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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

mini - mac minis in a lab setting


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craniac

 
Member Since: Dec 04, 2007
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We are ready to replace our aging pcs and I am contemplating going with Mac Minis. We would use our pre-existing monitors, keyboards and mice, which are all working fine. I have macs, but haven't used a mini. I just have some basic, bonehead questions I was hoping you all could help me with:

1. Can one use standard headphones with the jack, which is described as: "Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack)"

2. How hard is it to lock these down with a security cable so they don't walk off?

3. I'm guessing that the stock 1gb ram is going to result in sluggish performance. Why is Apple charging $160 for a 2gb upgrade? Because they can?

4. Any suggestions for LCD monitors, and will I have to buy extra cables?

5. How hard is it to image machines that have a dual partition using bootcamp?

6. Am I going to see substantially faster machines in January at the same price?

Ok, thanks, and I hope this isn't question overload.
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dtravis7

 
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1. Yes, Any standard phones with that plug will work. Same plug as the iPods use.

2. There is a security slot in the back so it should be easy.

3. 1GB will do for most basic usage. 2GB would be better if you run Adobe products and do a lot of multitasking.

4. The Mini stock will plug into any DVI cable. They include a DVI to VGA adapter so it will work with pretty much any LCD display out there.

5. Never tried.

6. Doubt it on the Mini's but who knows with Apple.
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coach_z

 
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hey you got some good questions there, some of which can be answered with the forum search function but ill touch on them anyway
1) yes
2)super easy....just like a laptop they have that lock thing in the back
3) 1gb should be good....all depends on what you are going to be doing with the mini....let us know with another post in this thread and we should be able to help you
4) any old monitor will work, depends on what kind of lab you are in and what quality you need.....if you already have monitors you will not need cables, maybe just adaptors depending on what kind of monitors you have
5) easy
6) only steve jobs knows and he isnt going to tell anybody about it

remember when buying that if this is for an educational lab you should be able to get the education discount through your school

-chris

edit: darn travis beating me to the punch on this one

MoTM honor roll...
when?
i dont remember
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milessthomas

 
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Quote:
1. Can one use standard headphones with the jack, which is described as: "Combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack)"
Yes you can use a standard headphone jack.

Quote:
2. How hard is it to lock these down with a security cable so they don't walk off?
Not hard at all. They have locking ports like laptops do, so you would just need one of those combination cables.

Quote:
3. I'm guessing that the stock 1gb ram is going to result in sluggish performance. Why is Apple charging $160 for a 2gb upgrade? Because they can?
Yes, because they can. Buy it stock and order another gb from Crucial. Though for normal apps you use in school I don't think you need more than 1gb unless your using graphical intensive apps like adobe CS3.

Quote:
4. Any suggestions for LCD monitors, and will I have to buy extra cables?
I like samsung monitors, but you can find some fairly inexpensive monitors on tiger direct. If the monitors have DVI you don't need anything else, if it has only VGA each mini comes with a DVI-VGA adapter so you don't have buy additional cables.

Quote:
5. How hard is it to image machines that have a dual partition using bootcamp?
If your talking about imaging clients from Novell, fairly hard. Novell utilizes BIOS network booting. The way bootcamp is set up it goes through apples version of BIOS and then utilizes bootcamp to boot into windows. I'm not sure how you would do this other than copying your boot image to dvd and installing it on each computer. If your just buying these to only use windows on them, then don't, get a Dell. If your using both then stick with the Mini. Btw most imaging clients, especially the way the novell imaging client works they will only work with specific computers. Like the Novell imaging clients at our school have backed up image for the two specific models of dell computers we have. I doubt your imaging software would be able to install XP or Vista even if you copied it to CD.

Quote:
6. Am I going to see substantially faster machines in January at the same price?
You may you may not. With Apple its very secretive. Seeing as the mini's are usually upgraded last in line, probably not.


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Ok, thanks, and I hope this isn't question overload.
No more than anyone elses. Good luck.

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craniac

 
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Thanks for the rapid and good responses, how awesome! Additional ram is only $50 on Crucial.

Primarily, the labs are used to do web research and writing, but I would like to see more New Media work taking place. I wish I could transfer our PeeCee adobe licenses over to the mac. Anyway, I feel much better about the purchase now and will start researching imaging solutions.
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Ronald S. Jr.

 
Member Since: Nov 30, 2007
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You can transfer licenses from PC to mac, easy peasy. Call up adobe and ask for a cross-grade. They'll charge you about 10 bucks and have you fill out a form.
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milessthomas

 
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Also, a lot of schools use Adobe StudioMX, educational edition.

The education studio is both windows and mac compatible on the same cd, and if its educational the license is unlimited for the schools labs.

I think the studio cost us about 1200$ for a school license, but most schools can get it through their city board for almost free.

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