Sunday, April 24, 2005

Mac Mini 'pirate ship' closer to reality

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A couple of weeks ago here I was contemplating the theoretical rise of Mac Mini "pirate ships" on college campuses; that is, of a Mac Mini whose entire hard drive was dedicated to holding MP3s and a copy of iTunes, with a cheap PDA-sized monitor and wireless mouse, which could be physically carried from undergraduate party to undergraduate party, where partygoers would both upload music from their own iPod to the pirate ship (creating an always-expanding "jukebox" of music), and download songs they want from the jukebox to their own portable device, without ever coming to the attention of the RIAA Dream Police (er, Internet Police). Well, a company called MicroNet seems to be thinking along the same lines; they've recently released the miniMate, an external hard drive that's the same exact dimensions as the Mini (width and depth, that is, not height), and simply plugs right up to the bottom of it. The miniMate adds a whopping seven new ports to the Mini (three Firewire and four USB), meaning that some smart hacker out there could have up to half a dozen iPod owners interacting with the pirate ship at once; and for just $500, you can trick that baby out to a full 400 gigabytes of extra space (or an average of 80,000 extra songs that could be stored on the pirate ship, on top of whatever size your internal hard drive is). Ahoy, mateys - I feel another underground revolution coming. Well, okay, I feel another excuse for undergraduates to get together on Tuesday nights and drink 'til they're blind. AAARRGGHHHH! (Thanks to Gizmodo for pointing this out.)