Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Mark Conra » Wed, 03 Oct 2007 18:09:11



Had lotsa fun today running my Intel Mac Mini without a keyboard and
monitor.

Hooked up the Mini to this old Pismo via a FW cable.

Installed Timbuktu into the Mini. (from the Pismo, via the FW cable)


TB2 allowed me to immediately grab control of the Mini.
(from the Pismo)


I don' need no stinkin' monitor and keyboard fer my lil' Mini.



What is to stop someone from buying 1,000 Minis and slapping together a
Mac supercomputer with its 1,000 CPUs. ;-)

Mark-
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Chris » Wed, 03 Oct 2007 18:42:16


Cooling issues.

 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Andy » Wed, 03 Oct 2007 19:26:41


And, one would hope, common sense.
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Ian Gregor » Wed, 03 Oct 2007 23:57:02


Nothing in theory, although it would more properly be called a
cluster. Here are some Mac OS X Beowulf cluster deployment
notes (dating back to Mac OS X 10.1):

http://www.yqcomputer.com/

I don't think anyone would build a Mac Mini cluster for anything
other than novelty value. There is hardware that would give you
far more bang for the buck. For a start, why buy 1,000 Combo
Drives when they will not be used?

Here is the Wikipedia article on "Computer Cluster":

http://www.yqcomputer.com/

Ian

--
Ian Gregory
http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Mark Conra » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 01:09:38

In article
<47021ce2$0$3565$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



Heck, if we had common sense we would not spend $3 a day to keep
ourselves "in computer".

6 x 365 x 3 = $6,570


...although I _do_ save more than that in purchases by shopping with
my computer, instead of going the brick-and-mortar route.

Mark-
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Mark Conra » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 01:19:42

In article <YnoMi.17164$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



Yeah, drives me batty on 85GB file transfers, commonly a hot drive slows
its speed in half compared to a cold drive.

Could not dodge this slowdown effect even by blasting an external LaCie
"Litte-Big-Drive" with an external fan!
(2.5 inch 200GB bus powered drive)

Guess the internal heat is too localized for the heat sink to handle.

Mark-
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Jolly Roge » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 01:20:37

On 2007-10-02 09:57:02 -0500, Ian Gregory < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > said:



Not technically a cluster, but Microsoft's Mac Business Unit has
probably one of the biggest Mac mini installations I've ever seen -
they use it to run automated tests of their Mac software on a large
scale:

< http://www.yqcomputer.com/ ;

Details here:

< http://www.yqcomputer.com/ +mini>

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Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Ian Gregor » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 01:33:52


No it doesn't.


Of course not, because drive temperature does not affect speed.
Whatever is causing your slowdown effect it highly unlikely to
be anything to do with temperature - as you have found.

Ian

--
Ian Gregory
http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Mark Conra » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 01:36:56

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



Yeah, not to mention the difficulty of getting software to efficiently
use such a cluster.

Certainly was recreational fun to do it, though.


My biggest complaint about using remote control schemes is that right
now there seems to be no easy way to get a Mac to use _several_
different connection protocols at once.

i.e. Ethernet, FireWire, Airport, and possibly USB2

...all at the same time on _one_ network of Macs and PCs.

Do you think this will persist well into the future?


Is there a name for such multi-protocol operation?




"Sharing" another protocol is nice, but even that seems limiting to me,
in the respect that I can't seem to get a remote computer to do
_everything_ that it is capable of doing, if I was actually sitting at
the keyboard of the remote computer.

(getting rid of "modal" messages comes to mind)

Mark-
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Phil Strip » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 02:46:36

In article
< XXXX@XXXXX.COM >, Mark



I use a small touchscreen with my Mini. I have the original Mini, and I
needed a keyboard, though, when I put a DVD in the CD-ROM drive - I
couldn't find any other way to eject the DVD.

--
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The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
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Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Ian Gregor » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 02:51:43


If I had more than one Mac I would be tempted to try connecting
them together with a FireWire cable and get them talking to each
other using IP over FireWire on their own private network. The
"master" machine would be "dual-homed" with one Ethernet interface
to my ADSL router and one FireWire interface. It should work if
the routing table is set up right - traffic to Internet goes
out on Ethernet, traffic to second machine goes out over FireWire.
It would also have to have routing between interfaces enabled if
I wanted to the second machine to be able to talk to machines on
the Internet.

With my old iBook that had a modem I was tempted to try getting
two simultaneous Internet connections running - one over Ethernet
to my ADSL router and one via modem and dialup (with both going
over the same physical phone line). That should be fairly easy too.
You could choose to route some packets out over dialup and some
over ADSL. Aggregating the bandwidth into a single virtual
connection would be trickier:-)

Incidentally, I have a free dialup account that comes with my
ADSL and once when I was away I tried using it. It kept freezing.
When I got home my housemate complained that the ADSL router had
been freezing at about the same time. Turns out that the dialup
is only for troubleshooting etc when ADSL is down - it uses the
same IP address!!! The dreaded IP conflict. So I would have had
to use a different dialup account to try my experiment.

Unfortunately I don't have any spare time for such tinkering,
interesting though it may be. Even running more than one computer
would be an unjustifiable time sink when I can do everything I
need on my iMac.

Ian

PS, perhaps if I spent less time posting to c.s.m.s I would
be able to fit in a little bit of tinkering, but frustrating
as it may be I do think (perhaps vainly) that I am contributing
something of value to the Mac community, otherwise I would stop
right now.

--
Ian Gregory
http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Michelle S » Thu, 04 Oct 2007 02:55:49

In article <021020071046363175% XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



Put the Eject menu into the Menu Bar.

/system/Library/CoreServices/MenuExtras/Eject.menu Just double-click it.

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Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Steven Fis » Fri, 05 Oct 2007 03:05:49

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



I've never tried connection sharing, but I have set up a FireWire link
between my PowerBook and Intel Mac Mini on a lark. I had to transfer
some very large files, and 802.11g just wasn't going to cut it.

I just ran the FireWire cable from one computer to the other. I already
had Built-in FireWire checked (but not otherwise configured) in
Network/Network Port Configurations on both machines.

The result? I was able to access resources on the other computer over
the FireWire link via Bonjour and self-assigned addresses, and they both
continued to access the Internet via wireless. There was no additional
configuration, and the speed difference was significant. It was very
impressive.

Some day I want to try VNC over it and see how fast it really is...
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by Mark Conra » Fri, 05 Oct 2007 13:52:39

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,



In that case, I will do some more research on whatever is causing the
slowdown.

Whenever I transfer the same file twice in-a-row, the first transfer is
always significantly faster than the second.

For example, the first transfer would take 300 seconds, the 2nd would
take roughly 400 seconds.

(transfer done to a very large disk with plenty on room on it)



If I waited a long while between transfers, the transfer speed remained
essentially the same.

That led me to believe that heat was slowing down the transfer.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Mark-
 
 
 

Running a Mini without keyboard and monitor

Post by dempso » Fri, 05 Oct 2007 17:57:21


What you might have been observing is the varying speed between regions
on the drive.

The hard drive spins at a constant rotational speed, which means that
the linear speed of the media passing the under the heads is faster on
the outer tracks than on the inner tracks. There is also more surface
area available on the outer tracks, so the outer tracks are able to
contain a greater number of sectors than the inner ones, and a higher
transfer rate can be achieved on the outer tracks.

If you started with an erased drive and copied the same data to it
twice, the first copy would be on the outer tracks, and the next copy
would be further in (using a slower part of the drive), resulting in an
observed performance drop.

If you copied the data, then erased the copy, then copied it again, it
should be written to the same part of the drive and the peformance
should be the same.

--
David Empson
XXXX@XXXXX.COM