Free Mac mini - got it!

Well it took almost two months, and I had to send them several support requests since my account was put on hold for a while (supposedly for spamming my referral link), but today my free Mac mini finally arrived :-)

Unfortunately, plugging in "your existing keyboard, mouse and monitor" wasn't that easy as my PC didn't come with a USB keyboard. So I'll have to buy either a USB Keyboard or a PS2 to USB adapter prior to being able to use this thing :-( If buying the keyboard, I wonder what will work better, operating a PC using a Mac Keyboard, or operating a Mac using a PC Keyboard. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Also, since the Mini won't be replacing my PC, I'd like to get a KVM switch as well so I won't have to switch all the cables between my PC and Mini Mac all the time. For some reason, the only KVM I can find on Apple's site is a VGA KVM though - not sure why they don't carry the DVI Version (my monitor can handle both DVI and VGA, but running 1600x1200 resolution over VGA is bound to degrade the picture quite a bit).

All these options make this Free Mini Mac a bit less free, but the end result should be more than worth it (hopefully:-) - Once I've got everything up and running I will blog more about my experiences as a Wintel user in Mac land.

PS: If you're interested in signing up for this program yourself, you can use one of the referral urls from the comment section to my previous Mini Mac post. Please do not post any more referral urls in the comment section to this post - thank you.

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Comments

Do you have two monitors? If you do you could use Synergy. It allows you to use a single mouse/keyboard on two computers but it's software based. You could leave you kb/mouse plugged into your PC and use them to control your mini-mac.

Posted by Scott at March 9, 2005 11:27 PM

Nope - only have (room for) one monitor.

I was hoping I'd be able to VNC from my PC to the MiniMac and control it that way, but the Mac won't even start up without a keyboard attached so that won't work either...

Posted by Luke Hutteman at March 10, 2005 1:15 AM

A lot of the reason DVI-based KVMs are hard to find is because the MPAA is terrified of "uncontrolled" equipment. Theoretically, you could hack a KVM to output the signal to both outputs at the same time, potentially allowing you to record a raw digital video stream. It's stupid, but that's a good part of the problem.

Posted by Andy at March 10, 2005 9:24 AM

Aaack! You've gone over to the dark side? I hope that doesn't mean that we'll stop seeing any new innovation on #R

Posted by Brian Hampson at March 10, 2005 11:31 AM

The Mac Mini comes with a DVI to VGA adapter. Just use that and your existing KVM

Posted by Nate Thelen at March 10, 2005 12:18 PM

Brian: I think you've got your sides (or shades) mixed up.

Nate: First of all, I don't have a KVM yet. Second of all, (like I said in my post) running at 1600x1200 resolution over VGA is bound to produce a less than perfect picture...

Posted by Luke Hutteman at March 10, 2005 1:39 PM

I love Sharp Reader and even sent some bucks but does it not work with Atom?

Posted by Chris Wisehart at March 13, 2005 11:24 AM

I'd recommend buying a Logitech keyboard/mouse set. I love my MX700. The Apple mouse is shit.

Posted by Etan at March 20, 2005 1:06 PM

Hey I am lookin to do the same as you did and will have the smae predicament. I have been looking for possible keyboard/mouse/monitor cables that split do one can connect to the Mac and one to the PC with a little switch so you can flip it and start working on the Mac and vice versa, I am thinking there has to be one out there but I think I am wrong? :( If you see or have seen anything like this please post. I can't develop it myself being only 15.

Posted by Steve at March 27, 2005 3:43 PM

I'm going for a free Mac mini
I followed a referral link on Luke Hutteman's post about a Free Mac Mini offer. Apparently he received it, so I'm going to try. I need 10 people to go to sign up and complete an offer (I signed up...

Trackback from Jeremiah Oeltjen's Blog at March 29, 2005 4:59 PM

Interesting stuff. Do you need a special KVM for Mac?

Posted by Tawcan at April 3, 2005 2:11 PM

Luke,

I just ordered a DVI KVM switch from Belkin, model # F1DD102U, the 2 sets of matching cables are model # F1D9201-06. Here are a couple of links to a site called ebuyer:

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=77351 (KVM)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=87892 (Cables)

BTW I don't work for Belkin or ebuyer, I just happened to have the same issue as you, hope it helps!

K

Posted by Kuli at April 5, 2005 12:04 PM

I really want to get a Mac Mini free but I live in the UK!!! I could get 10 easily!!! I would be prepared to pay any shipping too - well it's worth (20 most) for a MacMini!!!

Posted by Gesiwuj at April 5, 2005 4:11 PM

Did your sharpreader.net domain name get expired?

Posted by AnonymousCoward at April 6, 2005 8:51 PM

The KVMs that support DVI do not seem to be getting good reviews from what I have seen, I'd be interested in finding out how you did with the Belkin. And the windows key / apple command key, whether the KVM handled it well.

Posted by Rob at April 12, 2005 1:43 PM

Next order of business is getting a sweet apple display, or maybe a dual setup?

Posted by Mike at April 22, 2005 2:49 AM

i tried mac keyboard and pc keyboard with my kvmp (belkin mini view III) and found it best to stick to a mac keyboard, with regard to the shortcut keys. You can always use the control key from the mac keyboard for your pc shortcuts(apple key opens the start menu), but there is no way to do mac keyboard shortcuts from the pc keyboard, reliably.

Posted by doc at April 30, 2005 11:25 PM

Another good site giving away the Mac Mini is http://freemini.net. They currently give it away for only 9 referrals....good stuff.

Posted by Mike Lath at May 1, 2005 10:52 PM

"running at 1600x1200 resolution over VGA is bound to produce a less than perfect picture..."

I run 1600 x 1200 over the Apple VGA connector to a 20" CRT Monitor - and it is sweet.

But if you like to spend money, you could pick up Apple's 20" Monitor for under $1000...

Posted by VGAworksGoodForMe at May 2, 2005 1:45 PM
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