Home Set Up – A rethink!

The way I use my Macs at home is all wrong.

I have the following main machines:

  1. MacBook Pro – used the most
  2. Mac mini – home server
  3. 24″ Aluminium iMac – Home office Mac

The machine I use the most is without doubt the MacBook Pro. I use it at work, home, when away etc…. and it sits on the edge of the sofa, much to the distaste of my wife ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mac miniThe iMac is my home office machine tucked away in the loft where I go to get away from the kids to work ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Mac mini, which sits in the shoe cupboard ;), is controlled by Screen Sharing or via a 7″ touchscreen.

This machine is used to store all our family photos, my iTunes purchases which are also synched to the Apple TV, as an answering machine using Ovolab phlink, and it also monitors my web servers in London using Simon. Oh, it’s also used to sync music and playlists onto the iPod video which sits in a speaker system in the bedroom.

The main issue I have found recently is that I have been buying more and more music on iTunes which are downloaded on the mini but then not easily available to sync onto my iPhone or wanted to print some images from iPhoto. I have been downloading what I want onto the mini then copying over to the iMac or MacBook Pro as an when needed.

So, I have been thinking that I need to re-arrange the way I have the system setup and should use the iMac as the machine which stores all my photo’s (a lot easier to manage the photo events on the larger screen ;)), music, playlists, sync with Apple TV, iPhone and iPod.ย Then set up an Automator script which backs up the iPhoto and iTunes library folders to the Mac mini and MacBook Pro as and when I make changes.

Thoughts? How do you handle music, photo’s on multiple Macs? Is there software already out there that would handle all this a lot easier?

I have merged the Mac mini data and the iMac data together and now scheduled a script which will run on a weekly basis to synchronise the iMac Pictures and Music folder to the Mac mini. After the first time this runs, which said it would take 6 hours to back up pictures alone ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ย I will then change it to be daily if it truly does just synchronise. I have a feeling it may start the iPhoto one from scratch each time. Ah well will soon find out ๐Ÿ˜‰

6 thoughts on “Home Set Up – A rethink!

  1. You defs need to switch to the iMac as the Media Server. More hard drive space, why not have it in the bedroom as a machine to watch films on in bed? The mini can go up in the loft then.?

  2. Agreed, the iMac is now handling everything with the mini as the back up. The mini needs to stay where it is though so I can hear when there is a server problem, alarms start sounding etc ๐Ÿ˜‰
    As for iMac in the bedroom – er no thanks as it’s my work machine in the home office, which is in the loft. Plus wife would never agree to it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. How about doing what I do then, get a nice 20″ ACD for the bedroom, hook the Mac mini up to it. Share your library on the iMac through iTunes, connect to it on the Mac mini, perfick!

  4. Aye that would be cool if I was living alone ๐Ÿ˜€

    The dilemma I faced was getting access to the tunes and photo’s easily from the iMac of MacBook Pro, not where to position the mini (which must stay where it was due to it’s current tasks) and also ensure that I have an additional back up of them.

  5. Well, last nights back up of iTunes failed “There was not enough space to complete the back up. 20Gb space required, 19Gb space available. Ooops forgot to delete old iTunes and iPhoto libraries after backing them up onto a Firewire drive – doh! Photo one worked in the early hours of Monday though!

  6. Last nights back up worked a treat. 20Gb of tunes copied over and can be read by the iTunes on the mini!

    Job done, well apart from re-syncing the iPod and ๏ฃฟTV which I will do overnight one day this week.

Leave a Reply