Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mac mini

First off, I wish Apple would capitalize all the product names. It's confusing when you're reading an article which isn't clear if "mini" is a Mac or an adjective for the next word in the sentence, and if "touch" is an iPod of a verb. Second, stop reusing product names when major leaps in technology have been taken, e.g. the AirPort Extreme that did 802.11g and the AirPort Extreme that does 802.11n, and the two AirPort Expresses, one old, one "extreme". How many Mac Pros and iMacs and PowerBooks and so on have their been over the years? Go back to using numbers like PowerMac 8500 or IIfx. Those are names that mean something and (usually) describe only one product.

In the course of the same week, I started thinking about adding a mini (the Mac) to the stereo cabinet for viewing videos and other shit when there's nothing decent on the DVR or live TV. Many times I'd wanted to show Kim some YouTube video I'd seen, or watch Emergency!, without having to go into the office and try to fit both of us behind the desk (it was built and arranged for one person at a time). So we figured what the hell. Then I read a Macworld article about the different possibility for controlling it remotely (a few different iPod apps) and for putting up a friendly UI (such as Front Row), and other things. So we went up to the nearest Apple store and got one, along with the appropriate mini–DVI to HDMI adapter so I could get the video to the receiver. I also had one of those goofy 1/8" minijack optical cables lying around, so I could get the digital audio feed into the receiver.

Works pretty nicely. Man, it's weird looking at a 50" screen across the room. We're just controlling it by screen sharing it with the MacBook Pro for now. I'll go look at the iPod apps now and try them out.

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