New Mac Mini

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
11274 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:21 pm

keyman_sam wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:46 pm
Some wonderful points there on the advantages of MacOS. I didn't realize you could just clone your Mac drive and boot from it elsewhere/restore it. That's been a dream of mine on the PC world. You could create a boot disk of your PC and boot from it later. But to my knowledge you can't boot ANOTHER pc with that boot disk.
It doesn't even need to be plugged into the same interface. I recently replace both of my older mac's internal mechanical hard drives with SSDs. I actually prefer to start over rather than copying the years of bloat. But, if I need to access something that requires old drivers or systems level software, it's trivial to do so. I just put my old mac drives in portable enclosures and then I can just boot them from USB. Bonus, it's trivial to them copy the data from the old drive to the new one that's installed in the system.

I do this with my Windows PCs as well, but you can't boot from the old hard drive.

chk071
KVRAF
17271 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:29 pm

Sascha Franck wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:54 pm
chk071 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:50 pm
Actually, it's gotten a lot better with Windows 10. It's rather that Mac OS has a lot less options.
So, which options are you missing?
You can't change most aspects of look and feel of the OS. Apart from that, I would first have to take a look. It's been while since I last checked all the options. :)

Generally, Mac OS is rather minimalistic, though, which is fair enough. My point was that, the bigger the amount of options, the more of a "mess" it will be, naturally. Windows 10 is a big improvement in that regard, though, because the settings aren't cluttered over multiple windows.

Sascha Franck
KVRAF
12471 posts since 14 Nov, 2000 from Hannover / Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:17 am

chk071 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:29 pm
You can't change most aspects of look and feel of the OS.
Yeah, true. But seriously, do you really care about your title bar being blue or orange once you're in your sequencer of choice? Personally, I don't.
Generally, Mac OS is rather minimalistic, though, which is fair enough. My point was that, the bigger the amount of options, the more of a "mess" it will be, naturally. Windows 10 is a big improvement in that regard, though, because the settings aren't cluttered over multiple windows.
I have learned to vastly prefer the "minimalistic" approach and haven't missed a thing yet at all (apart from a thing or two regarding window handling). And while Win10 might be improved here or there, I still find it to be incredibly cluttered (I'm maintaining my wifes machine and sometimes I'm almost shocked at how bad some things are). Not much of an issue though (in either OS) because once you're up and running, you rarely touch system settings anymore (at least I don't).
There are 3 kinds of people:
Those who can do maths and those who can't.

chk071
KVRAF
17271 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:58 am

Minimalistic is good. As long as the usage experience works out of the box. Personally, i don't care much about changing that stuff in Windows as well. Just saying that, with few options, people could be asking for more. And, I'm quite happy that you can change most things in Windows. And if you can't find what you want to change, it's pretty easy to search for it. It's sort of like with synthesizers. Complexity always comes at a price. Same with minimalism.

User avatar
Rockatansky
KVRist
253 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:17 am

chk071 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:29 pm
You can't change most aspects of look and feel of the OS.
I'm so damn thankful for that. It's bad enough there are now two "color" options to pick from, but luckily they got smart and started darkening things down.
chk071 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:29 pm
Generally, Mac OS is rather minimalistic, though, which is fair enough. My point was that, the bigger the amount of options, the more of a "mess" it will be, naturally. Windows 10 is a big improvement in that regard, though, because the settings aren't cluttered over multiple windows.
But on Windows, even Win10 which I like a lot, the settings are cluttered over several groups and sections and tabs and pages and "advanced..." areas and dialogs and sub-dialogs of open dialogs...

macOS is not minimalistic in the least. It's a full-blown operating system, comes with Python, PHP, Apache, Ruby, SFTP client, various shells and all sorts of other good stuff pre-installed, ready to start being productive. There are so many options, settings and preferences that can be configured in Terminal, just google the possibilities of the chflags command, or check here for some insight. Windows doesn't even come with its own web server, let alone lightweight and pre-installed. And obviously they try to force the in-house Microsoft solution at you, IIS, instead of going for the more realistically set (in terms of "what the user will come in contact with") Apache or nginx. If you want to code for web on a Windows PC, you need to install tons of extra tools and services and configure them for hours. On macOS you just open the Terminal, type "cd " and drag the root folder of the website you're working on into the Terminal window, press Enter, followed by "php -S localhost:8000" and off you go. Cmd + double click the "Listening on" URL in the Terminal window to open the web browser. Done. Yes, you need to learn one thing, i.e. the steps just mentioned, and there's a LOT more to figure out (where's php.ini, how to install PEAR, etc.). But to turn any folder on your hard drive into an HTTP server root, that's all you need. Now, would you really call that "minimalistic"? Or would you call it "minimalistic" because there are no "web server wizard" icons on the Dock that remind you every 2 hours "*tap tap* you could start working on a we site today, just click here"?

In macOS, the "dumb user" only gets access to what they need access to. Sure, give 'em a firewall to play with, give 'em language preferences, give 'em Dock options. But real power users, the ones who need or want to configure the shit out of their systems, can easily do so through a simple command line. This helps to keep "dumb users" focused on being productive, but still lets power users delve into the darkest depths of the system (similar to Linux, guess why) or script and automate things with a few keystrokes. So obviously, somone who doesn't spend time with macOS or doesn't know what the "man" command does (some sexist pun hiding there?) will never know about the years of configuration and customization fun you can have once you step forward into the abyss that is Terminal. Absolutely perfect like this. Users can use. Admins can administer. Some can do both.

In Windows, everything keeps changing and moving and getting renamed or replaced between versions. I've been with Windows since the 3.1 days and mastered my exams with a paper on Windows Server Update Services, so you'd think I'd know where to change the DNS settings for a network adapter. Hm. Couldn't tell ya without playing around with it. Is it in Network > Connection properties > IP v4 protocol > Advanced > DNS, or is it in Network > Connection properties > Adapter settings > Properties > DNS, or is it somewhere completely different... who knows. The Internet? No way. Too many different answers because too many different ways on too many different versions of Windows.
And let's consider this: Start > Shutdown.
Ambiguous, contradictive, misleading, irritating. And yet so deeply rooted in the operating system.

At the end of the day, I want to be productive. Read, write, code, make music. Who gives a f**k if the title bar is red or blue or sparkles or has my company's name on it. How does that improve my productivity. Just get some work done. Or let me put it like this: I firmly believe that the less options the "dumb user" has, the less they can break. And the less customization options they have easily available, the faster they can start creating. And the less "exciting" the O/S interface is (i.e. gray vs. reflections and shadows and transparency and big red glowing "close" buttons and balloon popups), the less the user will be concerned by wanting to customize it.

In my mind, the whole fascination with Macs comes from being closed and limited machines. That's one of their biggest advantages. I get something and I put it to use. No more. No endless nights reading AMD vs intel comparisons, no endless nights reading RAM comparisons, chipset comparisons, hunting down error codes. Just decide "weak or strong", "affordable or expensive", get the thing and start doing something with it. The less I can install sketchy apps and gadgets that mess around with system .DLLs to make my icons look all Candy Crush like, the less I can mess about with my boot screen to put my band's album cover there, the less unknown components I can stick into the motherboard, the less can go wrong. If I want to check if my buddy has Plugin X by Developer Y installed, maybe just the AU and not the VST of it, then I know exactly where to look. On every Mac. No need for "where's your plugin folder?" - "uh... what?" conversations. Always in the same place. And everyone who develops for Apple machines can easily outline which machines his apps will run on and which ones it won't run on. Because they all have the same 4 GPU chips, the same 4 CPUs, the same 2 memory controllers, etc. There's no "oh, it works with SandForce but you have JMicron, so, uhm, who coulda known". There's only "runs on 2014 Mac Mini" or "doesn't run on 2014 Mac Mini". Simplicity. Focus. Straightforwardness. Lacking in so many areas nowadays. Luckily someone at Apple seems to know that too.
Confucamus.

Sascha Franck
KVRAF
12471 posts since 14 Nov, 2000 from Hannover / Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:33 am

chk071 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:58 am
Minimalistic is good. As long as the usage experience works out of the box. Personally, i don't care much about changing that stuff in Windows as well. Just saying that, with few options, people could be asking for more. And, I'm quite happy that you can change most things in Windows. And if you can't find what you want to change, it's pretty easy to search for it. It's sort of like with synthesizers. Complexity always comes at a price. Same with minimalism.
Well, not sure if the analogy is really too valid. I mean, I want my OS to run some programs (the oldschool word for apps/applications, for the young ones...) and get stuff done. I really don't need anything else. Ideally, most of the OS related stuff will even be completely gone once I'm in the program of my choice. So, seriously, I wouldn't even happen to know where I'd wish for more complexity in terms of customizeability

Apart from that, when it comes to complexity in terms of functions, OSX can take you pretty far. There's thing such as, say, the already mentioned Automator - nothing like it coming with Windows. And it's just excellent if you want to, say, organize, move and rename a whole plethora of samples or things such as that. Applescript is taking that approach yet further - and while I don't really use it, even a mere user such as me can manage to set up some simple script for whatever everyday tasks. Again nothing comparable coming with Windows.

And when it comes to audio and MIDI, OSX has all sorts of routing options built right in, including socalled aggregate devices, allowing you to combine basically any number of audio interface into one virtual unit, which will still give you as good of a performance as the slowest of the combined units. Again, nothing like that under Windows, gotta use ASIO4All - which often won't work out too well when combining multiple interfaces. And yes, those aggregate devices can come in extremely handy. Was recording some 8 track rehearsal room demos with 3 different devices (1 x 4 I/Os, 2 x 2 I/Os) combined - no issues at all and no need to buy anything new for something that I'm really only doing occasionally. In addition, one of those devices (a Behringer) was just brought by the singer. Fortunately it was class compliant, so I just connected it and was done. No driver installations or whatsoever.

Seriously, I'm possibly the last person on earth to defend Apple and especially their business tactics, but OSX really has some absolutely great things to it. And once you're getting used to the occasionally awkward "workflow" (IMO most noticeable when doing things requiring file management, so you're having to deal with plenty of Finder windows), it really performs pretty smooth and reliable.
Last edited by Sascha Franck on Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
There are 3 kinds of people:
Those who can do maths and those who can't.

Sascha Franck
KVRAF
12471 posts since 14 Nov, 2000 from Hannover / Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:34 am

Whoops, Rockatansky beat me to it.
There are 3 kinds of people:
Those who can do maths and those who can't.

Sascha Franck
KVRAF
12471 posts since 14 Nov, 2000 from Hannover / Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:34 am

Errr - where's the delete post button?
There are 3 kinds of people:
Those who can do maths and those who can't.

Kaine
KVRAF
1815 posts since 4 Nov, 2004 from Manchester

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:58 am

keyman_sam wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:46 pm
Some wonderful points there on the advantages of MacOS. I didn't realize you could just clone your Mac drive and boot from it elsewhere/restore it. That's been a dream of mine on the PC world. You could create a boot disk of your PC and boot from it later. But to my knowledge you can't boot ANOTHER pc with that boot disk.
Am I missing something?

You can create an image on one machine and use that image to run another machine. I move OS boot drives between systems all day long for benchmarking with no issue since the dawn of W7, doesn't matter if it's Intel or AMD anymore and hasn't for a long time.

If you just need a boot/recovery disk, W10 has the function built in to create one that'll work on anything.

Sascha Franck
KVRAF
12471 posts since 14 Nov, 2000 from Hannover / Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:18 am

Kaine wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:58 am
You can create an image on one machine and use that image to run another machine. I move OS boot drives between systems all day long for benchmarking with no issue since the dawn of W7, doesn't matter if it's Intel or AMD anymore and hasn't for a long time.
Hold on, seriously? So why is Windows asking for a plethora of drivers to be installed all the time then?
There are 3 kinds of people:
Those who can do maths and those who can't.

Kaine
KVRAF
1815 posts since 4 Nov, 2004 from Manchester

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:51 am

W10 ships with base drivers for a lot of hardware. I'm not saying that later drivers wouldn't be more optimal, nor am I saying that it'll find every bit of estoric hardware in there, but you can get into Windows and use it to then update easily.

Your point here (and excuse me if I'm misjudging this) seems to be "I don't want to install drivers" which is fair enough, but it takes a closed ecosystem like the Mac stuff to make that happen and that is a fair point if it's what you want.

Yes, you might have to install some drivers on the PC side, but it shouldn't stop you from working if you choose not to do so in my experience of late, unless you've got some properly obscure kit plugged in there.

Sascha Franck
KVRAF
12471 posts since 14 Nov, 2000 from Hannover / Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:23 am

Kaine wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:51 am
W10 ships with base drivers for a lot of hardware. I'm not saying that later drivers wouldn't be more optimal, nor am I saying that it'll find every bit of estoric hardware in there, but you can get into Windows and use it to then update easily.
Wow, that's news to me and quite astonishing. I should possibly try with my wifes Win10 machine and have a look whether I could even boot through Bootcamp.
Are there any tips to clone a drive and make it bootable via USB?
Your point here (and excuse me if I'm misjudging this) seems to be "I don't want to install drivers" which is fair enough, but it takes a closed ecosystem like the Mac stuff to make that happen and that is a fair point if it's what you want.
Well, nah, it's not *all* that much about not having to install any drivers. I simply wasn't aware that things such as this were possible using Windows at all by now (seems I need to update my Windows knowledge a bit).
Yes, you might have to install some drivers on the PC side, but it shouldn't stop you from working if you choose not to do so in my experience of late, unless you've got some properly obscure kit plugged in there.
As said, that's quite amazing. I'd appreciate any links to whatever tutorials or such about how to get there with the least amount of hassle.
There are 3 kinds of people:
Those who can do maths and those who can't.

dellboy
KVRian
704 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:44 am

Why does all this Mac versus Win10 stuff matter ?

I have been using Windows since 3.1, and yes, agreed, in the early days it was abysmal, but maybe OS X was not so hot back then either.

But today who cares ?

I use win10 for everything and never give it a second thought, it just works for me. The strange thing is that all you mac guys go on about how simple macs are,and then go into great lengths about really deep nerdy computer stuff that I have no need for.

A strange paradox.

bill45
KVRAF
2210 posts since 15 Jun, 2006

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:29 pm

Sascha Franck wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:26 pm
bill45 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:53 pm
Such as?
Go to your system settings in Windows. It's a mess. It's all over the place. Under OSX, it's one page. Sure, the entries are taking you to sub categories, but it's heaps easier to configure things.
Try to properly adjust monitor color schemes under Windows - yuck!
There's mass renaming straight in Finder. Rightclick and rename a bunch of files incl. replacement of some characters and what not.
Need to kinda batch process a row of operations often? Well, there's Automator built into OSX. Tell it to do pretty much anything and it'll do just that. Comes with an easy to grasp graphical interface.
Regarding audio, you don't need multi-client ASIO compatibility. You can open as many programs as you like, all using the same audio hardware (whether that's making sense - well, sometimes it just does).
There's possibly lots more.

Then: Backing up stuff. Godawful under Windows. Needs 3rd party tools and still won't work even remotely as well. With OSX, both complete system backups (disk tool) and incremental backups (Time Machine) are built in straight. 3rd party tools are only there to make the process more comfortable. Plus they're cheap (some even free) and happen to really "just work". Your backups are bootable. Yes, straight from your external backup drive. But it goes even further (and that's possibly the biggest advantage of your OS and hardware coming from one company): You can create a backup from, say, your own iMac or Mac Pro at home. Slap it onto an external drive. Go to, say, a studio running a Mac (absolutely doesn't matter which one it is, unless it's way older, at least usually). Connect your external drive and boot up your system the way you're used to (admittedly, Apple just changed that because several older Macs won't be able to run Mojave due to incompatible graphic cards).
When I switched from my Macbook to a Mac Pro, I just took an image and copied that to the internal drive of the new machine. Back up and running every bit the same as before in a matter of minutes. That's simply not possible with Windows.
And fwiw, it literally saved my ass 2-3 times. At one time, my Macbooks fan went havoc. Had to order a replacement from China (sure, you could complain about that part, and you bet that I *certainly* did). Took over 3 months until they were back in stock and ready to be delivered, plus, I got the wrong one on the first attempt, so that was 4-5 months. But a colleague gladly offered me his old, almost retired Macbook he still had and I simply slapped my system drive into it - back up and running in 5 minutes.
In a nutshell: In case your living relies on using a computer, with Macs you can usually arrange things in a way that there's pretty much zero downtime. Doing the same with Windows requires you to buy two literally identical machines as you can't just borrow any PC and boot it from your backup drive.

Really, I have loved Windows up to XP pretty much. I have configured a whole bunch of machines for myself, for friends, for my wife and sometimes even for money - so I think it's fair to say I was (and partially still am, but on a reduced level) pretty familiar with the OS. And I hated OSX for many reasons at first (and still do, some window operations, or lets better say some window-based behaviours, are just plain horrible). And I'm the first to bash Apple big time for a whole plethora of things (and IMO deservedly so).
But the recent incarnations of Windows, while probably better than previous versions under the hood, simply drive me bonkers in almost all aspects. Ugly, bloated and a mess to configure, back up and maintain. Doable? Sure. And you don't need to be a rocket scientist, either. But with OSX it's a no-brainer, even if your machine blows up completely, you could be up and running the next day. Yes, that *does* come at a cost. And yes, that cost *is* unjustifiably (is that a word?) high at times due to Apples street-robbery-ish prices. Yet, this is a very good reason to like OSX, especially in case you've been there (such as me).
Thanks,Changing sound cards or audio interfaces for use on the web is a windows pain in the ass.

chk071
KVRAF
17271 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: New Mac Mini

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:37 pm

Sascha Franck wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:23 am
Kaine wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:51 am
W10 ships with base drivers for a lot of hardware. I'm not saying that later drivers wouldn't be more optimal, nor am I saying that it'll find every bit of estoric hardware in there, but you can get into Windows and use it to then update easily.
Wow, that's news to me and quite astonishing. I should possibly try with my wifes Win10 machine and have a look whether I could even boot through Bootcamp.
Are there any tips to clone a drive and make it bootable via USB?
Your point here (and excuse me if I'm misjudging this) seems to be "I don't want to install drivers" which is fair enough, but it takes a closed ecosystem like the Mac stuff to make that happen and that is a fair point if it's what you want.
Well, nah, it's not *all* that much about not having to install any drivers. I simply wasn't aware that things such as this were possible using Windows at all by now (seems I need to update my Windows knowledge a bit).
Yes, you might have to install some drivers on the PC side, but it shouldn't stop you from working if you choose not to do so in my experience of late, unless you've got some properly obscure kit plugged in there.
As said, that's quite amazing. I'd appreciate any links to whatever tutorials or such about how to get there with the least amount of hassle.
FWIW, I have 2 laptops here, both running on drivers solely from Windows Update, I didn't install a single driver on them. Working flawlessly. Driver support is really good in Windows 10.

Return to “Computer Setup and System Configuration”