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  • Mac Mini

    Just curious if any Forum Folks use a Mac Mini? Checking them out myself....

    Thanks.

    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Mac Mini

    Same as any other Mac, except you add your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Good way to test the Mac OS waters without spending much if you already have the above.

    Why, do you already have another Mac, or looking to switch? I have Mac OS and Win XP on my iMac, although I only use the Windows side for CAD.

    I might be biased, though (although I'm not a "fanboy", nor did I order an iPad on the stroke of 5:30 am PST this morning. )

    24" iMac (2), 17" MBP, 17" G4 PowerBook, 15" MBP, 13" MacBook, AppleTV, AirPort Extreme,
    AirPort Express, 8 GB iPhone 3G, 16 GB iPhone 3G, 16 GB iPhone 3GS, several iPods, and some AAPL.
    Steve
    www.MorrisGarage.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Mac Mini

      Originally posted by smorris View Post
      Same as any other Mac, except you add your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Good way to test the Mac OS waters without spending much if you already have the above.

      Why, do you already have another Mac, or looking to switch? I have Mac OS and Win XP on my iMac, although I only use the Windows side for CAD.

      I might be biased, though (although I'm not a "fanboy", nor did I order an iPad on the stroke of 5:30 am PST this morning. )

      24" iMac (2), 17" MBP, 17" G4 PowerBook, 15" MBP, 13" MacBook, AppleTV, AirPort Extreme,
      AirPort Express, 8 GB iPhone 3G, 16 GB iPhone 3G, 16 GB iPhone 3GS, several iPods, and some AAPL.
      Just interested in small footprint home PC's in general. I've used both and see zero advantage for the average user to use one over the other.

      The "cheapest" computers you can find have more power/capability than I'll ever explore so the Mini or comparable Windows machine will be plenty capable.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Mac Mini

        I purchased the very first Mac Mini that came out in 2005. It included Wi-Fi and BlueTooth built in, Used a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Connected the Audio through a Tos-Link to my Multi Channel amplifier, the Video to an HDMI input on a projector hanging from the ceiling. 1280 x 720 on a 110" screen.

        I could surf the web sitting on my easy chair, 15' away from the screen, Keyboard and mouse on my coffee table. I ripped my entire CD music and DVD movie collection to an external "Mini Stack" Hard Drive with the same size footprint as the Mac Mini. It also stored my Photo albums, and presented them as slideshows. I activated the built in server functionality and hosted my own website, consisting of a BLog, Photo albums and Home movies. This meant that the Mini had to stay on 24/7, it would reboot every Sunday night.

        It also ran a Perceptive Automation program called INDIGO, with a small module connected to one USB port. This controlled dimming of the lights in the Hallway, Dining room and Living room where the screen was, automatically turned on the outside lights at sunset, and controlled a 4 station irrigation system.

        Then when High Definition began to get popular, That first generation Mini just wasn't powerful enough so I replaced it with an iMac when Apple made the switch to Intel.

        That same Mini is still humming along, now it's in the shop playing a never ending stream of music. It is the most energy efficient, not to mention living room friendly computer when connected to a TV display.
        Last edited by cisco1138; 03-13-2010, 03:12 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Mac Mini

          Hey J.C.

          I used to be a PC user since like the well first one came out, I started with a commodore 64, then a Texas instruments and then windows 95 machine, windows 98, windows 2000, all the way to my most recent windows 7 netbook.

          The other day, I bought my first MAC, and man, Let me tell ya, SUPER SWEET!

          I will be using MAC from now on, There is such a huge difference then a PC, and its not just price.

          Now as far as the mac mini, I have never used it , but if its a MAC, its gunna ROCK!

          I was thinking of the MINI mac, but the 15.4 macbookpro is mini enough for me And has more power then ....well forget it , super power.


          Hope this helps

          Heres a picture of me with my new MAC (I am still excited )

          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Mac Mini

            Oh also J.C.

            If your look for space as well ( Mac mini)

            Look how small the MacbookPro is even with a 15.4 screen

            I took this picture to show how nice and thin it is

            BTW - That mouse is blue tooth ;-)

            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Mac Mini

              Originally posted by cisco1138 View Post
              I purchased the very first Mac Mini that came out in 2005. It included Wi-Fi and BlueTooth built in, Used a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Connected the Audio through a Tos-Link to my Multi Channel amplifier, the Video to an HDMI input on a projector hanging from the ceiling. 1280 x 720 on a 110" screen.

              I could surf the web sitting on my easy chair, 15' away from the screen, Keyboard and mouse on my coffee table. I ripped my entire CD music and DVD movie collection to an external "Mini Stack" Hard Drive with the same size footprint as the Mac Mini. It also stored my Photo albums, and presented them as slideshows. I activated the built in server functionality and hosted my own website, consisting of a BLog, Photo albums and Home movies. This meant that the Mini had to stay on 24/7, it would reboot every Sunday night.

              It also ran a Perceptive Automation program called INDIGO, with a small module connected to one USB port. This controlled dimming of the lights in the Hallway, Dining room and Living room where the screen was, automatically turned on the outside lights at sunset, and controlled a 4 station irrigation system.

              Then when High Definition began to get popular, That first generation Mini just wasn't powerful enough so I replaced it with an iMac when Apple made the switch to Intel.

              That same Mini is still humming along, now it's in the shop playing a never ending stream of music. It is the most energy efficient, not to mention living room friendly computer when connected to a TV display.
              I was thinking of doing exactly as you have done. Can the Mini be connected to other monitors/LCD TV's without problems?

              Thanks.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Mac Mini

                Can the Mini be connected to other monitors/LCD TV's without problems?
                No problem, the current Mac Mini model sports two separate video outputs, one is for the common (DVI) computer display, it adapts to any new flat panel display. The second display output is for high end Apple displays.

                I heard rumors of a New Mini that will be introduced soon, it will have two video connectors as well, one of them is an HDMI output for connecting directly to living room flat panel displays, The second display output is for high end Apple displays. I like the idea of including HDMI, one cable will carry video and audio, the audio will be 5.1

                The original Mini that I own choked on video resolutions greater than 1280 x 720, but ever since they added a dedicated graphics processor, they have no problem driving 1920 x 1080. All they need now is BluRay, but I wont hold my breath for that.


                Here is the Mini on top of an external 2 TerraByte hard drive, it kinda looks like a tall mini.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Mac Mini

                  Originally posted by cisco1138 View Post
                  No problem, the current Mac Mini model sports two separate video outputs, one is for the common (DVI) computer display, it adapts to any new flat panel display. The second display output is for high end Apple displays.

                  I heard rumors of a New Mini that will be introduced soon, it will have two video connectors as well, one of them is an HDMI output for connecting directly to living room flat panel displays, The second display output is for high end Apple displays. I like the idea of including HDMI, one cable will carry video and audio, the audio will be 5.1

                  The original Mini that I own choked on video resolutions greater than 1280 x 720, but ever since they added a dedicated graphics processor, they have no problem driving 1920 x 1080. All they need now is BluRay, but I wont hold my breath for that.


                  Here is the Mini on top of an external 2 TerraByte hard drive, it kinda looks like a tall mini.
                  Many thanks for the information. 2 TERABYTES!!!

                  What happened to the pic of the conversion adapter you use?

                  J.C.
                  Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 03-14-2010, 05:09 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Mac Mini

                    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                    What happened to the pic of the conversion adapter you use?
                    DVI to HDMI adaptor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Mac Mini

                      Now it's a tossup for me. Wondering others opinions though as it might help me decide.

                      I'm familiar with both the Windows and the Mac Format to be able to do everything I want to do. (I think.)

                      Both are fine to me. I have no reason to say one is so much superior to the other.

                      I'm thinking of this as more of a "Home Media PC" with internet through TV and possibly using normal PC applications. I do NOT anticipate ever using either system for graphics based applications or gaming.

                      Thanks for any opinions.

                      The Mini. http://www.apple.com/macmini/

                      A Gateway Windows Machine. http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668383.php

                      J.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Mac Mini

                        The previous posts on Mac mini are pretty much spot on, just a few details haven't really been touched. Overall, the mini is a bit pricey, but it is very capable given its size. My main personal gripe with macs and the mini especially is that they make it extremely difficult to repair and upgrade on your own. RAM and internal drive bay are difficult to get to without damaging the case. However, since 80% of PC users will probably never want to upgrade, let alone try to upgrade on their own, it's not an issue for most people.

                        A little more clarification on the video ports on a mac mini: the second port is mini Display Port. It's not really an Apple exclusive feature, but Apple is the first company to widely adopt it. Display Port is a superior connector type, it has better bandwidth and can support higher resolutions than DVI/HDMI. Most users won't even think about resolutions higher than 1920x1080 so DVI/HDMI is not going to go away anytime soon. HDMI also is capable of transmitting high quality uncompressed audio, so it's role in the home theater world is well defined.

                        Dell and HP have adopted the full size Display Port for high end monitors similar to Apple. Because Apple's high end displays are so expensive, I've seen a number of mac users buy Dell monitors to hook up to their macs since they are hundreds of dollars cheaper than the equivalent Apple.

                        As for competing products to the mac mini, If you are sure you don't need a lot of computing power, you can find cheaper alternatives. the mac mini has at least a Core 2 Duo in it. A very popular platform for home theater pcs these days is the intel Atom + NVIDIA ION chipset. Some of these platforms start at $200, and will be powerful enough to support basic browsing and HD video. A very good article in the works is over at this blog:

                        http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/multi...rnet-tv-part-1

                        the author is using an Atom + ION system from Acer, though nearly every major manufacturer has a computer using this platform now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Mac Mini

                          Just bumping this to get any other opinions before deciding anything.

                          Thanks.

                          J.C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Mac Mini

                            A very popular platform for home theater pcs these days is the intel Atom + NVIDIA ION chipset.
                            Thanks to the NVIDIA ION, these small computers do a good job of producing video, but the Intel Atom is not a CPU I would like to put to the task of transcoding video from MPEG 2 to MPEG 4. Unless the NVIDIA can be utilized as a co-processor for tasks other than video display.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Mac Mini

                              Cisco, what's your opinion of the Gateway system I linked above in comparison to the Mini?

                              Thanks.

                              J.C.

                              Comment

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