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Subject:Mac Mini
Time:06:48 pm
The Mac Mini G4 arrived yesterday and is working pretty well - I've upgraded it to 1gb and Leopard and it works very nicely as a browser etc. for my big TV, much more convenient (and compact) than the big PC I've previously used, and power consumption very low in standby mode. It even came with iLife and Garageband installed, though the latter is demanding a later version of Quicktime that Leopard will support - it's not something I need urgently anyway.

So far the only snag is that I can't get bluetooth to work properly - there turned out not to be a built-in unit, and the USB pod I tried doesn't want to work at the distance from the computer to the nearest table - I think because it's teeny and has no antenna. It's sensing the keyboard and mouse but doesn't pair unless I'm about a foot away, which is a bit pointless. So for the moment I'm using a 5M USB cable and the old Mac keyboard and mouse, not ideal but they will work well enough until I can find a decent USB stick. Before anyone asks, the mouse and keyboard work fine with the Macbook, so it's the stick that's the problem.

This is good enough, and was cheap enough, that I might get another for my bedroom - it's cheaper than the Android smart TV box I briefly played with, and I find OSX a lot more user-friendly.
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bohemiancoast
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-07 06:53 pm (UTC)
Possibly more than you want to spend, but the computer I use as a TV server is a 2006 -version Intel Mac Mini that someone else souped up with a 2.13Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, increased RAM and an SSD. Its SSD failed last week and I thought about replacing it with a much newer model, but common sense prevailed and I spent £80 on a new SSD instead.

But anyway -- that sort of spec goes on eBay for about £250, it runs Lion and does pretty well everything we want.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-07 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'm really not going to make enough use of it to justify anything more than a G4 - it's just for the occasional media file etc. I want to watch on a big screen.
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robertprior
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-07 08:59 pm (UTC)
I've found my Apple TV quite nice for media files. Admittedly they need to be in iTunes to play but that's where I store them anyway so no problems there. Flickr, Vimeo, and Youtube access all works nicely. Also nice for showing my Aperture library to visiting friends — much better than crowding around a computer screen.

I haven't used other network services, as my needs are pretty basic.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-07 09:16 pm (UTC)
They seem to be hideously expensive, not sure why, and most of the time I just need something with a USB port and Videolan or similar.
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robertprior
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-08 03:06 am (UTC)
Mine was about $100, so £50. Cheaper than a used Mac Mini, at least here in my part of Canada.

I discovered an added bonus is I can stream video (or slideshows) from my iPad to the TV through Apple TV. A very nice feature.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-08 10:57 am (UTC)
The mac mini came out cheaper - for some reason Apple TVs are always about twice the US/Canada price in the UK, even the used ones are more expensive than a used Mac Mini G4.

Edited at 2015-02-08 10:58 am (UTC)
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robertprior
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-08 05:40 pm (UTC)
$200 for an AppleTV? I'd never have bought one at that price!

Odd how the Invisible Hand consistently fails to deliver the lowest prices for identical items in different parts of the world. It's almost as if neocon economics is a fiction…
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-08 10:15 pm (UTC)
Actually it's come down quite a bit since I last looked - the current Apple store price in the UK is £79, $120. I'd imagine that a lot of the difference is VAT.

Cheapest ebay price for a new one is £62 ($93), and used first generation ones are getting bids at £50 ($75) which seems crazy to me. Meanwhile I got the Mac Mini G4 for £18 including delivery, plus the price of the memory upgrade, keyboard, and mouse, totalling considerably less than £50.
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bohemiancoast
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-08 10:29 pm (UTC)
The first generation ones are greatly hackable; the second gen ones, not so much.

But even the most hackable Apple TV is much less flexible than a Mac.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-02-09 11:35 am (UTC)
That'd explain it, I suppose. Think they're on 3rd generation now, which presumably means it's the size of a matchbox and impossible to open the case or modify in any way.
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