General Mac OS X Discussion General Apple and Mac OS X Discussion

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  (#21) Old
jamrdun jamrdun is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 06:40 PM

I feel so old, because my first thought is, "Why on earth does a seven year old need a computer?" Shouldn't kids her age be playing hopscotch and jumping rope?

Having said that, if you set it up right, a Mini running OS X runs just about as well as Apple hardware. I love my Hackintosh Mini.

Three issues I see:
1 Automatic updates are a big no no as aforementioned.
2 The keyboard is not only tricky, the keys aren't marked correctly, so it could be pretty confusing. Are you going to relabel the keys?
3 No DVD player, so you're going to need an external. You know she's going to want to watch DVDs.

Mini 9|OS X 10.5.7|32GB Runcore SSD|2GB RAM|A05 BIOS|DellEFI 1.2a5
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dejongj dejongj is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 10:01 PM

Just dont give her full admin rights. My daughter (6) got her iMac when she was 5, the system is locked down, and she is still on 10.5.4 no real need to do an update immediately....
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  (#23) Old
Colonel Panic Colonel Panic is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 10:33 PM

I would recommend the Dell Mini. The system has no moving parts, so it can survive the drops that will likely happen. The absence of an optical drive is a bummer, but you can go buy an SDHC card and copy her favorite movies onto it. Also, if your daughter was going to carry the laptop around, the Mini is the clear winner due to weight. A Macbook weighs 5 pounds, so I would imagine that either a). She will get bored with it because she cannot take it anywhere or b.)You will have to carry it for her. The Mini weighs only 2.5 pounds and has a replaceable battery . While not being able to take it to the Genius Bar is a problem, the benefits outweigh the risks in my opinion.

Dell Mini 9 - Onyx Black, 32 GB STEC SSD, 2GB RAM, 1.3 Megapixel Webcam, Wireless N Card
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  (#24) Old
oldskoolboarder oldskoolboarder is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 11:10 PM

Get the Mini. Install LogMeIn ( and you can control it remotely for free. You can control it from any web browser, even through a firewall. It seems to work via Port 80. I have it on multiple Macs, including the Win 7 partition on my Hackintosh. Works great.

I have MobileMe and logmein is WAY easier. MobileMe can be hassle because if you don't have all the ports forwarded, then you have play around w/ router settings. Not always an option from work...
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  (#25) Old
nick47 nick47 is offline
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Default Thank you all for your feedback. - 06-16-2009, 06:00 PM

I have read all the comments carefully and want to say thank you to each of you for taking the time out to offer your opinion. I have given this a lot of thought, and I have decided to go for the Dell Mini 9 for the following reasons:

1. No moving parts and very solid construction.
I don't think my daughter will be throwing her laptop around, but accidents do happen, and I think that the Mini 9 has the edge over an old MacBook if it were dropped from a short height.

2. Size.
Because my daughter is only 7 she is small herself, so giving her a small laptop seems in some way more appropriate. I always planned on giving her my MacBook when she is 11, and getting a new one for myself then, so this will be a good introduction to computing for her.

3. Colour.
My daughter likes pink. (The importance of this can never be overstated, and anyone who has a little girl will back me up on this!)

So that's it, in response to the comments about support, I will be turning off automatic updates and the Mini 9 will have two accounts set up, one for my daughter with parental controls turned on and one called "Apple" which will be the admin account. This will be for rare occasions when her mum might need to log on to authorize stuff, my daughter's account will auto log in though.

My daughter will only be able to use skype and ichat, and go on the web to safe sites. She wont be installing software or updates. There are no genius bars near where my daughter lives, but Mac OS doesn't really need anything doing once you've got it working, so should be all good.
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  (#26) Old
jamieism jamieism is offline
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Default buy the mini and set up a parent controlled user - 06-16-2009, 11:27 PM

If you buy the mini - aside from setting up the remote log in, the other thing to do is this: set up two users. One for Admin (that you, for logging on remotely) and a second user for which you can set up parenting controls. In the user set up, you can choose to have it automatically log in to that user. You can also restrict her access to critical functions so that she is less likely to accidentally delete something important and can't install random software. You can provide an adult that live with her with that password if you like - or not. But I have two kids (4 and 9) and that's what I would do (if I were willing to give them a laptop, which I'm not quite ready to do - I like having them use the computer where I can see them).
I'd buy the mini. You can buy 3 minis for the price of one macbook. so even if things went "wrong" you'd be better off with replacing a mini than with the macbook. By the time you find an old enough mac (ibook or PB) laptop with a comparable used pricepoint, it will be out of warranty and likely won't have the camera for skype.
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  (#27) Old
Janelle Janelle is offline
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Default 06-17-2009, 03:19 AM

I have a macbook as well but a dell mini is sufficient for a 7 year old. i think she'll be happy

Black Mini 9 2GB 8GB SSD XP SP3

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  (#28) Old
ramraj108 ramraj108 is offline
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Default Gift for your girl - 06-17-2009, 05:14 AM

If you are a MAC user and not familiar with Windows and your daughter's Mom is not familiar with computers, I would get her a MAC. Your daughter is likely to need support for using the computer and it will be much easier for you if you can follow along exactly on your own MAC as you step her through troubleshooting. OSX does run smoothly on the mini, but it is inevitable that if you disable updates, at some point you will run into compatibility issues with software and browsers that you need to support connecting with her. Good luck!
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