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jedirunner
Apr 2, 2008, 10:54 AM
Hi,

I currently use an iMac for the kids, a MBP for me, i have an iphone and we have a couple ipods, and an apple tv. I use the iMac with my own account to sync iTunes content to the apple tv. Content is stored on an external drive. Problem is, to sync, i have to login to my own account on that machine.

I've been thinking of getting a mac mini, and wondered if it could meet these requirements:

1- I'd use it with an external drive as the main iTunes machine, and host for the apple tv's synched content.
2- The machine would have to be on 24x7. Does a mac mini have any problems with heat if it's on 24x7? How about reliability?
3- I'd like to physically locate it in the room with the treadmill and hook it up to a monitor to watch movies while I run. No problems here, I assume :)
4- I'd like to use the machine as a web server, and have my router port-forward to it. I'm currently most comfortable with php/mysql, though I suppose I could switch to jsp/servlets or something else if i had to.
4.1 - Does the mac mini come with web server software?
4.2 - Does the mac mini come with php? If not, are there official packages to install php?
4.3 - Does the mac mini come with mysql?
4.4 - Does the mac mini come with ssh server installed? I'd like to ssh from remote hosts through my port-forwarded router.

So to summarize: itunes server, web server, ssh server, play movies. Is the mac mini right for me?

Thanks!

Kevin



roland.g
Apr 2, 2008, 11:06 AM
I can tell you that it is just fine for 1-3. I have one that I replaced with an iMac but it is always on, fine for movie watching, iTunes etc. I streamed from my Mini to my Apple TV over a g network just fine. Syncing took longer. I think the Mini still has g not n.

As for 4.1-4.x, not my area of expertise. I have heard of quite a few people using Minis as servers, mail servers, etc., but I don't think it comes with everything you need to do that, some but not all is my guess. But that should just be software.

jedirunner
Apr 2, 2008, 11:19 AM
I can tell you that it is just fine for 1-3. I have one that I replaced with an iMac but it is always on, fine for movie watching, iTunes etc. I streamed from my Mini to my Apple TV over a g network just fine. Syncing took longer. I think the Mini still has g not n.

As for 4.1-4.x, not my area of expertise. I have heard of quite a few people using Minis as servers, mail servers, etc., but I don't think it comes with everything you need to do that, some but not all is my guess. But that should just be software.

Thanks for the info!

I'll look into it a bit more and hope to also get some replies on the web server functionality qeustions.

Kevin

jedirunner
Apr 2, 2008, 11:50 AM
I found some answers to my questions about using the mac mini as a web server, and the various technologies involved.

Here are some links for others that may be interested (I haven't read through them yet; nor have I tried the techniques to verify the articles):

Web Server:
http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-enable-the-web-server/

PHP/MySql:
http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-setting-up-php-and-mysql/

VNC:
http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-setting-up-vnc-on-your-mac/

SSH:
http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-enabling-ssh-on-your-mac-server/

Multiple Web Sites:
http://www.freemacblog.com/mac-server-series-hosting-multiple-web-sites-on-a-single-mac/

Kevin

alphaod
Apr 2, 2008, 12:29 PM
1- I'd use it with an external drive as the main iTunes machine, and host for the apple tv's synched content.
2- The machine would have to be on 24x7. Does a mac mini have any problems with heat if it's on 24x7? How about reliability?
3- I'd like to physically locate it in the room with the treadmill and hook it up to a monitor to watch movies while I run. No problems here, I assume :)
4- I'd like to use the machine as a web server, and have my router port-forward to it. I'm currently most comfortable with php/mysql, though I suppose I could switch to jsp/servlets or something else if i had to.
4.1 - Does the mac mini come with web server software?
4.2 - Does the mac mini come with php? If not, are there official packages to install php?
4.3 - Does the mac mini come with mysql?
4.4 - Does the mac mini come with ssh server installed? I'd like to ssh from remote hosts through my port-forwarded router.

I run it 24/7, (I also did a thermal paste swap to Arctic Silver 5). Yes you can hook it up to a monitor, just don't expect HD with HDCP, it won't work. I run a webserver on it, but I would think getting OS X server works better with that application.

spamdumpster
Apr 2, 2008, 12:42 PM
I'd wait for the upgrade, too.

twynne
Apr 2, 2008, 02:16 PM
Just thought I'd add that I'm doing most of that and (sometimes) a bit more with my Mini, and it hasn't complained yet. Mine (1.83ghz Core Duo, 2GB memory, 80gb drive):

- Stays on 24x7
- Automatically downloads my favourite shows using TVShows and Azureus
- Converts (on demand) downloaded content using VisualHub for display on AppleTV
- Streams music and video to AppleTV
- Runs SlimServer (web/music server for Squeezebox music players, of which I have 2)
- Runs SSLExplorer (open source web-based access into my network)
- Is hooked up to a flat screen in the bedroom on which I often watch films and downloaded TV with Frontrow
- Runs Indigo server for control of various lights/appliances in the flat

It never complains about any of it, and I'd only really consider upgrading to an iMac because I want one. :D

If you bought a current model it's probably even more capable given the upgraded processor etc.

twynne
Apr 2, 2008, 02:18 PM
Almost forgot, at one point (in addition to the above) it was acting a capture server for 2 security cameras I had installed using SecuritySpy. This was the by far the 'heaviest' use of the machine, but it was still fine.