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Desktops (Apple)

John Harrison's Journal: Mac mini first impressions 5

Journal by John Harrison
After much hassle with FedEx the Mac mini showed up yesterday. The box it comes in is smaller than any desktop I've seen other than the Cappuchino that I never use.

I plugged everything in and it worked as expected. I began to see the beach ball quite a bit though when multi-tasking, so I decided to go ahead and buy a gig of ram for it.

Luckily, MicroCenter is about a 10 minute walk and a 4 minute drive away. I grabbed the ad at the door and saw that they had a gig of PC3200 for $139. This was a steal. When I finally found it though I was upset. It was a "kit", which wasn't mentioned in the ad. This means that it was actually two 512MB sticks. Only one slot in the mini, so I got a gig stick of PC3200 for $199. The mini takes PC2700, but I've seen rumours that it doesn't take all PC2700. Plus, the PC3200 was cheaper.

I then went to the hardware store since I don't have any puddy knives. They had one type that was thinner and a second type that was thicker but had a sharpened edge. I bought two of the thinner ones, since my experiements with a razor knife had shown me that it wasn't easy to get anything in the edge. Maybe the sharpened ones would have worked better, but they were pretty thick. Anyhow it is not easy to open the thing. It took me over 15 minutes, and I can't say that I didn't leave some little marks. I don't think anyone would notice, but I did. Having two knives made it easier, but once you get one in one side it is hard to get anything in the other side.

I finally got it open and popped the memory and put the new stick in. It works fine.

My first project is going to be writing an OpenGL based music visualization program with a twist. It will actually make a movie out of the visualization that can be written to a DVD. Also, it won't suck the way many visualization programs do. It will actaully react to the music rather than spraying color on the screen for no apparent reason.

Oh, I forgot to mention. No iWork. For some reason I thought it was included, but it has AppleWorks instead. Too bad. I was looking forward to trying out Keynote.

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Mac mini first impressions

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  • My first project is going to be writing an OpenGL based music visualization program with a twist. It will actually make a movie out of the visualization that can be written to a DVD. Also, it won't suck the way many visualization programs do. It will actaully react to the music rather than spraying color on the screen for no apparent reason.

    Perhaps you can sell it to Apple? They need to update that visualization environment. No slam against the guy who originally wrote it (a submariner I believe), but I
    • My plan is for it to be complicated enough to not be able to run in real-time. You would point it at a music file and have it generate a movie that could then be brought into iMovie and burned with iDVD. You can write your own viz packs for iTunes, but you need to pay Apple to do so. Maybe if the other stuff works out well I will do that.

      If you have a 2.x version of WinAmp, you can check out my previous experiment in viz stuff, done long ago in a few hours. It is at:

      http://www.angelfire.com/games4/an [angelfire.com]

  • so it's like a "make your own music video" type deal? Let me know when you get it going, I'm very interested. And I'll check out your WinAmp plugin as well.
    • It is more of a way to have big, colorful, reactive visualizations on your TV easily. I would imagine that it would be cool for parties. DJs could be interested in it if they have a screen at their shows. I know that stoners loved the green monitors I had in my dorm room. I suppose you could edit it in with anything you want in iMovie to make a video with it. I'll post updates in my journal. I have no timetable yet. Work is pretty busy right now.
      • Yeah, when we have partys we usually put the CDs in the Playstation of Xbox and turn the visualizations on. I used to borrow the projector from work, hook it to the computer, and project WinAmp visualizaitions on the wall that went along with the music. THAT was nice.

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