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schneb
01-20-2005, 12:52 PM
The Mac community is a creative bunch. Let's put on our artistic hats and come up with possible uses for the Mac Mini. Here is one that inspired the thread.

Robotics.
A Mac Mini with AirPort installed on a mobile chassis with a USB controller card, dual iSights for stereo viewing, and a robotic arm. All task programming and AV data would be transmitted via the AirPort. The robotics could be adapted to water or mow your lawn. How fun a project would this be?

Attached is a conceptual idea of how it would look.

cwtnospam
01-20-2005, 12:58 PM
I know one guy is planning on installing them in cars to run iTunes, GPS, etc. I think I saw the article on cnet yesterday.

schneb
01-20-2005, 01:20 PM
installing them in cars.Like my design above, we both would need to adapt the Mini to 12vdc. I hope the power supply brick is a simple design.
Here is a LaCie Rack with a Mac Mini plopped on top. Mini Raid unit.

cameranerd74
01-20-2005, 04:26 PM
The latest thing in teeny-tiny supercomputers... the Macstac ;)

cwtnospam
01-20-2005, 04:31 PM
The latest thing in teeny-tiny supercomputers... the Macstac ;)
Nope! Already been discussed in another thread! The problem is that it would most likely take more than 4 Minis (depending on use) to equal the processing power in one Dual G5, so the cost would be higher and the electricity use greater.

CAlvarez
01-20-2005, 04:56 PM
I've been kicking around the car idea a lot. I had been thinking the same thing with a Mini-ITX system and Windows, but this would be easier. Well, except...are there any touchscreen drivers for Mac OS X?

cameranerd74
01-20-2005, 05:40 PM
it would most likely take more than 4 Minis (depending on use) to equal the processing power in one Dual G5, so the cost would be higher and the electricity use greater.

Like the guy who made the floppy RAID (http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm)

OR

The guy who put 63 OS's on 1 system (http://kernelthread.com/mac/vpc/)

It's not the practicality... it's the fun of doing it. :D

schneb
01-20-2005, 06:23 PM
Sure! The purpose of this thread is to explore possibilities and have fun! It's from lateral thinking that we get our greatest ideas. Let's have some more!

cwtnospam
01-20-2005, 07:56 PM
If it's for fun, why not get the 80Gb Mini and go Firewire to a digital camcorder? That way you could record longer than a DVD camcorder and then edit the video on the same machine. You'd need a short Firewire cable and some way to battery power the Mini, but that shouldn't be too difficult.
:)

Caius
01-21-2005, 02:24 AM
I've been kicking around the car idea a lot. I had been thinking the same thing with a Mini-ITX system and Windows, but this would be easier. Well, except...are there any touchscreen drivers for Mac OS X?

It would seem so after seeing this article on macmod.com (http://www.macmod.com/content/view/166/2/).

Have fun ;)

cameranerd74
01-21-2005, 09:03 AM
why not get the 80Gb Mini and go Firewire to a digital camcorder? ...and then edit the video on the same machine.
:)

Actually that's not a bad idea. Think about it. You would need to write a piece of software that would sense when a firewire camera was attached and automatically import the footage. Then it would open iMovie and (using the NEW iMovie '05) make a Majic iMovie. Then you would need some way for it to communicate that it is ready for a disc (perphaps a blinking LED on top of the mini). Insert a blank disc and viola!!! Instant movie on location. With Automator in Tiger this may be easier than we think. If it was set up right, none of these steps should require a keyboard, mouse, or monitor, so all you would need is the Mini.

Craig R. Arko
01-21-2005, 09:22 AM
While reading Sao's System 1 nostalgia thread, it occurred to me that it should be possible to gut a Color Classic (or other Classic form factor Mac) and install a mini inside as a replacement brain. :cool:

cameranerd74
01-21-2005, 09:27 AM
That would have made a much better "20th Anniversary Mac" than this one (http://www.primotechnology.com/articles/0104/mac2004.htm)

Oh well, too bad it's 2005 ;)

cameranerd74
01-21-2005, 10:07 AM
For some reason, it looks like the photos aren't loading on the above link... bummer. Anyway, the guy took an old 128K Mac case and put a new AMD mobo in it and turned it into a Gaming System. Cool idea, but it misses the point when it runs Windows. Doing a Mac mini version would be much cooler.

Also, I found these pics of the mini's guts (http://www.mini-itx.com/news/13909018/) if anyone want to know what it looks like

Caius
01-21-2005, 04:08 PM
I've been kicking around the car idea a lot. I had been thinking the same thing with a Mini-ITX system and Windows, but this would be easier. Well, except...are there any touchscreen drivers for Mac OS X?

These Links might help you:

A guy putting a Mac Mini in his Car (http://smartcar.nicolemacri.com/)

Aforementioned Guy's Blog (http://smartcar.nicolemacri.com/blog/index.php?blog=5)

Someone who put a G4 tower in their car (http://www.mujmac.cz/art/hw/tatra_mac_eng.html). (without a touch screen though)

Hope you glean some info from those links.

-- iNemo

acme.mail.order
01-22-2005, 05:02 AM
Like the guy who made the floppy RAID (http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm)
Interesting - I see a possibility here for a very easy way to do high-security multiple-person authentication. Split a keychain up over a portable raid. Depends on how easily it automounts.

Las_Vegas
01-22-2005, 06:24 PM
I idea is to take the Mac Mini and add some sort of Mac equivalent to M$'s Media Center. Plug it into my HD TV and using a bluetooth remote and/or keyboard. Now I can play the HD movies I made with iLife '05 or acquired elsewhere from my real Desktop in the other room (wirelessly!). I can also interface it with firewire to my DVR for full access to it... Basically for a bit over $500, I've got a $3000 HD system! No need for a $1500 HD VCR or not-yet-available HD DVD (or BlueRay). It would even fully replace all the functions of the Airport Express! The whole system squeezes between my current entertainment hardware. :D

Craig R. Arko
01-25-2005, 06:00 AM
You folks may also be interested in helping out The Mac Media Center Project (http://mrzippy.org.uk/macmediacenter/).

cameranerd74
01-25-2005, 09:03 AM
It looks like somebody already capitalized on the server idea (http://www.macminicolo.net/)...

Guess it wasn't such a bad idea after all ;)

Craig R. Arko
01-25-2005, 09:20 AM
It looks like somebody already capitalized on the server idea (http://www.macminicolo.net/)...

Guess it wasn't such a bad idea after all ;)


The mini should make a great small-midrange server (if the drive holds up under the stress). I plan to use it that way myself. This is a far different usage than trying to build a supercomputer cluster from them, of course. ;)

ShavenYak
01-25-2005, 09:31 AM
Basically for a bit over $500, I've got a $3000 HD system! No need for a $1500 HD VCR or not-yet-available HD DVD (or BlueRay).

Well, it's only $500 if you don't count the cost of the TV. If you're not counting the TV cost, what $3000 worth of components are you replacing? Even if D-VHS VCRs still cost $1500, which they don't, you've got another $1500 to explain. It can't be a home theater receiver, because the Mini doesn't even have 5.1 channel output, much less 100w/ch of amplification for the speakers. Not to say it's a bad idea, I just am curious where the cost savings are. At best, you're replacing a CD jukebox and a DVD recorder, and that's only if you can figure out a good way to get video into the Mini.

This gives me a great idea for a peripheral for the Mini... a firewire-based combination A/V input (HD-capable, of course) and 7.1 channel audio output box. Needs an IR receiver for remote-control, also.

Also, where are you getting HD content to play? The only commercially available HD content I'm aware of is the Winduhs Media 9 HD stuff on (for example) the Terminator 2 DVD... I didn't think that stuff was playable on a Mac.

cameranerd74
02-08-2005, 08:41 PM
While reading Sao's System 1 nostalgia thread, it occurred to me that it should be possible to gut a Color Classic (or other Classic form factor Mac) and install a mini inside as a replacement brain. :cool:

Someone did it (http://www.byodkm.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=29)

COOL!

cameranerd74
03-14-2005, 11:57 AM
I've been kicking around the car idea a lot. I had been thinking the same thing with a Mini-ITX system and Windows, but this would be easier. Well, except...are there any touchscreen drivers for Mac OS X?

It's looks like someone did this idea (http://tunertricks.com/blog/index.php?p=40) too... Jeez. ;)