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Save $1,800, make your Mac Mini blazing fast, and save the life of a … fish.

Save $1,800, make your Mac Mini blazing fast, and save the life of a … fish.

I needed a new computer. I had many options. One of them included saving a fish.

Save $2,000, rock your Mac Mini, and save the life of a ... fish.

She’s a beaut.

I was eyeing this beauty: Apple iMac Retina 5K Display, 3.8GHz Processor, 2TB Storage. It comes in at a cool $2,300. Lots of cash. “Let me sell some more books. Maybe I can wait until 2019.” You probably know the drill. You really want something, you can’t really afford it, you can probably convince yourself “But I need it now.” and … you hem and haw.

Then a (are-there-really-coincidences?) coincidence of events and people happened:

  1. Container Ships: my wife is trying to buy less stuff, recycle more, maybe save one ship from coming overseas from China.
  2. Plastic Fantastic: a writer friend is soon to publish her book about an octopus with no tentacles and a fish that survived the deep fryer on a cruise ship who, together, seek salvation in the “Plastic Fantastic” soup of floating trash in the middle of the ocean. The octopus is named Zero. The fish is named Fish Stick. Awesome, I know.
  3. The Attic: I found an old (no, really old: Late 2012) Mac Mini in the attic. Hmm.

A quick bit of scouring Mac forums and I found out that one could get new RAM and a new SSD hard drive and bring that old Mac Mini back to life.

  1. €153: Crucial 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) DDR3L-1600 SODIMM Memory for Mac
  2. €258: Crucial MX500 1TB SATA 2.5-inch 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal SSD
  3. $10: Torx Screwdriver Set with T3 T4 T5 T6 T8 T10
  4. $9: 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0 Tool-free External Hard Drive Enclosure

So, call it $500 total. Compared to $2,300 (and don’t forget the fish), it was worth looking into. Then there was this:

How To: Mac Mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement

Save $2,000, rock your Mac Mini, and save the life of a ... fish.

Save $2,000, rock your Mac Mini, and save the life of a … fish.

20 steps and no estimate on how long it’s going to take. Add in the trips (2!) to the store to get items #3 and #4 above and let’s just call it a full morning.

Let’s add up where we are now:

  1. Cash: I’m looking to save $1,800.
  2. Fish: by (a) not buying a new piece of electronics and (b) reusing something I already had, Fish Stick might be saved.
  3. Challenge: the 20 steps are not for the faint of heart. But hey, I have a hard time passing up a challenge.

I’m up for it.

Fast forward (although it was more like slow motion … ) and I did it! I’m typing on it as we speak. I even “upgraded” the monitor to use my TV screen.

My Mac Mini is Blazing Fast

I wasn’t expecting this speed. I haven’t had a computer in a long time that popped open apps and switched with ease and just plain smokes. I saved $1,800 and at least one fish.

What have you saved recently?

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