Mac Mini

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Well, it's here. My new Mac Mini arrived at the post office yesterday and i took the afternoon off to go and pick it up.

First impressions are :

  • Wow! It's tiny!
  • It's really cute!
  • Mac OSX looks gorgeous, where's the command line? Ahh, that feels better.
  • It's really small.

I also treated myself to an Apple Extended Keyboard as I didn't have a USB keyboard. That's a nice piece of kit. I also got a mouse with a scroll wheel (and a second/third button) as the lack of a scroll wheel with the standard apple mouse is a real deal breaker for me.

My Mac Mini is pretty modestly specified: 256MB RAM, 1.25 GHZ G4 Processor, 40GB disk. It does have bluetooth and wireless. While the processor speed is low compared to today's screaming Pentium 4 monsters, it's actually faster than my Linux box and my Windows box, both of which are dual 1Ghz P3 machines. In use, it certainly doesn't feel like the processor is slowing things down, but I haven't tried to make DVDs or anything yet.

I'm running it through one of my L685 Eizo monitors at 1280x1024 and the quality of the display is very nice. I love all the special effects. They work, unlike the stuff that WinXP does to try and look pretty, the drop shadows and window opening effects in Mac OSX feel more coherent and feel less like cheap add-ons.

(This keyboard is really nice.)

For some reason, I can't plug a second USB device into the keyboard hub - OSX complains about the second device dawing too much power. Seems a bit odd. Is it my keyboard? Hmm, it appears that the keyboard port may not provide enough power for other devices (like a neon-lit mouse). I'll have to set one of the monitors up as a USB hub.


HKMacs said:

You'll regret not getting more RAM. You'll see a lot of the "spinning beachball".

dave said:

I'm going to upgrade it at some point myself, but the 1GB from Apple is way too expensive.

HKMacs said:

You won't be able to trade in the 256 MB. Agreed Apple's price is way over the top. I got 1GB from my dealer for $1700 (trade-in on the 256)

dave said:

It's just a standard stick of PC2700 DDR.

At some point in the future, I'm going to upgrade both the Windows box and the Linux box, so a spare stick of DDR Ram will fit into one of those.

Even $1700 sounds very expensive for one stick of RAM. I must go browse around the computer centres later on today and see what the going rate for the RAM is.

dave said:

A 1GB stick of RAM retails for $1200 or so. really don't think that the putty knives required to upgrade a Mac Mini cost an extra $500.

I am, however, inclined to believe that unquestioning obedience to the Cult of Mac has blinded some people to the reasonable costs of hardware.

I did actually laugh in the face of an Apple Reseller who quoted me $2500 for the RAM upgrade. I put my non iPod earphones back in and walked out of the store laughing.

Sure, Macs (since OS X) are pretty good, but paying over the odds for what standard hardware is not good.

(OS X is not an inheritance from Mac OS 9, it's a continuation of NeXT, and those wonderful NeXT cubes that Jobs made: rock solid Unix systems with a rock-solid GUI.)

We can thank Bill Gates for a small number of things, one of which is that, by making the PC an open standard, hardware for the PC architecture costs very little. And those things which the PPC (Mac) architecture have in common with the PC are also cheap. Things like RAM, Disks, Video Cards, Monitors, etc.

HKMacs said:

Case in point. Client needed new internal drive for G4. Went into first Mac shop 12/F Windsor Hse. Salesman quotes $1500 for 80 GB!! Few shops down the row - Seagate 80 GB $590.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on April 14, 2005 11:16 PM.

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