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Old 08-08-2006, 08:40   #1
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Mac Mini Desktop Computers

I just wanted to see if anyone had any opinion on the Mac Mini computers from apple. They're just so tiny they seem like they'd be right at home on a boat. From the look of it, they look to be a bit smaller than a largeish book, like a dictionary.

Mac Mini


I just dunno if they'd hold up well to a damp environment or the constant movement, and I dunno if apple's warranty would cover things like that.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:30   #2
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They are small, very small. We have some here at work, and although, you have to learn a different paradigm to use them they are well built.

I am currently researching a concept computer that would be designed for boats. I will post a new thread on the subject so I don't hijack this one.
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Old 08-08-2006, 16:27   #3
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I have a Mac mini at home. It works great. I use an iBook G4 loaded with GPS NAVX and take the iBook sailing almost all the time. The charts work good, all the goodies work just fine on the iBook. At the marina I can access wifi easy. If I can ever make it full time cruising, the mini will go on the boat. I recommend it.
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Old 08-08-2006, 16:35   #4
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I have been considering a Mac Mini for the boat that we will be commissioning next year. We have a PC at home and a Windows-based notebook, but the Mini seems perfect for boat. We want to maintain a website during a yearlong voyage and I've been told by people who do that sort of thing that a Mac will be easier for us to use.

Does anyone have any experience with running a Mini off the house bank? Does it draw any more/less power than a full sized desktop? I assume the superdrive could be used for music and DVD playing.

Any thoughts on the best screen to go with the Mini? I would like to have a flat screen mounted above the nav station so that it can be used for watching movies (we will have two teenagers onboard for the voyage). Are there types of screens that run better off a 12 volt system than others?

Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated.

Charlie
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Old 08-08-2006, 17:17   #5
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Mac Mini

Keep in mind that the new Mac Mini will run Windows XP. There is a a regulated 12 volt power supply available from carnetix.com. Haven't found the perfect screen yet. Plan on installing it on our boat when finished.
Dan
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Old 08-08-2006, 18:55   #6
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yes, with the bootcamp software, you can run windows xp on any intel processor based Mac Mini, that's basically what pushed me over the edge to actually consider an Apple product.
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Old 08-08-2006, 18:55   #7
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WYour mac mini will do a good job on the boat, but honestly, you ought to consider getting an ibook instead. Several reasons....one, power drain will be a lot less than running the mac mini with a monitor. the monitor can suck some juice. Plus, you are already DC with the ibook...just plug it into a cigarette lighter; no inverter needed.


Two, it would be more compact than the mini/monitor combo. the mini itself is nice, but don't forget there is the monitor and you would have to worry about where to stash it and protect it.

Three, if you need to go to an internet cafe somewhere and access the internet, its easy to tote.

Four. If you wanted to protect it in a case (like pelican), it would be easy to do.

Five, if you want to watch a movie, you can take it anywhere.


I have used both windows and mac systems for years and have not been a part of the ford vs chevy debate. But, for most regular computer users, I would have to say that the apple is a much better way to go. My personal computer is a powerbook, but that is only because I am a recording engineer and need the power. I would have an ibook otherwise.

I would look at an ibook.

Mack

PS>...no, I don't own any stock in Apple. <G>
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Old 08-08-2006, 18:58   #8
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Wanted to add that I have done a fair amount of web work on a mac, and it is just as easy to use as any windows machine. I use dreamweaver, which I find easier than MS frontpage.

Hope all this helps.
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Old 08-08-2006, 20:38   #9
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Mack: That is good advice. I too use an iBook G4 on the boat. I loved watching a movie at night in the cockpit with the earbuds on. A cool breeze blowing, a cold beer. That's life at its best.
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Old 24-03-2009, 17:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluissa View Post
I just wanted to see if anyone had any opinion on the Mac Mini computers from apple.
I think it's fair to say MicroShip is intrigued with them.
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Old 24-03-2009, 17:50   #11
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VM Fusion is great

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Originally Posted by sluissa View Post
yes, with the bootcamp software, you can run windows xp on any intel processor based Mac Mini, that's basically what pushed me over the edge to actually consider an Apple product.
Try VM Fusion for running Windows on any Mac. You don't have to close down your whole Mac system like you do with Bootcamp. It's cheap and works fantastically well. I use it on my iMac and MacBook Pro.

Mike
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Old 24-03-2009, 18:17   #12
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I don't have a Mac Mini, but I do have an Acer of similar size. The power draw off the computer is fairly low, but the monitor uses a lot more power. When this thing goes I'm replacing it with a laptop because of the power draw.
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Old 24-03-2009, 18:45   #13
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I have been using a Mac Mini for over a year at home, and it is a rock solid little brick! NEVER has crashed in a year of use. No, not once.

I might note, that in addition to being able to run Mac OS and Windows, it can also be configured to run Linux should you have such a need.

Just be aware: Get the newer Mac Mini with the Intel processor if you ever want to run Windows. Older Mac Minis (eBay, CraigsList) have Power PC G4 chips, and would not run windows.

But, have no idea of it's resistance to marine salt fog environment, or power supply fluctuations.

Larry
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Old 24-03-2009, 18:51   #14
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I started out cruising with a Mac Mini. While a wonderful little computer, with many fine features, I had a lot of problems with it. The internal bus connectors kept getting loose so that I would lose the optical drive, then the audio ports, etc. Apple couldn't fix it and keep it fixed, so they eventually offered me a Macbook in exchange. For the boat, it is far better, for all the reasons Mack gave.

VMWare Fusion works great for running an XP machine, inside the Mac OS. (Really gives you a great comparison between the OS's, too.) However, not all nav programs (and GPS sensors) will be happy with Fusion. They should be running XP under BootCamp. If you're thinking about using an XP/Vista nav program in the Fusion/Mac environment, I strongly suggest that you actually try it, first, before buying everything.

ID
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Old 27-04-2009, 07:10   #15
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Originally Posted by Golden Isles View Post
I have a Mac mini at home. It works great. I use an iBook G4 loaded with GPS NAVX and take the iBook sailing almost all the time. The charts work good, all the goodies work just fine on the iBook. At the marina I can access wifi easy. If I can ever make it full time cruising, the mini will go on the boat. I recommend it.
This is interesting to know. We use Mac iBook and Mac Book Pro but with their batteries.

Apple has told us that there is no way they can be linked to a 12V power supply -unless one uses an inverter.

How do you power your Macs on board?

Thanks
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