Dane. Designer.

Old Blog

The MacBook Pro As Primary Workstation

Currently our household has 3 Macs. A 1.66Ghz Mac Mini (my workstation, called Valkyrie) w. 1GB RAM, a 1GHZ Powerbook w. 512MB RAM (Rikke’s machine, called Freya) and my 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro w. 2GB RAM (Godiva). They’re all running Leopard and share the wifi network (on which there are several other devices, as well as a 1TB network HDD). Connected to the Mac mini is a 250GB disk for photos and music and a 500GB disk for time machine backups.

Here’s the deal; I want to hook the Mac mini up to our 40” Bravia and use it as our media center, running OSXBMC on it as well as whatever other applications it would make sense to run on there. In turn, I would then have my 20” Cinema Display, wireless keyboard and mouse and the external HDD’s sitting without a workstation.

This is where the MBP comes into play, because I then want to use that as my primary machine from now on (where it’s been my secondary up until now). But I’m not sure if I can live with some of the issues that crop up in doing this. So I’m looking for some qualified help here:

  • The iTunes Library. This is the biggest issue. I’m approaching a 160GB library, which is currently hosted on an external HDD. My MBP’s disk is a mere 120GB, so there’s an obvious problem here. I play music through our Airports, and if the MBP doesn’t carry the music, I can’t do so unless I’m wired. So I can either keep my music on the external HDD so I only have access to it when I’m ‘wired’. This sucks, because if iTunes discovers that its ‘library disk’ is gone, it resets that location to the MBP itself, and so I have to manually change it back all the time. Or I can prune it down; though I’d rather not to be honest. Or I can keep a sub-set of it on the MBP. Or I can keep it on the Mac mini. If I keep it on the Mac mini, I can’t manage it though, except on the TV or through a VNC connection, and that feels a bit bleh. Man, do I ever wish Apple would allow me to manage shared libraries… Or I can find some other solution that eludes me.
  • iPhone. I need to have a loose wire for syncing the iPhone if I’m not wired up to the display. No biggie. But again, the iTunes issue.
  • Now You See It, Now You Don’t. I’m afraid of applications leaving their windows on a screen that is no longer there, when I unplug the cinema display. I generally think OS X deals with multi monitors well (opposite Windows, cuz DAMN!), but I’m unsure if this is a problem at all?

And of course, anything else that might be of interest.

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