Tiger/iLife versus Mac mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by wordmunger, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #1
    Okay, so my wife has decided that podcasts are evil and doesn't want our 13-year-old listening to them (let's not debate this, let's just take this as a given). I mentioned that with Tiger you can use parental controls to prohibit podcasts. So go ahead and buy it, she proclaims.

    Problem: My kids' computer is a cube with only 256 MB of RAM. I'm just not sure it'll run Tiger well (it's running Panther fine now).

    So I have this idea of buying a new mini -- then I'd get Tiger and iLife 05 preinstalled. Since the cube's monitor is not compatible, I'd also have to get a new monitor. Total, with airport extreme, about $700. This compares to $298 for Tiger and iLife 05 family packs, which I'd then get to install on all our computers.

    I could probably sell the Cube for close to the $400 difference, maybe even more (but I don't have the original install disks or boxes, so that may bring the price down some). So maybe the mini would be the best deal. But then I wouldn't have Tiger/iLife 05 for my other three computers. But on the other hand, iLife 06 is probably coming out soon, so it might be better to wait for that anyways.

    Anything else I should be thinking about as I make this decision?
     
  2. jonat8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    I didn't think there was anything in Tiger's parental controls that stopped access to podcasts, iTunes 5 does but that doesn't require Tiger.

    Unless you mean using Safari controls to block all sites except for approved ones etc then your son would still be able to download individual episode MP3s from the podcaster's website surely. And even if iTunes won't play them, QuickTime or VLC would.
     
  3. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    Wow! How did I not know that? Perhaps its because I have this nefarious urge to upgrade to Tiger and I still can't come up with a decent reason. Well, you've solved my dilemma for now, but I'm still interested in the possibility of upgrading to a mini, so please, I'd love to hear folks' opinions on that subject.

    edit:
    Also, we are interested in restricting our kids' access to web browsers (but not e-mail or iTunes) on their computer, and I had figured out a way to do this in Panther, but it seems that recent "upgrades" now mean it doesn't work any more. The problem is, that if someone sends you an e-mail with a hyperlink in it, Mail will automatically run Safari, even if the user doesn't have permission to run it. Anyone know if Tiger is better at restricting access to "forbidden" apps?
     
  4. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #4
    Well, I'm running Tiger on a Cube right now, only difference is I have 1GB of RAM on it. It's definitely doable, and it's a heckuva lot cheaper to just stick some extra RAM in what you have than buy a new Mini.
     
  5. Patmian212 macrumors 68020

    Patmian212

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Just out of curiosity, why are podcasts evil according to your wife?
     
  6. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    It's not so much that podcasts are evil, it's just that we let our kids have unrestricted access to that computer, so we don't just want to let them waste away hours of time doing mindless things there. They have access to e-mail, MS Office, iTunes, iLife, and all the creative apps like photoshop and dreamweaver and Lego MindStorms. No games, Web browsers, that sort of thing. Recently our son was grounded, meaning he had no access at all to his Gamecube, computer games, or TV. So he just substituted podcasts for that, and it didn't really seem like punishment. We'd probably allow podcasts if he wasn't currently grounded.

    Also, under normal (not grounded) circumstances, we let them use the Web on public computers (so we can look over their shoulder occasionally just to make sure they're not getting into bestiality or some kind of nazi-lobotomist cult), so we're not really all that restrictive. We'd just like to be able to lock down the computer that they have unrestricted access to.
     
  7. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    I'm running Tiger on a rev. A mini as we speak. 256 mb of ram. it's do-able, but optimal. It's funny cos you have to choose between itunes or safari/ichat. can't do the three at the same time. otherwise it sloooows. Also, myspace freezes on me ALOT.
     
  8. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #8
    I know what you meant, just thought that was a bit humorous. :D
     
  9. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #9
    This method will work regardless of the OS version. It's a bit of a hack and you have to remember to undo it before applying any software updates, but it's foolproof! (as long as your kid doesn't have admin rights, but that goes without saying if you're trying to apply such restrictions) Basically you'll rename the executable file buried within the Safari package.

    1. Go to /Applications in Finder.
    2. Right-click on Safari and select Show Package Contents
    3. Navigate to Contents, then MacOS
    4. Rename the file Safari to anything - like "No Safari" or whatever.

    Boom, Safari no longer launches. Just make sure you rename that file back to Safari before doing any software update!

    I'm sure it would be easy to write an AppleScript to toggle back and forth...

    Of course, if "unrestricted" people also use the machine simultaneously, this doesn't work. It assumes you want nobody at all to run Safari. You could give the unrestricted people their own private copy of Safari, but maybe that's too much hassle to be worth it. ;)
     
  10. wordmunger thread starter macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #10
    Hmm... that's cool, but rather inconvenient. We do occasionally need to log in as administrator and access Safari. The trick that worked before was to put Safari.app in the admin's user folder. Now that doesn't work any more. I'm wondering if there's some way to manually change permissions so it won't run for anyone but an admin.
     
  11. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    Ah yes, good thinking! Indeed, there is an easy way to do it. This time:

    • Right-click Safari and choose Get Info
    • Click the triangle to expand Ownership & Permissions, then Details
    • Click the little lock icon to unlock it
    • Change Owner to your admin user
    • Change the permission of Others to No Access
    • Change owner back to system

    The only caveat I can think of here is that a software update may reset the permissions. And doing a Repair Permissions will almost certainly do so. But at least you won't have any hassle when switching to and from the admin user.
     

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