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Mac Mini

Macmini  I've added a Mac Mini to the trailer.  

Why?  Because 2 iPhones, an Xbox, and 2 Windows laptops were just not enough things competing for the internet connection from the wifi-in-motion I installed?  (read about that here)

No, because it solved a bunch of problems all at once.  

When I say "problems" I mean, of course, those essential-to-basic survival issues such as we might find in Maslow's hierarchy of needs at the appropriate level for "camping."  To wit, the level that includes breathing, food, water, and iTunes.  

Our Airstream came with a (lousy, but pre-wired) sound system.  The system has four speakers, a subwoofer, and a Sony automotive-style head/controller with radio, CD player, DVD player, and switch for various inputs.  We'll address the sound system more in a future post.  However, I decided to get a Mac Mini primarily for the iTunes.

Yes, I know I could have gotten by with a dock and an iPod or iPhone with a huge iTunes library, but the Mac Mini has several nice features that just couldn't be overlooked.  I could connect it to the cool 12V flat-screen HDTVs I bought (from roadtrucker.com, oh yeah!) and it could show all the iTunes visualizers, Front Row, and full-screen displays so we would know what music we were listening to. It could also be used (with an awesome wireless keyboard from Logitech – which I'll also describe in a future post) to surf the web, stream and control our home DVR with Slingbox, rent and watch movies from iTunes, run the X-plane flight simulator (another geek fascination that I'll explain in the future), put our travel photos up on high-res monitors mounted on the walls of our trailer, and perform countless other functions that will become clear in the future – all for the power cost of only about 15W, and with a tiny footprint in the electronics cupboard.

To really make things slick on the power front, I bought a 12V power supply from MikeGyver.com (click here).  Now, the Mac Mini can sip coulombs even when we're boondocking on battery power - replenished by our soon-to-be-installed solar system from AM Solar.

We copied the lion's share of our home music collection to the Mac Mini.  Now, we have all our music wherever we go – with display on the flat screens.  We can control the whole thing using the "remote" app on our iPhones, with the Logitech keyboard, or with our Harmony wireless remote (write-up to come on that one too).  We've also streamed DVR recordings from our home cable box via Slingbox over our 3G data cards connected to the wifi-in-motion.  If you can get your brain past the unlikely combination of weird products that makes it all work, it's very cool.

(Posted by Kevin)