Choosing a computer for long-term installation
August 13, 2012 7:42 AM Subscribe
Help me choose a computer to be the brains of a long-term art installation. The main criterion is that it should sit there and behave well for months and years. I don't need the absolute best graphics or processing power.
Right now I'm leaning towards a current generation Mac Mini, or a refurbished 2010 Macbook Air, but that's just early research. It's probably easier for me to work with OSX, but I'd consider a Windows machine. The machine's just a host for Max/MSP.
If I get a Mini (or other desktop computer) I'd like to run it headless, and use remote desktop software if it ever needs attention. It's tiny and convenient, but if there ever comes a time that it doesn't boot up properly, someone will have to dig up a monitor and keyboard.
A laptop, on the other hand, has its own monitor and keyboard, but less brainpower for the price. A potential bonus of the Air is the solid state drive. For long term reliability, is that a better or worse bet than a spinning HD?
In general, I have the possibly mistaken impression that laptops are more fragile over the long term than desktops. On the other hand, I've been using the same Thinkpad for 10 years.
Bonus question: do you know if it's possible to run a Mac laptop with the lid closed and no monitor plugged in? If I go for the laptop option, it would be closed except when troubleshooting is needed.
I'm sure there are other issues I haven't thought of.