage of dual boot. Decisions decisions...
 

sillycyber

Contributor
Original poster
Oct 30, 2016
52
29
The Great Northwest
For what platforms do you develop?

What will you be building? Jenkins is the first thing that comes to mind. My pipelines are all .Net in the cloud.
Apps and web stuff. I need to investigate Jenkins to see if it is well-suited to what I'm doing. I don't really understand how it will help me when right now as an individual developer I'm working on app stuff and want fast compiles. Not sure how I can beat the speed of a local build. But if it could make it go even faster by distributing the build between the Mac Mini and the M1 Max MBP, then I'd *definitely* look into that.

Meanwhile I found this:
 
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