Macintosh - Mac Mini aficionados please help

I'm thinking about purchasing a mac mini for my wife's system. One of her favorite websites is Can somebody please tell me if this site is compatible with the mac. If it's not, then I'm going to have to look elsewhere for a small and quit system. I've been wanting to try a mac for some time and this gives me a reason to jump over the windows XP fence and see what's on the other side.

You could always run a Windows emulator on a Mac.
Why run a windows emulator to visit one website? I could see if I was trying to run a windows program. I just want to know if it's possible to play the java based games on a mac.
Hello please!
Every webpage is compatible with a Mac! The one you mentioned is cute by the way. It's a matter of webbrowser if any! Go and get that little Apple cutie - you soon will kick yorself for not having done that step earlier. XP really sucks!
In general, it should be possible to run Java programs on a Mac. (The whole point of Java is that it's not platform-specific.) That doesn't mean that every single Web site out there will work with every single browser. I suggest you find a friend with a Mac who's willing to let you try it out on his machine, or rent a little time on the Mac at your local Kinkos.
The wifes computer is located in the bedroom. I use it to stream music from my computer (Soltek Qbic - soo quiet the only way to tell it's on is to look for the power LED)which is located in another room. The problem I'm having is the damn fan in the thing is so loud it's annoying. I've tried replacing the fan, but to no avail. The fan speeds up and slows down and speeds up and slows down. The other problem is when I'm napping, the wife can't use the computer to play games, and I don't let her use my computer. About a year ago, I built her a custom desk which has limited space for a computer. Also, I built her a custom computer based on a Travla C138 mini-itx case (P4-3200mhz, 1gb ram, 40gb HD, winxp SP2). The idea is to keep everything as small as possible. I was considering swapping out the P4 motherboard and going with a P4 Mobile CPU. Then I saw the prices and almost had a stroke; $400 for the CPU and $300 for the mainboard. I figure it would be cheaper to go with the mac mini. Being that it's smaller than the mini-itx rig she has now, and a lot quieter, it seems like the perfect solution. The problem though, is if she can't play her games over at game rival ,it aint gonna fly.

So, what I'm asking is "Can somebody who owns a Mac, surf over to and try to play a game of say pooljam?" If it plays fine then I'll be ordering a Mini tonight. If not then I'll bite the bullet and purchase the pentium 4 mobil rig.

Thanks in advance,

Thanks for the Kinkos suggestion. I just called the local store and they have macs for hire. So, I will run over there as soons as the wife gets back from her mothers (I don't drive).

I know windows inside and out (MCSE, MCSA, A+ ) but I'm new to macs. I've only played around with them a few times and it's been years. Also, other than looking at the specs and size, I have not really looked at what software comes with the mini. I have never used Safari and I don't know if it supports macromedia flash and shockwave.

Also, I'm looking forward to learning a new OS.

Thanks again,
OK, just read up on Safari and I see that it supports all the W3C standards such as java, shockwave and flash. Moral of the story is do your research first.

Thanks again,
PrPixel, I just went to the website and played Dodge City Darts on my G5 running OSX 10.3.5 at work. It runs fine, but I suck at darts.

Go get the Mac Mini Me!
Thanks Gunbei.

I'm going to order it later this evening.

Thanks again,
PrPixel, I know you're very knowledgeable when it comes to the Windows operating system, so I'll be interested to hear your opinion of Mac OSX. Have fun!
Just went over to Kinko's and played pooljam; works fine. So, I'll order my mini after I take a nap.

How do you Mac people live with a one button mouse? And, where's the scroll wheel.
Why don't you support an endangered species and pick one up at an independent Apple authorised reseller? They can use all the help they can get! A great source for product knowledge and service as well.
Hey PrPixel,

I use a Logitech 3-button optical mouse. I got started on it during my Quake 3 Arena Days and have found it to be indispensible for my retouching work.

Remember, no right clicking in the Mac domain, heheh.

The Logitech has two buttons and a scroll wheel in the middle. It;s very useful for scrolling through windows or especially when switching weapons!

Any new Mac comes with that translucent click mouse. It's a good back up, but certainly not a "power" mouse. The mouse thing is less an issue for me, since I mostly use a Wacom Tablet.

PoolJam, huh? I'll have to look into that.

If you have any questions about Macs in general, feel free to e-mail me.

All I have ever had is Mac. I do professional Audio and Video. I have no problems on this site or any other I have tried. If you could afford it I would try a iMac G5. Check Ebay. Macs have GREAT resale value. Maybe you can find a used mini or G5 iMac used? Try to get one that has the extended warrenty.
The G5 is just too big for the location,

Well the G5 is more money too. I think Macmall has a 15" flat Panel for 159 bucks? A keyboard and mouse? cheap. Not a lot invested in the mini. Like I said..... if you don't like it...sell it on ebay. I am thinking of getting one. I do digital remote recording. My recorder has a 40 gig hard drive..... but i need someting to dump it into while out of town. A mini is cheaper than a ibook.

I didn't realize that the G5 is the "everything built into the lcd" mac. New to this so I'm getting an education as I go. It would be nice if it could be mounted to the wall with a VESA mount. I currently have a 20" LCD mounted to the wall to save desk space. I plan to use my existing logitec cordless keyboard and Microsoft trackball explorer. I did check and make sure both were MAC compatible.

Also, I'm trying to do this on the cheap.


There are used mac mini's selling on ebay for about what you would pay for a new one. now, that's good resale value!! I wish audio gear held it's value like that.

Mlbattery is right on regarding resale value. I got my Apple Cube on Ebay after they were discontinued in 2001 and it wasn't cheap, but I love it! Still going strong with the 1.25GHz processor I shoehorned in there along with the bigger clear case and fan.

If you go to the Logitech website you should be able to download drivers for your mouse, just in case they aren't already pre-installed on the Mac Mini or G5 iMac. The new iMacs are pretty cool. I have a couple friends that have them and they love 'em.

When my friend was looking for a new home computer his wife didn't want him to get a full blown G5 tower. But once she saw the iMac she fell in love. WAF. Heheh.
The G5 iMac is VESA-compatible, hoist away. I use a couple Logitech USB mice, 2 buttons plus scroll wheel, without anything like a driver install. Plug it in, wait one second, use it like it's always been there. The only thing your keyboard might not support is the CD-eject button.

I've never seen much value to the buyer for used machines. Buying a refurb direct from Apple is different. Exact same warranty, a couple bills cheaper. As you already have the 20" LCD and speed doesn't seem to be a deciding factor (i.e. 3D games, A/V intensive stuff), I'd go with the Mini myself. (Pooljam plays fine on my Mac as well)
Ordered the Mini today. I ended up spending more than I wanted to (more memory, superdrive,wireless). It should be here in two to three weeks.


I'll let you now how it compares to Windows XP after I play around with it for a weeks or two. Now, I have to order a "Mac for dummies" book.

I've found many of those "Dummies" books to be quite good. That obviously reveals my level of learning and problem solving. Heheh.

Getting the SuperDrive was a good move. It will allow you to burn DVDs, something a ComboDrive won't.

Your MacMini should come with iLife which will include iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, GarageBand and iPhoto. Using that free stuff I am able to create DVDs with menus and chapter indexing on my Cube from my Tivo content. It's great for saving all those documentaries I love!

Have fun!

I never thought of transfering content from my Tivo to the mini. I already have the Tivo hooked up to the cable modem using wifi. A friend transfered content from his Tivo to his PC; said it was a long and invlolved process.


Your friend probably removed his Tivo hard drive and placed it in one of the bays of his PC, then used 3rd party software to make the transfer. There are some similar hacks for the Mac, but they involve going root and getting into the Unix terminal.

I use a little box called the Canopus ADVC100 which takes the analog output of the Tivo and has a codec for translating it into digital. From there, it's a Firewire hookup to my Apple Cube right into iMovie. I stitch everything together, set the chapter indeces[?], find some nice frame grabs for the DVD menu, then transfer it to iDVD and finish the DVD. Have a look at it here:

I've compared the Tivo/iDVDs I've made on my Mac against the original digital video on my Tivo and it's very acceptable. The loss in sharpness is 5% at the most. There is a noticeable loss in overall color saturation, but if you don't compare them side by side, it almost doesn't matter.

It's a really nice little unit and the audio and video never get out of sync like some of the other similar boxes.

Something to look into maybe? Heheh


Actually, he used the Tivo to go software and transfered it to his computer using 802.11B. The transfer took about 3 hours. Then he used Pinnacle Studio to burn it to a DVD.

The Canopus device looks interesting.

Tivo To Go is not supported by the Mac. However, I could transfer from the Tivo to the PC and then send it to the Mac.

I have a DVD burner in my PC. The problem is that the Pinnacle Studio software it more than I need. I tried using Pinnacle Lite but it was not that Stable. I'm hoping that IDVD is real simple to use. Afterall, Rosie O'Donald did a pretty good job with it. I don't have a need to burn many DVD's; about 4 a year. So, every time I fire up Pinnacle Studio, I have a little bit of a learning curve before I get up to speed. Also, just about every time I fire it up, there's an update.

I'm sure iLife will come with your new computer. So you'll have all the goodies I mentioned above.

Overall, iMovie and iDVD are quite simple to use and after tooling around you may think all that is needed is common sense. I found the iLife tutorials at the Apple site very helpful.

I should mention that I am still using the previous version of iLife which I believe is 4.0. The new version is 5.0 and will have new features such as HD support.

One odd thing I did find when choosing photos to use as background images for my iDVD on screen menus is that I needed to import all my frame grabs into iPhoto before iDVD would see them. I don't know if this is still the case, but it may be something to remember.

Apple finally shipped the mini from Shenzhen, China yesterday. Hey, because my apple was made in China, does that make it a pomegranate (Chinese apple)? Anyway, I should see it by friday.

Can you recommend any good mac magazines or websites?

Pomegranate, LOL!

I think that would be pretty neat looking too. Maybe like all the different fruit fllavored colors Apple used on the early iMacs, heheh.

MacWorld is probably the main Mac magazine. It has reviews and multi-product comparisons. They've been around awhile. THese days I don't keep up on the zines, and am always surprised by the various Mac dedicated journals I find at my local Borders Bookstore.

You might want to look into some of the websites like Mac Central and Mac OS Rumors. They're great places to check up on the latest rumors and recent releases of software.

Also MacWorld has its own site:

Here are some websites of Apple retailers:

And if you or anyone you know is a teacher you can get great discounts here:

Have fun with your pomegranate!
Just rechecked this thread... Its been awhile. Not sure if it works with Tivo, but the Mac firewire port can apparently allow the Mac to be used as a virtual HD-VHS deck. In other words, if your CATV box has a firewire out, you can dump content to the Mac drive or a network drive. Might also want to look at the EyeTV 500, which connects via firewire and allows the Mac to act as a PVR for OTA HD or, for that matter, any content from an unencrypted digital cable system that is in clear QAM...
Edesilva, I'd love it if my Tivo had Firewire out, then I'd be able to avoid using my Canopus AVDC100 altogether, but all in all it's a great piece of equipment.

For my work and doing fun stuff on my Mac at home, Firewire has been a real blessing. Great transfer rates and much more reliable than USB.

The Mini arrived on Wednesday. Apple shipped it overnight (2 day) from China at their expense. Within a couple of hours I had the machine configured and the wireless network, printer sharing (on a winXP PC) and file sharing setup. And, I did all of this without ever cracking a manual! Gamerival and pooljam work just fine. In a few weeks when I get to know the Mini better I will start a new thread comparing Mac to WinXP. I ordered a few books on Ilife and OSX but they have yet to arrive (slow shipping at Amazon). Thanks for all your help and advice.


That's pretty damn impressive and good news to boot. I guess with your prior knowledge, set up was a snap. For a non-networking retouchers like myself, setting something like that up takes a lot of trial and error and manual page flipping. Were you able to find everything you needed by accessing the Networking module in the System Preference pane?

For someone new to Macs, I think getting used to and learning to like OSX might be another matter altogether. I'll be interested to hear what you think. I stay so focused on my small section of Mac-userability that I'll just wait for you to figure everything out and report it to us, heheh.

Thanks and have fun!

I can tell you that Apple has the worst customer service; ranks right up there with UPS claims processing department.

I'll give you an update on my impressions of the mini in a few weeks.

What 's going on with yor machine? Did you have to deal with customer service for the set up?

Their customer service isn't very good and their tech support can be even worse. You'd probably do better with problems by searching the Apple Chat Forums. Some hidden bugs and defects that Apple doesn't want the public to know about pop up there. And after time the fixes get posted as well.

Good thing I've always had access to knowledgeable Mac I.S. guys.
I just want to comment on Apple's customer service. I bought my first Mac in 1995, which is still very useful. My son uses it. We also have an iMac for my son and my wife has an iBook, and I now use a dual chip tower which is about 3 years old. With all of these computers we never once had to call Apple for help. The computers are built really well and are simple to use and fix. The old pre OS X operating system was very simple to troubleshoot and the current OS X system has been totally trouble free and crash proof.
I use Windows at work which I also like but we need to have MIS specialists take care of them to keep them running Virus's and adware are a big problem with them.

You never had to call customer service so how can you comment on them?

BTW - I said customer service not technical support.
I know this is going to sound wrong, but....


The mini is running fine. I purchased SAMS Teach Yourself OS X Panther and I'm about half way through it. Going from WinXP to Panther is not a big jump.

The problem is that I ordered some software from Apple. They shipped it in an unpadded envelop via UPS. Of course, when it arrived it has been mutilated. So, I called customer service to get an RMA and a replacement. Well, it took seven calls and about three hours on the phone to be told that Apple is not responsible to shippping damage and to file a claim with UPS. Anybody here knows that the Shipper has to file the claim with the shipping company. So, I faxed a nasty letter to Steve Jobs secretary (the power of search engines). About 6pm lastnight, Apple called me back and agreed to take back the damaged products. And, they did email me shipping labels for Fedex. So, the software is sitting by the front door as I type waiting to be picked up. You would think that returns would be a lot easier than this.

I spoke to one Customer Service Supervisor that told me "Apple makes superior products so we don't need good customer service." GM has this attitude. Ask them about their $1 billion loss last quarter.

Anyway, I'm excited because Tiger just arrived. I'm thinking about upping the memory in the mini to 1GB. 512MB enough but I've read that you can expect about a 10% performance increase with 1GB. I'm also considering picking up an Apple Cinema display in the near future.

Finally, for those who keep saying the Windows has a lot of spyware, adware, mallware and virus problems let me say this:

My windows pc is on for days at a time. Yet, I have no problems with spyware, adware, mallware and never have I caught a virus. Surfing the net is like dating. If you go out with the easy girls (strange software/websites) your going to catch something, but if you date the good girls (safe websites/known software) your going to be a lot safer. I don't do click through agreements, I don't click on strange ads, I don't let any site install something on my machine unless I'm 100% familiar with the software, I don't open attachments unless I know who they're from and what they are about, and all spam goes right to the junk folder before it can even opens up.

Does the Mini-Me-Mac have a powerful enough video card to run a Cinema Display. Just wondering aloud. I know my CUbe doesn't, but then again that's a four year old G4 based machine.

If you ever need Apple tech support in the future, here's a heads up. Their tech support staff is the typical tiered-based system where you get the dumbshit with a step-by-step fix-it manual sitting in front of them, then youget passed on to someone more experienced if everything they tell you fails.

When I was at Sony, we found that the tech guys we dealt with at MacWarehouse which is an Apple mail order retailer really knew their stuff. Sometimes you'd have to go "root" and get into the Unix underpinnings but they always seemed to have a intuitive feel for what we were experienceing on the other side of the country.

If you own any or plan on purchasing any Adobe products, their tech support isn't much better than Apple's. It's a good thing I haven't had to call tech support in years.

I wish everyone's customer service and tech support was as good as what I've experienced with Earthlink.
Yes! - Mac mini will drive the 20 & 23 inch cinema displays...and many others...

Your criticism of Apple's tech support has no grounds today...quote: Gunbei - "It's a good thing I haven't had to call tech support in years."

Times change - Go Visit the Genius Bar at an Apple store...amazing.

Microsoft has a great deal for tech support; $35.00 to solve your problem or your money back. Of course, this is after your 90 day free support expires. There were some times when I had winME (big mistake) that I would be on the phone with them for ever.

Another thing that MS has is a huge knowledge base. I had a friend that had a problem with his HP printer and WinXP a few weeks ago. I was able to search the knowledge base and find out how to get control of wireless network setup back from the HP driver. Within an hour I had his new HP all-in-one printing and scanning over his network and the wireless running better than before. I don't know if Apple has anything comparable; I have not had time to snoop around the Apple support pages.


Can you send me the URL for the Apple Genius Bar?

Actually, my criticism still holds. I haven't personally called Apple tech support in nine years, but I know many Apple I.S. guys that deal with them all the time and still to this day hate Apple tech support.

I'm not talking about the 'why doesn't my Mac's cupholder not pop out anymore?' type of questions. Apple support won't tell you or even know why we had to allocate exactly 67.19% [something like that, heheh] of our available RAM to Photoshop to get it to run right. We found that out in an either an Adobe or Apple forum. When some of friend's Firewire drives were getting erased after installing the newest OSX Security Update from Apple, guess who didn't have the answer? You betcha! There's no way they were gonna let this one out. Another time the forums had the answer for us. Maybe Apple tech support is fine for telling you how to install, set up or troubleshoot basic things, but when it gets to the real stuff they're AWOL and you're SOL.