Mini(s) for my house
Have a Mid-2011 21" iMac that I bought a couple years ago. Could not express how much I love this machine. After decades dealing with cheap clone PCs it was heaven to be able to deal with this fine machine and the support behind it. I have 3 small children and I have set up the iMac for each of them to have a separate account and am able to limit their time on the machine, the places they can go on the Web, etc with the Parental Controls.
Anyway, I am in the process of figuring out how to expand my Mac-ness to a second machine. The easy solution is to purchase a Mini. The catch is with the account for each child (and member of our family) I'd like to be able to keep them the same on each machine. For instance, if I add a webpage to the 'allowed' list, I'd like it to show up on both computers. (To keep it easy for me and to cut down the whining!) Or to maintain the kids timing limits, so that if one uses all of their time on one machine, they can't go to the other and start again. In order to do stuff like that, do I need to get a third machine to act as a server for the other two (and any further machines I purchase)?
My other thought on the third machine (server) is would I be able to use it as a 'Media Server' for my decent amount (2T+) of music/movies/TV, etc? Would I be able to hook it up to my TV with an HDMI cable and get decent quality audio/video (similar to my 3g AppleTV)? I understand I would need something like XMBC or Plex to run this properly, but that would be NBD. Also, I did this, would I still be able to access the Media on the Server via iTunes on the other machines, or via AppleTVs? Would I just need to have iTunes running on the server for the AppleTVs?
Sorry to be so long on, but I have thought about this a lot, and just want some confirmation from people who know more about this stuff than I do!