advice on multiple macs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rglatter, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. rglatter macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hello Everyone,
    Ive got a store that is opening up in the next 6 months and Im in charge of handling all the electronic aspects of it. I cant say too much about what the store is going to be about. We are planning on putting in a cyber center in the store which would include 6 computers and I was thinking the 17 inch Imac would be perfect for it. The cyber center would be used for going to the company website using a flash application on the website be able to desigin some things and then print those things out.(sorry for being vauge) anyways do you think that 6 imacs would be all that I would need? I know that I would need some sort of swtich/router somthing and a printer. With the printer could I just hook it up to one of the Imacs and have the rest of the network just print through that Imac or is there a better way? Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Get an Airport. You hook up your Internet Connection and your printer to the Airport and then all of your Macs will print wirelessly and surf wirelessly, assuming all the Macs have Airport cards installed.

    Airport Extreme
    Airport Express
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    It sounds like you're looking at a sort of kiosk situation, but from a very basic standpoint there are a number of ways to do what you want. I do think the iMacs are a good call from a purely stylistic standpoint--it sounds like you're trying to be "cool" with the setup, so visually they have a significant advantage. You might even consider getting older-gen G5 ones if budget is a problem, since it sounds like the actual hardware needs are very basic.

    Here's one suggestion: Go wireless.

    Get an Airport Express Base Station for the network (it'll be plenty fast for website access), you can use it to network a USB printer easily if necessary, and there are no wires cluttering things up. Having wireless keyboards and mice would look way cool, but you'd then have some issues with people walking off with the stuff; you could solve this for the keyboards by attaching them to the table somehow, but no luck with the mice, so unless you have VERY trustworthy customers (yeah, right), you're probably better off going wired with some cable locks in the back. You'd also have to label them so people didn't swap keyboards and then wonder why they were controling the wrong computer.

    Added bonus of the wireless hub: You could make it open, and use that as a draw--"Free wireless hotspot!"

    I'm assuming that unless you're talking very low volume with color as a necessity (or you need photo quality prints for whatever reason), you're talking about a laser printer--the savings on consumables (and time) will more than pay for the additional initial cost after a while. This being the case, it's probably already network ready, so there's no need to use one of the iMacs as a base.

    If you go wired, all you need is an 8-port switch, a printer with a network card (again, I'm assuming laser), and you're good to go. There's very little work that will need to be done to set it up, and so long as you have them with restricted-access user accounts, you won't even have to spend extra money on Kiosk software. Some browsers (Opera?) also have a fullscreen Kiosk mode.

    Just some food for thought. I'm sure others have a lot more experience with this sort of thing, so you'll get other suggestions.
  4. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Imacs are a good call, but be sure to attach them to the kiosk with a pretty hefty cable and lock... you never know what kind of people are going to walk in when you're doing retail.
  5. rglatter thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2006
    yea thanks for the advice guys. I didnt know that you could print using the Airport Extreme Ive only had D-link routers. Also about the advice on things walking off..I was planning on just keeping the wired keyboards and mices and the location that we are in and the retail environment that we are in we realy wont have to wory about people walking off with an Imac or a mouse. We are going to have security gaurds as well as a preaty hefty alarm system. But once this retial store gets built and stuff ill be sure to show some pictures. agian thanks for the advice.

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