Mac Mini as Plutohome MD


Last Friday I played with Mac Mini (power PC not Intel-based). I tried to use it as Plutohome Media Director. There are at least three reasons to do that. The first thing is a design. Mac Mini is stylish, compact and simple. The front panel contains the power led and CD/DVD drive. Nothing more! The Media Director is placed near TV. So, it should look like other AV equipment: DVD/VHS players, receivers, satellite boxes.
The second reason is the absence of noise. Mac Mini is quite still device. It won’t override the movie or music song by its coolers.
The third reason is a rich functionality of Mac Mini. It has DVI, VGA and S-video and composite video outputs, built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet, built-in 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme wireless networking, built-in Bluetooth 2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) up to 3 Mbps. Dimensions: 16.51 x 16.51 x 5.08 cm. For more details read full Mac Mini specification.
I found a good explanation how to setup Mac Mini as diskless PC based on Fedora Core 4 and use it to watch digital TV with MythTV. I’d like to do similar thing but with Debian and VDR. Pluto already includes broadcast TFTP server and possibility to create diskless MD. But Mac Mini needs multicast (I saw it in the tcpdump output). So, there are two ways: find some option to switch multicast to broadcast inside Mac or configure Pluto TFTP server to send multicast packets. I prefer the fist way because Pluto works fine and there is no reason to break its logic.
Also, I’m not sure that specific Pluto modules will be installed for PPC (Debian supports of course this architecture). But I want to try. If it’ll be success we’ll use Mac Mini as MD. If not we have to find another device. Maybe it’ll be ASUS DIGIMATRIX.

Updated: Sorry, sorry, sorry! I was completely wrong! The Mac Mini which I got for testing is Intel-based, not PPC. So, the howto described above is not suit for me anymore.

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