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Mac Mini for telepractice?

 
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skoster
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Mac Mini for telepractice? Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm considering buying a Mac Mini 2.3Ghz i7 with fusion drive and 16Gb of RAM. I'd do the RAM upgrade but just spend the money for the factory fusion instead of doing the drive swap myself (the ratio of savings/time doesn't justify me bothering with the DIY fusion or even just putting in a lone SSD).

The primary purpose of the computer would be telepractice. I'll be moving to Asia in July and providing assessment and treatment over the internet, so this would (at least initially) be my only local computer and my sole connection to my income, therefore it would need to be extremely reliable.

Essentially I'd be doing video chat for about 8 hours per day, 3-4 days per week, through a dedicated server (North American). The reason I'm thinking Mac (my current home network is mostly Linux) would be to have the option of doing some iOS development.

In addition, I'd use it for some general web browsing, light office work, and a minimal amount of media manipulation (video, audio, image, nothing extensive), and for telnet, IRC, and other minimally intensive tasks.

My questions are as follows:

1. I've read that the current generation of Minis use integrated graphics, does anyone know how this might impact streaming video chat for extended periods?

2. I've read that web cams *used* to be possibly difficult to get working but that currently the standards are pretty well adhered to and most current webcams will work. Is this true? Anything I should be concerned about?

3. I've read that the mic input is line level and that unless one wants to use a preamp, USB headsets are recommended; though there seem to be some reports that this can be fiddly and that not all of them work correctly. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

Thanks for any information!
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1 - No iDea. I don't think it should be a factor though. It's not like video chat is going to strain the GPU. It's more of a CPU thing. In general with Apple, everything is a CPU thing.

2 - Web cams with custom functions are dependent on their drivers to use those functions. Everything else should work.

3 - Use a web cam with a built in microphone?

SC
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marv777
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Mac Mini for telepractice? Reply with quote

skoster wrote:
Hello,

I'm considering buying a Mac Mini 2.3Ghz i7 with fusion drive and 16Gb of RAM. I'd do the RAM upgrade but just spend the money for the factory fusion instead of doing the drive swap myself (the ratio of savings/time doesn't justify me bothering with the DIY fusion or even just putting in a lone SSD).

The primary purpose of the computer would be telepractice. I'll be moving to Asia in July and providing assessment and treatment over the internet, so this would (at least initially) be my only local computer and my sole connection to my income, therefore it would need to be extremely reliable.

Essentially I'd be doing video chat for about 8 hours per day, 3-4 days per week, through a dedicated server (North American). The reason I'm thinking Mac (my current home network is mostly Linux) would be to have the option of doing some iOS development.

In addition, I'd use it for some general web browsing, light office work, and a minimal amount of media manipulation (video, audio, image, nothing extensive), and for telnet, IRC, and other minimally intensive tasks.

My questions are as follows:

1. I've read that the current generation of Minis use integrated graphics, does anyone know how this might impact streaming video chat for extended periods?

2. I've read that web cams *used* to be possibly difficult to get working but that currently the standards are pretty well adhered to and most current webcams will work. Is this true? Anything I should be concerned about?

3. I've read that the mic input is line level and that unless one wants to use a preamp, USB headsets are recommended; though there seem to be some reports that this can be fiddly and that not all of them work correctly. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

Thanks for any information!
Are you going to be telemarketing in Asia?Are you going to use Voit?I live in Asia.I use the MM also here with no problems.
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skoster
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Smith: Thanks, though I need to use a headset. Is that a major hurdle?

@Marv: I'll be doing telepractice. I'm a Speech Language Pathologist and I'll be working with people who have speech or language disorders.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Line level, mic level, that audio stuff is all Greek to me! So I'm sorry, but I can't help you on that.

SC
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about a Bluetooth microphone?

SC
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skoster
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
What about a Bluetooth microphone?

SC


Thanks! I'll look into that.
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marv777
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:14 pm    Post subject: MM 2012 Reply with quote

skoster wrote:
@Smith: Thanks, though I need to use a headset. Is that a major hurdle?

@Marv: I'll be doing telepractice. I'm a Speech Language Pathologist and I'll be working with people who have speech or language disorders.
I understand what country will you be in?
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skoster
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: MM 2012 Reply with quote

marv777 wrote:
skoster wrote:
@Smith: Thanks, though I need to use a headset. Is that a major hurdle?

@Marv: I'll be doing telepractice. I'm a Speech Language Pathologist and I'll be working with people who have speech or language disorders.
I understand what country will you be in?


Most likely Taiwan since it has stable, high speed internet with low latency to North America since it's only one step away from the trans-Pacific cable, along with somewhat reasonable cost of living. Though I wish I could get a bit further south.

I'd love the warmer weather of SE Asia, but most places in Asia don't have low enough latency to North America for what I do. I need to do my best to keep it under 250ms, which is already tough just with the distance across the Pacific.
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marv777
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: MM 2012 Reply with quote

skoster wrote:
marv777 wrote:
skoster wrote:
@Smith: Thanks, though I need to use a headset. Is that a major hurdle?

@Marv: I'll be doing telepractice. I'm a Speech Language Pathologist and I'll be working with people who have speech or language disorders.
I understand what country will you be in?


Most likely Taiwan since it has stable, high speed internet with low latency to North America since it's only one step away from the trans-Pacific cable, along with somewhat reasonable cost of living. Though I wish I could get a bit further south.

I'd love the warmer weather of SE Asia, but most places in Asia don't have low enough latency to North America for what I do. I need to do my best to keep it under 250ms, which is already tough just with the distance across the Pacific.
What ever do not go to the Philippines. They have the most miserable ISP here and the connection is slow.Singapore is great but is expensive to live there. Good Luck.
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skoster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:14 am    Post subject: Re: MM 2012 Reply with quote

marv777 wrote:
skoster wrote:
marv777 wrote:
skoster wrote:
@Smith: Thanks, though I need to use a headset. Is that a major hurdle?

@Marv: I'll be doing telepractice. I'm a Speech Language Pathologist and I'll be working with people who have speech or language disorders.
I understand what country will you be in?


Most likely Taiwan since it has stable, high speed internet with low latency to North America since it's only one step away from the trans-Pacific cable, along with somewhat reasonable cost of living. Though I wish I could get a bit further south.

I'd love the warmer weather of SE Asia, but most places in Asia don't have low enough latency to North America for what I do. I need to do my best to keep it under 250ms, which is already tough just with the distance across the Pacific.
What ever do not go to the Philippines. They have the most miserable ISP here and the connection is slow.Singapore is great but is expensive to live there. Good Luck.


Thanks!
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blazer
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:35 am    Post subject: Re: Mac Mini for telepractice? Reply with quote

skoster wrote:
3. I've read that the mic input is line level and that unless one wants to use a preamp, USB headsets are recommended; though there seem to be some reports that this can be fiddly and that not all of them work correctly. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

You can also use a product like the iMic, which delivers line and mic-levels, with your own cabled device.

http://store.griffintechnology.com/imic
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skoster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Mac Mini for telepractice? Reply with quote

blazer wrote:
skoster wrote:
3. I've read that the mic input is line level and that unless one wants to use a preamp, USB headsets are recommended; though there seem to be some reports that this can be fiddly and that not all of them work correctly. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

You can also use a product like the iMic, which delivers line and mic-levels, with your own cabled device.

http://store.griffintechnology.com/imic


Thanks, good idea!

I'll look into that.
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