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Home > Mac Mini Setups

BanAlltv's Mac mini setup
I'm an illustrator and got a mac mini a year ago, putting in 1Gb of Ram myself-exciting, nice to do it yourself- rather than wait for the Intel stuff, and with new Photoshop not ready 'til next year it looks like I made the right decision.

A faster machine would of course be a little nicer but the mini is more than adequate for the mostly small scale stuff that I do. Check out the custom heatsink though, fabricated at great time and expense by laying copper etching offcuts onto a biscuit tin lid. Stopped that irritating clicking sound whenever it got too hot.

Way more important was to go for the 20" Cinema Display. More elbow room and seeing more of the image at a time has made a huge difference.

The LCD looked awful, especially for photos until I shelled out for an Eye-One Display calibrator. Now all is as it should be.

OSX was probably the biggest jump for me.
Rate this file (current rating : 3.1 / 5 with 14 votes)
Tucom [Sep 29, 2006 at 05:25 PM]
Dude....that's pathetic, you could have just used the video calibration in Mac OS X ya dumby , or did that just not work? Please explain because I was thinking of getting about an ACD, but more curious on why the display looked so bad as you put it...I have seen them hooked up w/o the thingy you bought, and they looked fantastic!
BanAlltv [Sep 29, 2006 at 06:03 PM]
gee, thanks. When new mine had a lot of banding on smooth colour transitions, eg on a sky. Uncalibrated LCDs have an overdark oversaturated look. The OSX calibrator is subjective about colour casting, a grey grey to one person will look blue or pink etc to another and that can literally colour your drawing wrongly. A calibrator measures a more accurate curve of how each r, g or b is displayed. Search on the net for tutorials, there’s some good stuff on this at DPReview and an excellent monitor comparison and review from a year ago at FiringSquad.com as well. If I was buying today I’d certainly think about a cheaper monitor and just calibrate it.
Curt [Sep 30, 2006 at 02:08 AM]
Nice job on the illustration! Do you have any more samples of your work online?
BanAlltv [Sep 30, 2006 at 06:46 AM]
Hi Curt, thanks! Nothing online (must sort that out) except two mucking-around pics on Appleinsider.com, a logitech Romulan warbird mouse and an Apple mighty trackpad mouse with crafty shamrock logo, same username. That’s just having fun, work is storyboards like you see here. Are you an artist as well? E-mail me some stuff either here or there.
Tucom [Sep 30, 2006 at 01:57 PM]
Well hey cool man, glad you got it all sorted out. I didn't mean anything derogative at all in my post, I was just a little baffeled that it looked so bad in comparison to your standards, but I guess for people who don't need the preciseness, it's all good.
Curt [Sep 30, 2006 at 03:07 PM]
I do layout and graphic design work for a Fortune 200 company in Oregon. Most of the stuff is for their point-of-purchase materials. I use my Mac mini mostly for HTPC purposes.
bsnoel [Oct 01, 2006 at 01:21 AM]
Tucom, I run Color Spyder and I find it far more reliable than the video calibration built into Mac OS X.
Tucom [Oct 01, 2006 at 06:17 PM]
It's not about reliability bsnoel, it's about accuracy, for your eyes, maybe that was the only option, but for users who don't need the the most precise contrast and color ratios, the OS X color calibrator is fine.
bsnoel [Oct 02, 2006 at 09:44 PM]
Tucom, Reliable meaning that I can match a 6500K target every time. Reliability, meaning that your color prints match what you see on the screen and that you can reproduce the results reliably every-time. Calibrated workflow = reliable / reproducible results. Even the finest electronics drift over time. Calibration compensates for and minimizes these variables. I agree that not everyone needs this, but if you work in graphics, it is a huge time saver.
Tucom [Oct 03, 2006 at 05:53 PM]
So your saying the settings can "drift" over time? WTF? no, not software...explain
BanAlltv [Oct 04, 2006 at 12:20 PM]
I'm not sure how-maybe the plastic simply yellows-but your monitor's characteristics change over time, so your profile becomes out of date and needs to be kept current. Don't know how big of a problem this actually is though. And like you said that's not a big deal for everyone, but I'm glad I got rid of the banding on my photos.
bsnoel [Oct 07, 2006 at 09:34 PM]
LCDs are illuminated by fluorescent light sources. These sources change color over time and some can even lose up to 50% of their brightness in as little as 3-years of continual use. In addition the light sources from two identical LCDs may have slightly different color temperatures from day one. If you work with commercial printers, you need a way to make sure your seeing the same colors on two different monitors with two different light sources. Calibration is the answer to both color differences and color drift. There are many sources of info on the web, here is one of them. http://www.kpgraphics.com/matchprintvirtual/faq.asp
BanAlltv [Jun 19, 2007 at 01:48 PM]
Sad Footnote: Posting this photo was the last useful thing I did with my mini, about an hour later - not kidding - it burned out it's little hard drive and long story short I bought a mac pro eight months earlier than I had planned ( waiting for availability of money, Pshop CS3). It was 'fixed' under extended warranty - felt like a sucker the day I bought that I can tell you, but no longer - local Apple authorised people crammed it all back into it's shell leaving a little bump on the top, and me less than inspired. Now it lives with my folks, two people with close to zero interest in computers. I may rescue it.

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