Is it time to ditch your tower?

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I know, crazy talk right? Well maybe not.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about moving my “home computer” off of an old G5 PowerMac and onto the new Mac Mini. Why! You may ask… It’s all about how my computer use has changed over the years. You see I have that tower because I used to do a lot of freelance compositing work at home, I’d spend all day in combustion on my 30″ display and waycom tablet and be happy as can be… Now, any “actual work” that I do, I do at the studio. So I really don’t need anything like that at home. The G5 sits in my second bedroom gathering dust and that’s the rub, it’s in the other room, where I’m not. I spend all my time in the living room, where my TV is… So maybe my TV should be my computer…

That’s what got me thinking about the new Mac Mini, it’s faster than my old G5, it uses a lot less power and it runs Snow Leopard but most of all it’s got native HDMI… So the question is can one transition from the traditional desktop computer environment to the living room and still feel satisfied? The big reason I think the answer is yes has to do with the way I surf and email, that’s all moved to my iPad… So all I really need the Mac Mini for is music and movie storage, iPhone/iPad syncing and a few apps that I use for tax prep and stuff. So here’s my plan…

Mac Mini
That will act as a “home computer”, I’ll run the few apps I need and use it as media hub. All my music and movies plus anything I download from iTunes will live on this system. I’m planing on paring it up with an apple wireless keyboard and one of the new Magical Trackpads of Magic and Wonder (Does anyone else think apple is taking the Magic thing a little too far?).

Boxee
Is a great media player for OS X, it’s got a great remote and TV friendly interface and gives you access to all kinds of content in addition to the media already on your system like Netflix, Bestbuy Streaming and others. It will also limit the amount of accidental burn in on my plasma, it goes into a screen saver mode when playing back music.

Drobo 4 Bay
If your not aware of the Drobo it’s a great little RAID system for those of us with a few mismatched hard drives laying around. Unlike a traditional RAID it doesn’t need 4 matching drives to work correctly, it runs a clever strip/raid file system so you get almost all of the capacity with really good data protection. Another cool feature is the option to pull a drive and replace it without having to worry about managing your data first, just pull the drive and the Drobo rebuilds the data into the new drive and expands to include the new capacity. It connects to the Mini over FW800 and can be formatted HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) for total compatibility. This will let me reuse the drive I’ve already got in my tower.

Network
Finally I’m going to setup a share point on the mini so we can share all our digital stuff with our laptops and iPads.

Well that’s the plan, let’s see how it goes…

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