3 computers... 1 life....?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by whyrichard, May 5, 2005.

  1. whyrichard macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2002
    hello wonderful mac community!

    due to architecture grad school, i'm getting my first pc ever, and it'll be a mean one. am spending quite a bit of dough on an xi computer workstation to do all the grunt cad and rendering work. and so i'm thinking of surrounding myself in mini's, just to compensate somehow.

    here's the situation...

    considering the fact that the pc will be the powerhouse workstation, and won't even be hooked up to the internet (but will be linked through wireless to my macs hopefully),

    ...i'm thinking of using my ibook for the usual simple stuff: writing, internet, music, photos, email, chatting, generally organizing my life. but the problem is that the 30 gig harddrive is almost totally full with music and photos.

    so i'm thinking of getting a mini to house and play the music and photos, and be a wireless backup for the personal files on my ibook, and ipod dock, a dvd viewer, etc.

    does this make any sense??? i have never had more then one computer at a time, so i'm not sure what the best decision is... i'm also thinking of having the mini (imac? cheap powermac?) hooked up to a kvm switch to the second monitor of the pc at my studio.... am i making this too complicated?

    any suggestions for how i can reorganize my digital life amongst three computers? am i describing this well enough?

    also, if i do get a mini for just audio playback, picture storage/viewing, dvd playback, and backing up of files... what spec mini can i get away with? the cheapest mini with my lacie 160 gig firewire harddive hooked up to it?

    is this all just decadence?

    thanks for any suggestions!

  2. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    First off -- Xi makes a nice workstation. We use them at work for high-performance modeling and simulation. Excellent choice. :)

    Now as for your Mini/iBook situation ... if you have a 160GB external HDD, why bother with the third machine? You can either use that drive to store all that stuff or you can kick the Xi into fileserver mode.

    The third machine, IMO, is just a complication. You can use the KVM w/ the iBook just as well as you can w/ the Mini, as well.

    Were I you (and I'm not :)), I'd use the external drive as either primary storage or backup for the contents of your iBook -- but format it as FAT32. Then, whenever you're on that Xi workstation, you can create another copy (either a backup or a redundant backup) -- just in case.

    I assume, doing CAD work, that you're ordering a hefty drive for the Xi. Partitioning off a good chunk to backup music and photos and such should be trivial and non-detrimental.

    If you're itching for the mini, though, I'd get the 1.25 GHz w/ upgraded RAM (512MB) and HDD. That'll give you plenty of machine for any everyday task you'd need.

  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I can't really see why you'd need a mini. Maybe put the money towards a new internal 100GB drive or something for your iBook if you don't wanna use anything external. It'll be cheaper and easier than trying to keep three computers synced.
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    too many computers......something is ALWAYS, and inconveniently, going to be on one of the other computers

    maybe a bigger hard drive for the iBook or an external drive is a better answer
  5. nightdweller25 macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2005
    I say replace the mini with a new rev. b iMac. Those things are beasts and give you great bang for your buck, best mac ever in my opinion. (besides the the iMac G4)
  6. whyrichard thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2002
    thanks guys, i think the larger harddrive for the ibook is the best option...

    3 questions:

    -any suggestions on a source/manafacturer for a larger harddrive for this g4 ibook (1.07 gighrtz)?

    -how best to move data from one harddrive to another? something about a diskimage? don't know....

    -do you think i can install the harddrive myself?

    and as a sidenote.... anyone know anything about SLI video cards in the pc world? does SLI make a huge dif?


  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    ooogh. Installing hard drive in iBook not fun, Boss.

    If you are not a very confident screwdriver jockey, take the iBook to a deaaler for the upgrade.

    Avoid this if you can and go external Firewire for your mass of documents, photos and music. How much music can you listen to on the road anyway? Just keep your current playlist worth on the internal.

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