22 Jan 2005
(updated 22 Jan 2005 at 06:35 UTC) »
This is my second blog entry today. That doesn't happen often.
The Mac Mini I ordered arrived. Yay! I hooked it up to my flat screen Sony TV (37XS910) via the DVI connector, and it just worked. I'm very impressed. It's a really nice piece of hardware -- definitely a good purchase. It's perfect for the living room - completely silent, and the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse make it quiet usable from my sofa...
Displaying on a TV, even my high-end one, is very different than using a monitor. One drawback with the Mac UI is that it draws the menu in the overscan area of the TV. I couldn't find any preferences to adjust for the overscan (via Google, it appears that they do have support for that in the OS when outputting via component video -- but not via DVI apparently). Anyways, I figured out how to use the Zoom feature in the "Universal Access" (aka. accessability) preferences screen to let me zoom in and see the menus.
I can tell I'm going to have to do a lot of video mode switching depending on what I'm doing. Mostly, for DVDs, I think I'll use 1920x1080, which looks pretty awesome. However, for computer use, at that resolution, there's an awful lot of flicker (it's interlaced), and the fonts are ridiculously small. I'm using 720x480 now, which just about lets me see the fonts while sitting on the sofa (I'm nearsighted).
I'll have to dig around for Mac OS X utilities for quick switching of resolutions, etc. I'll have to do some research on some nice remote-control driven media centre UI software too. Of course, I'm going to use this box to test Kaffe with, and I'll probably try dual-booting Linux and maybe even Darwin and/or some of the BSDs.
In other news, I brought my little Linksys ethernet switch to work, and tried hooking up my server using that. It worked wonders -- all the IPMI problems magically went away, confirming my suspicions that the problems I was seeing was actually do to the Cisco Catalyst gigabit-Ethernet switch it was plugged into. I imagine that's what I'm seeing at the colo as well, as they have similar equipment. Since I think I understand the problem now, I'm going to reinstall the server at the colo next week. Then I can move onto more important things, like getting a new Kaffe release done.