What should I do with my old Mac? Tutorial and Steps
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“I just bought a brand new MacBook, what should I do with my old Mac?”
This is a very common question I get, and I usually give one of four answers depending on who is asking the question. I’ll go through each choice and hopefully they give you some ideas:
1) Set up the old Mac alongside your new one and use mouse and keyboard sharing
For experienced users and professionals, this is almost always my first suggestion. By using something like Synergy or Teleport, you can share a single mouse and keyboard with multiple Macs, giving you not just two screens, but two displays with full computing power behind them. Having dual screens increases productivity significantly and with the added processing power, having two computers is a bit of the best in this world. Use your older, less powerful Mac for things that aren’t as processor intensive and mundane, like email, web browsing, instant messaging, etc., and use your new, more powerful Mac as the primary machine for your more complex tasks, be it development, video editing, photo manipulation, whatever. Give this a try, you can thank me later.
2) Reuse the older Mac as a media center or file server
This is a bit more complicated, but if you have some time to spare, it can be very rewarding to set up a file server using file sharing or a media center with something like Boxee or Plex / XBMC. When you are sitting up a media center, remember that the types of content you can play depend on the hardware capabilities of the Mac. If you want to play video files in high quality, check if your Mac can play HD video. Ready to jump in? Checking out how to set a Mac Mini as a media center.
3) Give the older Mac to a friend or family member
Maybe your child would like a Mac in their own room, or maybe your mom is fighting viruses and malware on her clunker of a Windows PC. Confirmation up a Mac and giving it to someone else is not only a nice gesture, but because of their stability and ease of use, it can reduce the family tech support calls that you inevitably get because you’re the computer person in the household.
4) Sell your old Mac
If all else fails, or if you just want to recoup some of the cost of your new purchase, sell the old Mac. Macs maintain their resale value astonishingly well, much more than any other PC. Craigslist is a great way to sell just about anything you have left and Macs are no exception, but if you live in a smaller community you may not be very lucky. EBay is the other option, as you can ship to buyers worldwide, and while they receive a commission from the sale, I’ve generally found that Macs sell for more on eBay than on Craigslist. Run a quick scan of the ads on both sites to see the price you can expect for your used Mac.
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