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mac mini intel

mac mini intel

mac mini intel, originally uploaded by tachikoma on 16th December, 2006.

My Mac mini was my first Mac. It got me excited about the Mac and OS X. When I bought my second Mac ( a MacBook ), the Mac mini was turned in a media server. I attached it to my Sony HDTV, attached an external drive, and my wife ripped most of our music collection. We have been using it to rent movies from iTunes ( it has an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse ) for the kids and as a sync station for our three iPods.

But recently the slowness of the G4 PowerPC CPU has got me thinking that perhaps the mini is over worked. I have been thinking that it's time to either replace it with a newer Intel based Mac mini ( a Core 2 Duo ) or get an Apple TV. Either way, I would have a machine more capable of handling video ( both iTunes and stuff imported via our new Sony HD camcorder ) and a way to control media without the user of a keyboard.

My Amazon Unbox experience has been terrible!

I tell my kids ( 9 and 7 ) "let's order a pizzaa and watch a movie". Yeah, Dad's a cool guy. Amazon tells me that the download will take 30 minutes to my TiVo. 1.5 hours later my kids and I are eating pizza and WE STILL HAVE NO MOVIE TO WATCH!!!!!

iTunes? I find a movie, place the order, and 10 minutes later we are watching an almost HD quality movie on my HDTV ( via my Mac mini ).

Wireless Interference and Powerline

How do you tell if other wireless networks are interfering with yours? The clearest signs are stutters and drops: file transfers or streaming downloads halt and restart, or your network connection periodically drops out altogether.


My wireless G network has become less useful now that almost everyone in my neighborhood is using wireless as well. iStumbler shows over 15 wireless networks ( more than half are secure ). I get my phone and internet connection from the cable company so I have all my network equipment in the basement to avoid the ugly mess of wires and the cost of adding a phone line to the family room (Verizon want way too much money for that).

4 of the computers in the house are wireless (2 laptops, a Mac mini in the family room, and a Dell for the kids ) and so is the Tivo and Nintendo Wii. The two remaining computers ( FreeBSD based NAS and a Red Hat Linux server ) are connected to a Linksys WR54G WAP/Gateway. Wiring the home for Ethernet is not a possibility due to cost ( one connection for the family room and one for the kids plus ).

For me, I think Powerline is the best solution among all the options presented in the MacWorld article. Looking at the equipment on the Netgear web site I see that I can get a Netgear XE103 85 Mbps Powerline Network Addapter and add a Netgear XE104 85 Mbps Powerline Wall-Plugged Ethernet Switch/Bridge to extend the network for Ethernet end points or Netgear WGX102 54 Mbps Powerline Wall-Plugged Wireless Range Extender to extend the wireless side. The initial equipment ( I would need at least one X103 and one X104 and WGX102 ) is pricey but I think this is a lot cheaper than wiring Ethernet.

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