What to do with an extra MacBook

ministerman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 19, 2011
16
0
Nashville, TN
Before I get the plethora of "I'll take it" comments...

I have a 3 year old Macbook Pro, and was recently given a 2 year old Macbook Air. My wife already had a Macbook Air, so now we have an extra. We do have an Apple TV - and I was wondering if I could use one of the MacBooks as a media center?

If you had an extra, what would you do with it?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,390
33,009
Boston
[MOD NOTE]
I'm just giving a preemptive note that we do not permit sales or give aways in the forums other then the marketplace. The OP is not looking to give the MBP away so lets not even ask.
 

ministerman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 19, 2011
16
0
Nashville, TN
[MOD NOTE]
I'm just giving a preemptive note that we do not permit sales or give aways in the forums other then the marketplace. The OP is not looking to give the MBP away so lets not even ask.
Thanks! You are correct - I'm not looking to sell, i'm looking to use it in a most unique and awesome way!
 

Beezy253

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2013
350
12
Tacoma, WA
If you don't think you'll get much use out of the "extra", sell it.

No use and letting it sit around, if it's only going to be used a few times a month.
 

ministerman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 19, 2011
16
0
Nashville, TN
If you don't think you'll get much use out of the "extra", sell it.

No use and letting it sit around, if it's only going to be used a few times a month.
That's what I'm trying to do - trying to get some use out of it. Any suggestions for other uses for it in the home, such as a media center, etc.? I don't want to get rid of it, I would like to use it.
 

raptor402

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2011
399
2
Hi,

There are many things you could do with a spare MacBook. Your idea of turning it into Media Centre is brilliant, but you'll need a good remote application to go with it (especially if you plan to use the air, which lacks an IR receiver).

You could also set it up with an external display and use it as a family computer (that's what I planned to do with my old MacBook before its untimely demise at the hands of a bottle of coke). Of course, using a MacBook with an external display can be a bit unruly since you would want to keep the lid closed, forcing you to use an external mouse.

If you are willing to go the extra mile(s), you could set up the Pro and the Air to keep most of your frequented applications and utilities in sync so that you are able to keep one laptop for work and the other for home.

If nothing else works, you could simply use the MacBook Air as a knife.

I hope you find a good use for the machine.

Regards
Raptor
 

ministerman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 19, 2011
16
0
Nashville, TN
Any good places to look for setting up one as a media center?

Fortunately - I also have a Macbook Pro at the office, so technically I don't need it for work! Software ideas for media center stuff?
 

raptor402

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2011
399
2
Any good places to look for setting up one as a media center?

Fortunately - I also have a Macbook Pro at the office, so technically I don't need it for work! Software ideas for media center stuff?
You can probably find some guides online. See this. It's a guide that uses Plex. You can also try out XBMC; my cousin can't praise the software enough for a Media Centre setup.

The guide recommends an IR remote, but that's entirely optional. I would recommend a small keyboard with a built in trackpad (logitech had an offering the size of an iPad mini). You could also use your smartphone as a remote over WiFi (you could use a VNC app).

Raptor

UPDATE: The Logitech keyboard was called "DiNovo Mini wireless". It's about the size of a Samsung Galaxy Note. It's still available at some retailers, but is far too expensive at $100+.
 
Last edited:

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,461
4,964
You can put the OS X Server on it and use it for backups/network storage/router/media server whatever.
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,541
194
Brasil
Do you have a 2011, Sandy Bridge 13" MBP? You could add 16GB of RAM (if supported), a SSD and make it run probably way faster than your just earned Macbook Air :p

My late-2009 Macbook with 8GB and a SSD is really fast in everyday tasks and I only perceive it's slower than my rMBP when I do intensive CPU tasks (like building Gimp from Macports or running algorithms in GPU with OpenCL).
 

24hrpizza

macrumors member
Dec 19, 2013
60
0
Hi,

There are many things you could do with a spare MacBook. Your idea of turning it into Media Centre is brilliant, but you'll need a good remote application to go with it (especially if you plan to use the air, which lacks an IR receiver).

You could also set it up with an external display and use it as a family computer (that's what I planned to do with my old MacBook before its untimely demise at the hands of a bottle of coke). Of course, using a MacBook with an external display can be a bit unruly since you would want to keep the lid closed, forcing you to use an external mouse.

If you are willing to go the extra mile(s), you could set up the Pro and the Air to keep most of your frequented applications and utilities in sync so that you are able to keep one laptop for work and the other for home.

If nothing else works, you could simply use the MacBook Air as a knife.

I hope you find a good use for the machine.

Regards
Raptor

Haha had not seen the Macbook Air knife. lol
 

amoda

macrumors 6502a
Aug 9, 2006
657
8
If you had an extra, what would you do with it?
I'd sell it. Computers are diminishing value assets, and whatever I could do with the extra laptop I could likely do better with a cheaper alternative. If you want a media centre, sell the laptop, buy an AppleTV or alternative and pocket the rest.

where IS the market place?
Scroll down on the list of Forums. It's third under the Mac Community sublist.

HOWEVER, from the rules: "Before you can access the Marketplace forum, you need a minimum post count of 250, as displayed in your User Profile, and you must have been a MacRumors member for at least 180 days (about 6 months). Posts in certain forums (e.g., the "Politics, Religion, Social Issues" and "Console Games" forums) do not count toward this total."

I'm not sure if this only means you can see it but can't access it, or if you can't even see it until then.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
873
41,421
Criminal Mexi Midget
I'd sell it. Computers are diminishing value assets, and whatever I could do with the extra laptop I could likely do better with a cheaper alternative. If you want a media centre, sell the laptop, buy an AppleTV or alternative and pocket the rest.



Scroll down on the list of Forums. It's third under the Mac Community sublist.

HOWEVER, from the rules: "Before you can access the Marketplace forum, you need a minimum post count of 250, as displayed in your User Profile, and you must have been a MacRumors member for at least 180 days (about 6 months). Posts in certain forums (e.g., the "Politics, Religion, Social Issues" and "Console Games" forums) do not count toward this total."

I'm not sure if this only means you can see it but can't access it, or if you can't even see it until then.
seems it is both, see it & access it.thanks.
 

mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,415
159
Americas
I have an old Powerbook that I use whenever my MBP is in the shop. When it's not in the shop, it's purpose it to make DVD movies. Since Apple did away with that feature, I can create nice DVD movies on my Powerbook. I can do it on my MBP but I still have Final Cut Express.

Other things I do with it is watch movies. If the power goes out, I can go to it to watch movies. Some times I listen to music on it.
 

Doward

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2013
526
8
I'd sell it. Computers are diminishing value assets, and whatever I could do with the extra laptop I could likely do better with a cheaper alternative. If you want a media centre, sell the laptop, buy an AppleTV or alternative and pocket the rest.
I will second this recommendation.
 

chaseholden

macrumors newbie
May 13, 2010
6
1
Laguna Beach, CA USA
  1. You can use it as a knife!
  2. You can run your own Filemaker Server in-house on your Mac.
  3. You can run your own Apple File or Web Server or experiment with non-Apple servers and webservers on your Mac.
  4. You could run your own entertainment hub using your Mac and experiment as a media player. (your iPhone or Apple Remote can control it!)
  5. You could use it as a head for a remote server or to monitor a remote Mac.
  6. You can use it as an extra display and/or computer using ShareMouse for Mac to merge the two desktops together! I've done this and it's awesome!
  7. You can use it as a backup storage controller or your own homemade NAS!
  8. You can use it as a security hub with its built-in iSight cam and to view multiple cams at once and even record them for fixed durations.
  9. Donate CPU time for science! University of Berkeley using BOINC for Mac. (I use my FMS iMac overnight only while idle to help cure cancer and other diseases.)
  10. You can experiment with other OS's like Linux, Chromebook, Windoze…ok that last one made me throw up a little.
  11. Digital Photo/Video Frame
  12. Dedicated Gaming Computer! (i've got all the old original classic arcade games and MAME emulator if you want them)
  13. Use it as a Firewall or Router or Hotspot
  14. Use it as a dedicated Email Terminal
  15. Create a completely anonymous Terminal
  16. Music Studio!
  17. Wall Mount it!
  18. All of the above!
 
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