Mac Mini for web surfing on my TV

Butlerkid

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I see Puffin interfaces using FB Messenger? Weren't there a lot of security concerns about Messenger.....and lost contacts?
 
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I'm only using it on my TV, so I can't see a security issue.
It’s the “internet of things” concern - smart devices that have little to no security built into them or that never get updated as new vulnerabilities are discovered. Anything that can download and store (even browser cache) can download infected content. Once it downloaded, it can run on your local network it can find its way around. The research into this ecosystems in the IT security field is growing, and you can bet the hackers are way ahead of them. Even a smart thermostat can be a vector to become infected.
 
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It’s the “internet of things” concern - smart devices that have little to no security built into them or that never get updated as new vulnerabilities are discovered. Anything that can download and store (even browser cache) can download infected content. Once it downloaded, it can run on your local network it can find its way around. The research into this ecosystems in the IT security field is growing, and you can bet the hackers are way ahead of them. Even a smart thermostat can be a vector to become infected.

Do you think the native Sony browser would be any safer? If not, are there other suggestions?
 
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I bought an old 2010 Mac Mini for less than $200.00. Replaced the operating system with Ubuntu Desktop. Installed Plex Media Server (The free local server). Ripped my 500 or so music CD's (over 4000 tracks), and added them to the Plex server. The Mac Mini is attached directly to my Samsung TV via an HDMI cable. The Samsung TV is routed to my Onkyo AV Receiver. The whole system is attached to wifi, and can stream movies through any service, or I can serve my purchased movies through the Mac Mini.

Note: This will teach me to read to the end of an old thread before making a reply! I guess things have moved on.....
 
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I bought an old 2010 Mac Mini for less than $200.00. Replaced the operating system with Ubuntu Desktop. Installed Plex Media Server (The free local server). Ripped my 500 or so music CD's (over 4000 tracks), and added them to the Plex server. The Mac Mini is attached directly to my Samsung TV via an HDMI cable. The Samsung TV is routed to my Onkyo AV Receiver. The whole system is attached to wifi, and can stream movies through any service, or I can serve my purchased movies through the Mac Mini.

Note: This will teach me to read to the end of an old thread before making a reply! I guess things have moved on.....

Do you have a problem like I described in post #21? With the TV serving as the monitor for the Mini, I can't read anything on the screen from my sofa because the fonts are too small.
 
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Do you have a problem like I described in post #21? With the TV serving as the monitor for the Mini, I can't read anything on the screen from my sofa because the fonts are too small.

Since the operating system is Ubuntu, I have a choice of standard web browsers. I use the default Firefox browser, but Google Chrome is available. Both allow you to change the font size. I just increased the font to 150%. No problems reading the text.

The reason for the change in operating systems, is that Apple no longer supports the version in the 2010 Mac Mini. So there may be problems with known entry points for hackers. Ubuntu on the other hand is current, and always supported.

Now, converting a Mac Mini to Ubuntu is not for the faint of heart. It is not easy. All related to the CDROM drive not having an eject button. It makes it very difficult to install Ubuntu. The install expects you to eject the CDROM disk manually at the end of the installation. You get stuck in a loop. There is a way out, but not something that is well known.
 
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Since the operating system is Ubuntu, I have a choice of standard web browsers. I use the default Firefox browser, but Google Chrome is available. Both allow you to change the font size. I just increased the font to 150%. No problems reading the text.

The reason for the change in operating systems, is that Apple no longer supports the version in the 2010 Mac Mini. So there may be problems with known entry points for hackers. Ubuntu on the other hand is current, and always supported.

Now, converting a Mac Mini to Ubuntu is not for the faint of heart. It is not easy. All related to the CDROM drive not having an eject button. It makes it very difficult to install Ubuntu. The install expects you to eject the CDROM disk manually at the end of the installation. You get stuck in a loop. There is a way out, but not something that is well known.
You are referring to the operating system on your Mac Mini.

Perhaps I misinterpreted Jim's latest messages, but I thought he was referring to a browser built into the OS of the Smart TV. @Pa .. did I misunderstand?
 
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You are referring to the operating system on your Mac Mini.

Perhaps I misinterpreted Jim's latest messages, but I thought he was referring to a browser built into the OS of the Smart TV. @Pa .. did I misunderstand?

Okay, I guess this is confusing. The Mac Mini is accessed through a specific HDMI port on the TV. I normally boot up and log into the Mac Mini while standing in front of the TV. That is where my keyboard and mouse are. Once it is booted up, I bring up the FireFox browser that is part of Ubuntu Desktop. This has a link to the Plex Media Server that contains my music MP3's and any other personal media. It also has access to an optional paid Plex account. At this point, I can change the font size of the browser to be able to see it from across the room. There are Linux drivers available that allow you to remotely control your selections with a universal remote. This has to be set up before hand, and can be problematic. Once set up it is known to be reliable.

What I was trying to get at here, it that I take a whole different path that does not rely on the Smart TV's limited browser, but a true browser and operating system. That is the advantage. But the negative, is that you need to know what you are doing, and it is not something that average person has the skill set to do. There is a learning curve. But, it can be done if you want to take the time to do it.
 
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You are referring to the operating system on your Mac Mini.

Perhaps I misinterpreted Jim's latest messages, but I thought he was referring to a browser built into the OS of the Smart TV. @Pa .. did I misunderstand?

Two separate issues, Walter.

If you start from the beginning of this thread, you will see that I initially bought a Mac Mini M1 to serve the TV, which is a Sony "Smart" TV based on the Android OS. The Mini worked fine except I was unable to read any text on the screen from my sofa as it was too small. Before I found a way around that, Mitchell suggested that there was probably a web browser that runs on the TV OS.

I did find that Sony provides a browser, but it is not installed by default. I did find it among the available apps and installed it. It worked well enough, so I returned the Mini to Apple.

The Sony browser is a bit clumsy and awkward to use, so I searched online for other options. Ι found several web sites that rated browsers for Android TVs, and they all rated the Puffin browser #1, so I installed it. I restarted this thread yesterday to relate that information, and Karen brought up the issue of security.
 
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P.s. I have a generic Bluetooth keyboard with trackpad that works from where I sit in front of the TV. It works pretty well with Puffin.
 
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Two separate issues, Walter.

If you start from the beginning of this thread, you will see that I initially bought a Mac Mini M1 to serve the TV, which is a Sony "Smart" TV based on the Android OS. The Mini worked fine except I was unable to read any text on the screen from my sofa as it was too small. Before I found a way around that, Mitchell suggested that there was probably a web browser that runs on the TV OS.

I did find that Sony provides a browser, but it is not installed by default. I did find it among the available apps and installed it. It worked well enough, so I returned the Mini to Apple.

The Sony browser is a bit clumsy and awkward to use, so I searched online for other options. Ι found several web sites that rated browsers for Android TVs, and they all rated the Puffin browser #1, so I installed it. I restarted this thread yesterday to relate that information, and Karen brought up the issue of security.
Thanks for that clarification.

Most macOS browsers support CMD-(plus/equal) and CMD-(minus) to increase or decrease the font size. You could try that with your Firefox browser and skip the TV OS browser. I would trust the macOS browser to be more secure as it gets updated more frequently.
 
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Thanks for that clarification.

Most macOS browsers support CMD-(plus/equal) and CMD-(minus) to increase or decrease the font size. You could try that with your Firefox browser and skip the TV OS browser. I would trust the macOS browser to be more secure as it gets updated more frequently.

Yes I did try that, but it was not a complete solution.

Recall that I no longer have the Mini...I returned it to Apple last April (Post #37).
 
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Okay, I guess this is confusing. The Mac Mini is accessed through a specific HDMI port on the TV. I normally boot up and log into the Mac Mini while standing in front of the TV. That is where my keyboard and mouse are. Once it is booted up, I bring up the FireFox browser that is part of Ubuntu Desktop. This has a link to the Plex Media Server that contains my music MP3's and any other personal media. It also has access to an optional paid Plex account. At this point, I can change the font size of the browser to be able to see it from across the room. There are Linux drivers available that allow you to remotely control your selections with a universal remote. This has to be set up before hand, and can be problematic. Once set up it is known to be reliable.

What I was trying to get at here, it that I take a whole different path that does not rely on the Smart TV's limited browser, but a true browser and operating system. That is the advantage. But the negative, is that you need to know what you are doing, and it is not something that average person has the skill set to do. There is a learning curve. But, it can be done if you want to take the time to do it.

During the years before I retired, I spent (wasted) a good bit of time using Linux on an Intel machine, trying to compile and run Fortran programs on the cheap, so I have some familiarity with Linux. But I would much prefer to stick with MacOS by buying a modern Mini if I were to go that way.
 
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During the years before I retired, I spent (wasted) a good bit of time using Linux on an Intel machine, trying to compile and run Fortran programs on the cheap, so I have some familiarity with Linux. But I would much prefer to stick with MacOS by buying a modern Mini if I were to go that way.

Understood. I would prefer that as well. But for me, money is always a factor. So, if I can find a cheaper way that does the job, that is what I will use. Now, if I could just win the lotto! All that would change!
 
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Yes I did try that, but it was not a complete solution.
What was not complete about it? The screen resolution could have been adjusted in the operating system and that would affect anything running like a browser. But if you had a browser open you can't read anything on, CMD+/- "zooms" inside the browser. Those are the only 2 options you have to make things bigger on any screen.
 

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