I once thought about the possibility of cramming Mac mini’s into a 1U server rack and co-locate it when I had problems with my DSL connections again. Jan commented that that was impossible. Today I’ve stumbled onto an old blogpost from 2005 where someone went out and actually did it ! He crammed two mini’s and 4 disks into a 1U server rack. Now where was that screw driver, I know it was here somewhere… ;-)


Finally the moment was there, I’ve made the decision. I raided the donations pot and picked up my first Intel Core Duo Mac mini. The last update to the mini series, making all models Dual Core and increasing the processor speed made the Dual Core wish I had even more affordable. I had estimated to need a budget of over 800 euro, but the update made the price for a Core Duo drop to 620 euro.

I would like to thank everyone once again for all their donations, without your help this wasn’t possible. You really make all the effort I’ve put in it worthwhile and I hope that I can keep giving you what you are looking for.


What a surprise yesterday, Steve Jobs unveiled the new Intel based mini’s. As I have two mini’s, one first generation and a second generation one, I immediately dove into the technical specs of the machine and got even more excited. The graphics capabilities of the new machine are somewhat less in the 3D arena than the G4 mac mini but the rest has improved. It’s now a machine you could use for your Home Theatre needs with the well known remote, Front Row and the digital audio out. That’s all very nice but my interest lie more in the usage as a server. For this purpose most of the improvements make the mini even better than it already was. (more…)


I’m getting a bit frustrated by all the news reports and reviews on the new Intel based Imac’s. They all claim that the machines ain’t as fast as Jobs promised. They all say that the speed increase isn’t 2x but more like 10%. Like the test described in details in the report from MacWorld.com. But what I notice in all the test I read is that they only test one application at a time. As far as I now those applications aren’t build for multi processor environments. Which means they don’t really take advantage of the extra processor available, like the pro applications that run on the Dual or Quad Power Mac like for instance Final Cut Pro. (more…)


Finally, got the money together to buy a second Mac mini. After buying it from the local Apple dealer (the 1.42 GHz model with AE/BT and combo drive) I got home and unpacked it as soon as possible to find out if it was one of the newer, secretly upgraded, models. When finished booting and going to all the first setup questions I finally was able to run the system profiler.

Happy, happy, happy…..

Yes it is one of the newer 1.5 GHz models with faster harddrive and more video memory. Lucky me, the faster hardrive and processor will make the server just a fraction faster for no extra money.

Next up, getting everything installed to get it running as a server and recheck my compilation notes.


I wanted to apologize for not posting anything in almost 2 weeks, but there haven’t been many new discoveries. I still need more time to play with my current configuration and to test the installation documentation.

I’ve gotten myself a cheap external firewire enclosure to use the extra harddisk from my PC which I don’t really use anymore. The only time I switch it on is to get some files I didn’t copy the first time around. The firewire disk is a really usefull tool when having a Mac, you can use it to backup your personal every day or store some of that data that just clogs up your system disk.

My main reason to get one is that I now can have more installations of OS X running on my computer. It’s just a matter of selecting the correct bootable drive at startup to switch my environment. It’s really usefull to get a clean install without losing all your data and still be able to test my installation procedures.


As a new owner of some really cool Apple hardware I’m bitten by the Apple virus many users have. We nervously watch all the news and rumour sites to see what is brewing at Job’s office. I found myself glued to the screen during the latest keynote, browsing 3 different news sites to see what was happening. I’ve order myself a Nano last week and just got a message that it is shipping. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands…

I just found a great article on Make: which describes how you can modify you Nano by altering the Firmware. Just get you HEX editor out and start changing. I haven’t tried it myself due to lack of iPod but will give it a go, as you can change names, pictures and even the font. In this manner you can really personalize your iPod without really damaging it. Which makes it easier to sell your iPod when a newer, bigger (memory not size), better one is released in a few months.


I was used to using Firefox as a browser on my PC, so I installed it directly on my Mac with my favorite plug-ins. But I ran into some strange behaviour when using the scroll ball in my Mighty Mouse. When scrolling horizontal the previous page was loaded. It looked like the forward and backward browser buttons where linked to the horizontal movement of the scroll ball.
This wasn’t what I expected and started looking around to see if this could be fixed. Horizontal scrolling worked like a charm in Safari and it should work in Firefox.

I quickly ran into the solution which was indeed a configuration change in Firefox:

  • Go to “about:config” (i.e. type it in FireFox’ address field)
  • Set mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action to 0

If you do this you will notice that you will stay on the same page when scrolling horizontal and even better, the pages moves horizontal when it’s wider than your browser window, just like in Safari.


Well it had to happen at some point, but today was the happy day I went out to the local Apple dealer and bought my first Mac. It is a Mac Mini 1.42 Ghz, 512 Mb, 80 Gb HD, AE, BT and Superdrive. It works wonderfull, the 512 Mb seems to be enough, no real delays in using the software. But after running the memory monitor tool I can see that all the 512 Mb is fully used, so the next on my wishlist is a 1 Gb memory module.

Because I still had a very old Eizo 21″ CRT which I bought a long time a go second hand it was also time to get myself a new monitor, and did I splash out there, I went for the 23″ cinema display. I’m sitting behind it now for a complete afternoon after buying it and I love it. The wide screen with 1920 pixels is magificent, you can have 2 or 3 apps running next to each other and have a complete overview. The only drawback is that it isn’t height adjustable, but I solved that by putting the stand on top of the Mac mini. The base on which the monitor rests is has almost the same footprint as the Mac mini, which in turn becomes even more invisible.

I also bought myself a mighty mouse, as I did like the scroll wheel and the 2 mouse buttons on my PC. I’m using it now for a full afternoon but what I disliked mostly is that to engage the right mouse button you really have to remove your fingers from the left hand side of the mouse or it won’t work.

But all considered I’m one happy computer user…