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Here's a project I've been desiring for a while. Hopefully this is not too off topic.

I'd like to take a MacBook Air, remove the case, screen, battery, speakers, keyboard, basically everything. I want to have just a motherboard and hsf running osx and usable via vnc over wifi for ultraportable number crunching power.

What problems do you think I might run into? Is there any reason the air won't boot if the aforementioned components are removed?

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Would using a Mini (or at least ripping a Mini apart) be an option as well? – patrix Mar 29 '13 at 21:49
No because frankly a mini or even just the mobo is too big. I'm really trying to mimic the new android-based "computer on a stick" devices – themirror Mar 29 '13 at 21:59
What kind of number crunching are you planning to do? – myhd Mar 29 '13 at 22:42
Removing the keyboard will likely be an issue as most computers don't boot without them. I'm not sure how a Mac would behave. You could disconnect the cable and give it a try. Since the Air uses a blade SSD and the RAM is soldered on, it should just be a case of pulling out the MB. Cooling could also be a kink as I'm pretty sure the fans are secured to the case. – user10355 Mar 30 '13 at 1:53
Macs will definitely boot without a keyboard, but you may get a dialog box at the login screen (to help you pair a bluetooth keyboard). – jmk Mar 30 '13 at 4:35

Bart Reardon is trying to convert a broken MBA into a "computer in a keyboard". The project looks a bit stuck right now, but from one photo you can see he has removed (some? all?) components from the Mobo. Perhaps you could ask him if the thing still works if everything is removed. I’d be interested to know!

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