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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > The New Mac Mini Concept

The New Mac Mini Concept
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salanyali
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Dec 15, 2008, 05:16 PM
 
http://www.vimeo.com/2352794

First of all, I’m a huge Apple fan, I love them. And specially I’m not trying to copy or suggest a design. I’m not saying my design is better than the current Mac Mini design. I’ve been using my Mac Mini 7/24 for the last 5-6 years and as a very devoted customer I think I have the right to say what is right or what is wrong ‘for me’ with the actual design. With the Macworld coming up and the new mac mini rumors around, I thought, why not design my own kind of mac mini? It’d be fun! The whole process took approximately a week, because designing concept computers is not my job -it’s just for fun and learning- and If I’d spent 2-3 months and submitted the new mac mini design after the new one, it would be just cheating I’d be very very inspired after I saw the new one. So, yes, it’d be much much better If I’d spent more than a week on this concept, but it’s pretty detailed for a week’s job with all the price, size, dimensions, heating, etc. research.

The airflow had some bad comments, people asking me why I didn't put the fans at the bottom of the legs and dissipate the heat with vents from the top. It's a simple physics law, isn't it? But the thing most of these people aren't thinking is, this is a multi-positioned computer. And if you put fans on the legs, it wouldn't be 2 fans. It would be 4 or more fans! Because fans are circular shaped objects, the diameter of the fan should be smaller from the depth of the leg. And because the depth of the legs are so short, the fans would be ridiculously small! So one fan wouldn't be enough, there would be four fans, maybe more. And the most important part is, there are three, maybe more positions you can put a computer like this, and all of them are equally practical for their own purpose, and the airflow design is the best like this for all three positions, believe me I tried a lot

For the port reaching problem, the V shape has the advantage of putting your hand&fingers from both sides and especially ’seeing’ them while you plug-in the cables or sticks. If your desk arrangement doesn’t allow it, you can lift the front and see the ports. You can not do this with the actual design. With the actual mac mini, while it’s a great product, I can’t see the USB ports when I try to plug a usb device. I’d always have to check the direction of the port, the cable, feel the port, try to plug it. And because I’m a very tidy person, I don’t like the cable mess on or under my table so I hide them, tie them, then if I want to pull the mini a little bit closer, some cables unplug with the tension and I have a problem. With the ports facing front, this accident can not happen.

I got some advice from some electronic and computer engineer friends and an Apple expert friend during the process. The HDMI port, the extra HDD, power brick inside, all of them are for pushing some limits and trying to be different. They could be done or not, if you like we can discuss it and we all would learn something. But don’t do the ‘this is crap, you idiot, this is useless, stupid, pointless design’ , please. I’d love to see more and more concepts about mac mini and learn from them.

The design is not totally Apple looking because I didn’t want it to be a total Apple copycat. If I made it boxed shaped, than a lot people say, the same old boring box shaped Apple design, so what’s new with you?

Again, it’s not ‘better’ than the current design. It’s ‘better for me’ than the current design. I spent lot and lots of hours on this, I wish people didn't spend 3 minutes and judge it without thinking all the details. It’s just a concept, a visual expression of my imagination and my experiences with the product.
     
mduell
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Dec 15, 2008, 07:48 PM
 
One of the worst concepts I've ever seen; nothing about it makes any sense, and it doesn't solve the problems you claim it solves.
     
moonmonkey
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Dec 15, 2008, 08:03 PM
 
I like the way the ports are more accessible but still hidden from the front.
You should also be more positive, three paragraphs defending the design from a fictitious attack didn't fill me with confidence.

I would have shown the inverted V orientation first as this is the best bit about the design.
     
salanyali  (op)
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Dec 15, 2008, 08:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
One of the worst concepts I've ever seen; nothing about it makes any sense, and it doesn't solve the problems you claim it solves.
Thanks!
     
salanyali  (op)
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Dec 15, 2008, 08:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
I like the way the ports are more accessible but still hidden from the front.
You should also be more positive, three paragraphs defending the design from a fictitious attack didn't fill me with confidence.

I would have shown the inverted V orientation first as this is the best bit about the design.
The ports are 'more' accessible, but hidden, it's true, because I don't know any computer with all its ports on the front. One of the best ways would be like this, facing front but hidden.

About the positiveness, these paragraphs are parts from my replies to other comments on other websites. They are not fictitious. People only looked at the images, or just a part of the video, or didn't read the description, made some discouraging comments, so I politely tried to explain my point of view.
     
vmarks
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Dec 15, 2008, 11:49 PM
 
You don't need to quote your responses to other websites here. Why not link to your post at some other site instead?

If you want, I'm sure you can sign up for a blog and post there, and link us to it.

When you do it as you've done, we really have no sense of context for any discussion that took place without us.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Dec 16, 2008, 08:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
One of the worst concepts I've ever seen; nothing about it makes any sense, and it doesn't solve the problems you claim it solves.
Agreed. It's simply fugly and makes no sense at all from a user perspective.

However, on a positive note the video presentation was very well done.
     
turtle777
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Dec 17, 2008, 02:48 AM
 
Interesting idea, and definitely a nice presentation.

At least, you should get credit for thinking about the current "port accessibility" issues and trying to be creative about the solution.

However, there are some issues with this design. It is more likely to increase the overall footprint, and use up more real estate on the desktop.

-t
     
moep
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Dec 17, 2008, 11:33 AM
 
I like people that think outside the box, no pun intended.
My first impression was rejection because it is so unlike everything else out there… but looking at the video a few more times, it seems to grow on me. And after all it is a concept, not a finished product. Quite cool, kudos.
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hyteckit
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Dec 17, 2008, 12:52 PM
 
I think the current mac mini size and shape is perfect. It just needs an upgraded graphics chipset like the one on the new macbooks.

Also add freakin netflix streaming to frontrow. I know, it'll hurt iTunes movie/tv show sales. But apple needs to get real. Netflix instant view will be easily available on multiple devices anyway.
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NobleMatt
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Dec 17, 2008, 12:59 PM
 
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ph0ust
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Dec 17, 2008, 01:34 PM
 
i thought it was interesting and unique, but i don't think i would want t computer shaped like that. it would just take up more room than necessary on my desk.

BUT.... i do have to say way to go on using the pixies for your music. that made it about a 1000x more cool to me :-)
     
danangdoc
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Dec 17, 2008, 05:04 PM
 
Gotta say, while it is interesting as a design exercise, it's never gonna replace my mini. It kinda looks like it was designed by a committee. When I needed to keep the desktop footprint small and add a drive, I bought the LaCie drive that fits right under the mini - still a 6x6 footprint, only about 4-1/4" high now instead of 2". If I were to design an "upgraded" Mini, I'd maybe just go up - make it 1/2" to 3/4" higher and that would provide extra room for a 2nd drive, with lots of room for extra ventilation. I disagree that the ports should be anywhere but in the back. With WiFi and BT being so prevalent, people should rarely have to be plugging and un-plugging things. I leave the USB plug for my iPod plugged in, and let it hang off the rear of the desk when not being used. Keep trying.
     
ballison
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Dec 17, 2008, 05:17 PM
 
theres also no way to hide the cables...I can see it get VERY cluttered very quickly otherwise very interesting design
     
salanyali  (op)
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Dec 17, 2008, 07:22 PM
 
Thanks for the comments...

However, there are some issues with this design. It is more likely to increase the overall footprint, and use up more real estate on the desktop.
When it's in its vertical or horizontal position, the footprint is smaller than the actual mac mini. But in its flipped V position, it has a little bit more footprint.

BUT.... i do have to say way to go on using the pixies for your music. that made it about a 1000x more cool to me :-)
Yeah, I think the song is perfect for the Apple Ad, and it's a very very nice song!!
     
Hg2491
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Dec 18, 2008, 10:53 PM
 
Would someone post pictures? My old G3 is too slow for streaming videos!

Thanks in advanced,
Hg+
     
salanyali  (op)
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Dec 19, 2008, 09:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hg2491 View Post
Would someone post pictures? My old G3 is too slow for streaming videos!

Thanks in advanced,
Hg+
http://www.yankodesign.com/2008/12/0...-boxed-shaped/

Here are some pictures, thanks for your interest!...
     
dimmer
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Dec 20, 2008, 01:25 AM
 
The biggest issue I see is that you've introduced a lot of "wasted" space: extrude your design to a multiform and you are doing less with more. Never a great idea. No matter how you placed this, it wouldn't look good. Overall, it seems like a solution looking for a problem. Sorry.

BTW, if you want easier access to the ports on the mini, spin it by 90 degrees. Problem solved!
     
Andy8
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Dec 20, 2008, 01:51 AM
 
Your slot-loading drive is upside also. The disks would face the other way up if you positioned the slot where you have.
     
Hg2491
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Dec 24, 2008, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by salanyali View Post
http://www.yankodesign.com/2008/12/0...-boxed-shaped/

Here are some pictures, thanks for your interest!...
It's a nice concept. Nothing I've ever seen before!
     
WhoIsBillyTapWaters
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Dec 26, 2008, 09:24 PM
 
Nah, I think that the Mac Mini will be a cube still not an odd shaped THING. It'll be very sleek have more ports better airport capabilities.. Lighting up apple.. itll be all Aluminum.. plus.. it will be a lot smaller and sleeker as i said.. VERY thin
     
thechidz
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Dec 27, 2008, 12:14 AM
 
nice video, how'd you do that?
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freudling
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Dec 27, 2008, 04:05 AM
 
Horrible design. Thanks for posting!
     
clockworkwar
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Dec 27, 2008, 12:09 PM
 
Sadly from a design perspective it wouldn't work, it is far to bulky to fit neatly beside a TV.
     
bishopazrael
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Dec 27, 2008, 01:22 PM
 
The one thing you need to address that might clear up some of the design flaws, is the cables. No body currently designs a computer around the cables.

Start with thinking of the intended audience. Mostly its a piece of hardware people have hooked up to their TV's in the living room. So if it's on display, they surely don't want their USB cables hanging from inside the computer then spreading out via the sides.... it'd be an ugly mess.

Take this design and work it so that cable management is thought through. I know this because I just bought a new Mini to use in the TV room. You've got a good conceptual design, and despite all the negative responses, you'd find a niche crowd that would love your computer design to show off how "cool" and "trendy" they are. It makes for a good display piece.

Keep at it. It's a good design that could find a market in places like Hollywood, Santa Fe, you know... the "artsy" crowd.
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salanyali  (op)
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Dec 29, 2008, 12:09 PM
 
nice video, how'd you do that?
Thanks, I used Cinema 4D R10.5 for the modeling, rendering and the animations.

Horrible design. Thanks for posting!
No problem!

The one thing you need to address that might clear up some of the design flaws, is the cables. No body currently designs a computer around the cables.

Start with thinking of the intended audience. Mostly its a piece of hardware people have hooked up to their TV's in the living room. So if it's on display, they surely don't want their USB cables hanging from inside the computer then spreading out via the sides.... it'd be an ugly mess.

Take this design and work it so that cable management is thought through. I know this because I just bought a new Mini to use in the TV room. You've got a good conceptual design, and despite all the negative responses, you'd find a niche crowd that would love your computer design to show off how "cool" and "trendy" they are. It makes for a good display piece.

Keep at it. It's a good design that could find a market in places like Hollywood, Santa Fe, you know... the "artsy" crowd.
I didn't design this around the cable management problem. It was one of the problems for me. I am still having that trouble every single day. My desk is 2x1 meters, to reach the cables of the mac mini, I lean forward, try to understand the ports with my fingers, etc etc. This way, I can see them while I'm sitting on my chair.

Maybe this was a mistake naming the design 'The New Mac Mini'. I didn't want this design to replace the actual design. This design is my way of looking to the new mac mini. My experiences, my imagination. I like having options for placement and shapes. Of course the new Mac Mini will be very sleek, cube or small-macbook shaped computer!

Thanks for your constructive advices though!
     
Ted L. Nancy
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Dec 29, 2008, 12:24 PM
 
HDMI port?

You mean, miniDP.
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salanyali  (op)
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Dec 29, 2008, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ted L. Nancy View Post
HDMI port?

You mean, miniDP.
I don't know the technical possibilities of both HDMI and the mini DP port on the same computer. But I put both of them here.
     
bishopazrael
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Dec 30, 2008, 01:11 AM
 
What he's saying, and you'll need to learn, is that you have 2 of one thing on your baby. It's hard but sometimes you gotta cut something out. Stick with the minDP port like on the macbook pros. I've got the new mbp and its fantastic what can push over that channel.

Don't give up on this. Where you are now, you're where Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak were at when they started Apple in Job's parents garage. Or his? I can't remember. But the point is... you've clued into something that SOME people will buy. Look at all the goobers that will shell out $15k for a gold colored cell phone.... now translate that to your market audience. You're marketing to a group of people, mostly male, all well able to buy your product, the kind of person that buys a nice bar set to show it off... and behind him is a nice huge TV, and he's going to not be able to resist showing his friends during their dinner parties the teeny tiny box that runs the music in the background, the 40"LED display on the wall and the 30" digital poster frame behind his "bar".

"See that little box right there?" he'll beam like a proud father.... "Yup, she runs all that in this room! And even some in the other rooms!"

If you know who you're making your product for you're already ahead of the competition. As it is Compaq and Sony and Dell have settled for copying or buying someone else out and ruining their designs. (R.I.P. the TRUE Alienwares!) You know the guy you want to market that design to will want to show it off. YOu know that means cable managment. Work it like that the whole process. Get people's input. Work on it. In due time, get it into AUTOCAD and start taking classes.

That's something whose time is swiftly coming I believe. I really do think we're in for the next decade to see computers merging with our "art work" or decorations and such. New computers are going to be made like the modders are doing now. Lighted juke boxes, steam punk styled stuff... it's going to become the norm.

Good luck to you on your adventure! Don't ever give it up, it'll just make someone else prosperous.

Bishop
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salanyali  (op)
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Jan 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
 
No new Mac Mini
     
bishopazrael
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Jan 7, 2009, 06:03 AM
 
i know . makes me sad. but hey i still have a brand new mini & an MBP all on the same day courtesy of the wife.
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