Questions about MacMini from a new switcher

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by The Goose, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. The Goose macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2007

    I just bought an Intel (1.83Ghz 2Gb RAM) Mini and have been playing with it for the last week. I am a PDA software developer and have been using Windows for a very long time both for work and at home. I had also used Macs in the past, and the last one I had was a Performa (had System 8 I think). I always liked Macs better but used PCs, mostly because of work but also for software availability.

    Two things convinced me to switch back to Apple (apart from it's a better OS and a much better hardware design and build quality): 1) BootCamp and Parallels: I can do my job on it. 2) Price: Mini is affordable as a second computer.

    So, here is my current setup: I have a decent Windows XP desktop (no intention of buying Vista) with two 20" monitors. Together with Mini, I purchased Belkin Flip for switching the keyboard, mouse and the monitors. I also bought Apple usb keyboard and mighty mouse, so far they work great with XP together with Belkin Flip. Of course, the problem is Mac Mini does not support multiple monitors. So I have one monitor permanently attached to PC, and the other one attached to KVM. When I switch KVM to PC, I get two screens, but when I switch to MAC, I get one, and the other one still shows XP desktop. I also installed Synergy on both machines, and set the Mac as the server, so when I switch the KVM to Mini, and while the XP desktop is still visible on one of the monitors, I can move my mouse (and keyboard) to it without switching the KVM. That is cool, I can even cut and paste between the machines. And the Belkin switch lets me switch audio only, so I can play a game on the PC while working on Parallels XP on the Mac while using Safari.

    Now, the questions:
    1) I saw an Airport Extreme (802.11n) card at Apple Store. Can I use it to upgrade the one in the mini?
    2) Can anyone recommend a webcam/mic combination to use with iChat, Skype etc on the Mac? I already have a Microsoft VX-1000 but I couldn't get it to work, though it is supposedly a UVC. Any ideas?
    3) I have no knowledge of second-tier shareware/freeware apps in the Mac world. What are your must haves? Particularly for vpn, cvs, text-editing, mail, chat, rss, ftp, pim, system utilities, and hacks... Is there a lotus notes compatible client for Mac?
    4) I want to start developing for the Mac. Any suggestions for tutorials, sample code etc? Any suggestions for ides and languages other than xcode and objective c? (I already got a free membership to ADC).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    here goes:

    1) i dont think it would have been extreme n you saw but the g version, though there is a company (cant remember name) now doing them for minis.

    2) skype have a list on there site of mac specific ones, other than that 10.4.9 update added usb web cam support for video capable cams. (also any firewire or dv)

    3) flip4mac, adium, handbrake, neo office and check here: and here

    4) not a clue :) lol

    good luck, and welcome back
  3. CRAZYBUBBA macrumors 65816


    Mar 28, 2007
    as far as software goes: VLC (Video playback), Chopper (Its a game), X-moto (Game), Istumbler (Wireless conection wizard).
  4. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
  5. MacBass macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2005
    La Crosse, WI
    Apple hasn't released an Airport Extreme N card yet, and if they had, it would be probably the same form as the previous Airport cards. I think the previous poster was correct with the 802.11n mod though.

    I'm hankering for a mini + Parallels, maybe my fiance would finally recognize the sheer awesomeness of OSX.
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    You shouldn't be marrying someone who doesn't already know this. :)

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