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O/S Deployment Thread, Using Macbook on Windows environment. in Technical; We are rolling out ipads, so it looks like we're going to need to buy a Mac to look after ...
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    Bev
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    Using Macbook on Windows environment.

    We are rolling out ipads, so it looks like we're going to need to buy a Mac to look after the sync'ing side of things.

    At the same time, I am in need of a new machine for my office. I'm ICT Technician and general dogsbody (but not a teacher)

    I'm thinking it makes sense for me to use a Mac Mini as my machine, rather than buying a machine that will simply be used for sync'ing.

    I would need to access Windows Shared drives, Office (Which I know can be installed), and use Citrix to access SIMS.

    Is there any reason this wouldn't work? I use a macbook at home, so I'm quite comfortable with OSX but not so sure about using one in a predominantly windows environment.

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    I use a Mac Mini as my work machine. For the exact same reason. We needed one to sync and manage the ipads and I needed a desktop machine at the same time. I don't join mine to the domain. It runs as a standalone machine with drives mapped in, printers installed. I use remote desktop to access my servers, we have Office for mac as part of our agreement, everything else I use works fine.

    I haven't joined my mac mini to the domain because I always prefer my machine to be standalone, even if it was a windows one.

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    Bev
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    My current machine is standalone anyway, so not joining to the domain isn't an issue.

    The more I think about it, it's the most sensible way forward. I can't bring myself to buy a Mac that just sits there and gets used periodically for syncing and nothing else.

    I tend to access the server directly (it's in my office), so that's not an issue. I do need to remote into SIMS so as long as Citrix will work, we are onto a winner

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    You could always bootcamp windows onto it if you required too.

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    You can join it to the windows domain if you ever chose to. It's just I choose not to. I didn't want to make it sound like you couldn't if you did ever want to. I love using my mac mini. I was like you, it seemed like such a shame to pay for one and it only be used every now and again. Also to then buy another machine for me was just daft. I should probably also add that mine is a Mountain Lion Server too. We want to use some of the other features of the mac server so I plumped for the mac mini server version. You can still use it as a workstation too. However only buy that if you are going to use the other features of the server.

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    Bev
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    Would a Mac Mini be powerful enough to cope with Photoshop, and multiple Office & Browser windows open at once?

    I do tend to have 10 - 20 things on the go at once....

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    its like all machines, depends on the spec but I would have said yes certainly. Mine is a core i7, 4gb RAM and 1Tb storage. I have three or four instances of Chrome open, all with 5- 10 tabs open at once. RSS reader, Evernote, multiple RDP connections open, office apps open and sometimes even a VM running at the same time and it runs flawlessly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev View Post
    Would a Mac Mini be powerful enough to cope with Photoshop, and multiple Office & Browser windows open at once?

    I do tend to have 10 - 20 things on the go at once....
    Absolutely. Even the base model is a pretty powerful machine these days. If you want a bit better performance, just upgrade to a i7 CPU, Fusion drive and install 8GB RAM.

    And there won't be any problems with using it on a Windows network. Our Macs generally run as well or better on the Wndows network than the Windows computers do (as long as you don't have a .local domain, then performance can suffer). If you need to run Windows only software then just install Windows in Parallels or VMware Fusion (this is where 8GB RAM really shines). I wouldn't bootcamp it unless you intend to run Windows full time and only boot into OSX for iPad sync.

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    free780's Avatar
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    Be aware when it does break you cant replace the psu/hard drive etc.

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    seawolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by free780 View Post
    Be aware when it does break you cant replace the psu/hard drive etc.
    Actually, iFixit recently gave the Mac Mini an 8 out of 10 in the repair/upgrade department - http://www.zdnet.com/new-apple-mac-m...it-7000006470/ the RAM is easily upgradeable, and both the PSU and drives can be replaced fairly easily.

    I have personally recently replaced the HDDs on a dozen of the new Mac Minis (with SSDs) and each one only took about 25 minutes. http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installi...cement/11716/1

    Sure, the CPU can't be replaced, but when was the last time you actually did that unless you're a heavy duty gamer (or had an Intel CPU break)?

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    can you not just get a cheap mac mini server?
    I personally wouldnt want a network based around my own pc and wehat my pc is using. remember network services and stuff will use mac mini resources as well as you using them.

    If you are looking to get one one for yourself and one for sync server just by a copy of parallels or vmware fusion and put a copy of windows on there (will need to purchase a win 7 license as well)

    should work fine. then you get the best of both worlds

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    robjduk's Avatar
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    an i7 mac mini with upgraded ram will do what you want with a copy of VMware Fusion on the side for luck. I don't agree with a network server being used as a workstation but sounds like you have an idea in mind. The new Mac Mini servers are quite fast.

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    Bev
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    It won't be used as a server, it's simply going to be my workstation, and used to sync ipads. If I need to do something to the server, I log into it directly, but I don't use if for everyday work.

    it seems a waste to buy a machine that will sit untouched 90% f the time, and just use it occasionally for iPad syncing.

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    ok well maybe not a "server" in a typical sense but still probably an integral part of what you are gonna do. You do not want that sitting on a workstation in an ideal world



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