I decided I should get new hardware --- to save electricity on always-running purposes.
The 1.4ghz mac mini with 4gb of ram and 500gb HD costs ~$600cad new or ~$500cad refurbished.
I decided to go for a 1.6ghz NUC with 8gb of ram and a 1TB HD, for only a bit less than $400 --- 2-year warranty included.
This MIGHT become a developing machine --- but probably not.
I'm replacing older more electricity hungry hardware with this NUC --- maybe but probably not for development.
And man ---- I'm sure glad I didn't go for that mac mini ------- because even with better hardware and a less resource hungry OS (Linux) ------ this 1.6ghz NUC is still painfully slow.
It'll probably work for what I'm going to use it for ----- but yeah, it's good to know I could get better hardware for cheaper, and not have risked trying to develop on something even slower.
But seriously ---- adding 400mhz to the clock speed would likely make this thing work quite a bit better. Hah.