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A review of Mac mini :D

Sonny Gill
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Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Funny, this one

http://www.divisiontwo.com/articles/MacMini2.html


...
To see how much industry support the Mac platform has these days, I did a google to see if there were Mac versions of any of my favorite applications; unfortunately I ended up disappointed every time. There are very few first-person shooters for OS X. There is no Mac version of WeatherBug to check the temperature anywhere in the world. Nor is there a Mac version of helpful web and email enhancers like Hotbar. Or any equivalent of the DealHelper software I use to keep track of my passwords. My Office 2003 CD would not install, despite claims I had heard from Mac fanboys that OS X is compatible with Office. Heck, the Internet Explorer icon isn�t even out on the taskbar by default, it�s buried in the c:\applications folder. ...
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Excellently written article.
More or less mirrors my own views of the machine, especially the hardware part which is indeed serious (no expansion slots, no floppy drive (never mind I last used mine a year ago, I did use it), only way to get some things like a larger harddisk is to have them installed at the factory).

And indeed the fact that it doesn't run Windows software is a major hurdle for people who have an investment in Windows products (which is the majority of computer users).


42
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
The Sunday Times had an interesting short article on the Mini Mac.

Still wasn't far off a Windows notebook's performance. Great if you want to go virus free. 80GB of hard disk wasn't much if making videos. Apple mouse wasn't easy to use Microsoft Optical Elite @ �65 was much better. Need to pay more for keyboard and mouse and VDU.With M$ those are included in their packages for an extra �30.

Put me off the Mini Mac but would consider a G5 iMAc. All the best people have one. If it would work for 5 years I'd be a happy bunny.


Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Sonny Gill
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Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

Excellently written article.


You do realize that he is being sarcastic when he is talking about most of the windows stuff, don't you?


So is the mini a maxi value? For me, clearly, no. When I consider that a good deal of my time is spent running applications like Disk Defragmenter, Scandisk, Norton AV, Windows Update and Ad-Aware--none of which are available for the Mac platform--it doesn't make sense for me to "switch" to a Mac at this time
Jeroen Wenting
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I do know he was sarcastic.
The fact that his sarcasm failed (it still didn't make the Mac Mini look good even to people knowing it is sarcasm) makes it even more funny.
Joe Hepp
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 07, 2005
Posts: 12
The writer appeared to have no clue about Macs in general.

The Mac Mini is not designed for people who want to tinker with their machines. In fact other than the Power Mac machines, Macs are not very upgradable.

With a Mac Mini you get a very capable basic system that you can plug in an existing USB keyboard and mouse and any display you have around.

The whole bit about Office 2003 is either a joke or shows that the writer has absolutely no clue. MS released a version of Office for OS X in the last year or two. You can't use an existing Wintel CD to install it and no Mac "fanboy" would have told him that.

The Mac Mini also comes preloaded with all the needed software that most starters will need. You have Safari for browsing (why they still include IE on the box is beyond me - MS stopped supporting Mac IE years ago) and the new Apple word processor, Pages. Pages can import Word documents (at least until MS "improves" their file formats again) so that angle is handled.

Also, no Macs since the year 2000 (or so) have a floppy drive. Why do you need one? I bought an external USB floppy drive to transfer some data but it's been years since I used it. USB thumbdrives have more than replaced floppies.

And the biggest plus for the Mac Mini is that it runs a real, secure OS in OS X, out of the box. No racing to install all the latest patches in the hour or so you get before your new Wintel box gets clobbered with virii.

And besides, you get Java built in.

I can understand people not liking Macs but I'd like them to at least not like them for valid reasons.

Joe
[ February 08, 2005: Message edited by: Joe Hepp ]
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60062
    
  65

Excellently written article.


Only if "excellently written" is a code-phrase for "completely clueless".

If you can make it past the first two paragraphs without rolling your eyes, he loses all credibility at the beginning of the 3rd when he writes;


If you believe Apple�s marketing department, the new Mini is �smaller than most packs of gum� and weighs �less than four quarters


This claim was made for the new iPod Shuffle, not the Mac Mini. How can you trust the credibility of someone who can't tell a low end MP3 player from a desktop computer?

And as Joe pointed out, the rest of the article is full of the usual tripe of purposefully missing the point and loading up on red herrings.

I got to see the first 2 Mac Minis sold here in Austin, and they're great machines for the purpose for which they are intended.


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Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:


I got to see the first 2 Mac Minis sold here in Austin, and they're great machines for the purpose for which they are intended.


can you elaborate on the purpose they are intended?

one side note: without ipod apple would half dead by now. just a general observation.


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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    6

Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


can you elaborate on the purpose they are intended?

one side note: without ipod apple would half dead by now. just a general observation.


They are meant for people that already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc and don't need to buy a complete system just to get a better/upgraded PC, oops, I mean Mac.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

an you elaborate on the purpose they are intended?


Primarily a machine for those wanting to try and see if Macs and OS X are as good as claimed without investing a boatload of money. Granted, it's got the chops for a lot else as well, but I think that's its primary purpose.


one side note: without ipod apple would half dead by now. just a general observation.


FUD. That is an opinion, not an observation. People have been saying "Apple is dying" for years. In fact, it's become something of catch-phrase (using the phrase "Apple is dying" to counter premature claims that some company is going down the tubes).
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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    1
Bear Bibeault:

If you can make it past the first two paragraphs without rolling your eyes, he loses all credibility at the beginning of the 3rd when he writes;

I'm pretty sure the whole article was satire, albeit too subtle for the internet. Those are exactly the objections that will be voiced. Meanwhile, us Mac people will be busy getting work done instead of spending all our time running antivirus software and disk defragmenters ... just don't tell the Windows people that.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

I certainly hope so. Sometimes it's hard to tell what's a spoof and what's just general cluelessness. Read any John Dvorak columns lately?
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
I had a good chuckle reading the "preview" of the G5 iBook on the same site:

While the size and weight of the unit had to be increased slightly to accommodate the larger heatsink of the G5 processor and five new computer-controlled cooling fans, most Powerbook users will barely notice the difference. Where the G4 Powerbook models measured in at about �� with the lid closed, the G5 comes in at just under 6� thin, still small enough to fit in an average suitcase. The weight of the portable has also been increased from 5.6 lbs. to 18.2 lbs. Even with the generous cooling, we were warned by Apple not to place the unit on our laps, as the prototype G5 can cause burns after periods of extended use.

My first impression: Somewhat bulkier than the earlier G4 models, but that�s a small price to pay for 64-bit G5 power. The Powerbook G5 will definitely be another hit for Apple.



http://www.divisiontwo.com/articles/appleweek1.html
Gerald Davis
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I bought a second second-hand small compaq �69, its a little bigger and a little slower then Imac mini but it runs XP like a dream.
Kishore Dandu
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Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Gerald Davis:
I bought a second second-hand small compaq �69, its a little bigger and a little slower then Imac mini but it runs XP like a dream.


You have a good point here.

Unless some one wants to waste their $500, there is no point in buying a mini mac, since it does not bring anything different from a $250 pc to the table.

Why don't they buy a used a PC and donate the remaining to noble causes like 'Tsunami'
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

since it does not bring anything different from a $250 pc to the table.


Yes, it does: OS X. 'nuff said.
Bert Bates
author
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
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    5
What Bear said

I reckon my time is worth something, and even though I still have my thinkpad for those occasional "pc-only" situations, I'm thrilled with OS X. Thrilled that I don't have to waste my time rebooting a couple of times a day, babying my system by limiting how many windows I have open, and last but not least, not having to worry about viruses! How long before wasting your time dealing with windoze's various treasonous (according to McNealy, with whom I agree ), shortcomings will end up costing you more, than using a machine that just runs?


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
How to do something to the macMini to make it bigger - a mini server

You should not try this unless you are prepared to lose your entire Mac mini investment, and you should definitely not try it if you do not have an appreciation for the dangers of power tools, electricity and the jagged edges found inside PC cases!

if you are a switcher - just love the jargon
[ February 10, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
What Bear said

I reckon my time is worth something, and even though I still have my thinkpad for those occasional "pc-only" situations, I'm thrilled with OS X. Thrilled that I don't have to waste my time rebooting a couple of times a day, babying my system by limiting how many windows I have open, and last but not least, not having to worry about viruses! How long before wasting your time dealing with windoze's various treasonous (according to McNealy, with whom I agree ), shortcomings will end up costing you more, than using a machine that just runs?


What ever the irrelavant stuff you are talking about is the case with Windows 5 years ago. Unless you are clicking 'yes' on wrong websites, I never had problems with XP at home. I hardly need to reboot it(compared to 2-3 times you are talking about)..

With all the security issues that may be copingup with IE, XP by itself is relatively safe to use(this is what is used by many J2ee developers for day-to-day development work, unless Linux is given out at work).

I will stick with my point that, unless you are one of those highly(may be some times over)payed employees who do not have other reasonable causes to spend on(like charity, tuition plan for kids, 401k etc) buying a mac-mini is a waste of your mulla.
Venkatraman Kandaswamy
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Joined: Jul 07, 2004
Posts: 120
There are numerous discussions on Windows vs OS X platforms. There is a website X vs XP comparing both the platforms on every aspect.

Heres a small jist of stuff a mac can do - and a windows still can but you have to cough up some "moolah" or pirate it.

* iMovie,iPhoto,iTunes - download a movie from a mini dv camera, add some still pics which are pulled in automatically from iPhoto, and add some background songs from your mp3 collection from iTunes. Now by pulling in I mean the albums in iPhoto and playlists in iTunes are neatly displayed inside iMovie. Seamless integration. Once you create a movie you have a hell lot of options - want it in DV format, CD size, for web?

* Wireless internet - its ON the moment you bring your laptop from sleep. In windows you have to restart or go search for network preferences and do some "tricks" to get back your connection.

* Uptime - I never close my terminal window, email, stickies, half edited text doc - anything. It never crashes. The power of *nix.

* I havent had a chance to try out iDVD or garageband.

* expose( that french word !! ) - its patented - and i doubt if windows will ever have such an useful trick.

* An array of software - mostly free. Like geektool - where you can show you r console output on your desktop - that is automatically refreshed when the log file changes - its so useful - all you have to do to check the log file is to press F11- and your desktop is shown.
THen there is this app Quicksilver.
The glorious transparent effects which is systemwide.

Now the above tools I have said - have costed me nothing. It all comes with OS X ( btw - OS X is cheaper than your WIndows XP HOME ) or you can get it as a freeware or cough up 10 or 15$ for those nice little apps developed by mac enthusiasts.

You dont know what you are missing. Try going to a showroom and just play around. Mac hardware "was" expensive - not anymore.


--Venkatraman<br />SCJP 1.4<br /><a href="http://kvrlogs.blogspot.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">blog</a>
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Venkatraman Kandaswamy:
There are numerous discussions on Windows vs OS X platforms. There is a website X vs XP comparing both the platforms on every aspect.

Heres a small jist of stuff a mac can do - and a windows still can but you have to cough up some "moolah" or pirate it.

* iMovie,iPhoto,iTunes - download a movie from a mini dv camera, add some still pics which are pulled in automatically from iPhoto, and add some background songs from your mp3 collection from iTunes. Now by pulling in I mean the albums in iPhoto and playlists in iTunes are neatly displayed inside iMovie. Seamless integration. Once you create a movie you have a hell lot of options - want it in DV format, CD size, for web?

* Wireless internet - its ON the moment you bring your laptop from sleep. In windows you have to restart or go search for network preferences and do some "tricks" to get back your connection.

* Uptime - I never close my terminal window, email, stickies, half edited text doc - anything. It never crashes. The power of *nix.

* I havent had a chance to try out iDVD or garageband.

* expose( that french word !! ) - its patented - and i doubt if windows will ever have such an useful trick.

* An array of software - mostly free. Like geektool - where you can show you r console output on your desktop - that is automatically refreshed when the log file changes - its so useful - all you have to do to check the log file is to press F11- and your desktop is shown.
THen there is this app Quicksilver.
The glorious transparent effects which is systemwide.

Now the above tools I have said - have costed me nothing. It all comes with OS X ( btw - OS X is cheaper than your WIndows XP HOME ) or you can get it as a freeware or cough up 10 or 15$ for those nice little apps developed by mac enthusiasts.

You dont know what you are missing. Try going to a showroom and just play around. Mac hardware "was" expensive - not anymore.



of all the things you have pointed, some are outdated stuff. Let me point out here.

"* Wireless internet - its ON the moment you bring your laptop from sleep. In windows you have to restart or go search for network preferences and do some "tricks" to get back your connection." --> are you kidding, I just need to press one button to get to my preferred encrypted wireless network all the time, i don't need to go into network preferences and such crap.

"* Uptime - I never close my terminal window, email, stickies, half edited text doc - anything. It never crashes. The power of *nix." ===> this is utter non-sense. If you are using firefox on XP, i never had to reboot the laptop like the number of time you are mentioning.

"* iMovie,iPhoto,iTunes" ==> itunes can be seen on windows, unless u are living in year 2004 january.

"* I havent had a chance to try out iDVD or garageband." ===> don't talk if you have not used that.
Bert Bates
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
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    5
At last year's JavaOne keynote, Scott McNealy said something like: "Any government agency that uses Internet Explorer should be brought up on treason charges". I kind of agree with him. Some HUGE percentage (I'm guessing 95%?), of all viruses are Windoze viruses... we really could be talking about national security issues. I don't have any anti-virus software on my Mac... I sure did on my PC - and it wasn't free, and it took a LOT of my time to keep it current.

In terms of rebooting... well my experience is that if you're really pushing your machine, doing LOTS of things at once, having LOTS of windows open at once, Windoze is pretty likely to hang one of your apps, and a fair percentage of the time, once that happens you're looking at a reboot.

The other thing I've noticed os that installing new hardware and software on my Mac is just... easier.

So my point is that if you value your time at all, the few hundred bucks you MIGHT save buying a Wintel system will quickly be eaten up in lost productivity.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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    6

This is such a waste of time people. Look, if you like Windows great, use it. You aren't going to convert the OSXites. And likewise, if you like OSX/Mac great, use it. You aren't going to convert those people that love Windows.

:roll:
Jeroen Wenting
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Posts: 5093
It's easier to get a pragmatic person to look at something else than to a Mac user to even consider looking at something else
They're among the most religious fanatics I ever meet anywhere, almost as bad as the ayatollahs in Iran
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
It's easier to get a pragmatic person to look at something else than to a Mac user to even consider looking at something else
They're among the most religious fanatics I ever meet anywhere, almost as bad as the ayatollahs in Iran


almost as bad as indian parents after marriage
Bert Bates
author
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
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    5
Well this IS MD after all

So I'll admit very openly that I think Microsoft is a reprehensible company. I think their products are horribly designed and written, and they're overpriced to boot. The human factor engineering on their products is non-existent, and that's important! When people use software for big chunks of time, the quality of the software affects them. Microsoft makes ugly, invasive and unintuitive products. And now I think their browser really represents a security risk.

I'm thrilled that Apple is out there, if not for them I'd be using Linux or Solaris.
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Well this IS MD after all

I'm thrilled that Apple is out there, if not for them I'd be using Linux or Solaris.


That is exactly the reason + expensive nature of Apple(in the past) why people have two partitions in their home pcs. One for XP and the other for Linux
Ben Souther
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Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Disclaimer: I like Macs. If I could afford one right now, I'd seriously consider buying it. I don't hate MS but I do have some issues with some of their products and practices. I use Linux on the desktop at work and home.

All that being said, I found this amusing.
I know quite a few Mac snobs.
http://simple.souther.us/iProduct.gif

Warning: contains some naughty words..


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Bert Bates
author
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Posts: 8764
    
    5
iProduct
Jeroen Wenting
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Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


almost as bad as indian parents after marriage


Indian arranged marriage with a Mac?
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

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  65

a Mac user to even consider looking at something else


Actually I find that it's the Microsoft apologists who seem to have the blinders on, but...

I've been around for long enough to have looked at something else. Lots of something elses. I'm not someone who 'grew up' on Macs and haven't seen anything else. I used Windows for years and years, along with too many Unix variants to count, and even my beloved VAX/VMS.

When I found that Macs with OS X did exactly what Bert pointed out -- allowed me to get stuff done instead of baby-sitting the OS, I "switched" in a heart beat.

The only time I spend in front of XP is at various neighbors fixing the Security Problem du Jour.

But as Gregg pointed out: if you're happy with Windoze, more power to you. If you value your time, take off the apologist blinders and give OS X a try. (What was the old commercial? "Try it, you'll like it!")

And, to the point, the Mac Mini is a perfect way to try it out without plunking down a lot of cash. (Though I suspect that the vast majority of "try it outers" will be plunking down the cash for a G5 once they find the waters are so, so nice!)
[ February 10, 2005: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
AFAIK, Mac is big amongst artists, publishers, and videophiles. If those are your things, you're probably better off with a Mac which has generally better and cheaper software to support those activities. If you are an average computer user who wants to surf the internet, pay bills, do their taxes, and play some games, you'll probably be happier with an XP based machine. Not that you can't do one on the other, but Mac has found its niche with certain types of apps, and MS is the de-facto standard. Standards are good for the general population who don't want to worry whether or not an app they want will run on their machine.

So as I see it, the type of user you are will determine which OS is "best" for you. The holy war of X vs XP is generally pointless (although it has been pointed out that this is MD).

My big problem with Macs... I have yet to find one that doesn't have a defective mouse. The left and right buttons always seem to stick.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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    1
Gregg Bolinger:

You aren't going to convert those people that love Windows.

There are people that actually love Windows?

(I mean, other than the models that pose for Microsoft ads....)
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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    6

Originally posted by Warren Dew:
Gregg Bolinger:

You aren't going to convert those people that love Windows.

There are people that actually love Windows?

(I mean, other than the models that pose for Microsoft ads....)


Jeroen Wenting luuuuuuuvs Windows. I think Bill pays him to praise him though.
Jeroen Wenting
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Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:


Jeroen Wenting luuuuuuuvs Windows. I think Bill pays him to praise him though.


nah. I just consider it the best alternative for most people...

I'm not in love with any OS or hardware architecture, unlike some people who don't seem capable of looking through a Mac like I can look through a Windows
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
It's like that choice whether to buy a car or go to the gym.

With a Mac you could get places, with Windows you build muscles. I can see why some people might like Windows - it's territorial and about building defences against those mighty Bugzillas and being able to be knights in shining armour coming to the rescue of those poor defenceless women.
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
Seriously, The European Computer Driving License which every computer using secretary is required to pass, is based around Windows.
Most Accounting packages in common use are based around Windows.
Payroll packages too.

There's the MYOB accounts package for the Mac and the possibility to explain their accounts to creative users symphonically.
Gerald Davis
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
Virus
 
permaculture playing cards
 
subject: A review of Mac mini :D
 
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