[conspire] At long last Mac mini media

Ross Bernheim rossbernheim at speakeasy.net
Sun Nov 5 17:04:48 PST 2006

One of the projects I had planned for the Mac mini when I bought it  
was to
install it into my entertainment center to play movies and music.

I have been ripping my DVD's to an external hard disk as MP4's and have
finally got them almost all done. So I got a long audio cable to hook  
mini to the stereo and an adaptor from HDMI to S video and an S video
cable to connect the video to the TV.

Everything went fairly well. Only a small problem in that I did not  
get VNC
working since I had unplugged a cable at the switch for some reason and
of course it was the one to the entertainment center where the mini was
connected. Once I figured that one out. All was well.

The TV is a poor computer display for text.

As a home entertainment device, the mini with Apple's "Front Row"  
is excellent. It is not a DVR, TiVo has that market well and truly  
done well. But
for all else, the mini, particularly with an large external hard disk  
or two to hold
all the media files, is just right. Front Row is another elegant,  
easy to use program
that feels polished.

The nice thing is that the mini can do other things in the background  
as well. So
I have it running a bit torrent client and plan to add other  
functions in the background
as well. I want to add home control and a Tor server next.

The mini is a killer home entertainment machine when you want to go  
beyond just
a DVD/CD player and trying to find that CD or DVD out of the stack.

Unix can succeed in the consumer space.

So now the corner of my computer desk is now free for other uses.


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