Use as both media center and desktop workstation?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacPidi, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. MacPidi macrumors newbie

    MacPidi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #1
    So I'm thinking about doing some changes in the home. Right now I'm using my beloved MacBook Pro (2007) but I miss using a desktop computer, but at the same time I'd like to use it as a media center for music and movies to my TV. I don't need a laptop anymore.
    My gameplan is to sell the MacBook Pro and buy a Mac Mini and an iPad to use as a remote. But I'd also like to use it for editing photos and other work. I already have a spare apple keyboard and a Wacom tablet.
    Does this make sense: Mac Mini in the living room with the iPad as a remote, and in the office room a monitor and the keyboard/wacom and a spare power cable. So when I need to do photo editing I just unplug the Mini from the living room and take it with me to the office room and just "plug n play". And back again to the living room for media. Will it be a hassle or does it make sense? Bear in mind that photography is just a hobby.
     
  2. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    If you're doing this on a daily basis...sounds like a real hassle.

    If you move it once a week, not so bad I guess.

    You can never have too many computers, you know...
     
  3. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #3
    Wait until someone jailbreaks the new :apple:TV and then use it to stream content from your Mac :rolleyes:
    But if you - like me - like 1080p, then this your solution will work, too.
    If your office is not too far away, you might consider an up to 150' VGA cable and an USB extension for mouse/keyboard (or one of those $5 bluetooth sticks).
     
  4. MacPidi thread starter macrumors newbie

    MacPidi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #4
    No it will not be on a daily basis.
    I think I could make it work. Another option would be to get an iMac and the new Apple TV, but since I'm not located in the US, rentals is sadly not a big thing here in Norway. But I have taken a shine on the Mac Mini and I think I can make a cool setup.
     
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #5
    You don't have to rent anything. As long as iTunes plays it, you can stream it to the :apple:TV.
     
  6. MacPidi thread starter macrumors newbie

    MacPidi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #6
    Thanks for the heads up Guily. But as you said in your last post, 1080p is what I would prefer. Not a bad idea about the long cable, but my wacom tablet might suffer?
     
  7. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    FL, USA
    #7
    Why not use it for both at the TV location. That's what I do with my 2010. So the TV is the monitor alibi HDTV. Eventually you could get a wireless keyboard (or use the iPad). That only leaves the mouse which could eventually be the new TrackPad.

    Why not just do everything on the Mini including photo editing? Play your tunes over the TV's system. All in one approach.
     
  8. MacPidi thread starter macrumors newbie

    MacPidi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #8
    I have given it some thought mangrove, but it might not be so comfy working like that (in my case from the sofa) in the long run.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    You could do all you want with your existing MBP, connecting the TV in the living room and an external monitor, keyboard, and tablet in your office. Then save for a future iMac plus Apple TV solution. That gives you a dual display iMac, which is lots of fun.
     
  10. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #10
    True, and depending on the type of HDTV, it might not be designed for displaying static windows for hours at a time.

    Also with a Mini, keep in mind that unless you can get Safe Sleep (i.e. hibernation) working on it, you'll have to do a shutdown/bootup cycle each time you want to swap locations. As talmy mentioned, keeping the notebook may be a better option.
     
  11. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    FL, USA
    #11
    Just offered a thought. Since the 2010 mini has HDMI you connect it directly to a TV which has a bigger screen (at least in my house) than a monitor (including my 30").

    Also I stream Netflix movies for $9/month unlimited through my mini to my TV. I often sit (like now) on my arm chair doing whatever on my mini. I use a lap tray to hold the keyboard and mouse. Everything I do is via wifi and I notice no download deterioration.

    As someone on another thread recently said-Minis are easy to justify for people who already have the peripherals needed for a mini. They are not speed demons, but with more RAM and perhaps SSD's they can be very satisfying to most users.

    I guess I'm saying the mini will never have the speed of a iMac, but then again for a refurb'd price of $599, that's hard to beat for a computer that will stream great stuff directly to your TV, instead of buying this and that which might not in the end do what a mini does.

    I bet with some imagination you could set up on a sharing basis with your notebook the ability to see what your mini sees.
     

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