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Useful stuff for mac mini.

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  • Useful stuff for mac mini.

    I've just gone through setting up my new mac mini and thought I'd share those things that made it easier:

    1) Parallels & VMWare Fusion

    Both are really good packages and work well. Parallels was the early leader in the windows-on-Mac market but VMWare has been doing virtualization for a lot longer. VMwares pedigree shows because in v1.0 it is more polished and seems to run quicker than Parallels v3.0

    Both are the same price and both have a trial so you can test them both. You cant go wrong with either.

    One caveat: VMware products are specifically checked for by the iGuidance 4.0 installer and will NOT install under VMWare fusion. I got around this by using Parallels instead even though I really preferred Fusion. One possible way to get around this could be:

    i) Install Windows under Boot Camp.

    ii) Install iGuidance from Boot camp.

    iii) Install VMWare Fusion, using the bootcamp partition as its image.

    iv) Run iGuidance 4.0 from Fusion.

    I believe this will work as I think only the installer does the VMWare check. This could possibly be a violation of the DMCA, so on your own head....


    Your screen has a native resolution of 800x480 but there is no such desktop resolution available by default. You usually want to do so to get the best looking display by running at the native resolution. You can use DisplayConfigX to add this resolution.

    Be aware that if you use the free version any resolutions you currently have defined by default over 1024x768 will be lost. I needed to buy the full version to reinstate the higher resolutions for my HDTV.

    3) CSCREEN

    If you use the mac mini on multiple displays you may want to set the resolution by script on log-in or at startup by daemon. CSCREEN is a command line program you can run from the terminal, by script or daemon to set the required resolution. DISPLAYCONFIGX sets up the resolution and CSCREEN is used to select it.

    Make sure you use terminal to copy the cscreen executable to the /usr/bin directory and not use finder to drag it to the Applications folder. cscreen wont work if you use finder.

    For example: I use my mini for both a home theater setup connected to my HDTV and also as a car PC. I obviously want to run a higher resolution for the home theater; I set a resolution of 800x480 for the car and 1280x720 for the theater in DISPLAYCONFIGX. I use CSCREEN to select the resolution.

    4) LINGON

    I could run an applescript at log-in to set the resolution but both my GAIN monitor and my HDTV throw a fit if I try to use the others resolution. So, I need to start up OSX in a common resolution that both can display, this happens to be 800x600 @ 60hz. I have two user accounts for each use, I could run an applescript at login on each user that calls cscreen to set the relevant resolution.

    LINGON is a super freeware program that allows you to create and edit items to run at startup or login. It is a gui for launchd. I use this to create a startup item calling cscreen to set the display to 800x600. I also used it on each user to create a login item to set the resolution for that user.

    This way, the system always starts up in 800x600 @ 60hz which both will display:
    ... when I select my carpc user it resets again to 800x480 @ 60hz.
    ... when I select my theater user it resets again to 1280x720 @ 60 hz.

    I hope this helps somebody
    EPoX mATX SocketA w/onboard Geforce4MX / 512MB PC2700 / AthlonXP 1600
    Lilliput / DVDrom / Opus 150W / WD 3.5" 160GB / SB Audigy NX
    XP home / Road Runner / iGuidance 4.0

  • #2
    Thanks, this is a great thread! I know some things I will add later when I have some time.


    • #3
      And another, Remote Buddy:

      This allows the mac (including my G5 without an IR sensor) to be controlled via a remote. In my case the G5 is being controlled via Bluetooth and a Wii remote.

      Remote Buddy website.

      This application is stunningly good. I think I'll be buying a couple of licences.
      EPoX mATX SocketA w/onboard Geforce4MX / 512MB PC2700 / AthlonXP 1600
      Lilliput / DVDrom / Opus 150W / WD 3.5" 160GB / SB Audigy NX
      XP home / Road Runner / iGuidance 4.0


      • #4
        x2 for remote buddy!!


        • #5
          No touch control

          Adding a Griffin powermate to your setup and using Front Row allows you to control the interface without needing to use the touchscreen.

          You only need to assign up arrow, down arrow, left arrow, return, and escape to the Powermate's functions to navigate the entire menu structure of Front Row. This allows you to control the app without having to locate the button on the screen.
          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
          Want to:
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