Introducing the Mac Mini to the toy box

At the museum we have a collection of devices for tasks such as running our video projectors and as interactive kiosks (widely used at M Shed and the Egypt gallery at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery) .
Some of the kit dates back 5-8 years and I need to get my head around repairing, replacing and planning for the future in the area referred to as “interactives”. Some of the oldest devices are Mac Mini computers. I began to wonder if these needed replacing “like for like” or if we should look at alternatives. Either way I figured having a number of tablets, mac mini computers and PC equivalents (e.g. Arduino or Raspberry Pi) to begin tinkering with would be a good idea. As yet I don’t have an R+D budget and I’m not sure I ever will so I asked twitter if anybody had some older kit that they wouldn’t mind parting with.
Very kindly Mark Annand raised his hand and gifted me a Mac mini PowerPC G4 running 10.5.8.
I now have a device that I can start to play around with – should it be used as a kiosk, can multiple computers be connected and controlled (with dropbox serving files), and all the common uses for kiosk requirements. I stumbled across a blog post on mac mini configuration by Graham Thorne which sounds well researched and road-tested so i’ll probably start here. Of particular interest is getting notifications when a device fails to start-up which is an inevitable consequence of running many devices.
So watch this space!
Also if anybody has played much with computers as kiosk and control devices i’d love to hear from you.

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