—Trinity – One machine to rule them all: Mac. Windows. Linux.

January 2, 2012

Drawing upon what I learned with Silvia, I was beginning to think about building my own computer. Didn’t look that hard to build, the real hard part seemed to be finding the right parts for a good price with an upgrade path. I read a few posts over on lifehacker but the price just wasn’t right, not if wanted to use new components. So I put it off until I could either find a good deal, or maybe a decent bare bones kit that met my needs right now and could be upgraded later.

Around this time I had also read a few lifehacker posts on building a hackintosh. They referenced tonymacx86, so I started reading his blog as well. I was always curious about macs. We had a Mac lab in one of my high schools, and since I grew up mainly on PCs, they just seemed odd with their single button mouse and multicolored plastic. Obviously since then Apple has blossomed quite a bit (if only I bought stock). Now macs are in vogue or some sort of personal brand statement. I was always too counter culture to buy in, and as a tinkerer, I hate when companies put measures in place to prevent me from taking a look inside or tell me to leave such things to “professionals”. How insulting. I hate that almost as much as I hate the RadioShack guy suggesting I purchase $50+ HDMI cables. Enter the CustoMac Mini 2011.

Tony had solved my problem. I could have a sub $400 mac and, while I was at it, a powerful HTPC. After checking around for the parts it became clear that Tony had some sort of insider deal on pricing. It was going to be very hard to beat his $322.60 price point, but I was determined (and cheap). I got the processor for about 135, the RAM for 40, motherboard for 75 after rebate, hard drive for 50 with coupon, and case for 10*. Boom! Savings. I had done it! Running tally was about 310 for the base components. I lost when I added a $10 Dell keyboard from eBay, $13 bluetooth dongle, $42 in fans etc. But still cheap considering what I got. *I even got a free Netflix one month trial, and earned eBay bucks to use towards the case. Sweet.

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