Richard Jones' Log: Mac mini *almost* perfect

Wed, 12 Jan 2005

The Mac mini is IMHO almost perfect. Swap the modem port* for a composite video out, and you've got me sold. It would make a pretty damned good media center. Not sure why Apple missed that particularly obvious step. Digital audio out would also be nice, but I'm not that fussy.

Update: at the bottom of the specs page, I notice their DVI to video adapter. I guess I'm just going to have to buy one now. Rachel, can I have one, please? :)

Update 2: add in a firewire / USB video capture box or maybe TV tuner and it's also a PVR.

*: modem in a laptop I can understand, but modem in a desktop, these days?

Comment by Jim on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

The modem probably seems a bit lame, but there are still parts of the country/world where dial-up is really the only option. Now, if you are stuck in one of those places what would you do for connectivity on this box? Are there any USB modems out there? [There might be, but I have no idea...]

The other benefit of the modem is that it can be used to participate in this ancient document sharing network that I heard has something to do with a "facks" or somesuch...

Comment by Richard on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

Hey, I just saw a report that said 94.3% of US zip codes had broadband connection. Sure, to appear on that list they only need 1 connection in the entire code, but hey, that's good enough for me :)

And I certainly don't need facks in my home entertainment system.

What, there's other uses for these things? :)

Comment by Ryan on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

S-Video and Composite are really awful for video playback. I'd trade the modem port for a component output though.

Comment by Richard on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

I personally wouldn't say "awful" :) All the components in my entertainment system at the moment run on composite video, and I'm happy with it (I can't detect any obvious blurring or other image problems).

And besides, I would have to upgrade everything if I was to go to component output, and Rachel would probably balk at that :)

Comment by Fredrik on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

"Are there any USB modems out there"

Googling for "USB modem" results in 10,500,000 hits, so I suppose the answer is "yes".

Comment by toby on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

One of the original uses for firewire was as a digital video transport. There are also USB2 capture devices, but I don't know what kind of quality they'll be because I don't know whether USB2 is the version of USB that has decent bandwidth or not.

Having said all this, it's the perfect application for this box, and given that MythTV is half ported to OSX already, it'll only be a matter of time the miniMac is available, that someone will put together a PVR solution.

Comment by Rachel on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

Rachel, can I have one please?
What am I, your mother? Sole signatory on the bank account?
As long as I can use it to watch Buffy/Star Wars/Austen adaptations and Abbey can use it to listen to old school Sesame St, I think we'll get along fine.

Comment by Rachel on Wed, 12 Jan 2005

Needless to say, you can wait for the inevitable price drop.
(Ask Richard what he paid for the DVD player, I dare you.)

Comment by Richard on Thu, 13 Jan 2005

I was good, I waited ages before I bought the PS2. Of course, they had another price drop about a month after I bought it. But I'm just resigned to that happening now.

Comment by toby on Thu, 13 Jan 2005

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), computers have a tendency to get faster much more rapidly than they get cheaper. I wouldn't expect a miniMac to get much cheaper any time soon.

Comment by Xander on Fri, 04 Feb 2005

I can't believe you two live in the same room but still need to communicate via blogs... is more technology in your house really what you need?

Abbey: the first baby to blog before she talks.