Mac Mini for parents?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nateo200, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Alright heres the situation; My family has like 99999999 windows computers in the house all in decent working condition however that's just because I'm the family's all in one computer/network manager and if some unforseeable windows error pops up I fix it. However I am going off to college next year and I just got a dad has seen the light and I figure getting him a Mac mini would be good so I don't get 10:00PM phone calls asking why there PC keeps freezing while I'm trying to study organic chem :D. Is it a good idea? Basically it would be hooked up via HDMI to there flat screen.:apple::cool:
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Using a Flat Screen TV as a monitor is not a great idea unless your parents want to use the mini as a Home Theater box. On the other hand, if your parents want a Mac as a computer then a mini is a good idea. They already have 99999999 keyboards and monitors. Be sure to get them AppleCare or else you will still be their computer guy.
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    listen to the above^
  4. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I was in the opposite situation ... a parent with 3 kids in college with Windows Laptops. I was forever getting "support calls" from them and trying to troubleshoot the issues over the phone (I use both Macs and PCs, but have grown to greatly prefer the Macs). Once I replaced their laptops with MacBooks my time on the phone with them was spent pleasantly discussing their lives, and almost zero time solving "computer issues". Same think with switching my wife from her PC to a iMac.

    This has continued now that they are out of college and have their own families. They and their spouses are using Macs and almost never have a problem they can't solve themselves, or solve with a quick suggestion from me on what to look for. There have been a couple of trips to the Apple Store with Apple Care issues, but those were taken care of quickly and painlessly by the technicians under the Apple Care warranty (even out of warranty in one case).

    If your parents are open-minded and willing to try, I think you will have no problems with the switch to Macs for them. I would get them a standard computer monitor and not try to use the TV as a display.

  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Agreed. Don't use a TV as a monitor, it looks grainy, and overscan is a pain in the butt. If they already have monitors, just hook it up to one of them. Otherwise, a mini is a great idea.
  6. zoogme macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2008
    I used an iPad. It just works for my parents. they are 77 years old. Email, Facebook, Slots, Safari, did i mentions Slots? My mom has over 10 slot/gambling apps on it. She learned how to use it in under 3 minutes. My parents DID NOT do well with keyboard and mouse. It just didn't "click" in their heads how to use it. iPad is natural. Plus they can zoom for larger print. Wireless printing with air print from HP. It just all works. Assuming wifi network is in place. ;)

    my 2 cents

  7. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
    My dad just switched to a Mac Mini after a few years of windows. The number of "support calls" I get has decreased by about 95% :D
    Can`t wait for my Mac Mini HTPC next month.
  8. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I got my parents on iMacs a few years back. I'm in the northeast, they are in Florida. Very few support calls, and you can use iChat to remote into their computer when there's an issue.

    One of their iMacs died (2006 white one), so I'm getting them a mini to keep the cost down. I think the iMac would actually be better, as it's so easy for parents to set-up, but $1000 is a bit steep for my budget at the moment, so they get a mini!

    I tried to talk them into an iPad, but they wouldn't bit. I still think that'd be a better solution for them.
  9. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    I know two people are just giving their opinion though I must say, I was strongly considering using my flat screen TV as a monitor and am glad I decided not to.
  10. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I do have a new Mini Server hooked up to my 46" HD Sony via HDMI. The 1080P mode was a bit difficult to read, but the 1080I mode looks great. I mainly use it to display or stream video to the TV which works great.

    HOWEVER ...
    I find I can't read the small text when sitting where I would for watching TV (with a bluetooth keyboard/mouse/trackpad), and sitting at the roll-top desk on which the TV sits makes my neck ache from all the moving around my head has to do to read text on the huge, too-close, screen . Granted, there are ways around this by zooming the text or the screen, but that is not optimal. Therefor, I also have a smaller computer screen attached to it on the desk for when I want to use it as a computer (it is my media and backup server). I am looking at using my iPod Touch with the "Remote" app to control it when I am using it for video watching as that will be more comprehensive than the simple Apple remote control.

  11. sportster macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    Katy, TX
    I know a few others have said that a flat screen tv isn't a good idea for a mac mini's monitor.

    My dad has been using a 32" Vizio (1080) as his monitor on my old MacBook for about a year now. He has never had any issues using it, nor have I when I go over. I actually like it, I can't tell any difference compared to his iMac.

    The only down side is you need more space than the typical desk allows you. You can't expect to set a screen that is 50-75% larger than typical the same distance as your use to.

    In no way am I saying this is the best setup, but if you have it all already it is very doable.
  12. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    I use a 42" LCD TV with one of my Mac Minis and use it as a HTPC. I reckon the picture quality is quite good and I'm only using a VGA connection.

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