Mac mini and Windows, PC peripherals

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by clockworks, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. clockworks

    clockworks
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    I'm thinking about buying a Mac mini core solo. I've never used a Mac before, so I went to PC World yesterday to play with one (older model). I found the OS very confusing.

    This may be a dumb question, but can these new Intel minis run Windows? I'm a bit of a luddite. I still use "classic" desktop, rather than the fancy themes, in XP.

    I've got a spare Logitech MX900 mouse. Will all the buttons work in OSX? I normally use the wheel button for "back" in IE.

    I couln't even find the web browser and email apps in OSX. What are they called, and where do they hide?

    Does the Intel mini handle all the normal screen resolutions, including 1280x1024 and 1360x768.
     
  2. rob_finch

    rob_finch
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    The web browser in OS X is called Safari, but you can use Firefox or Opera (my current Windows favourite that I'm going to use on my new mini!). The email app is simply called Mail.

    The main selling point to non-Mac users is "BYOKDM - bring your own display, keyboard and mouse", so I presume your Logitech mouse should work just fine, and OS X will use standard screen resolutions with your monitor.

    I seriously wouldn't buy a Mac (mini or otherwise) and try to put Windows on it, you might as well look at a PC based clone, such as those by Aopen. However, I would seriously suggest you give OS X a try, I'm sure you'll get used to it in no time.
     
  3. avanzato

    avanzato
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    OS X is confusing to a Windows user TBH it's confusing to several long time Mac users I've spoken to as well.

    I assume from your comments you want the Mini for it's looks rather than anything else. You can get nice looking PC's, Hoojam and Beblu I think look great and you can use Windows.
     
  4. bibamus

    bibamus
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    I`ve used an MX900 on my Mac Mini with no problems, most of the buttons work, you certainly get scrolling and can use the back and forward buttons. Currently, I use an MX 1000 laser mouse and Apple Bluetooth keyboard. I dont like the apple bluetooth mouse.
    Most if not all PC peripherals work with my Mac. I have an HP officejet printer, external DVD rewriter and external HDD, Ipaq pocket PC, creative speakers, Belkin photo card reader and Belkin wireless print server. This lot operates on a wireless network together with 3 PC`s and a laptop running Win XP, all have access to each others files. A USB webcam will not work easily with a Mac. I have an Apple Isight firewire webcam.
    I run Microsoft Office 2004 on the Mac too. It also has Internet Explorer on it, but I prefer Safari. I use MSN Messenger too.
    I very much doubt if you could ( or would ever want to) run Windows on a Mac with Intel processor. The Mac OS is robust and easy to use, I find it much nicer than any version of windows. I ran a Shuttle with XP3200 CPU side by side with the Mac to get used to it. I very rarely turn the PC on now unless I really have to, then turn it off again. The Mac mini I have ( 1.42 Power PC with 1 gb ram) runs everything as fast as the PC.
    So, the Mac will do most of the things a PC will do, and then some. But the biggest advantage is that the operating system doesnt suffer from virus attacks so you dont need anti virus software, it doesnt crash like Windows, and its not Microsoft.
    I use a 19" Samsung LCD Monitor running at 1280 x 1024, I am sure the new Mac MInis have a better graphics card and will run higher resolutions.
    The OS does take a bit of getting used to, but after a short while, it all comes naturally. Then, if you go to use a PC, you realise how cumbersome the OS is. Thats probably why Microsofts new OS is starting to look like the Mac OS!
    Try it, you`ll like it

    Allan :smashin:
     
  5. avanzato

    avanzato
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    There are OS X virus and trojans about, they just aren't easy to catch or in the 'wild' yet. Always have some sort of virus/spyware software. My Windows XP system doesn't crash, My Mac system doesn't crash, applications on both systems do occasionally crash. Apple are just as evil as M$ they just make nicer looking things.
     
  6. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    there is only 1, it was found a couple of weeks ago
     
  7. avanzato

    avanzato
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    That's a very confident statement you're making do you know for sure there's only one?

    OS-X has already had a few security updates and I wish people wouldn't sell it as a completely safe system. I'm waiting for the day when the entire Mac world gets hit by something big and just sits around wondering what just happened as Apples don't get virus's.

    The first virus my company ever encountered was on the Apple MAC and it was quite embarrasing for the company that gave it to us.
     
  8. S_Bob

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    and for your mac to actually get infected you would need to actually install the virus and key in your root/admin password
     
  9. NapoleonGuitarSolo

    NapoleonGuitarSolo
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    These can self populate if you have safari set open safe files after downloading.

    QQ: If you have a large, say 250GB, HDD and you want to use it for both Windows and OS X (in my case, Panther) how do you go about it. I've had no problems with smaller drives but with larger drives my Mac just doesn't see all the drive.
     
  10. clockworks

    clockworks
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    Thanks for the replies.
    My main reason for considering a Mac mini is the small size and lack of noise. I know that you can buy very small PCs, but they tend to be noisy, or suffer from overheating.
    The models that compete directly with the mini are more expensive. The ones that compete on price (barebones Shuttle clones) are a lot bigger and noisier.

    I'm certainly willing to give OSX a chance, I just wondered if I could use XP as a last resort. I've already got 3 PCs and a laptop (the mini would replace one of the PCs), so switching between them might get confusing.

    As an alternative, does anyone do an OSX "theme" for XP?

    Nice to know that my peripherals should work.
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Clockworks...like a few here,I have both a Mac mini,and a few PCs....the Mac is actually one of the pre Intel models,but from the practical point of view,I dont find myself wishing I'd bought the Intel version.

    The Mac OS was amazingly easy to learn and use,even from a hardened PC user's perspective,and the build quality compared to the plastic chassis on the mini PC clone I've seen is miles ahead...plus, as you say,it is virtually silent.

    Mine also co-exist in the same internet connection and network.
     
  12. cwick

    cwick
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    Try this. It's turned my XP box into a Mac ... suprisingly good, and lets me pretend that the last remaining windows box in the house is actually a Mac. (and just as soon as there's an Intel version of VirtualPC available, it'll will be a Mac :devil: )

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  13. bibamus

    bibamus
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    Carl, I saw that a couple of weeks ago, thought of putting it on my laptop. Have you been happy with it?
    Clockworks, when I got my Mac mini, I wanted to use the pc till I got used to it. There are still one or two programmes that are PC only, I have done without the rest or used a Mac alternative.
    So, only having one monitor, i bought a Belkin KVM switch. I now have a PC and Mac on the same desk using the same monitor, I just press a button on the KVM switch to switch between them. That way, you get the best of both worlds.
    You can also buy Virtual PC which installs on the Mac and will allow you to install and run Win XP on the Mac together with Windows software. It runs slowly but, if you have a programme that you really need and will only run on a PC, then its a good idea. Its quite expensive, and you will need another copy of Windows to install as you have to activate it.
    And, yes, there are one or two viruses that could attack a Mac out there, and there is anti virus software available, but the OS is completely different to Windows and I doubt if a Mac virus would be able to spread as much mayhem as it does on Windows. Then again, Mac has a small market share, it isnt worth the hackers time to spend too long developing a virus that would only infect a few computers, when, for less work, he ( or she) could infect half the world.
    Allan
     
  14. cwick

    cwick
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    I only installed it last week, and don't use the XP box much, but it seems stable enough, and looks the part. Most importantly, it comes with a comprehensive uninstaller and sets a system restore point as part of the install, so it should be recoverable if it goes bad.

    BTW - VirtualPC doesn't run on Intel macs yet. Microsoft have promised an update, but no schedule as yet :(
     
  15. clockworks

    clockworks
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    I can see myself ending up with 2 minis, 2 PCs, and a laptop.

    The laptop has to stay - it's an ultra-mobile Fujitsu Siemens (purchased through work), and it's only a couple of months old.

    My gaming PC will stay, obviously, as will my server.

    The server currently doubles as an MP3 jukebox - it's located in the cupboard under the stairs, close enough to my AV equipment for cable connections. When I move the AV gear to another room, a mini would take over the MP3 role.

    It'd be nice to have another mini as a "silent" internet machine, sharing the screen with the gaming PC.


    I'm currently using Winamp for MP3 playback. Is there an OSX compatible version, or am I stuck with iTunes?
    I also use realVNC to remotely control the PCs on my wired network. Does that work with OSX?
     
  16. cwick

    cwick
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    I don't think there's a winamp for mac, but there are plenty of alternatives to itunes. Mplayer & vlc at least .. plenty more, but I'm a big iTunes fan so not the best person to answer that really. Audion was the best one before iTunes came along.

    There's a VNC server built-in to OSX (or, at least, remote desktop supports VNC connections).
     
  17. arfster

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    Viruses are over-rated. I don't have a virus checker on my PC - a firewalled router, regular updates and some common sense works fine, never caught a virus yet.
     

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