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Tomorrow - new mac mini and mac user with some questions
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godwisper
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:31 am    Post subject: Tomorrow - new mac mini and mac user with some questions Reply with quote

so today am selling my i7 computer to get a mac mini. I just got into photography and would prefer a mac to work with....

I have thought the following questions which I hope someone might help me out

Am buying the 2.3Ghz version but am buying from a different shop 2 x 4GB SODIMM DDR3 1333Mhz Ram...is it safe to buy other type of RAM than apple one ?

Am buying as well pc USB keyboard and mouse as the apple`s one is too expensive here...will that do ?

Am as well buying a 22inch Acer LED monitor hope it will suffice Smile

Well I am a new user for mac as I have never in my life used a mac and always used PC with windows so I might find it a bit difficult in the beginning....what should I do after booting up ? apple shop told me it will come with LION OS..is that the latest ? should I install anything else ?

Since I have an OPTOMA DLP 3D projector and DLP glasses is it possible to use the mac mini to watch 3D movies on the big screen ? what is the best stereoscopic player on mac ? What is the best mkv player ?

sorry for all these questions but as said am entering in a total new world
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Tomorrow - new mac mini and mac user with some questions Reply with quote

godwisper wrote:
Am buying the 2.3Ghz version but am buying from a different shop 2 x 4GB SODIMM DDR3 1333Mhz Ram...is it safe to buy other type of RAM than apple one ?


Yep.. I have Crucial Ram in a couple of mine.

godwisper wrote:
Am buying as well pc USB keyboard and mouse as the apple`s one is too expensive here...will that do ?


any mouse will do, but keyboard wise there are quite a few differences compared to a PC keyboard which might annoy you a lot whilst you get use to it. Personally if you can pay more for anything I'd try and get an Apple Keyboard. I prefer the wired one as well which is a little bit cheaper than the wireless one and the batteries never run out in it. Wink 40 UK $49 US

godwisper wrote:

Am as well buying a 22inch Acer LED monitor hope it will suffice Smile


should be fine.


godwisper wrote:
what should I do after booting up ? apple shop told me it will come with LION OS..is that the latest ? should I install anything else ?


When you first turn it on it will go through a few set up steps with you which doesn't take long after that your good to go.
Once your up and running and on the internet click the Apple Logo in the top left corner of the menu bar and select Software Update and let that run through.

Lion is the latest and is also called Mac OS X 10.7

When Apple do updates they add an additional digit to the end so yours may be somewhere between 10.7.0 and 10.7.2. Yesterday they released a new updated so we are now at 10.7.2. Yours may already be up to date but it may need updating to get all the new features released yesterday with the iCloud launch.

After that it all depends on what your going to use it for. It should come with the iLife Suite which includes iPhoto, but as your into Photography you may want something like Aperture or Lightroom. Check out the App Store once your up. Other Photo apps worth a look are Pixelmator, or if your budget stretches that far Photoshop.

Other Apps I'd recommend are 1Password, Launchbar, Dropbox and Skitch

Also have a look for Perian which will install into the System Preference Panel and adds a few extra codec which the Mac doesn't handle natively.

System Preferences is the equivalent of the Control Panel on a PC. Its icon looks like a grey square with gears in it.

godwisper wrote:
What is the best mkv player ?


I use a media centre called Plex on the Mac (XBMC on the PC) and that plays most of my media for me. VLC is a good option for a standalone media player.
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godwisper
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the great info and time for answering back to me.
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tom d
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Godwisper, you can go to MacMall.com and get a McAlly keyboard and mouse for about $ 20. dollars, it will be a wired keyboard, however it is laid out almost exactly like an Apple keyboard.

tom d
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palebluedot
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You said you are getting into photography. I have some serious doubts about your choice in monitors. I don't know which monitor model you are getting, but the lower end (sub $300) Acer monitors I've seen are pretty awful when it comes to color correcting. Most I've seen have a severe white or white/blue cast to them and typically really poor black levels. The monitor controls usually are not capable of reaching the levels necessary to correct for these problems.

I don't know about the 3D stuff, but VLC is the best MKV player in my opinion. I buy Crucial ram (www.crucial.com) for my Apple computers and it works just fine. The only prob using a PC keyboard/mouse is the keys are a bit different and certain features may not work properly such as F-Keys for OSX features, sound controls, etc. But they WILL work, so you can always replace them later if you desire.
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godwisper
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch...I read your post right now while I bought monitor, Corsair 8GB RAM, keyboard and mouse yesterday

the monitor I got is the 21.5" Acer S220HQLBD Black Full HD LED LCD Monitor..... on my PC I had the acer 24inch 3D full HD and was impressive though...dont know about this one as am getting the mini this morning.

As regards the keyboard and mouse I got these:

Lexma LK7600 White Slim Multimedia USB Keyboard (which I shall replace end month with an apple keyboard)

and a microsoft laser mouse....

as regards 3D playback am discussing the issue in the htpc section
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:16 am    Post subject: Re: Tomorrow - new mac mini and mac user with some questions Reply with quote

godwisper wrote:
I just got into photography


I think the difference is you "just got into photography", do you really need a $1000 display as a beginner ? Yes I wont argue it would be great to have one but do you really need it at this stage.

I'm not sure what aspect of photography your looking at but I've managed pretty well with fairly cheap end monitors, but Photoshop isn't my idea of photography. I'd much rather spend time composing a shot and shooting it right in the first place. I know photography today is largely image manipulated but I'm guessing from your quote above your not at a professional level yet.

Unless you really plan to spend a lot of time editing your shots in photoshop then I wouldn't worry too much about the monitor, a 21.5 isn't going to set you back a huge amount and as you get more proficient it is something you can change out at a later date should you need to.

Also a tip with photography projects never edit the original. This is never truer than now with Lion and its versions and autosave features as if you don't handle things carefully you could wipe out the original and end up stuck with a edited version.

The best way is to dump your images to the hard drive and then make a copy of any you want to edit and only work from there on on the copy. Never do anything to your masters.

If at a later date you have a killer shot that could do with touching up again you can alway go back and make another copy of the original and recreate the shot
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godwisper
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so I got the mini and after loads of fiddling around managed to boot it up and atm am updating the OS to latest one.

I need to install windows 7 since most probably to watch 3D on the projector I need to run powerdvd and iz3d on windows...can someone please link me to a good tutorial on how to install windows 7 with bootcamp ?

Was a bit dissapointed as thought the mini will come with ilife and iPhoto which it didn't Sad

moreover thought I would have 2 display outputs one for the monitor DVI and one for the projector HDMI which doesn't seem so

I will later on install the software Cypher recommended Smile
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palebluedot
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Tomorrow - new mac mini and mac user with some questions Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:
godwisper wrote:
I just got into photography


I think the difference is you "just got into photography", do you really need a $1000 display as a beginner ? Yes I wont argue it would be great to have one but do you really need it at this stage.


I don't think he needs a $1000 display, just not an Acer. There are a number of decent quality "good enough" starter monitors out there under $300 and even under $200. It is always best to check out monitors in stores (even if you buy them online).

While it is not the only brand, Dell has some pretty decent low-cost monitors with much better controls and better panels. They'll still need tweaking in the controls and software, but I think the results are much better. I've heard good things about some of the HP, Lenovo, and Samsung displays out there too.

I have a buddy with a Lenovo 21.5" that cost $30 less than the Acer he was going to buy and it is waaay better than the Acer. So price is not everything. He does Photoshop work on it all the time. While its not as good as my IPS display, it does fit that "Good enough" category quite well.

Apple's Bootcamp install support:
http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/

For two displays, one goes to the HDMI port and another to the Display/Thunderbolt port via a VGA/DVI or HDMI adapter sold separately.
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godwisper
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to agree as am totally disappointed with this ACER monitor....colours are washed out and no contrast at all...
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't realise they were so bad Sad

I've never bought expensive monitors but never had that problem. I currently have a 24" IIYAMA on my Mac Mini which wasn't expensive and its as good as my 20" iMac
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palebluedot
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear you are not satisfied with the monitor. Wish I could have got you the info before you made the purchase. Are you able to easily return it?

I'm really not that familiar with sub $300/$200 monitors or what is currently available so I don't have specific models I can recommend. If you are going to replace it, I suggest finding model numbers you can afford then googling the model number with words like "black level" and "white cast," etc. See what people say about them. Whenever possible, of course, try visiting a retailer and seeing monitors for yourself and of course inquire about return policies as monitors can look different at home.

The good news is you are on a Mac, since most low-cost monitors have at least some issues (contrast, color casts, etc), OS-X has some of the best color calibration tools available (System Preferences > Display > Color) to help combat them. But even with that, really poor monitors simply cannot be corrected.

Best wishes, godwisper. I hope you are happy with all of your other purchases.
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godwisper
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

which monitor from this site would you recommend ?

http://www.scanmalta.com/eshop/accessories/monitors/20-22-tft.html

need to change this stupid Acer...

UPDATE: Might get the AOC Razor e2343F if its good
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palebluedot
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking you are in Europe, so I don't know if US models are the same as your's. The AOC E2343F gets a good reviews on Newegg.com, a US site. But since I've never actually seen one in person, I can't say for certain. It also doesn't say "Razor" on the model I linked to. For photo work, I would certainly try to get a 1920x1080 (16:9) or 1920x1200 (16:10) monitor--will provide plenty of room for all of your photoshop panels.

Also, don't pay attention to those high contrast ratios either--ones like 100000:1, etc. Those are Dynamic Contrast Ratio ratings and completely unrealistic. Remember, there are no standards for contrast ratios and each company will use different tests to determine their's...so they're virtually useless anyway unless comparing within the same brand.

Update: I just found a reference to "Razor" on the details tab of the AOC monitor page on Newegg. So it is probably the same unit unless there are European differences I'm not aware of.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's best to go and look at displays in person. Nobody else has your eyes, so they don't see how you do.

SC
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