I don't know if this is the best place to ask, as it's more of a hardware question...
I will need to get a good + cheap + reliable machine to sound installations. I can invest _max_ £400 (EUR 500) and I need to get hold of the machine latest by August. Unless a miracle happens and a new Mac Mini model is announced, dropping the prices of current models by at least £150, I am looking for something comparable of the i5 2.3 GHz Mac Min, Linux based.
It can't be desktop size, it really should be a portable thing, size factor/ weight not much larger than first gen Mac Mini.
The nettops seem all underpowered for computation expensive realtime apps. I came across this : http://www.zotacusa.com/zbox-giga-id72-plus.html -- but seems like a new model or so, can't find any retailers or pricing info, at least not in the UK.
Minimum specs would be i3 2 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 100 GB HD. Will be audio only, so I guess graphics card doesn't matter. And of course, it needs to run Linux audio -- my stuff will use SuperCollider and various things on the Java VM.
How about audio interfaces? I guess there is no chance I can connect a MOTU 828 Mk II to any of these boxes? The Z-Box looks interesting saying that it has 8-channels digital audio output via HDMI. I have no clue how to get that to 8 analog line signals, but maybe there is a cheap way? Will there be a problem getting Jack to talk to this kind of interface?
Thanks for your suggestions, I hope it's not off topic!
Linux-audio-user mailing list