How far would you update a mini 4.1?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by steve knight, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #1
    a friend of my wife brought her mini to me to update. she wants to get rid of of windows thats on it and just go with osx. she is blind so she just wants it stable. How far would you go on the software update?


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  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    Does she need other languages than English? Then Mavericks. Purely on the basis that VoiceOver actually got a lot better for a lot of European languages (maybe more) throughout Mavericks.
    Otherwise, I might actually just leave it on Snow Leopard. Or actually, no. A version with iMessage would probably be nice. Or even better the ability to send SMS text messages through your phone for non-iMessage capable friends. That could mean popping out one less device and making things easier, especially if you're visually impaired. When did that come as a feature? Yosemite? Would be a lot slower than SL of course, but I think VoiceOver would still run just fine.
     
  3. steve knight thread starter macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #3
    just english. I think she does not do much she wants open office on it. it has been a year so since my wife mac mini died she is blind too but she changed over to a ipd and iPhone as voicever drove her nuts but then again it drives her nuts on all her devices.
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #4
    Personally I think VoiceOver is actually really great. Much better on the Mac than iOS, but still great.
    If it's just English, I'd honestly just say Snow Leopard. Though it probably won't last long before that spits out incompatibility isses, so Mavericks if you want to avoid that
     
  5. steve knight thread starter macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #5
    I think my wife would forget the commands or just that she didn't to need her mac much. mostly she streams music and podcasts and such Now she uses sonos mostly. so every update she would be lost. Plus she uses jaws at work so it may just too much. but voiceover is flaky on all devices she has found. the bugs can drive her nuts.
    Iam not sure why her friend wants to update. Iwill try mavericks. I think she wanted to get rid of windows on the mini
    well mavericks is out all I can find is the 9.5 version and that won't install.
     
  6. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #6
    I'm running a Mac Mini 4,1 (i.e., the 2010 model) on El Capitan, and have no problems with it at all. (In fact, I'm writing this post with it right now.) I can't swear as to how good "voiceover" works as I don't use it, but otherwise, I don't think you should be worried at all about upgrading at least that far. I've had no stability issues at all; it's been rock-solid for me.
     
  7. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #7
    The commands should change. They haven't changed since it was originally introduced as far as I'm aware. I don't know what Jaws is, but from my experience, VoiceOver works beautifully, and is part of what keeps me locked into Apple's ecosystem. I can't stand the alternatives on other platforms.
     
  8. steve knight thread starter macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #8
    Jaws is the windows version of voiceover that you have to spend 1500.00 or more now on.
    I think she forgets the commands she always fights with her electronics.
    but it does no look like I can update the mac mini to anything below 10.10 so I will see what she needs to do.
    my wife wants to stream her music sources and I tunes drove her nuts. so she ended up using her phone more then a iPad. now use uses sonos mostly and that has been such a great thing for her one source for all her music services she was so tired of apps that would update then not work with voiceover.
     
  9. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #9
    Well that's ****. The only VoiceOver replacement I've tried on Windows, is their built in "screen reader" thing. That works like bollocks, so I hope Jaws is better, hehe. God the Built in thing for Windows is awful.
    Though I can understand that switching between Jaws and VoiceOver could easily confuse things with different commands and that.
    Never had trouble with app updates breaking Voice Over support but that's really ******!
     
  10. Anony-mouse, Feb 26, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017

    Anony-mouse macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    #10
    More than anything else, replace the HD with a SSD. Without it, El Capitan and Sierra would be really frustating to use, since the system will beachball more often than you'd like.

    I'm running my 2.66 GHz Mac Mini 4,1 on 8 GB with a Samsung EVO 850 SSD with Sierra, and it is quite serviceable for office work (MS Office 365 suite, browsing, email, etc.). The speedup from the extra RAM was negligible (i.e., 4GB should be sufficient unless you're using VMWare to run Windows). The SSD made a night-and-day different in terms of performance though. It changed a frustrating experience running El Capitan and Sierra into a pleasant one.

    However, that may not be so critical in your case, since the UI for blind users is more dependent on the speed of the text to speech interface. I don't use the TTS stuff so I can't comment.
     
  11. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #11
    RAM and CPU are what's important when it comes to that. You do not want to be low on RAM whilst VoiceOver is speaking, because if it can't hold all of what it's about to say in RAM, it'll not just stutter, it'll skip whole parts of sentences.
    Regarding the SSD, if you have enough RAM, you can nearly circumvent the need for fast storage all together, since if you have loads, macOS/OS X will just start to move things into RAM, even if they aren't being used at the moment, in case you might need them. They can quickly be flushed, it'll always leave a certain percentage free, and it speeds of the cached activities loads.
     
  12. now i see it macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #12
    Not sure why people are talking about RAM. The OPs screenshot clearly shows there's already 8 GB installed.

    I have the exact same 2010 Mac Mini too. I installed a 500 GB SSD in it and partitioned the drive in half and installed Snow Leopard on one partition and El Capitan on the other so I could go back & forth. The Mac Mini can boot into either one.

    The reason I like SL is that it looks so much better than ElCap and boots more than twice as fast and there is zero lag while using it. It's also extremely stable. It's awesome on the 2010 Mac Mini when using an SSD.

    El Capitan will have more features that can benefit the blind though and how it looks (cruddy) is irrelevant.

    If I lost my vision today and had to pick just one OS, I would pick El Capitan with a SSD on the 2010 Mac Mini.

    There is sometimes serious lagging going on with ElCap installed on a mechanical HD in the Mac mini to the point sometimes that you think the computer has frozen. On a SSD its fine though.

    You can install any OS you want from SL up to Sierra on a 2010 Mac Mini. I felt that El Capitan was as far as I should take it and probably the best modern OS to install on it.

    You can buy a USB installer on Amazon that has all the bootable OSes from Lion (yuck) on up. Super easy to install.
    Search "mac os usb bootable" on Amazon.
     
  13. Anony-mouse macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    #13
    My bad. I didn't check the screenshot carefully before replying and there was no way to get back to it from that page.
    In any case, I was making a general observation about RAM sizes. I upgraded to 8 GB before doing the SSD upgrade and didn't see much difference in performance (this was on Mavericks, AFAIK). But as I mentioned, the SSD was definitely more than worth the hassle and cost of the upgrade.

    By the way, there is no need to purchase the USB installer unless you can't get hold of the software from the App Store. There are guides on how to convert the App Store installer into a USB image and I believe that there is also a simple GUI-based tool available.
     
  14. now i see it macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #14
    Definitely, but for some of us poor saps like myself that stayed on Snow Leopard forever and skipped all the following OSes, there is no way that someone in this sort of situation can download any of the earlier versions of the OS (lion, mountain lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan) from Apple if they've never downloaded them before. The only OS available to download if you've never downloaded previous ones is Sierra... which is still a work in progress.

    So for those in this situation, buying a USB installer off Amazon with a previous OS is the only way to get it.... Unless you've got a friend that had previously downloaded it and will download it again for you on his account and give it to you.
     
  15. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
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    #15
    I both disagree and agree. I'm not sure if the processor would be likely to choke when doing stuff and using VoiceOver at the same time. If it might, older versions would be better. If VoiceOver doesn't choke, I agree with you. I'm personally visually impaired, though not blind, so I use a combination of Zoom and VoiceOver, and whilst I do do a lot of computationally heavy things, even my high end iMac has choked with text to speech, and it's annoying as bollocks
     

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