Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Networking (Apple) Hardware

Colocate Your Mac mini 164

Posted by michael
from the first-to-market dept.
Pfhreak writes "Pure Static is already offering a service to colocate your Mac mini into a rack for those who want to set up a server on the cheap. Unfortunately, according to their FAQ, they're not planning on creating a Mini supercomputer. Which could be good news for those of you that are working towards being the first to set up such a cluster who have purchased a couple pallets of Minis, but haven't had time to finish setting up the cluster."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Colocate Your Mac mini

Comments Filter:
  • ...oh.

    Never mind.
  • mmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2005 @07:35PM (#11462506)
    mmm, chocolate mac mini
    • Re:mmmm (Score:2, Funny)

      by liangzai (837960)
      Beware of the warning on some Apple products: Do not eat.
  • Mac Mini Cluster?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by X43B (577258) on Monday January 24, 2005 @07:35PM (#11462509) Journal
    I've heard from several locations how desireable it would be to have a Mac Mini cluster. I hope the submitter was joking because does that make any sense? For one the maximum amount of RAM you can have is 1GB, the processor is not 64bit and gigabit ethernet is not available. I'm not saying a sub $500 Dell is the way to go. You can by an Xserve dual 2.3Ghz G5 machine for $2300. I bet one of those would outperform five Mac Minis.
    • by EasyT (749945)
      If you're comparing cost per unit of storage or bandwidth (and even perhaps processing power), the Xserve is going to win. But for small businesses even a single Xserve may be excessive. If you instead compare total cost out of pocket, a colocated Mac Mini suddenly looks like a superstar. The colocation service linked to is potentially a great way for a small business with limited product demand to cheaply and reliably serve the internet.

      If you want to compare againt cheap PCs instead of Xserves, size

      • "But for small businesses even a single Xserve may be excessive."

        Then it wouldn't exactly be a cluster, would it? It would be a single server. My entire post was in regards to a CLUSTER (see the title of my post, it doesn't say colocated server)
    • First, you are looking at the wrong stats. If you plan to run your cluster as anything besides a side show, heat/power concerns are going to be as big of factor in your cost calculations as the hardware itself. I don't know if the mac mini gives off a lot of heat but it's something to take into consideration.
      However, the fact that you probably cannot upgrade the ethernet capabilities in a mac mini to even fast ethernet is probably the bigger strike against the mac mini. In a lot of problems that employ
      • "However, the fact that you probably cannot upgrade the ethernet capabilities in a mac mini to even fast ethernet is probably the bigger strike against the mac mini."

        What do you call 'fast'? The mini is 10/100.

        A.
        (everyone on my block calls 100Mb 'fast')
        • For cluster computing, it's gigabit minimum. Preferably something better. For example, the Big Mac cluster uses Infiniband, a low-latency network technology.

          100 is good enough for desktop use, and good enough as a web server, but it's not good enough for cluster computing.
      • There are various options, USB2.0 is fast enough to handle GBit Ethernet to a big degree (not fully probably but fast enough) then there is IP over firewire which is also very fast...
    • Depends on what you want to do. If you run RC5-72 [distributed.net] (for fun or for profit, or because you are TLA), a cluster of Mac Minis probably can't be beat, not even by a dual G5.
      • Of course, RC5 cracking is a total anomaly. It's the only application that the G4 is the best at, and it's not even a real-world application.
  • I can't resist.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by fm6 (162816) on Monday January 24, 2005 @07:42PM (#11462609) Homepage Journal
    ...giving a blurb for my former employer Hurricane Electric [he.net], even though I despise the idiot who owns the place. They'll rent you cabinet space that is probably not much more expensive than a MacMini "condo". And they provide 24/7 human intervention for free, something MacMiniColo charges extra for.

    Also, I'd wonder about any colo facility located in a former bank vault. It sounds cool, but it doesn't strike me as a very cost-effective place to put a data center.

    • run away! (Score:3, Informative)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
      ...giving a blurb for my former employer Hurricane Electric

      I used to use these guys in the '90s. They screwed up the billing, claimed my CC# was giving an 'error code' (it wasn't, it was fine for everthing else) and instead of doing something like, say, calling me on the phone, they deleted all my files and canceled my account without notice.

      Buyer beware.
      • Can you recommend a decent, yet reasonably priced, alternative? I was recently looking at FreeBSD shell accounts (my current server runs FreeBSD, and I like it, but the network connection and power are somewhat unreliable to the building it's in) and they were at least double the price of the Mini in TFA.
        • Re:run away! (Score:3, Informative)

          by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
          I'm currently using 1&1 [1and1.com] and so far, so good.

          If you get the root server account ($50/mo) you have your own machine so you could install FreeBSD or whatever you want on it. The rescue disc image is debian linux though, so you'd have to be conversant with that for dealing with a crashed filesystem (and sure that the resuce disc has the appropriate filesystem modules on it for your FreeBSD partitions).

          Really though, if you're just interested in a shell account there's not a heck of a lot of difference be
        • Do you absolutely need FreeBSD? Unless your needs are very special, you can probably adapt to Linux, and that's what most inexpensive hosting providers run. It doesn't make sense to restrict your options just to avoid a little relearning.

          I use Dreamhost [dreamhost.com], mainly because they have good uptime and connectivity. (I do have issues with their lag in software updates.) But there are a lot of decent providers out there. To separate them from the (also numerous) flakes, you need to ask questions. If it's not on th

        • CSoft [csoft.net] is who I've been with for years. Never had a problem. For $5/month you can get a shell account with 700 MB of storage.
        • Paul Vixie mantains a list of people offering inexpensive 1U colo services [vix.com]. You might start there and then try to search for testimonials or experiences with any that seems like good deals.

          You should also check out the advertising forums on WebHostingTalk.com [webhostingtalk.com], where you will find many, many good deals on dedicated servers, colo, VPS, shared, etc.

          The prices of the service listed in this article are, quite frankly, laughable. Their cheapest plan would be $43/month for a paultry 50GB of traffic. For aroun
    • by Yaztromo (655250)

      Also, I'd wonder about any colo facility located in a former bank vault. It sounds cool, but it doesn't strike me as a very cost-effective place to put a data center.

      It would also be a complete bitch to run cables into it.

      Some years ago I worked for an ISP that had taken over part of an old medical office building that had been renovated (somewhat). There was this one great room with an opening in one inner wall where there used to be a window which we used as the server room.

      Everything was great unti

    • I've been using them since 2000 or so, and they've been approximately perfect. About the only thing they could've done better was include cash with the Happy Holidays card they sent me. ;)

      Their bandwidth rocks, the systems aren't over-crowded, and the people rock. I had billing issues when changing bank accounts (I forgot to update the credit card number on file to my new one), and I got a pleasant phone call letting me know that my card wasn't going through anymore. I gave them the new card number, and
    • Also, I'd wonder about any colo facility located in a former bank vault. It sounds cool, but it doesn't strike me as a very cost-effective place to put a data center.

      I went to a Halloween party/haunted house this past halloween that was in a former bank in a dumpy part of LA. The haunted house was in the basement and one of the exhibits included going into the vault (which was pretty much intact). I can't imagine they were paying much to rent the whole facility.

      In the case of the colo facility in a vau
  • Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NardofDoom (821951) on Monday January 24, 2005 @07:47PM (#11462672)
    The Mac OS is 90% of the experience of owning a Mac, and having the hardware is the other 10%. And what's the point of having a server that's also pushing a GUI?

    Colocate a Linux server, which is almost made to be administered remotely. Macs are made to be seen, used, and not heard. Unless you're running Garageband or iTunes.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moosesocks (264553) on Monday January 24, 2005 @08:00PM (#11462824) Homepage
      OS X is essentially FreeBSD with a pretty GUI on top.

      Install OS X server, and you've got a top-notch backend with a beautiful / easy to use graphical frontend that you can either access via VNC or apple's remote server administration utility (not a remote desktop, but rather, a remote control panel). People use Windows 2003 because it provides a decent feature-set while being easy to use. Linux is obviously more featured and secure, but is a PITA to use. OS X Server takes the best of both worlds.

      When the system's just sitting there, the GUI isn't using many resources -- RAM would be the only concern I see here, and chances are that most of the GUI stuff would be the first to be swapped to disk.

      My biggest peeves here are the Mini's hardware specs. 256mb of ram just won't cut it for a server, and no sane person would run a server without RAID or some other form of redundant backup. Of course, you could set up two minis in a load-balancing configuration, and then you've got much more redundancy than you would get with one server running RAID.
      • by hkb (777908)
        OS X is essentially FreeBSD with a pretty GUI on top.


        Actually it's Mach, with a BSD-like environment on top of it, including most of its userspace coming from FreeBSD.

        It's really nothing like FreeBSD in the kernelspace, and is in fact, quite a bit slower than FreeBSD.
      • "no sane person would run a server without RAID or some other form of redundant backup."

        Obviously a Mini is not server grade hardware. "Serious" people start with redundant discs, move on to redundant power supplies, and go from there. The mini is just a cheap way to go for some fun. As for backups, that's why God gave you a network:
        -----
        $ crontab -l
        0 1 * * * tar zcvf ~/`date +%Y-%m-%d`.tgz ~/public_html/*
        0 2 * * * scp ~/`date +%Y-%m-%d`.tgz me@some.other.server:~/backups/
        0 3 * * * rm ~/`date +%Y-%m-%d`.tg
      • by @madeus (24818) <slashdot_24818@mac.com> on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @01:17PM (#11469963)
        OS X is essentially FreeBSD with a pretty GUI on top.

        Mac OS X is based on Rhapsody (with a new Window Manager theme and the core display technology being display PDF rather than being display PostScript), which is based on OPENSTEP, which is based on NeXTSTEP which is based on mach and UNIX from Berkeley.

        There are BITS of FreeBSD in Mac OS X, but there also BITS of FreeBSD in multiple releases of Windows.

        Like FreeBSD, it's a UNIX implimentation, but it's a very different style of UNIX implimentation from FreeBSD and it's not based on FreeBSD.

        FWIW, you don't have to run the Quartz Window Manager either BTW, you can just choose to not start it. I'm tempted to say your better off with Debian on a lower end G4 PowerPC system like the mini though.
        • FWIW, you don't have to run the Quartz Window Manager either BTW, you can just choose to not start it. I'm tempted to say your better off with Debian on a lower end G4 PowerPC system like the mini though.

          Though you honestly think debian is a better desktop system than mac os x? I mean, mac os x seems to have the best of both worlds. All the mac software and all the X11 software, running inside the same environment using the same window manager.
          • Though you honestly think debian is a better desktop system than mac os x

            It's a better server - it's much easier to manage updates and installs of new server software, has many more applications ported to packages, has a full package managment system, a much more powerful firewall (in the form of iptables) and it will perfom far better than Mac OS X.

            It's pretty silly to run Mac OS X as a server in most instances. As a home or small office web/file server? Sure, it's easy and saves time configuring - tha
    • And what's the point of having a server that's also pushing a GUI?

      The login screen doesn't eat many cycles sitting idle, but you could disable it in inittab if you wanted to.

      You can do just about everything at the command line [64.233.161.104] but I usually leave a VNC server running because it's just faster to do some things that way.

      Not that there's anything wrong with a linux server, which you can rent for next to nothing.
    • I know why. Mac people are rabidly pro mac to the point of wierdness. Case in point the studio manager at the company that I work for. He won't even let a non-mac RIP into the room for his plotters, so now he is doomed because this rip software he uses for the plotters _still_ only runs on os9 machines. This means right now he is stuck on old hardware, which means slower RIPs. We could have been using an EFI Fiery, that runs on custom wintel boxes, and it would run circles around what he is stuck with. The
  • by tdemark (512406) on Monday January 24, 2005 @07:53PM (#11462751) Homepage
    ...who has the following in their welcome Flash movie [purestatic.com]?

    The site is overloaded.
    you loose paying customers.

    Emphasis is mine. Lack of capitalization and bad spelling is theirs.
  • by Cmdr-Absurd (780125) on Monday January 24, 2005 @07:53PM (#11462753)
    The mini is NOT server-grade hardware.
    from the FAQ
    What about hardware failure? In case of hardware failure we will repair the units. However they are your units and you will be charged for the repairs.
    How often will that happen if they put a bunch of these in a rack togeter? laptop drive running 24/7.... hmmm. In an encloded space jammed up against other minis.... hmmm. seems like a bad idea to me. Better to get a used xserve.
    • I just got an email from the company addressing these two concerns. Firstly, they are in a wire grid maximising air flow around them - which should alleviate the cooling issue. Secondly, they allow external disk drives to be connected for $5/month or $7.50/month if you require a power outlet. Since OS X can boot from a FireWire disk, there is nothing at all stopping you from buying a 320GB 7,200RPM disk and leaving the internal disk turned off.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is it possible to run a Mac without the overhead of a gui using the included OS?
  • you know.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by outZider (165286) on Monday January 24, 2005 @09:51PM (#11463738) Homepage
    This is a blatant advertisement.
  • by Bug-Y2K (126658) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:13PM (#11463889) Homepage
    Speaking as the guy who runs the oldest and largest Macintosh colocation facility [forest.net] on the Internet. (outing myself on /.)

    I think, the form-factor is great. However, that said they would make a lousy server. It has a very slow, laptop HDD not at all optimized for use 7/24. They are not equipped with an adequate fan for cooling the unit if packed densely (like the photoshoped up "condo" on the Pure Static website.) If packed that tight, I bet the MBTF of the drive (and other components) drops to under two months or something insanely short like that.

    Google "IBM Deskstar drive failure" to find out when non-server spec drives are used in a 7/24/365 environment

    The final remaining issue with the mini-as-server idea is the external power brick. Wall-warts are the bane of any server installation. Very tough to work around. Potential fire hazard if not handled properly.

    ...

    All that said, I expect we will see some clients who send us Minis to colo. We will probably treat them like we did iMacs & G4 Cubes - Put them on well ventilated shelves, in open racks. NOT pack them tight in a cabinet.

    And with the Mini, just like the companies that popped up claiming to be "the place" to colo your [G4, Cube, Xserve, insert Apple product here] in the end, digital.forest will still have more of them colocated. Why? We have been doing it longer, have a better facility, and better support. We have knowledgeable systems administrators ON SITE 7/24, who understand MacOS, MacOS X, as well as other UNIX flavors and Win32. We are in our 11th year, opening our third facility. We are a known quantity, with a reputation for quality. Not just some guy who registered a domain name on January 12th.

    However... all this interest in using them as servers should be a big honkin' clue to Apple!
    They need to make "Xserve Lite" 1U - 18" X 18" X 1.75"
    one or two drives
    one 64-bit pci slot (for an FC card)
    1 usb port front and one in back
    ditto firewire
    built-in video
    (low-end admins need video... lame I know, but check the lists and forums about how many people freak when their G5 Xserve arrives sans video card)
    Ideal would be video front and back, ala the Dell servers
    No need for the goofy split case of the Xserve (I have seen two fall apart in a rack)
    No need for those gawd-awful "whack a paddle/kill the server" drive sleds. (I want to find the engineer in Cupertino who designed this and beat them senseless - with one of these lame drive sleds! Sure, they look nice, but they are functionally worthless. Except perhaps as a blunt object to beat people with.)
    $1000 price point.
    "workgroup server" or "lightweight web server"
    No need even for OS X Server, just MacOS
    An option to buy Server if you need filesharing for more than X users.
    If there really is a market for people to shoehorn an low-end DESKTOP machine into a server role... then Apple should address it. Especially something as ill-suited to server work as the Mac Mini.

    --chuck goolsbee
    vp tech ops
    digital.forest
    seattle, wa

    • Hey, I was going to contact you guys about colocating my iPod Shuffle, but I was afraid you might eat it.

      Thanks for the info and insights, especially re: suitability. This brings to mind the other "mini project" of creating a "media server" that seems to be motivated because the mini looks like it could be a media appliance. I'm sure people will come up with some cool uses, but in some cases they're going to end up spending more money for less solution.

    • You forgot the 10/100 NIC. For God's sake, people: the mini is not meant as a server, and if you use it as one I fear that you'll get bummed on the Mac experience in general, decrying the "crap" hardware.

      At most, you might use a mac Mini as a DHCP/NAT/3 person file-server for collaboration or for emergency network services. It might make a fun thing to hit when you need to do file recovery, for instance, like a portable hard drive/NAS device. But if you think you're going to run Quick Time Streaming Se
      • You forgot the 10/100 NIC

        What about it? Most colocation plans are 100 mbit/second or under (usually well under).

        • Apple doesn't tend to use very good network chipsets in their low end desktop machines. They eat a lot of CPU time and don't go very fast. Doesn't matter in a desktop machine, but it hurts in a server, even at slow colo speeds.

          Probably doesn't hurt as much as the laptop drive anyway. Besides, people probably don't want these as high-load servers. The probably just want something off-site.
        • You do backup your serverson occasion, don't you??

          While we rarely see a colo push more than 10mbits, backups over the network routinely hit >80Mbits per second. Of course, it is better if your server has two NICs, one for public network access, the other for private backup traffic. The Mini can only have one.
    • I think, the form-factor is great. However, that said they would make a lousy server. It has a very slow, laptop HDD not at all optimized for use 7/24

      What about servers with light load? The thing that is very interesting about this Mac Mini colocation deal is that the monthly cost is comparable to shared hosting plans. Sure, you wouldn't want to stick 300 virtual hosts on a Mac Mini...but how about taking one site from a virtual host and putting it on a dedicated Mini? That looks quite attractive for t

      • Load is not the issue. The reliability & design of the hard disk drive is. Laptop drives are designed to be power frugal, spinning down when not in use. A lightly loaded server would be spinning up every time a web request comes in. It would be slower than a heavily loaded Xserve. If it was heavily loaded, or packed tight in a 'condo" then the drive could just die after some relatively short time frame.

        • I am considering getting one of these to run a mail, Jabber and low volume web server on. With 512MB of RAM, it would have more than enough memory space to cache all of the data files in RAM, and would not need to touch the hard disk. After installing NetBSD's pkgsrc this would make an excellent BSD UNIX system for my kind of usage.
        • I understand heat will kill a drive very quickly, but supposing you could adequately cool the drive, would keeping it spinning really hurt it? AFAIK the problem is not keeping the drive spinning, it's spinning it up again, and again, and again.
        • It's true. Using a laptop hard drive in a server is a bad idea. I have some knowledge of the folly of doing this. The only thing worse than doing this in your own server is doing this in equipment you're selling to other people for use in a server environment. There's a good reason why so much high-end networking gear uses flash cards for storage.

          That being said, there are now server-rated laptop drives, but they're all SCSI. So you can't just drop them in.

    • I think people want to use them because sometimes you just need something online all the time, even if the hardware can't support a high load. It's still a bad position to be in because the laptop drives don't need high load to kill them, but as you say there aren't a lot of options.

      Any comment on how unreliable macslash is? ;)
      • > Any comment on how unreliable macslash is? ;)

        Sure. From what I gather, slashcode runs horribly on OS X Server. They also have issues with the mySQL db requiring a kick in the head after a backup.

        Their server is always "up", but they have a real hard time keeping the processes running.

        I've suggested to them many times to try something other than slashcode. There are many similar packages that run just fine on OS X. Why be the only site on the planet that is running this code on this OS??

        --chuck

        • Inertia my friend. Inertia is the reason my firewall is still running a 2.2 kernel, even though it's slow, doesn't support smart firewalling and can't combine software raid and journaling without corrupting the filesystem.
    • And you have Bill!

      Anyone with wrd in their employ is doing something right.

      (long time 3wa poster and wrd fan here)
  • Heat dissipation (Score:5, Informative)

    by babbage (61057) <cdevers@nOsPaM.cis.usouthal.edu> on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:30PM (#11464400) Homepage Journal

    I was looking at this site the other day. My first impression was that it was a pretty good idea -- you have this cheap little computer that would be more than adequate for running a website &/or mail server, and it's small enough that you could get dozens of them of a single rack.

    Then it dawned on me that the Mac Mini doesn't have a fan, and depends entirely on being able to vent heat around the bottom edges and back panel. Apple's site has a document warning users: [apple.com]

    Always place your Mac mini on a hard, flat surface to provide maximum airflow to the computer's vents around the rubber base. Don't put anything on top of your Mac mini or stack Mac minis on top of each other either.

    Sounds like a dense rack full of the things would be liable to overheat & burn out.

    Are these people thinking about cooling issues? Their FAQ page [purestatic.com] made no mention of it last week, and it looks like it still doesn't now. Would anyone trust a rack full of these things not to cook the circuitry?

    • The mini does have a fan but you're right, it relies on the air ducts along the bottom to function.
    • It actually has a fan [macworld.com] . One fan. One lonely fan. (See figure K).

      Granted the fan doesn't run all the time...or does it? In any case the Mac Mini I played with was very very quiet.
    • From an email I just received from the company in question on the subject of cooling:

      Yes, we have take the cooling issue into account. The picture there is just that, a picture. We are raking minis are to be set on racks made of wire grates. (Like the inside of you freezer.) THis is done to maximize air flow. Also keep in mid that the data center was designed to handle tightly packed pentiums, which run much hotter than g4's. Finally you don't care how loud our cooling fans are.

  • Poor Cluster (Score:4, Informative)

    by vijayiyer (728590) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:58PM (#11464572)
    Real clusters use high speed networking like InfiniBand or Myrinet to reduce latency to tolerable levels. Anything else is just a bunch of computers hooked together for trivially parallelizable problems. Seeing as how there aren't expansion slots in the Mac Mini, I really don't see the point.
    • You do not always need an infiniband or myrinet link, it depends on the workload. If there isn't a lot of inter-node communication going on infiniband or myrinet is a big chunk of change for little/no benefit.

      For example, workloads like Seti @ Home, Oil Sonar Data Analysis, protein folding, etc need like 1K of bandwidth total to move tiny packets of 'equation and results' and that's about it.

      however quantum computing modeling, or airflow analysis, things like that where data is intermingled and not a 'br
    • Actually, there is ONE expansion slot, the one used for the AirPort Extreme card. IIRC, AirPort Express uses a standard mini-PCI interface. (The original AirPort used a slightly non-standard PCMCIA.) You still need some way to get a cable out of the box, though.
  • by Skippy_kangaroo (850507) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @12:56AM (#11465000)
    When I read the headline it looked like "Colectomy your Mac Mini"

    That sound's painful and I'm sure it would be against the reverse engineering clauses in your license agreement.

    Tish, boom - I'll be here all week.

    • I got "Cocoa-late" your Mac Mini, and I was very confused. For a moment, I thought that the Mac Mini had some problem running apps that use the cocoa API, or something, and the article would be a hack to gain that functionality, then I just assumed it was a case mod to make the Mini look like a shiny blue widget in a cocoa app. Boy, was I wrong!
  • Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bjjohnson (572841) *
    I guess my question is... Is this a case of someone taking advantage of someone else's ignorance? Or could this actually be a legit service. One USEFUL idea is that a person could want a remote location for remote access from around the world to a Mac fromt end via remote desktop services. Someone there to reboot the thing if it crashes while you are in Singapore. I guess there are some good uses for this. Just a thought... What do YOU think?
  • by jago25_98 (566531) <jago25_98@NOSpaM.hotmail.com> on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @07:15AM (#11466348) Homepage Journal
    The mini mac has some nice features , especially media related. But these would surely be wasted - like the graphics card.

    Surely there's a better option than this?; even powerPC based and similar price range? I'm suprised a slashdotter hasn't said this yet.
    • I was looking at getting a root shell account on FreeBSD box recently (running in a Jail, so it looks like you have a machine to yourself, but you can fit more than one on a physical machine). Everywhere I looked at charged more for this and about 1GB of disk space than these people are charging for a dedicated box. My needs in terms of processing power and bandwidth are relatively low, but I would like to have complete control over what is running on my system. If anyone can point me to a better deal th
      • The thing with a jail is that it'll be running on a very high end machine (unfortunately FreeBSD doesn't have a decent PowerPC port yet, otherwise an Xserve would be ideal for this) (also unfortunately, MacOS doesn't seem to have the jail facility, so you can't do the jails with MacOS would would also be ideal), and it's probably set up to failover onto another machine if it goes down. You're paying for the reliability.

        If your Mac mini goes down, you could be SOL for weeks.

        The value you place on reliabili
      • Send me a mail. A syndicate type setup seems like a possible answer; total root in escrow perhaps with jails or virtual machines of some sort for each user.

        That way you are the middle man.

        I would find root on some server somewhere very useful but it's too expensive for me personally.
  • I think a much more interesting and feasible use of the mini would be as a thin client.

    I wish Apple would sell a stripped down mini with no hard drive or optical drive for use as a thin client. An even better a thin client solution would be to put the whole computer inside the display similar to the iMac G5.

    Same form factor as an iMac G5 but...
    15" LCD screen
    G4 processor
    No HD
    No Optical Drive
    512 MB of RAM
    Gigabit Ethernet
    USB2 and FW400

    Sell them in ten packs to schools and businesses that want a thin client
  • A company I worked for till they burst in 2000. We had Imacs in the colo racks. The board was great and it would have been a nice server but the form factor ed didn't lend it self well to being bolted in a rack. The plastic kept cracking and the dust went everywhere.

1: No code table for op: ++post

Working...