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Costing out a new Mini

 
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MacUser_Since_1986
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Costing out a new Mini Reply with quote

I'm part of a small family business. Our work is construction, but we're also very active in community projects, including training, events planning, grant writing and recreational trails construction/maintenance.

I was having a conversation the other day with my father, and he asked me what it would take the have an all-in-one workstation that could do our usual business work, plus some of the other things that we do. It was a soup-to-nuts question, and I decided to come up with a few Mac-based options with the latest hardware and software. We already have a spare monitor (1440 x 900), keyboard (Apple white) and mouse (Kensington) for a mini that we've used for a much older computer.

I started putting together a list of a bare-bones Mini config, but if I got the base Mini I would want more RAM. If we installed it ourselves (we did that once for a MacBook), how much would new RAM cost? I would want either 4 or 8 GB total.

Also: are there good, brand-name alternatives to Apple's external Superdrive? Are these alternatives compact, and lightweight? How much do they cost?
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MacUser_Since_1986
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are also a couple of software configurations I need to figure in:

1: Since the early 1990's, I've been using MacEnvelope software from Synex for envelope/label printing and address list management. The last version was MacEnvelope Professional from 1995. It still runs on my G4 iMac under "Classic mode" (MacOS 9.2). If I move from the old iMac to a new Mini, all the old "Classic" software will be phased out with the iMac. I need software that can manage address lists, print out sheets of pre-made mailing labels for snail-mailers, and also give me the ability to start printing Label #1 of a new print job wherever the last print job left off. (MacEnvelope Professional did all this for me.) It would be nice if I could find modern OS X software that could do all this and tie-into Apple's Address book.

2: I also may want to configure the hypothetical Mac Mini to run Windows-only software. (One reason that extra RAM would be essential.) For a new or late-model Mini, what are my options?
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ram pricing has always been volatile so I really can't say what it's going to cost until you actually get it.

For any Intel mini, your options for running Windows are: Bootcamp from Apple to boot into Windows instead of OS X, or Virtual Box, Fusion, and Parallels to run Windows and OS X at the same time. Virtual Box and Bootcamp are free, Fusion and Parallels are commercial products.

Apples external Superdrive is going to be your best option I think. There is a new miniStack coming out that will have the new mini form factor, and can accommodate an optical drive, but I think it's going to be rather expensive.

I'm not aware of any label printing software for OS X.

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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MacUser_Since_1986
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:

For any Intel mini, your options for running Windows are: Bootcamp from Apple to boot into Windows instead of OS X, or Virtual Box, Fusion, and Parallels to run Windows and OS X at the same time. Virtual Box and Bootcamp are free, Fusion and Parallels are commercial products.

SC


What are the costs of each of the Windows options?

My chief project for Windows would be DeLorme's Topo; does anyone know which of these would be compatible with Topo?

What do you do with Windows, just buy a copy off the shelves at OfficeMax and install it? If so, what is the best version to get?
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billb
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Boot Camp, Windows 7 Reply with quote

If your not interested in running Windows
and Lion at the same time on your Mac
you would install Windows 7 on your Mac
using a native Mac App. called BootCamp.
It comes pre-installed on every Mac and is
located in your Utilities folder wich is located
in your Applications folder. This is the most
reliable and the fasted way to run Windows
on a Mac.

To install Windows 7 you need to purchase it
first. I think only "Ultimate" is supported and
works reliably. The most economical way to
obtain the Ultimate version of windows 7 is to
purchase the "System Builders" version. Its
typically referred to as a "System Builders"
or "OEM" version. It will install on one PC or
one Mac the same as the much more expensive
Retail version. If your connected to the internet
at the time of its instillation, Windows 7 will
automatically authenticate itself. Its pretty
painless.

Do read up on using Boot Camp. You'll need
to install some tools downloaded from Apple
in order to get most of Windows functions
to work using your Apple Keyboard. I would
print out the Install instructions and pre-download
from Apple the the Drivers for Windows to your Desktop.

You want the 64-bit version of windows 7.
TigerDirect
NewEgg.
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Mac mini, Model 1.1, 2.33 GHz C2D Proc
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacUser_Since_1986 wrote:
Smithcraft wrote:

For any Intel mini, your options for running Windows are: Bootcamp from Apple to boot into Windows instead of OS X, or Virtual Box, Fusion, and Parallels to run Windows and OS X at the same time. Virtual Box and Bootcamp are free, Fusion and Parallels are commercial products.

SC


What are the costs of each of the Windows options?

My chief project for Windows would be DeLorme's Topo; does anyone know which of these would be compatible with Topo?

What do you do with Windows, just buy a copy off the shelves at OfficeMax and install it? If so, what is the best version to get?


Buying Windows is slightly more complex than going in and picking it up. There is Windows Home (32 or 64 bit), Professional (32 or 64 bit), and Ultimate. If you buy the retail version of the version of Windows, you get to install either 32 bit or 64 bit. If you buy the OEM version(for about half the price) you can buy the 32 bit or 64 bit version. OEM is cheaper since you are supposed to get support from the vendor that sells the computer that Windows came installed on. I just use Google to search for solutions.

While this is not an endorsement, I use Windows Professional 32 bit OEM. You would have to go through the MS charts to see what you want to use it for. Also, you should contact, or check their website, DeLorme to see what version of Windows they recommend.

Finally, you can check Newegg, or Frys, to see how much the different versions of Windows cost.

SC
_________________
Grumpy old man of computing.

[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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Ali_Oop
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For that 2.3 GHz Mac Mini you can get that RAM at Crucial for $45-ish today. As someone said, that is changing all the time. I've personally used and been pleased with Crucial's memory. They have a 16GB option for that model at $240-ish.

I wasn't sure if you were aware of remote disc sharing for the Mac mini and MacBook Air. Here's a link:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1777?viewlocale=en_US

If you're mini is going to be in range to an existing computer or heck, even a laptop, you may not have a need for an external optical drive at all.

Wasn't sure of your need for a drive. For the occasional download, that remote disc works like a charm.

Ali
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Ali_Oop
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deleted - double post
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Jailbreak Apple TV
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting I am debating upgrading my current mini.
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