I had been planning to buy a Mac Mini for a while now. I wanted to turn it into a web application server. I was going to install Gentoo on it and drop it somewhere/anywhwere in the house. These plans came to fruition 3 weeks ago when I dropped by the Apple store.
I took my time and configured everything just the way I like it. I rebooted it a few times to check that all services just started by themselves. When I brought it to the living room and pressed the ON button, I sat back in the couch and kept an eye on a “ping” to see how long it would take to boot up. The ping never was answered.
I brought the monitor and the keyboard to the living room (read: hassle) and booted the Mini. It booted without problems. I took out the keyboard and rebooted: no problem. I took out the screen and rebooted: no dice.
I knew the answer before google came back: the Mac Mini was never designed to run headless—the firmware wants a monitor.
I resisted the idea at first, I knew my soldering skills were not excellent. I had never understood the explanations from the books I had read. I recruited youtube on this one, here are the good videos I found:
“how to solder”
How did we ever get anything done before the Internet?
The soldering itself is a long story: wrong solder, bad soldering iron, soldering cup technique and all. I managed to get it done, however.
Then came the moment of truth. I held my breath and closed my eyes and pressed ON again. Imagine the sweat rolling down my face as I waited to see if it would burst into flames OR have ping print “64 bytes from 192.168.0.112: icmp_seq=141 ttl=64 time=1.255 ms”.
Yes, it worked.