Do I want a Mac Mini/Mac OS X Server in my home?

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    Posted: 05 March 2009 03:27 PM

    I have been thinking about this.  I have a hard-wired network, with a router (home remodel).  I have a Mac Pro, iMac and MacBook (plus an old G4 and PowerBook not currently in use).  I have the Time Capsule/Airport base station combo.

    I want true calendar coordination with a high degree of control—eg, the ability to share certain calendars, but not all.  I have an ethernet LaCie HDD, which serves up my iTunes music and iPhoto images. 

    For under $1000, I could get a new Mac Mini and the <10 user Mac Server and run my own server.  While it would be immensely entertaining to set up and fiddle with (I love that stuff, though I’d have to learn a lot), I am not sure I see the real value.

    Thoughts?  Experiences?




    1. Macintosh SE (1988)
    2. PowerBook 180 (1993)
    3. PowerMacintosh 7600 (1996)
    4. PowerMacintosh G4 (2001)
    5. PowerBook G4 12” (2003)
    6. MacPro 2.66 GHz (2007)
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    (Plus one Newton MP2k)

  • Posted: 06 March 2009 12:42 PM #1

    Use Google Calendar and share as much or as little as you want.

    Is it worth the $$ to buy OSX Server for home? Maybe. There are other solutions, but cumulatively, they might cost more than a 10 license OSX Server.

  • Posted: 06 March 2009 01:34 PM #2

    I know very little about servers, but if good flexible calendar synchronization is your big goal, and you use iCal, you might check out BusySync (  For something like $30 per computer, it does the job exceptionally well.  I use it to sync three calendars across four computers.  I use no server as such, just OSX 10.4.11 and Ethernet among the various Macs. The syncing is almost instant too:  any calendar change appears within a few seconds on every screen on the network.

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    Posted: 06 March 2009 01:36 PM #3

    I have pondered the same thing, the only difference is that I’d be using an Airport Express and wirelessly sharing with our two laptops. Mostly I’d be sharing iPhoto and iTunes libraries and backing up.

    The question is whether OS-X Server is required. Can you do what you want with regular OS-X? You are just connecting Macs to Macs.


    Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints
    Is No Way To Run An Art Gallery

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    Posted: 06 March 2009 02:24 PM #4

    Tiger - 06 March 2009 04:42 PM

    Use Google Calendar and share as much or as little as you want.

    What TIger is saying makes sense.  You can also use Fruxx.


    The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed - Williams Gibson

  • Posted: 07 March 2009 03:57 AM #5

    I am using MobileMe and it is syncing my calendars well enough between an iMac, new MacBook, G4 iBook, iPhone and iPod touch.

    Are there any real advantages to using OS X Server in the home? For instance, do you only need a single licence for an application and the Server serves it up to the other machines? I’d hate to serve MS Word over a WiFi network, so obviously that’s not how a Server works.

    Can someone list the main advantages please.


  • Posted: 09 March 2009 01:11 AM #6

    I’ve been thinking about turning my old iMac G5 into a home server and I was wondering if it would be worth it to spend the money to upgrade from OS X 10.5 (workstation) to OS X 10.5 Server.  (on-line prices for the 10-user license for OS X 10.5 are low, perhaps in anticipation of the release of Snow Leopard.  I believe that I’m like most home users: I do not need to interface with a corporate network,  I’m just looking to serve files, backup some data, and perhaps serve media. I don’t need to link into a Windows Active Directory environment and I’m not planning on running my own mail server.

    i believe that Dave Hamilton has commented before that he is running a Mac Mini with OS X Server in the TMO offices.  Maybe he could do a special show about using OS X Server as a home server and/or media server?

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    Posted: 09 March 2009 01:19 AM #7

    As with the original post the question is what you need server for. If you’re sharing files over your home network on Macs only, you may very well be able to use the regular OS-10.5.


    Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints
    Is No Way To Run An Art Gallery

  • Posted: 09 March 2009 10:58 AM #8

    I’ve always been tempted to look just so I could understand a bit more about technologies like the Wiki Server and some of the web app management tools, which strike me as being potentially useful in a work context (i.e. a Mac Mini running as a dedicated work group server).