Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by d3ll, Feb 15, 2005.
Arrived this morning
Just waiting for the 20" lcd & wireless keyboard & mouse to turn up now
Can't believe the size of it! Put one of the cd's next to it for size comparison.
Nice packing too. Very much like the ipod packaging. You get the unit, power supply (VERY big), power lead, dvi-vga adaptor, usual mac cd's and iLife 05!
Went for the optional airport extreme and bluetooth.
Full credit to apple. Shipped saturday and arrivd via tnt this morning.
Excellent choice Which one did you go for ?
basic combo drive model with the 1.25 and 40gb
more than powerful enough for 10.3 as didn't see the need for the extra hd space and processor speed.
Can I ask how loud it is ? does it even have any space for a chassis fan or is it passively cooled ?
Mines almost silent most of the time. I'd say whisper quiet, or less. Certainly can't here it over the buzzing plasma at 3ft away.
Fan does ramp up when it's busy though. Playing back hi-def, for example. But it's still not intrusive - still quieter than an xbox or a ps2, as a reference.
It has an internal fan that seems to be well controlled. If I stop playing hi-def, it'll ramp down to a whisper within 30 seconds.
Only downer for me is that the fan will come on if I'm running full screen iTunes visualisations. Mine's a 1.4Ghz though - would be interested to hear what d3ll's experience is.
simple answer to that is, don't know as i've not taken the film off the unit yet
waiting for the screen and keyboard/mouse to arrive first before i plug it in. there are some air vents at the back so if is anything like my ibook, it will be near silent most of the time and only a faint fan noise when it get's hot.
there will be a fan in there somewhere i would imagine.
interesting comments carl, i'll be posting my thoughts when i'm all setup and had a chance to test it.
This seems a silly question....but can I ask you what you'll be using it for
I mean I know it's a great comp (I've got an old G4 and the thought of shoe horning that power into that little case is very tempting), but you've posted in the HTPC forum so I guess you plan to use it as a HTPC and I'm intrigued as to what apps are available.....?
I'm planning on building a HTPC and when I saw the macmini announced I thought "great I'll go the mac route, power, looks, size and price" but I drew a blank.....the HTPCs seem to be a minefield enough, but the thought of having to find the mac equiv of all the programs and hardware scared the sh#t out of me.
Come on dude what do you know that I don't................
Don't know what d3ll's plans are, but I'm using mine as for music and playing back TV recordings. I'm not too bothered with a fancy front-end at the moment (I'm sure they're on the way), just with being able to use it from the sofa, without resorting to mouse or keyboard (so IR control only).
Since there's only two things to do - control iTunes, control VLC - it's not too hard. I use a Keyspan digital media remote for control, which only requires a tiny little tweaking to re-map a couple of keys I didn't like, but that's pretty much it.
There's a little movie of the end result here. As you can see, it's not a full blown HTPC by any means, but it works well for what I want to do.
Where did you get yours from Carl? didnt think they were out in the UK for a while? I want one to setup as a web server,
I ordered from the Apple store the day after they were announced Turned up on the 1st Feb, so I've had it for a good couple of weeks now.
erm.. not alot really. have been a mac owner for the last 4 years and I decided on the mini so I could browse the internet/burn cd's from itunes/play the odd game of wolfenstein on the net through my plasma screen, rather than having a massive box stuck somewhere.
I think that there is a digital tuner/pvr (external) that is for the mac o/s somewhere but haven't had a good look for one as i'm not going down that route. Try john lewis/cancom/apple store etc and i'm sure you'll easily find one.
Plus you can specify the mac mini with a superdrive (dvd-r to those who are not "up" on the mac terminology)
there is just something about the mac o/s (especially 10.2 onwards) that is so much better than windows o/s. it's more freindly/less prone to crashes/look a million dollars etc etc, but i'm not going to open the mac vs windows dispute again
Blimey you don't beat around the bush do you
Ordered mine from apple too at the end of jan, so not bad going. I think that they are now out of stock while april, but don't quote me on that
Ha ha ha ...I'm not going to brave the mac VS PC debate either
I've used Macs since the 8100 nubus days and my last incarnation is a rather sad looking 400 mhz G4 but it's perfectly fine for Itunes and browsing but you have to admit the mac mini is well overspeced for just that, though I would concede that it's a great chance to delve into the Apple Macintosh world, even if it is just to do general house hold computing.
Though I have, and have had, Macs and PCs, my point is'nt to question the validity of macs but rather to understand how you are using them in a HTPC context.......after all this a HTPC thread. (If it were a pro audio thread I'd expect the talk to be pretty centralised around macs.)
Carl you mention some more specfic uses, could you elaborate.
Really what I want to do is to be convinced........as I mention I'm about to build a HTPC and though my G4 is too slow on paper to run HTPC type apps and too ugly for the missus to allow it to live in the front room, the mac mini would solve all these problems IF..........there's the ability to capture, playback, scale, post process and the like.
Well, I'm not sure I can convince anyone - I'm not even convinced myself !
For capture, I use a PC (Nebula digital freeview card) to capture as mpegs. I then playback with VLC. For live TV, I'm quite happy with my Netgem iPlayer (STB), so I have no need to for real-time capture & playback. Elgato do a line of products for DVB capture on a Mac but they're simply too expensive. So I'll make do with my cobbled together solution.
There is the option of using VLC to stream live content from the Nebula card, but I'm using wireless networking to the mini, and the bandwidth simply isn't enough. It's something I'm keeping an eye on though.
Playback ... well there's quicktime, VLC, MPlayer OSX, and Windows Media Player (if you're a masochist). I stick with VLC - it's the most versatile, although MPlayer has a more optimal video path for playing back HiDef content.
Scaling ... well, I'm using displaying at 720p for most stuff, but I'm not doing anything beyond letting the Radeon 9200 do it's stuff. It's ok for me, but I'm not the most demanding of users.
Post processing ... erm, zip. I think it's a little too early for that - Tiger, with CI/CV built into the core, should provide for some *really* nice options there, but that's still a few months away (and then some, waiting for 3rd party apps to take advantage - unless Apple give their DVD player a kick up the butt - and it certainly needs it).
There is a nice little toy application, GLPlayer, which shows off some of the post-processing that's possible, although that's more in the realm of gee-whiz than practical video post-processing. Good fun though (make sure you read the readme, otherwise it just looks like a really basic quicktime player).
Personally, if you're going for a hardcore HTPC set-up, I still think the PC is the route to take. But good luck finding a PC that packs quite so much punch in such a small space
To be honest, it's a suprise to see that there's that much available for the platform
I agree, I think I'd struggle to find that much punch in a pc (cue the pc heads to chirp up and sing the gospel of the latest shuttle PC) which is why I was contemplating the mini in the first place.
I think I'll try to download some of those bits and see how they work out on my G4....of course once I add too many peripherals via usb/firewire it won't be so mini (or pretty) but it would be fun.
Or maybe I really torture myself and try it out on a Linux platform
Of course as always it's really an exercise in finding a reason with which I can justify it to the missus.........
I must admit it looks a sexy little thing - they certainly have this lifestyle angle licked.
BTW I bet you can't wait to fire up Half life 2 on it can you!! (sorry, I too don't want to enter a mac v.s windoze debate, honest)
There's more on the way, I'm sure of it. Maybe I'm over optimistic, but I think the mini might really kickstart HTPC on the Mac. They've got the form factor sorted, that's for sure.
Meanwhile, I'm keeping a close eye on these guys. If they're able to get even close to delivering on their UI designs they'll have done a good job.
Couple more toys to play with.
Matinee, a pretty ripped DVD launcher.
JewelCase plugin for iTunes. Gives a pretty, full screen, rotating jewel case with album art.
nice one for them cwick will come in handy for sure
My mini is waiting for me at the depot.. so will get it tonight.. can anyone confirm that the vlc region workaround still works with the combo drives fitted in the mini ?
Nice links for the software plugins.. I'll be getting those later
Matt, how did you get on ?
Couple of mini reviews that might be interesting (haven't read 'em yet) ...
AnandTech - Mac mini as an HTPC
I picked it up last night.. opened the box... went "wow isnt it small" and left it there.. tonights the night when I boot it up.. get it on the network.. + all my music etc etc...
So I'll post later hopefully from the min i
Ok I am posting from work.. but the mini is up and running.. hooked into my xp shuttle.. talking to the internet.. so all is good..
Makes me laugh that I have got a tiny virtually silent machine which has involved no building/modding or buying expensive silent solution add-ons.. all I had to do was turn it on.
Love the interface.. just going to get some extra bits of software to try out.. like softraid, omniweb browser, rebuild my music library from my windows machine and get my slimserver software back up and running... must also try to see if VLC will still get round the combo drive region initialization when watching dvd's.
Matt - what's the deal with this VLC region stuff ? I had a look, but couldn't see any settings for it - or does it 'just work' ?
btw for anyone interested I ordered on the 7th Feb with a ship date of the 7th March and instead it shipped on the 15th Feb for a BTO mini.....excellent...
the VLC solution I believe only works on combo drives.. and vlc reads the raw data off the disc rather than by whatever route the dvd player does and therefore bypasses the region initialization stage. No idea whether the combo drives are updated for the mini and thereby until I try I do not know if it will work.. but basically just edit the dvd preferences so that on insert do nothing rather than start dvd player and then just use vlc and it should not change the region counter...
Yup - that worked. Popped in Finding Nemo, R1. DVD Player.app complained. Changed preferences to ignore DVD's, opened it in VLC, and it's playing back fine (this is in a combo drive).
Managed to source a Mini Mac to the spec i want in London, off to pick it up tonight Now to get it in the house without Mrs Buzz seeing.
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