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Setting up a mac network,questions.

1313 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  R8ders2K
I think instead of pc's I am going to go with a mac htpc and network. I have a few questions. What is the best way to go with external hdds on the mini? I want to have a ton of storage for dvds what is the best route? Can you just get a firewire hub and like 2 or 3 external holders and buy the drives? Can all of the macs access the movies that are on the mini "movie server" if so how?

Thanks in advance.

EDIT:If they are all connected to my router they are all "networked" right?
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Hello Dan,

This topic has been covered ad nauseum in these forums before. Try doing a quick search and reading up on it. I think there are some real good posts that should get you thoroughly confused.

Myself, I've bought a couple of Western Digital MyBook pros (500 GB) that are triple interface. You really don't need the triple, but I like having the flexibility (USB, Firewire 400, Firewire 800). They are pretty decently priced and make real little noise (I didn't go for the 1TB model since people were complaining that it is REAL loud).

I'm happy with the purchase. I've daisy-chained them together and the Mac accessed the info. easily. You don't really need to network them to your mac. But you can always network to other computers in your house I guess.

The price was right, the speed is great, and I highly recommend it for movie viewing.

Hope this helps.
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Thanks for the response,I did a lot of research and couldnt find answers to those questions. I like those external hdds but a 500 gig hdd is only 130 and I think i could just get like a 30 dollar external holder which would save a lot.
Dan, Dan, Dan, don't go cheap on the enclosures--with firewire a good enclosure and bridgeboard makes all the difference, so, too, whether your externals spin down, wake, sleep, and keep your drives cool. As Devax said, this has been discussed for years here. Do some homework, read the past threads, then make your decision. Remember that backup is not the same thing as redundancy.

Define a "ton" of storage for us, in gigabytes. It wasn't too long ago that a ton of storage was a 300GB drive, then maybe 1.5TB seemed like a lot, now????

A mini isn't often used as a server, it just has the one firewire port and a laptop drive, more often it's in the extender role, directly attached to an HDTV which sits on a gigabit network (don't listen to the few recent voices here hinting you don't really need gigabit, you do) and yes, any of the other Macs in your house sharing the same switch/router/modem can access any volume attached to the mini. After you allow that, that is, and it's pretty easy to set up in Network and Sharing preferences. If you are planning to buy several Macs, there's no reason why you have to have the bulk of your storage right there at the HDTV, directly attached to your mini. It can be anywhere, with VNC you can log into any computer on the network remotely, you also might want to read up on NAS, especially the Infrant ReadyNAS, as an alternative to a bunch of firewire external enclosures. But plenty of us here have gotten good mileage out of firewire externals, and still do.

How many other computers will you have in your household, will you just rip and watch dvds or will you also record high def, will you want to watch at several different displays or essentially at one main display, and then there's the budget, all that will influence what's "best" for you.
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Well there is already one imac and this mini will be in my room and will essentially be the server,eventually there will be two more clients. Probably used minis or an apple tv. I want to do this relativley cheap. I think maybe a mini with a ram upgrade 1-1.5 gig and maybe a wd 500 gig external for around 200 should be good.Later I will upgrade to a few more externals. I m gonna look up this nas stuff see if its in my budget. Thanks a lot for the help. BTW can you stream movies across front row?

I want to do this relatively cheap. I think maybe a mini with a ram upgrade 1-1.5 gig and maybe a wd 500 gig external for around 200 should be good.

Agreed, that's the affordable HT starter combo that will get you going--and keep you going for a while--just fine.

Later I will upgrade to a few more externals. I'm gonna look up this nas stuff see if it's in my budget.

You have plenty of time. Roughly figure a NAS to equal (and more likely surpass) the amount you'll spend on the core duo mini + RAM + 500GB of firewire storage. You'll know by then just how you'll want to move content around your house, whether you want to run hardware RAID or not, and can choose accordingly. Welcome to the fold.
Yea but I still want the mini for the pvr function and for streaming in my room.
If you haven't already done so, check out Apple's new AirPort Extreme . It now allows you to share multiple external USB devices, i.e. hard disk drives and printers, via the base station.

And depending upon which Intel based Mac you have, you might already be ready for Apple's 802.11n wireless networking.
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