The Evolution of My Daily Drivers - From Mac Mini to Modern Power

Act 7: Keeping Down with the Times

By 2017, my technology landscape underwent another shift. I picked up a 2012 Mac Mini, initially to help with some audio recording for friends. I went ahead and upgraded the spinning rust and was surprised to learn that the 5 year old computer was incredibly capable. This humble machine soon evolved into something I would later come to absolutely adore, a server.

Unlike the Media PC of 2014, which had the most abysmal utilisation, the mac mini quickly because a very useful machine. Using a vpn (Hamachi) I was able to remotely connect to the mac mini from anywhere and use it as if it was in front of me. This was soon surpassed by the fact I could install plex and stream media to my computer in a different geographical region, hell I could stream to my phone with some kerjiggering.

But plex wasn’t enough, I wanted more services, and eventually I wanted to some services whose ports overlapped. But how do you get around that, just change the port number? nope, I decided to dip my toes into the waters of Docker. Docker let me not only host my existing media, run multiple game servers at once, and share files with my friends easily; but it let me explore the *arr suite, setting up a level of automation that stirred me almost as much as factorio.

However, as 2020 rolled in, I felt the aging bones of both the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. They had served me well but were starting to feel “long in the teeth”. I yearned for a more powerful setup, one that could keep pace with modern demands. It was time for a change, and the wheels of yet another technological transformation began to turn.