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By Dan Moren for Macworld
In college, I built a PC from my friend’s castoff parts. It lived on the floor of my room, wholly without any sort of case or enclosure, except at one point when I tried to keep it all in a shoebox. Because it had no case, that also meant there was no power button: to turn it on, one took a screwdriver and touched it between two pins on the motherboard, and it would whir to life in all of its Frankensteinian glory.
Those days of the shoebox computer are largely behind us now. Instead, our computers often seem to be fully formed widgets, sprung whole from Apple as Athena from the head of Zeus. There’s little ability to upgrade them once you’ve purchased them, and in most cases those upgrades you can do aren’t for the faint of heart.
I sat, contemplating that this past week, with the parts of my Mac mini arrayed on a table before me, like a field-stripped rifle. In the midst of adding new RAM and an additional drive to the mini, I found myself remembering a few of my favorite easily upgradeable Macs of yesteryear.