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Mac Mini && PC laptop

Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Is it possible to connect a Mac Mini to a PC laptop (DELL)? or the Minis are designed to use separate keyboard, mouse, screen..?
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11778

You should probably define what you mean by "connect", as the answers will vary depending on what level of connectivity you want.

Most modern Macs (the Minis included) come with OSX installed - a BSD Unix based system. As such it could act as the server to your work on the PC laptop. All you will need is Ethernet connectivity between them.

You can utilize a KVM switch to connect one Keyboard Video & Mouse to multiple computers. The Mac Mini uses USB connections for keyboard and mouse, so depending on what you want to use, you may either need a KVM that understands USB, or you may need a USB to PS2 adapter. I have found the later to be a little flaky if you try to hot-plug them in Mac Minis (simple solution: don't hot plug them ).

If you are willing to have a monitor dedicated to each machine, then you might want to look at something like synergy, which allows one system to host the keyboard and mouse, and multiple other systems to share them. Whichever screen you move the mouse into takes keyboard and mouse inputs. In my opinion this is nicer than a KVM since you have the 2 screens visible simultaneously, but obviously it requires you to have 2 screens and the desk space for them, plus an ethernet connection between the 2 computers, and possibly a keyboard plugged into the slave machine to start up synergy (although you can get around this by having auto-login and auto-startup of synergy on login).

Regards, Andrew

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Bill Shirley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 08, 2007
Posts: 457
A Mac Mini needs a USB (or wireless) keyboard, a USB (or wireless) mouse, and a monitor. Adapters to all modern monitor cables are available.

Connecting it "to a Dell PC"? Do you want to network them? Wi-fi or ethernet can be used - standard PC/Mac networking issues are the same for this particular setup as for any Mac/PC setup.

Bill Shirley - bshirley - frazerbilt.com
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