The new Mac mini is an adequate little computer. I, however, see it as an ideal media centre. To make it happen, here’s the shopping list:
Mac mini, RAM upgraded to 512MB - $574
D-Link DBT-120 USB Bluetooth Adapter - $39.95
Apple DVI to Video Adapter - $19.00
Rocstor RocPro 400-AV 250GB - $204
Griffin Firewave - $99
Macally USB 2.0 Hub/Reader - $32.99
Salling Clicker - $19.95
VLC - Free
Mactheripper - Free
ffmpegX - $15
Total: $1,003.89 (approx. £540.00)
What we have here is a quick media player (Mac mini), plenty of storage (Rocstor HDD), digital audio output (Firewave), a multi-card reader for digital photos (Macally USB Hub/Reader) and a very small footprint.
On the software side, there’s Salling Clicker, which turns your bluetooth equipped mobile phone (such as Sony Ericsson's T610) into an wireless input device for the Mac; VLC plays all kinds of contents, including DivX; Mactheripper with ffmpegX acts as the DivX encoder to backup your DVDs onto the hard drive for easy playback. Don't forget Mac mini bundles with iTunes, which is a great jukebox for music.
NB: Do not, however, buy the above items now. Wait until the release of Mac OS X 10.4, due in the first half of 2005, which will be installed on the Mac mini when it comes out - it will save you $99!
I can’t wait...
(Is this a very unsubtle attempt to tell Rachel that I’m going to buy more gadgets?)