Jul. 9th, 2010 11:21 am
spacebug: (Default)
[personal profile] spacebug
Hey, lj-brain-
I'm thinking about buying an additional small computer for installation work.
After maaybe being responsible for blowing my logic board via working on my Arduino, I'd like to use a computer that I'm less invested in for that kind of work than my every-day laptop. (If I could go back in time, I probably wouldn't have sold my old laptop, but, oh well.)

It'd also be useful to have a spare system that I could leave at a gallery for long stretches of time.

Any suggestions for systems or places to shop? I'd want it to be small/portable (but not necessarily a laptop), stable, relatively cheap, and be able to run Max 5. So, it'd need to have A/V capability, but it wouldn't need to be the super coolest fastest thing ever. Hopefully something around or under $500?
I think I'd rather not use PCs again, but, it'd also be nice to have something that wouldn't need to be sent to Cupertino to repair in case I blow something up again. :)

I'm thinking an older mac mini or some kind of netbook might be good options.

Date: 2010-07-09 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
perhaps a refurb mini from the apple store online?

they're generally previous gen models -- while they don't have them *everyday [as they sell out fast], there are often some available at or around $500 -- and the apple store refurbs come with the same warranty as new.

i haven't had any board-level problems with the minis i have -- the superdrive on my ppc one eventually stopped writing [after 5 years of use], but that's the only issue i've had with either.

as for the netbook, it cost new less than most used minis go for. that is, about $350. a lenovo s10 -- hacked to install a full purchased version of leopard -- current ones can run snow leopard [and mine probably can..i'll try that when i can afford a new drive]. the on-board sound does *not work w/OSX -- however, i have a couple usb sound-cards i use that work fine [one of the being a $25 behringer UCA202]. some other netbooks can use their onboard sound with OSX, tho. and, sure, ofc, the onboard sound did work okay with the included version windows as well as various linux distros that i'd tried.

*i got the netbook when my pismo died because i couldn't afford a used macbook, the cheapest of which i could find, at the time, were $700. [tho, i should note that, now, some used macbooks do go for around $500]

i'd suggest looking through low end mac's deal list if you'd prefer a mac:

also, dealmac has a function by which they'll send you email alerts...such that you could set one up to be alerted as to when the apple store online has refurb minis:

Date: 2010-07-09 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
>>I think I'd rather not use PCs again,

by "PC" i think you mean "Windows", but are you against Windows specifically, or Dell/Lenovo/Gateway/other prefab Windows-machine manufacturers? if the former, you can 'hackintosh' together your own OS X machine for cheaper than Apple prices.


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