Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Mac Mini!

I MUST be busy. How the heck did I miss this announcement?

Last week Apple announced new Mac Minis!! This is great. I was planning on getting one of these last year and they have improved it in a few ways that benefit my current setup. They now have 2 display outputs, a Mini-DVI port and a Mini DisplayPort. Both can output to DVI or VGA which works well for output to my new LCD TV (which has inputs for HDMI or VGA), and for output to my 2 LCD monitors. The cool thing is that now the MacMini natively supports 2 monitors, since I will obviously want to get a KVM switch (or, actually, probably the software solution "Synergy") and use the Mac Mini and my Windows Dell Desktop on with the same keyboard and monitor setup.

So why else is this cool? Well the potential for more iPhone Development is obviously awesome. But the other cool stuff is that it comes with iLife, which includes RockBand and iMovie and some other really great software packages that I'd love to use.

It has 802.11N wireless which is good (guess I eventually need an "N" router, then) and some other nice features like 5 USB ports on the back. I could see using this as a sort of DVR if I could get a TV Tuner for it somehow and hook it up to my cable. Or more likely I'd connect my desktop to the cable and then stream the DVR-captured TV shows from the Desktop over the wireless network (or wired network, more likely, for speed issues) and output it directly to the TV. The other cool thing is that sites in the US like offer HD Streaming on tons of their shows. Since this has a reasonably decent video card now, it could probably handle output to my LCD TV pretty well, and that would mean free (with advertisements) HD streaming LOST episodes on my sweet TV. Interesting possibilities!!

So anyway this is a great invention, and I could definitely find some great use for it. Also with my friend's discounts, I can get quite a good deal on this little guy, so it might be worth it for sure!

So there's a lot of general computer stuff to set up before I could have that crazy streaming-to-the-TV setup, but I think I could make it work. Also other cool options like renting a movie on iTunes and then watching it on my TV would be quite easy to work out.

This is pretty cool and exciting, and I'd probably get just the cheaper Mac Mini, but upgrade the RAM to 2 Gb instead. That takes it to $649 before a discount, which isn't too bad.

Unfortunately I also have my eye on another cool toy, the new Canon Rebel Digital SLR camera which is possibly coming out soon. That looks awesome, and I'd really like to get more into Digital Photography before I go traveling again. That'll be awesome, but it's gonna be about the same price as the Mac Mini, so I'm going to have to hold off for a while on both of these things and save up a lot. But anyway, lots of cool toys lately, and this one is particularly interesting in the realm of "wiring my house" for the "digital content revolution" - or something to that effect. :)

1 comment:

kstashuk said...

Ya, the MacMini is an interesting choice as the hardware running a home theatre setup. I don't think you want to go into your brand new LCD TV via VGA as you'll be loosing any and all the benefit of the resolution. I've tried my new 24" LCD on VGA and DVI and the DVI is head-and-shoulders above VGA. It would have been great if Apple included a HDMI port, as it seems like a no-brainer that people will use this in their living rooms -- Apple is typically smart, but even they drop the ball.

Oh, and I think you mean Garage Band -- though Rock Band would be a pretty awesome selling point!