Resurrected Mac Mini on a Budget

The older model Mac Mini circa 2005-2009 was a great PC alternative, measuring in at 2.0 × 6.5 × 6.5 inches instead of a huge beige tower. You can buy these old machines on ebay in the $50-$100 price range but their usability and expansion is limited by Apple. We will get around this!

The model I bought for $50 (that included shipping) was the Apple 2006 (model MA607LL/A) Mac Mini with a 1.66GHz [Intel Core Duo 2] processor,  CD-R/W,  160GB Hard drive, and a measly 1GB of RAM.

The RAM is expandable in this model to 2GB. There are two slots, so (2) 1GB RAM [DDR2 PC2 5300] modules could replace the (2) 512MB modules. RAM upgrade (both modules) for me cost a total of $6.40 shipped.

CPU being only 1.66GHz will need to be maxed out. The good news is that this machine’s CPU can be upgraded to a Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 mobile CPU 2.0 GHz. Total cost in my case, $7.65 with free shipping.

The Upgrade

To get the case apart, you will need to flip the unit over and take a screwdriver and gently pry along the seam until you can pop the lid off. I recommend watching an instructional video. It’s not user-friendly but it’s also not that difficult. The video linked was made by The 8-Bit Guy and he goes over how to take the case apart, replace the RAM and Hard Drive (jump to 1:30 if you are impatient).

For the upgrade, once the lid is removed, you will remove the air port connector, the ribbon cable and a controller cable. Remove some screws (this is all shown in the 8-Bit Guy’s video) and the CD-RW can be moved out of the way for your RAM, CPU and/or hard drive upgrade. In my case, I left the 160GB hard drive in because there’s plenty of room for my OS of choice, Ubuntu Linux 16.04.

RAM: once the CD/RW is out of the way, this is easy. Pull the metal tabs back slightly on each side and remove the top RAM module. Repeat for the bottom module. Reverse this process when installing the newer RAM. This part is done.

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For the CPU, turn that small screw you see in the picture on the CPU socket until you can free the CPU. Carefully place your 2.0GHz CPU in the socket and tighten the screw. Now apply a dab of thermal paste on the metal square on the CPU (as shown in the picture). Now you are done with the CPU!

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If you want to continue with the hard drive replacement, please refer back to the 8-Bit Guy’s video. Carefully reverse the disassembly process and your machine should be a happily upgrade Mac Mini!

Now for the OS. I was unable and unwilling to get a new Apple OSX operating system on this box. Unable because it’s a huge hassle and I believe you can only upgrade to Mountain Lion. Unwilling because the machine has limited specs and you are not going to get a good experience using this machine with OSX. Ubuntu Linux however will run VERY WELL! In fact, once I upgraded the OS to Ubuntu the machine ran quite nice and I’m able to do pretty much everything I normally do without any lock-ups, spinning wheels of death or slow downs. It’s not a rocket but it’s definitely usable and enjoyable.

To get Ubuntu Linux on your machine, visit the Ubuntu Desktop download section and download the 32-Bit ISO image. Now that you have the image, you will need to put it on a flash drive with your computer. In my case, I used a tool called Apple Pi Baker, which is also a great tool for flashing SD cards for Raspberry Pi. If you have windows or Linux and want to do this, I suggest looking for a good instruction video.

This is an important step: Installing the rEFIt boot menu for the Mac Mini. Go to the rEFIt Project page and download. Then install rEFIt. This will allow you to boot your the Ubuntu installation you flashed onto the flash drive.

Once you place the ISO onto the flash drive and install rEFIt, you will put it in your newly upgraded Mac Mini and hold the “Alt” key after you turn it on. Choose the Flash Drive and boot into Ubuntu and install. I chose to overwrite the entire drive since I do not plan on using this machine to run OSX. Once this process is complete, you will be enjoying a very inexpensive computer that has a low-power usage and fits in a very small space. In addition, Linux is cool and you can brag to your friends. 😉

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I am using a 32″ Samsung TV for the monitor. I needed to use a DVI to HDMI converter for the video signal. This is my setup!

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Prince 4Ever

To Prince’s credit (you could put MANY things to his credit), he didn’t have too many cash-out live albums or complications. Prince 4Ever is a great collection of his songs that really encapsulates his career. Any long term fan could pick on the list, though I can find few faults. I would have swapped one of the lesser-known songs out for Erotic City but it’s all good. If you were saddened by his death this year but wanted to start somewhere with Prince, I would say this is a really great way to.

"Beercade" – Beers and Arcade Games

A local bar/restaurant called Terry’s Terrace in Harrison Township, MI has opened a new “Beercade”, offering legendary 80’s arcade games in a bar setting. This is a welcome trend for many Generation X and Y arcade fans. Bringing this experience back to life is also great for the new generation of kids. I often see kids enjoying games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

“Beercade” – Beers and Arcade Games

A local bar/restaurant called Terry’s Terrace in Harrison Township, MI has opened a new “Beercade”, offering legendary 80’s arcade games in a bar setting. This is a welcome trend for many Generation X and Y arcade fans. Bringing this experience back to life is also great for the new generation of kids. I often see kids enjoying games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.

Zika

The Ebola story of 2016. I find it interesting that the outbreak is where the GMO mosquito were released. ‪#‎Oxitec‬ ‪#‎GMO‬ ‪#‎Zika‬ Remember the genetically modified (GMO) mosquitoes released in Florida last year? Apparently, GMO mosquitos were also released into Brazil where the horrible Zika birth defects are occuring at an alarming rate. “The Aedes aegypti mosquito sub-species that carries both the Zika virus and dengue was the type targeted with genetically modified mosquitoes.” Oxitec sold the GMO mosquitos (Aedes aegypti) a fix for Dengue fever.

Iowa/Caucus

We won’t hear the word “Iowa” for another 4 years. Cheers! The evangelicals can go back to their snakes and we can all enjoy our cat pictures. Although I am wearing thin of the word “caucus”. NPR corespondents everywhere giggle during the sponsor spots.

Political Donations and Influence

So much talk about “big money” influence in politics. Hillary Clinton raised $112 million last year (MONSANTO among her donors) and just received $6 million from evil emperor George Soros. Sanders raised $73 million. Trump spent $12 million of his own money. He’s reject donations from outside influence.

Regarding Hillary and Monsanto: Coaching GMO scientists at a San Diego biotech conference, Hillary Clinton said, “Genetically modified sounds Frankensteinish. Drought-resistant sounds like something you’d want. Be more careful so you don’t raise that red flag immediately.” ‪#‎MonsantoShill‬ Don’t raise that flag!

Flint’s Water Crisis

Flint demographics: 53.27% Black or African American, 41.39% White, 0.64% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. If we are to believe in a “Black Genocide” conspiracy, we are to believe that the water only poisons blacks, leaving the the remaining 47% fresh and healthy. Idiot logic from people like Michael Moore.

I have a very strong suspicion that the Flint water system was pumping contaminated water long before last year because of their aged infrastructure. I also suspect the issue is the tip of the iceberg and that many other areas around the state and country are also providing contaminated water. Just a thought. Here’s an EPA report on Detroit water. It looks like a clean bill of health. You can see the presence of lead and other contaminants listed but at a level the EPA deems acceptable. Sometimes what the industry says is acceptable is a level not in your best interest.

7 Wars in 5 Years

I’ve posted about General Wesley Clark’s admission that 7 wars were planned well in advance before but it bears repeating. It’s easy to gloss over our leader’s complicity in war when they appear on Jimmy Kimmel and Rolling Stone’s cover. “So cool dude.” The wars are inevitable as they are planned well in advance. And they actually fit the pattern Clark laid out almost 10 years ago. This admission goes to show that we elect puppets who stand as actors as the levers are pulled and the machines are put into action. This video …is it me or does Wesley Clark look scared? Is he the man behind the curtain or Toto that pulled back the curtain? I think it’s the latter and I really think he was threatened afterward.

Hillary Wants The “Rich” To Pay More Social Security Tax

Oh, this is RICH. It never ends. Hillary Clinton is now proposing higher Social Security taxes on “the wealthiest Americans.” Who these Americans are remain to be clarified. The class warfare and income redistribution may play well in the polls but it is destructive for the country. The people who usually get hurt are the working middle class, not the wealthy top 1% because the wealthy 1% do not contribute to payroll taxes.

Corporate H-1B visa abuse, Questoinable Refugee agenda

H-1B visa program abuse

Last year, Disney World fired 250 American workers and replaced them with cheaper foreign workers, through the H-1B visa program.” The fallacy of “work Americans aren’t willing to do.” It’s more like “work American business is not willing to pay for.” This is how America fails unless we stand up to it by voting with our dollars. You won’t hear about a boycott though. People will get more upset over the most idiotic things that shall remain unnamed.

“Refugees” aka EU infiltration of Muslim men of fighting age

A female refugee center worker has come out to expose her treatment by the “refugees” and what is going on in the camp. “At first she said was enthusiastic in her role of helping process tens of thousands of migrants arriving in Germany on a weekly basis. Now, she says she is disillusioned, disheartened and on the verge of quitting due to demands and sexual harassment.”

“It is well known that it is mainly single men who come here – about 65 per cent, many less than 25-years-old. More and more men from North Africa, from Morocco, Tunisia or Libya are arriving here.”

The motives of governments around the world encouraging this infiltration are unknown but crimes of theft and sexual assaults are on the rise, despite the insistence of German and American officials that things are going just fine.

Existing Establishment, No Changes

Aging infrastructure and bankrupt cities. America is in big trouble, yet unchecked madness being funded into the military industrial complex. We are supposed to have a system of checks and balances but people are happy with partisan division. While you are divided, all of your tax dollars are going to more death and destruction (war and pseudo-war). 2 parties with one mission – keep the cash flowing to the banks and war profiteers. Hope and change, build a wall and other slogans. Rock the vote for the establishment, support the troops denied of Heath care, defeat the terrorists we fund. It’s all the same old game. Vote for Hillary or Jeb and you’ll be no further ahead. ‪#FlintWaterCrisis

Wal*Mart store closings

Amazon.com is so incredible it’s able to put the hurt on Wal*Mart. The times, they are a changing. Just goes to show the impact of “voting with the wallet”.

Wal*Mart is closing 269 stores, and 159 of them in the U.S. 102 stores in the U.S. are Wal*Mart Express convenience stores. I applaud the company for the experiment because growth is the formula for success. This is exactly why this development is so alarming. If Wal*Mart’s presence is saturated and the company is already closing stores, there’s no reason to hold on to their stock. It’s time for investors to take a second look at Amazon.

The remaining stores closing are in Latin America, including Brazil and Puerto Rico. As the financial markets show signs of distress and foreign markets experience faltering economies, investors need to pay more attention to impact on retail.

Chipotle's company-wide store closing Feb 8

The Chipotle brand is DEAD IMHO. Seriously a shame. I am really beginning to question ORGANIC food sourcing. To me organic is great when you grow your own. Who knows how big agra is handling it? Cases of norovirus, E. coli and salmonella have been found where Organic food is sold and the experts have no clue! Remember this? “Chipotle Mexican Grill stands out for its commitment to “Food with Integrity.” This means serving foods made with local, sustainably produced—and often organic—vegetables and beans and meats from naturally raised—not factory farm—animals.”
Stockholders need to cut their losses and Chiopotle needs to re-brand. I don’t see how anyone could have confidence in their food safety with their track record.

Chipotle’s company-wide store closing Feb 8

The Chipotle brand is DEAD IMHO. Seriously a shame. I am really beginning to question ORGANIC food sourcing. To me organic is great when you grow your own. Who knows how big agra is handling it? Cases of norovirus, E. coli and salmonella have been found where Organic food is sold and the experts have no clue! Remember this? “Chipotle Mexican Grill stands out for its commitment to “Food with Integrity.” This means serving foods made with local, sustainably produced—and often organic—vegetables and beans and meats from naturally raised—not factory farm—animals.”

Stockholders need to cut their losses and Chiopotle needs to re-brand. I don’t see how anyone could have confidence in their food safety with their track record.