Macmini dreamz

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DrBunsen's picture
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Okay, post your fantasy hacks/accessories for the new Macmini.

How about a 6.5" LCD that mounts to the top like those PSOne/Gamecube screens? And a 6.5" wide mini-USB keyboard that folds down from the front? In fact, combine the two with a wrap-around padded shell to port your Macmini about in. Yes, Griffin Technology, I am looking at you...

How about an iPod conversion- add a matching face to the top, with a basic LCD and keypad/thumbwheel for controlling iTunes? Throw in a decent USB or Firewire audio interface with ins and outs while you're there.

Two words: Battery pack.

One word: Cluster

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Re: Macmini dreamz

DrBunsen wrote:

How about a 6.5" LCD that mounts to the top like those PSOne/Gamecube screens? And a 6.5" wide mini-USB keyboard that folds down from the front? In fact, combine the two with a wrap-around padded shell to port your Macmini about in. Yes, Griffin Technology, I am looking at you...

While I don't dispute that the Mini is highly attractive as an object of hacking, and I think your idea is attractive (I've thought about trying to make something exactly like that with mini/nano-itx) I think by the time you add up the cost, you've come close to buying yourself an iBook. Which might have larger width and length, but is also thinner, and has built in batteries. And user upgradeable RAM.

Sorry, maybe I'm a little too pragmatic. But definitely that little guy is just asking to go into all sorts of projects.

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Let's see who voids their war

Let's see who voids their warranty first ;D

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And user upgradeable RAM

You mean it's not? Has Steve finally gotten away with his sealed box fetish?

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I'd bet not. The thing suppo

I'd bet not. The thing supports 1GB of standard DDR2700. Plus, since it's got a security slot way up high in the top case, I'd bet the halves could be user seperable. The DIMM is very easy to access it seems once the cover is off, so I'm guessing it could be a user upgradeable part.

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Those screens are all Composi

Those screens are all Composite video (televisions). MiniMac only outputs VGA and DVI.

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The case is nice and all, but

The case is nice and all, but what the hell, it's cheap! The board is basically a G4 mini-itx! Jam that puppy in a color classic!

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According to everything on ap

According to everything on apples site NOTHING is usr servicable (just read the site, it says it all over) It has ONE RAM slot, and the airport/bluetooth have to be service technician installed as well. There are no screws holding it together, it uses clips going around the bottom half which required a special tool to undo without damaging it.

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plug it into my car in place

plug it into my car in place of the stereo, use a projection device to run the video to a heads-up display on the windshield, attach a thumb-controlled navigation device to the steering wheel, then try really hard to not wreck while driving.

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I hope this isn't really true

I hope this isn't really true for the airport extreme card. I called an apple store and asked specifically about this, and they told me it was user serviceable. I ordered one of these for my folks, and I have a spare AE card sitting around that I was going to install myself to save $79.00 on the BTO option. I am going to be upset if this isn't true. I don't want to pay an apple technician to install a card I was told I could easily install myself. I'd rather not void the warranty within the first 10 minutes of owning the thing. Any thoughts on this?

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[quote]The case is nice and a

Quote:

The case is nice and all, but what the hell, it’s cheap! The board is basically a G4 mini-itx! Jam that puppy in a color classic!

I was amazed no one had said that yet, i was thinking of either that, or integrating one into my huge 22in monitor's case.

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Should be enough space, too b

Should be enough space, too bad the dvi to adc adapter is a freakin huge brick.

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I'll let you guys know as soo

I'll let you guys know as soon as I can get a service manual for it. They have not released one yet.

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re case it in an SE

...drop the bad boy in an SE and all you need is an 8" LCD. You could patch the ports to the back of the case and even drop a couple dozen firewire drives behind the LCD. One could also case the power adapter 'brick' inside if they wanted or a battery pack.

--DDTM

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DVI to S-Video

Quote:

Those screens are all Composite video (televisions). MiniMac only outputs VGA and DVI.

Yeah that's true, but there's an optional DVI to S-Video converter. I was kinda hoping for at least SVGA (800 x 600) though.

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I wonder if you could make up

I wonder if you could make up a ledge and just slide the whole sucker in from the back - lining up the CD slot with the extended floppy slot hack.

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Headless audio recorder

I'd love a USB/FW multitrack audio recorder that requires no screen input whatsoever. IE boot straight up to a configuration that can be completely controlled from buttons on the interface, turning the Mini into a portable direct to disk field recorder.

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VGA?

Quote:

Yeah that's true, but there's an optional DVI to S-Video converter. I was kinda hoping for at least SVGA (800 x 600) though.

Are you talking about the resolution it will output to composite only or to a monitor? The specs say it will output VGA 1920 x 1080 pixels.

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Power Supply?

Anybody know if it's got an external power brick, and how big it is? The power input port on the back of the machine looks to be low voltage, but I've found nothing on Apple's website that sheds any light on this.

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Re: Power Supply?

davintosh wrote:

Anybody know if it's got an external power brick, and how big it is? The power input port on the back of the machine looks to be low voltage, but I've found nothing on Apple's website that sheds any light on this.

View the Quicktime VR on Apple's mini page. It shows the power brick is roughly half the size of the mini. Then add in the video brick if you need to use it, and you've effectively doubled the desk real estate the mini uses.

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Modular Synth Mount

http://www.cyndustries.com/modules_minimac.cfm

Well, it's vapourware for the moment, but she is taking pre-orders. We'll see if the "coming soon!" mini touchscreen ever arrives.

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I hope I can get my hands on

I hope I can get my hands on a motherboard...

Anyone know if the cd and harddrive are on seperate IDE channels? If so, it would not be hard to build an adapter to standard IDE...and add loads of drives in a custom case...

iMac266 (Strawberry), G3 1400 and the G3 IIsi.

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Re: VGA?

eeun wrote:
Quote:

Yeah that's true, but there's an optional DVI to S-Video converter. I was kinda hoping for at least SVGA (800 x 600) though.

Are you talking about the resolution it will output to composite only or to a monitor? The specs say it will output VGA 1920 x 1080 pixels.

i think he means the DV-I to VGA adaptor. i think it will do 640 X 480 and 800X600. could be wrong but the adaptor is only like $20 so then you could use it for the PSone screens or any other screen really, i think apple intended on people making these portable. hats off to them for making somthing i can afford too!

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Re: VGA?

Smiththers wrote

Quote:

i think he means the DV-I to VGA adaptor. i think it will do 640 X 480 and 800X600. could be wrong but the adaptor is only like $20 so then you could use it for the PSone screens or any other screen really,

Yeah the problem is that most of those PSOne/Gamecube screens only have a rez of 320 x 240 if that.

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Re: VGA?

Smiththers wrote:

i think it will do 640 X 480 and 800X600.

So does this mean that unless I bought an Apple display, or one with a DVI port (can you get these non-Apple?) I'm stuck with 800x600 ?

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no, it comes with a VGA adapt

no, it comes with a VGA adaptor, the 640x480 and 800x600 is only for composite and S-Video

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Re: VGA?

Ex-parrot wrote:

So does this mean that unless I bought an Apple display, or one with a DVI port (can you get these non-Apple?) I'm stuck with 800x600 ?

Most newish mid to high end LCD monitors have DVI ports! You must be thinking of Apple's proprietary "ADC" connector that was used on Apple monitors from the G4 style displays until the new G5 style ones (which have gone back to the industry standard DVI). So you can use any DVI or VGA monitor (so basically any monitor) at up to 1920x1080 out of the box, because Apple supply a DVI-VGA converter with the mini. And if you want to use something with a S-Video or composite input (e.g. a TV, camcorder etc) you can buy the extra adapter for that from Apple (for about $20).

As for the composite adapter only being able to do 800x600... is it any different from the iBook/Powerbook ones? Because my iBook can happily do 1024x768 on my TV through the composite socket.

TOM

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In-Car-Audio/flight computer

Its roughly the right size to fit into the car audio thing. I see a car-audio thing, with a small screen used for ECU control and monitoring

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Turns out, it's pretty easy t

Turns out, it's pretty easy to take apart. The top snaps on. just take 2 putty knives and pry at both sides. It has no latches along the back side.

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Re: Turns out, it's pretty easy t

drbob wrote:

Turns out, it's pretty easy to take apart. The top snaps on. just take 2 putty knives and pry at both sides. It has no latches along the back side.

I cant imagine what i would do if i took it apart. i like to customize everything i can get my fingers on. this being my first brand new mac, id like to keep it stock other than ram upgrade and faster HD, eventually ill do some crazy stuff to it Laughing out loud

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One of the guys in my shop ju

One of the guys in my shop just recieved one yesterday. Had it at work today. REALLY quiet. Still can't get a manual for it. Fricken GSX is slooow. Pretty neat little box. Heavier than I thought it would be.

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Let the dream begin
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The airport and bluetooth nee

The airport and bluetooth need a seperate mezzanine board. It comes with the airport and bluetooth attached.

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Hard to tell. It uses an int

Hard to tell. It uses an interconnect board instead of cables. The crom and hd attach to this board.

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HD Channels

There was an article on AnandTech regarding the Mini, and the CD and HD connect to a small riser board of sorts - no cable. So for your question, they are on the same channel.

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It's not so much of a hack, b

It's not so much of a hack, but two products I'd like to see would be a battery pack and bookendz.

Griffen could make a 1/2 to 3/4 inch battery pack base that the mini sits on and plugs into.

And I'd like to see some bookendz/port replicators like those made for the powerbooks and ibooks.

Those two products would make the mini a very nice portable workstation.

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Frogpad

Frogpad - a one-handed mini keyboard.

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$$$ Yee-Haw they're expensive!

At $170 per left and right side, those (Frogpad's) are some expensive excessories!

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No it's left or right, not le

No it's left or right, not left and right. They have all the keys for one hand.

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user upgradeable

this is the only model that isn't. all others are according to apple, and it does not say otherwise "all over their website".

i am considering buying one with 512M (extra $75)and upgrading it after the one year warranty, but mainly interested in how to get the thing open.

is there a foil seal? a custom technician's tool? what is apple's strategy, because i'm not paying them an extra $425 for 1GB.

i can get it for around $220, if they're using a chipset derivative of the ibook or emac.

and sell the $512 used for a few bucks as well.

anybody have photos of the inside?

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(RAM) user upgradeable

this is the only model that isn't. all others are according to apple, and it does not say otherwise "all over their website".

i am considering buying one with 512M (extra $75)and upgrading it to 1GB after the one year warranty. my goal is 768M, but that's not an option. 512 will do in a pinch.

but i'm mainly interested in how to get the thing open.

is there a foil seal? a custom technician's tool? what is apple's strategy, because i'm not paying them an extra $425 for 1GB.

this can't be as difficult as tearing apart some of the older laptops. more likely it's a straightforward mini-itx style upgrade.

i can get it for around $200, if they're using a chipset derivative of the ibook or emac.(which is likely)

and sell the 512M used for a few bucks as well,like about $48-$58.

if i buy 1GB from apple i lose out on that.

anybody have photos of the inside?

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The Apple "tool" is a thinned

The Apple "tool" is a thinned down 2.5" putty knife! No foil seals or anything like that.

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Portable render engine, overclock link

Another use just came to mind. For musicians and graphic/video artists with underpowered laptops, a Mini would make a great portable number cruncher to offload rendering or synth/FX tasks.

As an alternative to putting out the big bucks for a high-end Powerbook, you buy a Mini, install VNC and use your old laptop as a keyboard and monitor. Hell, it doesn't even need to be a Mac laptop. And you get a second audio/video out and hard drive as a bonus.

I'm betting that an early accessory will be a small S-Video screen with a bundled DVD remote.

Overclock!! - link

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Re: Portable render engine, overclock link

DrBunsen wrote:

Overclock!! - link

Well, that didn't take long! I was wondering about overclocking potential for the mini.

Those resistors are puny! Something I read on overclocking the Casio handhelds was using pencils to connect traces by 'drawing' a resistor in place instead of using resistors. The more graphite on the trace, the less resistance. It would be a lot easier than soldering those little microscopic fellers.

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Re: In-Car-Audio/flight computer

truly_cuboid wrote:

Its roughly the right size to fit into the car audio thing. I see a car-audio thing, with a small screen used for ECU control and monitoring

I'm planning just such a project for my 04 Honda Civic. The problem is I would like to mount it properly and make sure I don't short anything in my car trying to rig it all up. Has anyone seen any "kits" or pages showing that it's been done and how they did it (other than the company in NY)?

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Re: Portable render engine, overclock link

eeun wrote:

Those resistors are puny! Something I read on overclocking the Casio handhelds was using pencils to connect traces by 'drawing' a resistor in place instead of using resistors. The more graphite on the trace, the less resistance. It would be a lot easier than soldering those little microscopic fellers.

easier yes, reliable, no. The resistors are zero ohm anyway. You could just bridge the two pads with a glob of solder and get much better results.

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AppleScript

That doesn't sound terribly hard. Get a USB CrystalFontz LCD display, plug it into USB with some sort of simple USB control pad, and write some AppleScript software to manage it (couldn't possibly be more than 50 lines of code to use a built-in recording feature).

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We sell CrystalFontz LCD's fo

We sell CrystalFontz LCD's for some of our products at work. They are pretty neat.

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Yeah

The drivers are actually really great, and they're not cheap and ugly like other LCD panels.

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Links

Applefritter posts:
Cluster & RAID in an SE/30
Possible PCI adapter from Amiga land

External links:
First SE/mini hack spotted!
Cluster
ATX casemod allows cheap bulk storage
Concept for an A/V dock
Similar concept but stacked vertically like mini hifi components, with matching speakers
Macmini accessories from IOGear, include a miniature KVM and tiny external HDs
Looks like the first carry case and a whole lot else "Coming soon!" - uh huh
Aiport Extreme to PCI slot adapter thread on MacSlash
Firewire on IDE riser suggests lost iPod dock functionality
Tiny USB keyboard
7" LCD touchscreen with iTunes and onscreen virtual keyboard
or how about a 60" HDTV?

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Internal Battery

Replacing the CD drive with a flatpack lithium battery gives nearly two hours runtime

http://www.home.earthlink.net/%7Esilasb/macbat/

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