Mac mini plans

I plan to buy a Mac mini. I have big plans for it. I'm relatively new to Apple computers, so I have a few things to learn. Over the next few weeks I plan to keep a log here of what I'm learning and what I'm looking at getting to build my new toys.

To start, I'm waiting for Tiger before I buy my Mac mini. There are things in Tiger, Dashboard for one, that I want and I don't feel like upgrading within a month of getting my Mac mini. So what tasks am I looking to throw at the Mac mini?

* iTunes - I want to move my entire iTunes collection on to the Mac mini. It currently lives on a Windows XP box and I'm running out of space. I'd prefer to keep the entire thing on one drive, so I'm going to need a few dozen gigs.

* iPhoto - I have an iBook at work so I've had a chance to play with iPhoto a lot. I love it. The new version in iLife '05 looks even better. I have a lot of photo sets begging to be turned in to nice productions, whether those be movies or photo books.

* DVD Player - My biggest goal is a DVD server. I want all of my DVDs to be available at the touch of a button. I don't want a 400 disc DVD changer. I like having the discs in their cases if I need them. I don't want more components in my AV stack. The problem is I'm going to need a bucket of hard drives if I'm going to keep full rips around. I blog more about this later.

* DVR - Again, I'm going to need a lot of disc, but DVArchive running on the Mac mini would give me a nice place to dump off some shows when the ReplayTV is getting full.

* Superdrive - I don't yet own a DVD burner. Adding one to my Mac mini is only $100. It's more than many on the market, but I'm hoping to ditch my WinXP box at some point, so why would I want to buy hardware for it? The Superdrive will let me burn all of those iPhoto projects and who knows, at some point I might start doing visuals to go with my DJ mixes.

* Garage band - If nothing else, this will be fun to play with for a few afternoons.

* Bluetooth development - Apple's Bluetooth software is easily the best I've seen. I've got a few apps in mind that would be fun to write. I might even get excited about programming enough to do it outside of work again.

* iPod syncing - I really like that I can store contacts on my iPod but syncing them up is crap. I don't want to use 4 different apps that must be manually started. It just needs to happen. I need to look in to this a little more, but I think Address Book plus iSync is going to be what I need.

I can already see where this is going and I think I'm falling right in line with Apple's plans. I'm going to get a Mac mini and feed it so many tasks that eventually I'm going to need a Power Mac or iMac to go in the computer room to help the little buddy out. Now, when does the 1TB LaCie FireWire drive that costs $200 come out? I'm going to need a few of those.

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