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  • wildgift - Monday, September 19, 2005 - link

    I bought one, and it's nice. It's very quiet (meaning it doesn't add to the noise in the office), reasonably quick, and very easy on the eyes. It is a decent development machine, at least for smaller database driven websites, and is portable enough to tote to the office. There's definitely something to be said for carrying your entire development environment around, but without spending all the $$ for a laptop. The price/performance ratios suck, but the overall fit and finish, and very nice software, more than compensate for the approximaely $150 premium you pay for going with a Mac. A SFF PC / OS combo to match the Mini simply cannot be purchased. A fairly comparable SFF PC (like the AOpen that's quiet) with the same RAM and larger hard drive, and slightly faster CPU, costs almost the same, and lacks the software. (Yes, I'm getting one of those too.)

    Also, going with any Mac at all gets you the better aesthetics that Windows lacks, and Linux totally lacks. You get better typefaces. You get better color calibration. Printing is smoother (and the addition of gimp-print is a big plus). You can type in any language you know. Even the screensaver photos are nicer. With iWork, you get nicer templates. Even the old AppleWorks clip art is pretty good (not really good, but, ok for "free" clipart). These things matter a lot if you work with documents.

    If you're in the Unix niche, a Mac is nice because it has Unix under the hood. It's not quite the standard Solaris, BSD, or Linux environment, but it's close enough for most things.

    The Mini is a pretty good computer, and a very good *product*. It's not the monster of spec benchmarks, but, most people, including technical people who you might think would care, simply don't care about those numbers.
    Reply
  • steveo561 - Friday, April 01, 2005 - link

    Interested in a FREE MAC MINI???

    I just got mine FOR FREE...EVEN SHIPPING...NO JOKE

    Just copy and paste the link EXACTLY as you see it below:

    www.FreeMiniMacs.com/?r=16680884

    All you have to do is go to the link, sign up for one FREE offer, and have some of your friends do the same and it's all yours for FREE.

    www.FreeMiniMacs.com/?r=16680884
    Reply
  • steveo561 - Monday, March 28, 2005 - link

    Interested in a FREE MAC MINI???

    I just got mine FOR FREE...EVEN SHIPPING...NO JOKE

    Just copy and paste the link EXACTLY as you see it below:

    www.FreeMiniMacs.com/?r=16680884

    All you have to do is go to the link, sign up for one FREE offer, and have some of your friends do the same and it's all yours for FREE.

    www.FreeMiniMacs.com/?r=16680884
    Reply
  • MarshallG - Monday, February 28, 2005 - link

    I love Anand's Mac articles. It's great to see an obviously pro-Windows guy like Anand look at the platform with such an open mind.

    Our home PC just died and this looks like a great replacement. I like the fact that I won't worry about viruses or spyware. I might get my 70 year-old mother one for the same reason.

    But I'm surprised that Anand makes little if any mention of the Unix core of these machines. This is Linux for people who don't want to deal with driver problems. You can open a shell window, and run Perl or a zilllion other UNIX languages and apps. I'm really impressed by that! Now I can *really* teach my children how to use computers.
    Reply
  • WorkingHardMan - Friday, February 11, 2005 - link

    The way Tiger has been described by Apple is that Tiger will still handle the pixles if the GPU can not. Having said all that, the mini isn't really being marketed to the kind of people who want or need high quality 20" and 23" displays. One of the Apple desktop computers would make more sense for that crowd. Reply
  • Xmate - Thursday, February 10, 2005 - link

    I'm sorry if this issue has already been addressed, I'd apreciate if you could restate the solution if it has been:

    OS X Tiger is supposed to use to GPU instead of the CPU to render all the pixels on the display correct? Well, while the Mac mini seems to be a very good solution for a PC user wanting to try out OS X, but from what I can see, the mini simply doesn't have nearly enough power in the GPU to power any of Apple's Cinema Displays. I have currently heard that most people are happy with the mini 20" CD combination, and I might (not certain) have heard people being happy with it even with the 23". With Tiger this is almost definetly not going to be the case.

    I was wondering if anyone has any input on that, and if they know of some possible solution that could be implemented to solve the problem.

    Thank you for your help,

    Stefan
    Reply
  • Wightout - Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - link

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20050120.... Reply
  • PhoenixPyre - Sunday, February 06, 2005 - link

    Yeah, that Dell configuration isn't normal. To get those specs normally, you would have to pay well over $499. Not to mention it would be under the Small Business section of Dell.com and you would probably have to pay a good amount for shipping (as noted in #189). Reply
  • jaxcs2002 - Thursday, February 03, 2005 - link

    Hey good aricle but you tried to discuss too many things with this article. Two notes:

    1)The comparison Dell and the mini is fair but Dell doesn't sell any standard configuration computers. Every week (really, not kidding here), they run some kind of a promotion. You were able to snag a free LCD when you browsed the Dell page that day, but did you get free shipping? I guarantee the next week, you won't be able to get an LCD but maybe extra memory and a larger hard disk. They do this obviously to make each week a sale and to induce you to buy immediately.

    2) You make note that the comp is not for Apple power users and then promptly seem to forget that fact. What user would buy a mini mac and hook it to a 23" Cinema Display? It is interesting to note that it would not do well, but the Dell standard vidcard (integrated probably) wouldn't either. Judgeing from your article, it would probably be fine on a 15 or 17 inch screen.

    I think it would have been helpful, especially since you hint at it anyway to talk about its utility in performing more "average joe" type taks such as usng it in conjunction with the apple air port as a music file server or as video server. You know, those tasks that a buyer of an ipod might do with a mac mini. In every way, you seem to perfer its bigger cousins but this a mini, what tasks does the mini do well?
    Reply
  • pitdog - Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - link

    sorry for the double post....new to the forums Reply
  • pitdog - Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - link

    I am a computer guy and PC user for the past 20 years. I have worked in the industry for a little while (20 years). When I heard that MicroRedmond was going to sell anti-virus software it got my blood hopped up. Then I saw on Slashdot that Apple was going to sell stripped down versions of their Mac. Interesting, I said.

    Welp I went ahead and bought one. WOW...definately interesting. I was a mechanic doing data acquisition for CART teams. All Windows based. I have also worked on motorcycles for years.

    I boil it down to one thing. I have worked on Harley's for years. They hold their value and most people want them. There are more aftermarket parts for them than any other brand. But, I wanted a bike that worked. So I bought a Yamaha R1.

    The Mac Mini is the same darn thing.....it just works. I will be using Linux or my new Mac Mini from now on. Good stuff...

    p.s. of course when I want to hack a file or test a new game....the windows pc is still around...
    Reply
  • pitdog - Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - link

    I am a computer guy and PC user for the past 20 years. I have worked in the industry for a little while (20 years). When I heard that MicroRedmond was going to sell anti-virus software it got my blood hopped up. Then I saw on Slashdot that Apple was going to sell stripped down versions of their Mac. Interesting, I said.

    Welp I went ahead and bought one. WOW...definately interesting. I was a mechanic doing data acquisition for CART teams. All Windows based. I have also worked on motorcycles for years.

    I boil it down to one thing. I have worked on Harley's for years. They hold their value and most people want them. There are more aftermarket parts for them than any other brand. But, I wanted a bike that worked. So I bought a Yamaha R1.

    The Mac Mini is the same darn thing.....it just works. I will be using Linux or my new Mac Mini from now on. Good stuff...

    p.s. of course when I want to hack a file or test a new game....the windows pc is still around...

    pitters
    Reply
  • janmorren - Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - link

    Very good article Anand. It's objective, and I think (although I haven't touched a Mac mini yet) you hit the sweet spot with your article. I do think that not only the Mac mini is badly equipped with memory, it applies for every Mac running Mac OS X. Once you have the minimum of 512 MB RAM, you're in for a very credible platform. I'm working on an older (4 years) dual PM G4 500MHz, and 1GB RAM, and I'm not complaining (yet). Everything goes smoothly enough (I'm the IT guy here, and have to run everything).
    Also the comments on Pages, KeyNote and iLife '05 seem fair. Thanks for not being prejudiced.
    Reply
  • bjakuc - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Two quick comments:

    1) Thanks for the straight forward, even keeled, unbiased look minus any religous overtones.

    2) As for iPhoto 5 not having built in ftp support, you could always create a folder hierarchy that matches your web site structure and attach a 'Folder Actions' script to each subdirectory (written in Applescript, perl , python, shell etc...) that will ftp anything dropped into it up to the corresponding subdirectory on your site. just type 'Folder Actions' into Apple help for a discussion on how to set them up.

    Cheers!
    Bob Jakuc
    Reply
  • bjakuc - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • hopejr - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #176, I never said that it was secure, just that MS has made such a fuss about how much work they put into SP2 to make it "secure" and the stuff they put on the packaging, that would make the novice user think it was true.
    I also have a Windows box that has none of that stuff, and it's fine too, but, it sits behind a hardware firewall. If I put it in the DMZ, it would get hit like hell. I am a responsible user, and don't go downloading anything malicious (trust me, I know what to look for - I've been using PC's for long enough to know) and that is effortless. The only problem is that many people are noobs and don't know what to look for. BTW, that guy I was talking about is no noob, it was just that someone/bot had cracked into his computer through the "enhanced" firewall that MS built into SP2.
    I agree that OS X would have vulnerabilities, but at this time, who really cares? I'd only start to consider getting any AV software for my mac if I didn't have it behind the firewall and the percentage of users increased to 50% instead of the 3% it is at. Will that happen? I don't think so with the general mentality of much of the public these days toward anything "mac".
    I also agree that arguments such as these are absolutely pointless. So many people have their minds set a certain way, and are very difficult to change.
    Reply
  • matteh99 - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #178

    The Celeron isn't one of "featured" dimension 3000 desktops. Instead of clicking on the featured 3000 desktops you have to click on the link above it that says "start shopping desktops". (great set up for the site eh?)

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.a...

    I would like to test a 3000 with a P4 but I don't have one. :-P. I might try to find a few other pc's to put it up against.. Also maybe test the 1.25 ghz mini.
    Reply
  • mino - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #134 Actually I searched their home site www.grisoft.cz before posting.
    So, I'm happy You corrected me since I had no idea there is running such a project from Your link.
    Reply
  • RMSistight - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #158

    SUPER LMAO
    Reply
  • msva124 - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    Impressive results for the mini, but you might want to test it against a dell with a 2.8Ghz pentium 4. Looking at the dell website it doesn't seem like it is possible to buy a Dimension 3000 with a celeron processor anymore. Although, I could have sworn I went there a few days ago and I was able to. Reply
  • matteh99 - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    I was currious to see which was faster a Dell dimension 3000 or a mac mini. I ran a few tests I found the results interesting so i made a web page of them.

    www.macsupportpro.com/~eric

    The results were kind of supprising the mac was faster than the PC in many area's. I am not saying that the mini is a great computer but it is comparable in price and performance to the Dell. Also it doesn't get viruses or spy ware. If I was buying a cheap computer I wouldn't get a Dell..

    Eric
    Reply
  • bob661 - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    #175
    Nothing is secure. People that believe this are idiots. I can make Windows stable, virus and spyware free with little effort. And you know what? I don't even have all my patches installed. And I really don't need to install them. My sis-in-law has continuous problems with her Windows machines. People at work have continuous problems with their Windows machines. Why is my box so stable and secure? I'm on the same internet. I use the same OS and software. Mac people always say how stable and secure OSX is and how Windows isn't. There are multiple vulnerabilities in OSX also. Since most Mac users don't have any utilities installed to monitor your boxes you wouldn't know if someone was backdooring your computers. I guess I'm getting tired of these arguments. Mac users buy your Macs and PC users buy your PC's and if anyone wants to try the other OS just f$%king go do it. Quit justifying it and just go do it.
    Reply
  • hopejr - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    #147, You can say that Apple bombards people with ads in the US, but here in Australia, the only Apple add I've ever seen is an iPod ad, and that's on what, once a week, on only 1 of our 5 fta channels? I haven't even seen their ads in other countries I've been to (apart from in North America - but I haven't been to Europe, so I don't know about there).

    #149, I don't think the Mac Mini will blow the Shuttle out of the water, simply because of the type of people that by Shuttles. They're the type that want complete control over their hardware. I don't know any non-techy PC user that has a shuttle. If there are, it would because their techy relative or friend got it for them. That said, I would love to see any mac whip a PC in sales (not forgetting I'm an OEM myself, but I have gotten sick of Windows and can't be bothered wasting time configuring linux how I want it. Been down that road and hate it).

    #157, OS X sits on top of Darwin which is OSS. The only part you pay for in OS X is the GUI, which makes OS X cheaper than Windows by far. And don't forget that most, if not all, of the OSS software for linux is easily ported to OS X (running in X11), and there is a huge OSS community on OS X AFAIK.

    #174, I hate ppl like you. I have to put up with their crap all the time at Uni. "Linux is the best OS, it beats the others, etc,etc" Yes, Linux is a great OS, but it isn't intuitive like some others. I know the ins and outs of linux, because I use it a lot, but I don't like it as much as OS X or even Windows. It's a damn pain. Yes, it's much more configurable, you can add extra kernel modules to do a certain thing, etc, etc. But not every one gets horny over doing things like that. The average computer user just wants to use the computer. Unfortunately, that can even be hard with Windows, which many people spend about the same amount time trying to fix it as linux geeks spend configuring linux (making Linux more attractive, I rather configure than put up with virii and maintenance :P). On OS X, none of this is necessary (ok, Linux is extremely usable straight after an install, provided the driver modules are actually complete!). I think if you want power of *n?x and want to be able to use the computer, get a Mac. That's what I did.

    On another note, a friend of mine had to reinstall XPSP2 three times last night, because as soon as he went on the net to download windows updates, spyware was loaded on his machine (I mean, we timed it, and it took 20 seconds before a popup would appear with a shortcut on his desktop to a porn site). He hadn't even started MSIE yet. Luckily I know how the new Windows firewall works, and turned off exceptions before he connected, which worked. I had to turn them on again after the updates were d/led, so his bro could use the internet and filesharing through the network they have (ICS on dial up too - yuck). By then the updates were blocking the spyware and so there was no more problems. Sad thing is, I recommended he install linux for his internet use, before we got the issue sorted out. This sort of thing shouldn't happen, especially with MS saying how secure SP2 is supposed to be. Crap if you ask me. I've never seen spyware load that fast onto a Windows box before. I think that because the source code of Linux and Darwin are open, it helps with vulnerabilities, because crackers know what they are and don't find it a challenge, but that's my opinion (now, where was I going with all this? - oh yeah, macs aren't crap).
    Reply
  • linuxOwnzIfUrLeet - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    My 160 year old great great great great grandpa prefers a pc because he's in a wheel chair. Also,
    he figures he doesn't have much time left so he
    needs a really fast system not some slow crap.
    He's running 6800ultras in an sli rig.

    He runs linux boot os cds and reboots every 1 hour so there's no way he can get /viruses/worms/etc unlike some pretty-looking-girly os.

    He told me the story about how remembers when jobless aka "the grand leader of the cult" saw what xerox was doing with guis and decide he should steal the idea and pretend like he came up with it so the cult will believe they made something grand.

    He also told me back in the days before lsd
    people wanted cheap no-frills machines that had
    the freedom to be upgradable.

    My dog skip also prefers linux because when I told
    him to the apple store he pissed on every computer
    he got near.

    You can lead a dog to crapple but you can't
    make him piss.



    free Martha Steward
    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    #168, Lol! Reply
  • Olafva - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    My 90-year-old father and his older brother adapted well to Macs I got them after becoming disgusted with several PCs. I'm comforted to know Dad will never have to worrry about getting viruses and worms.

    OSX is inuitive (it does what you expect), so there's really not much to learn - you can be productive all at once. The mystery of connecting external disks, printers, scanners, slots, drivers etc. is gone, as it should be.
    Reply
  • Olafva - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    Not a Problem! Our Mac USB keyboard is ALSO a hub as it has two more USB ports, one I use for a mouse and the other for a USB memory stick or whatever. These 3 devices share one Mac Mini USB Port leaving yet another for whatever. Reply
  • Olafva - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    I have 2 Mac Minis (cost $469 each as Gov't employees and educators pay less). Unless I missed it, the review failed to mention in the price comparison that the Mac Mini comes with a FREE $100 Epson Color Printer (I got 2) or $100 off any Epson printer. That tilts the comparison $100 more in favor of Mac Minis. (The $70 to double memory to 512MB is well worth it).
    We got bluetooth on one which allows such things as controlling iTunes playlists remotely from cell phones (Sony Erikson 68is).
    $19 DVI video adapter allows watching Norwegian or other TV programs on big screen TV. The Mac Mini is much more than a
    computer 5% the size of other computers. OSX and Unix is worth the $469 itself. Think different.
    Reply
  • Eug - Saturday, January 29, 2005 - link

    Dammit. I knew I should have invested in AAPL back when it was at twenty-five bux. :( Reply
  • msva124 - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    >4)Guilt - maybe I should have been nicer to Apple all along. I'm now out of the loop.

    I know, I am hitting myself on the head right now for this very reason. If I had only been nicer to them when they were down and out, before they became big, they might now bestow the same favor upon me that they do to their supporters. Who right now are all getting huge discounts on iPods and Mac Minis, the latest information on future products before anyone else knows it, and first priority to receive the coveted job of shift manager at their local Apple store.
    Reply
  • aliasfox - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    mlittl3- that's hilarious. Reply
  • mlittl3 - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    Wow,

    Everyone just went through the eight stages of dealing with grief from the first post to the last. Cool!

    1)Shock - Apple reviews on Anandtech
    2)Emotional Release - just those crazy Mac fans, it will all pass
    3)Panic - maybe Apple might just have something here. Oh no, what about my shuttle box!?
    4)Guilt - maybe I should have been nicer to Apple all along. I'm now out of the loop.
    5)Hostility - those f*cking Mac fans. They don't know how cheap PCs can be.
    6)Inability to Resume Business-as-Usual activities - must read forum every second to ensure a Mac fan doesn't get in a good point without rebuttal
    7)Reconiliation of Grief - see description of emotional release
    8)Hope - we can stop reading anandtech.com and go to another hardware review site where there aren't any Mac articles. If we ignore Apple, they will go away.

    You guys crack me up. Let me know when the funeral is.
    Reply
  • ElFenix - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    heat sink is two words. thanks. Reply
  • ransath - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    Cocnord..."By the way, it is the same 'narrow minded' engineers as you call them who make miniMac. No?"

    Nope - they are OPEN minded "revolutionizers" caught in the Steve Jobs "reality distortion" field :)

    Concord - my apologies to you for being a smart ass. My comments weren't meant to be malicious, I was just poking fun at you. As I said to cygni, I will refrain from them in the future.

    BTW - I drink 2 or 3 Mountain Dews (Code Red) everyday! w00t!
    Reply
  • WorkingHardMan - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    #157 "I guess Mac folks are used to paying for everything and don't mind it" - I guess this is a perspective thing. I've always thought of the Wintel crowd as being the ones that like to pay for things that can be had for free on other platforms, since just about all the software I've ever needed either came with the Mac or was easily available as freeware or low cost shareware. In fact, I long ago concluded that one of the reasons you only found 12,000- 15,000 Mac software packages for the Mac vs. the 80,000+ (well, way less if you don't count the games) on the Wintel side is that (1) You don't need a lot of the utility programs like those used by the Wintel crowd to keep a Mac going, (2) free programs on the Mac drive out commercial products, and (3) Mac people are more into value than cost, and are less likely to pay for a program than a Wintel user unless it really makes their life easier. And, or course, most of the major Open Source projects are Unix/Linux stuff and run on Macs (you do know that Mac is a Unix system?), that are ported to Windows.

    I also find it curious that Wintel people are always concerned about the availability of software on the Mac, but when you find out what programs they use it is usually MS-Word, MS-Excel, MS-Powerpoint, Adobe's Photoshop, and Quark DP, all Mac programs that have been ported to Windows, usually years after their depute on the Mac. And what is the Windows user interface but an imitation (and some would argue, not a particularly good one) of the Mac OS? [I have to admit here, that I haven't spent a lot of time with XP, but both Windows 95 and Windows 98, at least from the UI standpoint, were pretty half-baked imitations of Mac 85, and even MS would like to forget that Windows 1.x through 3.x ever happened).

    Similarly, to me it is the Wintel users that seem to include among their ranks the shrill who regard computer operating system selection as more of a religion than as choosing the best tool for the job ( in this thread, people like Concord come to mind).

    As I said, it's a perspective thing, what the "Wintel" crowd looks like vs what the "Mac" crowd looks like seems to change with where you are sitting. The good thing about the 3 articles to which this whole thread is supposedly relating, is that one member of one camp made a concerted effort to put away his prejudices and see what life was like on the other side. It was undoubtedly a difficult job, and I think he did a good job with it.

    Reply
  • mzlin - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    I meant after anandtech, of course :) Reply
  • mzlin - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    Arstechnica is the single best technology site on the internet. Their software and hardware reviews are done by programmers and engineers and is full of all the technical details you would ever want to know while at the same time assessing the more consumer-oriented questions such as value, productivity, practicality. Then they are very up-to-date on general science, technology, and internet news. I have learned of many an upcoming trend or internet phenomenon from them. Reply
  • Entropyq3 - Friday, January 28, 2005 - link

    arstechnica is head and shoulders over the others in terms of general level, even though it has deteriorated (IMHO). Go to the technical forums, and you will find knowledgeable people.
    If you just want to blubber about technical stuff and voice opinions, please choose one of the others. ;-)
    Seriously, there are knowledgeable people in all three of these fora, but the signal-to-noise ratio is way better at arstechnica.
    Reply
  • msva124 - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Speaking of which what are some other hardware sites to go to? I know of three, hardocp.com, arstechnica.com, and tomshardware.com. Are these any good? They all look very similar, just wondering if there is a certain one that is better than these three that I should take a look at. Reply
  • linuxOwnzIfUrLeet - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Anand,

    you used to be my hero below john carmack and martha steward.

    After seeing you get married and now this mac loving I can only believe that you've lost your engineering edge.

    Your poster on my wall will now be taken down.

    Reply
  • fitten - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Actually... the Mac mini is hardly *the* home media machine except for playback tasks. It doesn't have the horsepower to do realtime encoding and no way to expand it to have such functionality.

    As far as both sides bringing up stuff from the early 90's about hardware, I haven't had a single x86 PC have any of the problems you've mentioned here.

    As far as the software, just as with any other software package that is actually useful, somewhere out there, some OSS folks are already off and running cloning the software. It's not like Macs are magic or anything, it's just software and a matter of just writing it. The thing about OSS is that any software package that gets popular, OSS can drop the bottom out of the market for that software by offering free (as in no-cost) alternatives for it. I guess Mac folks are used to paying for everything and don't mind it, but things will change I'm sure.
    Reply
  • aliasfox - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    I think I agree with ransath. Each platform has its place, market, upsides and downsides. I personally use a Mac because I find it more enjoyable and generally easier to get around in. Yes, there are aspects of Windows that may seem somewhat more intuitive, and yes, there are aspects where OSX wins hands down.

    For the stuff I do, my two year old PowerBook is usually more than enough- and if that's true for me, than it's true for Joe Normal who doesn't care if your homebuilt is 15% or 150% faster than his machine in processor or disk intensive tasks. He wants to surf the web, write memos, and bore the rest of his family with slideshows. Anybody who needs that kind of power knows enough not to buy a $600 microsystem.

    One last thing: Mac is a product. Apple is the company. Saying that you're throwing money away at Mac (or worse, MAC) is just as bad as saying you're throwing money away at Windows (or Athlon or Pentium).
    Reply
  • ransath - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Cygni,

    Sorry, not a fanboy. I make my living on a PC. I just built a new PC (ASUS P4R800E, P4 2.8, gig of ram). I LOVE PC's! I think Win XP Pro is one of the best operating systems I have ever used. I won't bash PC's in any way, shape, or form. (I'll bash Microsoft, but I am sure you would too ;)

    However, I also use Mac's for audio recording. I use Mac's for video editing.

    Both platforms are excellent for their purposes. What I take exception to is people like Concord and a few others on this board that belittle a perfectly good OS and company and dismiss it as an afterthought - as if it doesn't belong in a computer discussion.

    This has nothing to do with being a "religious" zealot - it has to do with giving respect where it has been earned and is due. And it pisses me off when people take an elitist attitude (and that goes for Mac snobs too).

    Yes, I agree that I am a smart ass (but not a tool). And I will refrain in the future from making sarcastic comments.

    One last thing - please explain "there are SO many problems littered in all of your posts" (only 3 posts). I would like to know what they are.
    Reply
  • Deucer - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    I love Mountain Dew. Reply
  • Concord - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    ransath,
    I clearly expressed my point of view on miniMac You expressed your point of view on ME in pejorative tone. We have no common points to discuss, sorry. By the way, it is the same 'narrow minded'
    engineers as you call them who make miniMac. No? Let me guess... Eh, it's a beautiful fairy who picks miniMacs from magic Apple tree in the morning twilight.
    P.S. I don't drink Mountain Dew and I am OK with shower, too
    Best regards,
    Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Ransath, you are a tool. You are more of a fanboy than the PC fanboys you are bashing. There are SO many problems littered in all of your posts thats its gotten to the point where i just have to call you a tool and be done with it. We had a pretty good rational pro/con debate about the mini going before you came in, and now its another name fest. Thanks alot. Concord, you too are a tool. Reply
  • ransath - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    concord,

    Please! YOU are the one with an attitude - a PC holier than though attitude that dismisses Mac's as a peice of junk and poo poo's the very thought of owning a Mac. Why the hell do you think I wrote the response to you that I did? To tell YOU to get off your high horse.

    And, dood, try to proof read your posts. Or did you have to turn off spell check in Word cause it had a macro virus?

    BTW - don;t you and peachee have a D&D event to attend tonite? You two, I am sure, would make great friends ;) Just take it easy on the Mountain Dew.
    Reply
  • Concord - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    #145
    Oh, I am sorry! I did not know that it's religion.
    I am really sorry I thought that we were talking about computers. Sorry again I wasn't respectful to this box full of chips. Yes I am very narrow minded person You are right that's why I am talking about expandability, functionality, price etc. I didn't know that I should just knee and praise Mac-allmighty for letting us to be enlighted only for 499 US. There is lot job to do! You see few INTELLIGENT people left in the world and your personal attitude will not help Mac to gain popularity. Are you really think that if You can't respect other people's opinion You can be considered to be intelligent? Are You relly think that having Mac makes You intelligent?

    Best regards,
    Reply
  • ransath - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    peachee..."Ipod is not an innovation, there was the Rio and many many others before. The mini Mac is not innovation, Shuttle came before ... long before and there were many others."

    The iPod is an innovation in design, styling (just like the Mini) and GUI. There is nothing on the market that even comes CLOSE to an iPod with regards to navigation. If there was, then Apple wouldn't dominate the hard disked based market - which they do IN SPADES! You think they sold so many iPods cause people are drones? PLEASE!!! They sell so many because they hands down BLOW the others out of the water. Quality and attention to detail.

    The Mini will crush the Shuttle. Why? Because just like the iPod, it is better designed, better styled, and it runs a rock solid OS that is NOT prone to viruses AND includes iLife. There is NOTHING in the Windows or Linux world that even comes close to iLfe. Hell, an app like Garageband or iMovie alone would set a typical PC user back well over a $100 - for each seperate app!!!!

    Anands comment when unpacking the Mini sums it up best..." Once again, I wasn't reminded of a computer; I was reminded of buying something from Bose or Mercedes."

    Enough said, Mr. Bargain Hunter.
    Reply
  • peachee - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Coming from a one time Apple-owner, I can say that they WERE better than PCs. But that was quite some time ago in the early to mid 90s. I experienced pre-PPC Macs and it's various generations. I remember the Newton, AV DSP macs, clone Macs, the Apple ISP, and the promises of the NEXT OS for 68040 Macs--all died miserably leaving owners with outdated computers (forcing us to buy expensive new systems). I did my part to keep up with Apple's complete and ruthless abandoning of Macs and OS compatibility and product support, but in the end, I realized I was being stupid SUPPORTING A JUST ANOTHER CORPORATION!

    I started over with PCs and never looked back. I don't care how shiny OS X+ is, it's just BSD. If you hate Bill G and Steve B, go Linux or BSD. If you don't like Intel, get AMD. With Shuttle and everyone else going small but keeping with 3.5" HDs, and 5.25" DVDRWs and AGP/PCI slots, why suddenly switch to unupgradeable mini Mac at a premium price? Did we all win the lottery and have the time to and money to switch our softwares and all our waking ours to devote to mini Mac?

    I believe and many industry analysts concur that Apple has not innovated for years. Ipod is not an innovation, there was the Rio and many many others before. The mini Mac is not innovation, Shuttle came before ... long before and there were many others. What Apple has become is a hype machine. It makes average products and hypes the hell out of it, throws ads in your face, puts it in celebrities hands, and some of the richer MTV crowd will lap it up until they lose interest.

    Apple is all marketing hype ... an informercial. You jonny come lately Apple supporters need to realize that you are disposable tools (free marketing for the just another corporation of Apple) and Apple will abadon you high and dry (I know--been there done that). Why should we as thinking, hardworking, bargain hunting beings ... why should we lobotomize our brains and dump our money into Apple's laps for their average and expensive products when there are far better and cheaper choices out there?

    The "oh, I'm too dumb to use computers and therefore I must use Mac" excuse never made sense. Most people can learn fairly quickly to use any computer (we aren't using punch cards and I/O switches are we?). XP and even many versions of Linux are quite user friendly.

    Think, learn, grow and don't fall for corporate tricks.
    Reply
  • peachee - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Coming from a one time Apple-owner, I can say that they WERE better than PCs. But that was quite some time ago in the early to mid 90s. I experienced pre-PPC Macs and it's various generations. I remember the Newton, AV DSP macs, clone Macs, the Apple ISP, and the promises of the NEXT OS for 68040 Macs--all died miserably leaving owners with outdated computers (forcing us to buy expensive new systems). I did my part to keep up with Apple's complete and ruthless abandoning of Macs and OS compatibility and product support, but in the end, I realized I was being stupid SUPPORTING A JUST ANOTHER CORPORATION!

    I started over with PCs and never looked back. I don't care how shiny OS X+ is, it's just BSD. If you hate Bill G and Steve B, go Linux or BSD. If you don't like Intel, get AMD. With Shuttle and everyone else going small but keeping with 3.5" HDs, and 5.25" DVDRWs and AGP/PCI slots, why suddenly switch to unupgradeable mini Mac at a premium price? Did we all win the lottery and have the time to and money to switch our softwares and all our waking ours to devote to mini Mac?

    I believe and many industry analysts concur that Apple has not innovated for years. Ipod is not an innovation, there was the Rio and many many others before. The mini Mac is not innovation, Shuttle came before ... long before and there were many others. What Apple has become is a hype machine. It makes average products and hypes the hell out of it, throws ads in your face, puts it in celebrities hands, and some of the richer MTV crowd will lap it up until they lose interest.

    Apple is all marketing hype ... an informercial. You jonny come lately Apple supporters need to realize that you are disposable tools (free marketing for the just another corporation of Apple) and Apple will abadon you high and dry (I know--been there done that). Why should we as thinking, hardworking, bargain hunting beings ... why should we lobotomize our brains and dump our money into Apple's laps for their average and expensive products when there are far better and cheaper choices out there?

    The "oh, I'm too dumb to use computers and therefore I must use Mac" excuse never made sense. Most people can learn fairly quickly to use any computer (we aren't using punch cards and I/O switches are we?). XP and even many versions of Linux are quite user friendly.

    Think, learn, grow and don't fall for corporate tricks.
    Reply
  • msva124 - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Go ransath - you tell that Windows l00ser! Hooray for Apple!!!!! Reply
  • ransath - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Concord - You have to be an engineer. With a mind that narrow, there can be no other excuse. :)

    Seriously folks, you have to remember WHO the Mac mini is targeted for, the demographic that Mac is shooting for.

    Hardcore PC geeks obsessed with tech specs - Apple could care LESS about you. They don't want your business - and the Apple community doesn't want to know you either. You don't shower enough, have greasy hair, and leave too much Cheetoes dust on your keyboards.

    The mini is targeted, for one, at people like Ananad. INTELLIGENT people that would like to explore OS X for a ridiculously low price. it is also targeted at people that just want a SECOND comp. Do you seriously think Apple ever intended this as an "entry-level" system? If you do, well, expand your mind! The Mini is going to be THE home media center. Once it has been out for a few months you are going to see a plethora of apps that are just going to put the sale of these boxes through the roof. It will also serve as a great internet terminal and still be powerful enough that your kids can do their book reports and homework (especially since Dad got a new virus on the PC last night while he was surfing hotbabes.com - note: should have surfed porn on the Mac - NO VIRUSES!!!)

    There are 2 sides when approaching an issue - the glass is half full or half empty. On the one hand, when priced pound for pound against a similarly configured PC the Mac is still more expensive. So what? On the other hand, the mini comes with a $79 retail suite of apps. Okay, that brings the price of the base model down to $429.00. You do realize that a 40 gig iPod is $399, right? So, basically, for an extra 30 bucks you get an entire frigging computer ?!!!?!!!?!!!

    I have had it with the "techies" out there that add the cost of a keyboard, video, and mouse and then say the Mini is overpriced. You mean to tell me as computer literate as your are you have never heard of a frigging KVM switch ?? - which makes all of your arguments not only completely moot but somewhat idiotic. My PC 's peripherals are awesome (logitech MX900, logitech keyboard, and Dell (Sony) P991 - and I will be able to use the same ones for my Mac. I AM LOVING IT!

    You PC folks should be really thankful that Apple has not "died" and shows NO SIGNS of EVER dying off. If it wasn't for Apple and those fruity little iMacs do you think Dell and all the other folks would have ever updated their cases? HELL NO!!!

    One last thing - just remember that when you buy Dells, Gateways, etc... all you are doing is paying someone to put a box together for you. Dell doesn't MAKE ANYTHING!! All they do is buy parts in massive quantities and put them together - B F D!!!! Anand made this very point - because Apple controls everything related to their computer, everything WORKS perfectly!!! No crazy BIOS update from Taiwan that may fark everything else in your computer. And I am willing to pay a little bit higher price for QUALITY over QUANTITY! Apple LEADS the home PC market in innovation. They always have - and probably always will.

    All I can say is that Anand has probably written the definitive take on Apple from a PC users perspective. Thankfully, he has an open mind and is willing to accept changes and a small learning curve. And I have a feeling that there are A LOT more people that read this site that are in Anand's category than Concord's.
    Reply
  • abakshi - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    As for the pricing and specs, it only really matters for computer-literate users, who know at least _something_ about what they have running.

    And in that case, they can go to a company like Dell and get decent deals. Even if it's not the type that power users (e.g. experienced deal catchers at deals forums) can get, they can get some decent deals -- and that's where Apple gets knocked out of the competition.

    For example, this is what you can currently get at Dell with no special codes, nothing - just a deal on their site for $479.

    Dell Dimension 3000
    Intel Pentium 4 Processor w/ HT Technology (3.0GHz, 800 FSB)
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    256MB DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
    15 in (15.0 in viewable) E153FP Flat Panel LCD Display
    40GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive
    48X CD-ROM Drive
    Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
    2 Year Basic Warranty Plan

    That's for $479 AR. For a few extra dollars, you can toss in a CD-RW/DVD drive, 512MB Dual-Channel DDR, or other similar options.

    Yes, the Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2 is not at all powerful, even compared to a Radeon 9200, but if you pay just a bit more (just over $500), you can get the Dimension 4700, which has the 915G chipset, newer CPU's, DDR-2 RAM, PCI-Express, etc. If graphics are of concern, then you add in a Radeon X300SE for almost nothing - that blows away the 9200.

    So all in all, unless the Mac Mini can be had for under $400 at most, it's completely blown out of the water value-wise by PC options.
    Reply
  • stmok - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    I don't see what the "thing" is with the Mac mini.

    If you have a use for it, then buy it.
    If not, then spend your money on something else.

    Heck, I'm getting a Mini-ITX EPIA since I just want a small x86 based setup to learn Linux and BSD off. I wanna get my hands dirty of Tux (Linux) and Daemon (FreeBSD) in my unproductive spare time. :)

    If I had a use for a PowerPC-based setup under the Apple name, then I most likely would get something a bit more beefier that is powered by the G5 chip.

    But I don't. And I don't think I ever will as the x86 platform is cheap, abundant and widely available. (And I like to build systems myself.)

    Apple (or anyone else) aren't holding a gun to your head to make you buy. No point arguing over it.

    On a side note : You have choices, if you really want to get away from Windows while keeping your existing x86 setup (or AMD64/EMT64) and have time to burn, why not download Linux or FreeBSD? (Yes, its really FREE).

    Some of the technologies found in there are in Mac OSX. You essentially get the same stability benefits but with a lot of reading and tweaking! (SO make sure you have time to burn!) :)

    What I'm saying is, Apple products aren't the only alternative.
    Reply
  • RMSistight - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    For most PC users, they won't care about trying out the Mac because it's relatively cheap. I want to get a Mac Mini because I have heard and SEEN great things about Mac OS X Tiger. I want something reliable for everyday use. Windows XP Pro has tested my patience enough. Don't give that "90% of errors on Windows are user errors." Is turning your computer a user error then? Because that's exactly what happened. I couldn't go into windows because all I did was TURN IT ON. In all truth, it doesn't matter if you can build a better winbox for cheap and more powerful. Some PC users can finally rejoice that the price of a Mac now is now reasonable enough for us to purchase. People need to also take note about the kick ass software Apple has. Most of the Mac bashers haven't even seen or tried out Mac OS X...I HAVE. Unless you have owned and used both platforms, you cannot make a valid argument. Also, let's not associate Mac being bad on their earlier models. Those are long past and gone. Let's talk about the newer models of Macs. Reply
  • magst - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    Lots of people here make comparisons between the cost of the apple and a winbox.
    Apart that most forget the cost of the included software, there is another very big factor called

    Depreciation

    The winbox will be worth next to nothing in 2 years, while you will still be able to sell the mini mac for at least 300 in 2 years..

    So in the end the apple is lots cheaper.
    (btw, dont have one (yet))
    Reply
  • msva124 - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    CD jewel case? Please. At most it is the size of a pack of cigarettes, and that is including the power supply. Reply
  • RMSistight - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    #14

    All you need to purchase is a USB to PS/2 adapter. I have one that has both mouse/keyboard with one USB connector. It was only $7.
    Reply
  • Serpico74 - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    I test drove a 1.42ghz Mac Mini with 512MB RAM today. The first thing I did was fire up Final Cut Express.

    I am super impressed. Projects loaded fast and renders were much quicker than I thought they would be. For a sub-$700 box the size of a CD jewel case this thing is smooth as hell.
    Reply
  • Dennis Travis - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    #136, I have never figured it out either, but in some ways it reminds me of the AMD haters who bash any CPU that AMD comes out with and say that Intel is always more stable and runs more apps and on and on.

    I have never hated the Mac but simply at one time, and even now can not afford the top end Macs. I have used both platforms for years but always loved the way the Mac worked, but after 2k and XP came out, Apple really needed to come up with a new OS as OS8-9 just was not as good as Win 2k or XP with Shared Multitasking and memory. OSX came along and gave Apple just what they needed, A STABLE OS with Great Multitasking and Memory managment with a solid BSD Darwin core.

    If Macs still were running OS9 I would not be as excited about a new Mac today.
    Reply
  • hopejr - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    I don't understand why there is so much open opposition to apple. I used to be a mac hater, but I kept it to myself. Then I tried OS X 10.3, and now use it all the time. I rather it over anything else.
    To all those mac bashers: If apple hasn't done anything bad to you, why make so many bad comments about it?
    Reply
  • Dennis Travis - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    So 134, It BLOWS down McAfee eh? Check this. Check which found the most viri and what found the least.

    http://www.schadentech.com/Reviews/Antivirus/concl...


    You might be suprised. Even AntiVir blows AVG out of the water and it's free also.
    Reply
  • DigitalDivine - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    "#96 Just to make things clear:
    1.) AVG is just a piece of crap(I have my reasons)
    2.) AVG is NOT free. It costs around $50 per 2 years"

    why you think avg is crap is beyond me, it smokes the likes of norton and mcaffee in load times and such just as fast in searches. but hey, if you think it's crap, don't use it, because you know what... it's free!!!

    http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/

    and that is really all that you really need, a hard drive scanner, a real time scanner, and an e-mail scanner. and free updates... but hey, if you don't like that, o well...
    Reply
  • win32asmguy - Thursday, January 27, 2005 - link

    #132
    For apple its not good enough to just throw together a low cost machine -- it has to be stylish. Expandibility isn't that much of an issue for these machines. I have the 1.42ghz model and it runs OSX Panther fast with 512mb ram.
    I had a Shuttle cube (SN45G) also and it wasn't designed nearly as well as the Mac mini. The internal power supply would raise the system temp as much as 10-15C, the fans were loud even while at idle speeds, and stability seemed to be compromised when running higher end components in the system (which I assume was because the 250W supply couldn't handle it) The Mac mini doesn't have any of these problems so far, and performance can only go up from this model in the future...
    Reply
  • Concord - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    OK. Now I realize what's wrong with it. It's size.
    Can anybody at least try to explain why it should be so small? Well PC desktops were big and people tried to find solution to that for example like barebones. They are small but at the same time they have enough space for many expantion. Actually in good barebone you have almost the same exppandability like in minitowers and some very pleasant extras. But this! I am wondering it is not notebook, you will not run with it and cut space to lose every posibility to change anything!
    The same time this very small size makes no sense at all for home PC!
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #130
    The hard drive would need to be a lot larger than 40GB for HTPC use. Movies take up a lot of space.
    Reply
  • krazykat - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Thanks Concord!

    I think the mini will find a base with people who bought the first sub $500 machines and are now sick of Windows 98 and the hideous box it came in. I'll be curious to see if there's not a population of people who will simply hook it up to a TV (especially fancy Plasma/Flat Screen), like a WebTV that's got a real computer behind it. Just like with the first iMac, the second version of the mini will be better.

    I wish the PC users above wouldn't stoop to abuse. Using a Mac is sipmly a different experience. Yeah, I drank the Cool-Aid, and it still hasn't killed me. I think I have enough experience to say I've tried it all, and Mac just suits me.
    Reply
  • Concord - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #128
    Great post! I really appreciate your passion! keep it this way and Mac will survive and will not
    disapear like many other great things. Anyway I think that something wrong with miniMac. But maybe
    passion and devotion are enough? Or I am not right?
    Reply
  • krazykat - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I am a former systems administrator and currently a first grade teacher. I have been a lifelong Mac Admirer, but couldn't afford them until more recently. I just spent the last two days reading all three of the Mac articles. Great work!

    Here's all the stuff I want to say:
    Remote desktop works great from my 800MHz, 12" Powerbook. Crashes less than it did on my Win2K Dell at work.

    I've used the whole Office suite for years and only switched over to Appleworks 6 because that's what they use at my new work and I actually really like it. Not perfect, but a lot less buggy and frustrating than Word in terms of pagination and formatting. It also has a built in Database program which Office lacks on the Mac side. (No Access.)

    My wife hates computers and loves her Special Edition Clamshell. We bought it on eBay two years ago and had to pay nearly full price even though a totally re-vamped, faster iBook two generations newer was available. Worth every penny. My parents are still using their Rev. B iMac (in Bondi) and they have the ability to kill anything with a microchip.

    The price point is something Mac users need to take more issue with. You will keep a Mac longer. Period. I've also built systems from scratch, but I love my Powerbook and would never dream of going back to a FrankenBox.

    To use OSX is to love it. I've used Windows from 3.0, Mac from 7.6 and many flavors of Unix, and I just love OSX. The only word is elegant.

    My 2 cents.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #126
    Graphics card swap hardly agonizing but Joe $499 User won't know how or care to do that, I agree. I am still wondering how a PDA can be useful for me but since I can't think of a reason to get one I am obviously not the market for those.
    Reply
  • Chuckles - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #120:

    1: Given that a 3.5" is about a third the size of the computer, what do you think?

    2: Do you think Joe Luser is willing to spend the time and agony upgrading his graphics card?

    3: If the past is any indication, no, its got about 4, maybe 5 years of "official" OS support.

    4: Does your PDA have the ability to serve as your HD backup, play music for 8 hours, and still fit in your pocket? Capability is a matter of perspective. The PDA I have does exactly what I need it to, my iPod does different things.

    Reply
  • Concord - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Oh, yes! Dying - strong word but its true and best
    describes situation. Macs represent now less than 1 percent of the market. Of course we do our best to keep them alive. We vote for personal computer's diversity :)). But frankly speaking this miniMac is so badly constructed (I have at least 10 reasons for this claim) so I see at this moment only one reason to buy. Your girlfrend would say - Oh, its so cute! Maybe this reason is strong enough to buy it. But I will give you strong consumer advice (it was in 1st post) - wait for a couple of month and you will buy it on eBay for 200 US, of course if you will not change your mind.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #123
    People will still jump on these because the $499 buyer doesn't know about how much system or video memory they'll need. Like someone else said, the $499 market only cares about price and name.
    Reply
  • Dualboy24 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #121 "A pitiful attempt of the dying platform."
    - People have been saying its a dying platform since the early to mid 90s. Perhaps even earlier. But that hasnt stopped tens of millions of people worldwide from buying their products.

    I am sure that everyone would agree that they would love standard 512MB RAM and 64MB or 128MB video memory. If apple were to offer this a large amount more people would jump on these Mac minis. Perhaps a good rule is to hold off a few months. Until the buying rush is done with and apple tries to start a new rush by offering more advanced features. I dont know if they could get in a 9600 or higher video card with heat reequirements though. But the 9200 should do fine for the OS and the higher res work with more video memory.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #71
    Shuttle is making gaming machines. They need to be able to fit a 6800 or X800 in them. Also, they use full size hard drives and DVD/CD drives.
    Reply
  • Concord - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    A pitiful attempt of the dying platform.
    There are no reasons to buy it. Stylish? This soap box? I am dying laughing! Try to have your own look on things. Apple is trying to make an impression that it does so much good for us poor users and for only 499 US we are among choosen.
    Ha-ha buy and enjoy - You are different! That's all you can get.
    Reply
  • peachee - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    It uses 2.5" HD. Does that mean 3.5" HD upgrades won't fit?

    Is the graphics card upgradeable?

    Will it take 1 - 2 years before Apple completely abondons this computer when a new OS update comes out?

    When people realize that a PDA is cheaper and more capable than an IPOD, will MS have to bail out Apple again?
    Reply
  • Cygni - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    "figure out the case and internal hardware components to use such as those you suggest be used for an alternate base Wintel"

    Thats true, the shuttle will take considerably more setup time and prior knowledge. That does not lessen the bang/buck of the hardware, in my eyes, and i think thats what Anand is speaking of.

    "when it comes to downtime, system maintenance,"

    I am typing this on my G4 Powerbook, and i think this is an unfair comment. I have K6-2 machines running WXP that havent rebooted in months. I also have friends and coworkers with Macs that consistantly freeze (especially when opening a 3rd party program). In all honesty, if you have any type of downtime problems with ANY modern system, something is wrong. There doesnt seem to be any measurable difference to me... they are both quite solid.

    "I'd bet my daily income, that if you would install a good AV SW, many ,even tens of, viruses would be found."

    I havent installed an AV program since Windows 3.1, and i have never had any problems with viruses. I run HouseCall every couple of months, and its never found anything. Honestly, how do people get these viruses? I use P2P programs all the time, i open and install community made programs all the time... never gotten a thing. And i have yet to recieve any type of virus from all these amazing holes in XP where viruses just fly through the internet at your computer. If you DONT click anything on the screen on a shady site, you will never have any problems... doesnt matter what browser you use. If you drop all the security levels and click yes to everything, whose fault is that?
    Reply
  • msva124 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I don't care what the PC costs, I already have plenty of PCs. I want to buy a Mac. First of all, I will need 512MB RAM ($75 extra). Second, I want to get a keyboard with apple keys so that I can get used to the new shortcuts ($30). It should also have a USB hub, or I will need to get one seperate ($15). Third, I need wireless, unless I never want to use the internet($79). Fourth, I need a two button usb mouse with scroll wheel ($20). Finally, the cheapest 15" LCD with good reviews on Amazon is the AG Neovo F-415 ($215 with shipping). That comes to $933. A similarly configured Emac is $953. And the lowest cost Ibook upgraded to 512MB is $1074.

    Why would I not want to upgrade to the Ibook and get full portability?

    Reply
  • linuxOwnzIfUrLeet - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #104
    "
    better in the long run when you consider the big picture of computing"

    Buying and running a crap is better for computing?

    Can you pass the pipe? That must be good $hite.


    What has crapple given back to computing since they raped freebsd to magically come up with
    os suX?

    the mac cult act like they did something grand...


    aPple and really any Evil corporation ( iBM, miCro$oft, sUn, etc ) are trying to bring a spoonfeed computing to you. Do as I say you will my slave. Do you want to hear music? Just buy
    my black box and don't touch the music you already
    paid for. It's not yours you're justing renting
    it from me.

    This new imini is probably apple's attempt to bring back a divx format.

    TCP/IP is what you're running and that's open. We have the internet because TCP/IP is open.
    What do we have with appletalk?

    If you want to do what's best in the long run,
    you need to buy open market x86 hardware and run open oses like freebsd or linux.


    crap-ple : think stupid
    Reply
  • Jorchi - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    You says that photoshop is a lot, have you try graphic converter? Is a very nice application that can fit yours neededs

    Reply
  • bluebeetle - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    msva
    $903 is Way too high, why the Airport card?-$79
    sure $200 will buy you a good monitor, and i understand why the Apple needs 512 Ram.
    But hey the PC only comes with 256 Ram no wait- less 32mb for it's videocard so you could argue the PC would be sluggish with only 256 too!!! especially as it's shared.
    If we're gonna be fair
    $499 mac mini
    $180 15" monitor (BenQ)
    $30 keyboard & mouse from Apple
    Thats $709
    maybe $750 tops if you don't want the mac mouse and factor delivery in.
    Also remember the PC included $50 rebates, no CD-R, only 30 days warranty and FAR less software, no Firewire port etc
    Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #110
    You are too good on DELL. You should have added components of DELL level(DELL has NO WiFi!):

    Mini $499
    512M RAM Upgrade $75
    USB Keyboard + Mouse combo from WalMart or so $20
    DELL class 15" LCD $170

    that makes $765 for a complete DELL-like system

    To put performance into perspective G4 1.25 will put Athlon 1.25 into dust (maybe even A64 1.25). G4 IS more powerfull designg than any X86 (probably except A64) CPU could offer. I will put also G5 into shame at the same clockspeed. The only but very big issue with G4 is that it doesn't scale high enough since Motorola gave up on its development long ago.

    Thus 1.5 G4 should be approx. like P4 2.4C (except heavily optimized encoding apps).
    Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #105 " Viruses have never been an issue for me, I haven't had an AV program installed since maybe Windows 95..."

    I'd bet my daily income, that if you would install a good AV SW, many ,even tens of, viruses would be found. And don't say no, because just 10 minutes ago my AV warned about virus that was inside javascript on the site of one PC chassis manufacturer - not a small one (I was looking for server case).
    Sleep still;)
    Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #96 Just to make things clear:
    1.) AVG is just a piece of crap(I have my reasons)
    2.) AVG is NOT free. It costs around $50 per 2 years

    from free avir F-Prot is OK, but from paid ones NOD32 has no competition (as far as avir part goes)
    Reply
  • msva124 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I forgot shipping for the mouse, keyboard and monitor. If you can find them all at the same place (I refuse to order lcd's from newegg because of their dead pixel policy) it would bring the total up by about $20, to $923. Reply
  • msva124 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Mac Mini $499
    512 MB Ram upgrade $75
    Airport Extreme upgrade $79
    Keyboard that has apple keys and usb ports $30??
    Logitech Wired USB Mouse $20
    Decent 15" LCD Monitor $200

    Total $903

    With all of the above add-ons (which I would consider bare minimum to make this thing usable) it is still well below the $1000 mark.
    Reply
  • bluebeetle - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Walt
    "Well, let's see...by the time you add for the keyboard, mouse, 15" lcd monitor and the 256-mbs of extra ram Anand states is needed to make the mini something useful, all of which is built in to the compared Wintel box...gosh, I guess we're talking at least $1,000"

    What are you smoking walt?
    A keyboard 15" LCD and KB&M for $500
    try here:
    www.newegg.com
    they have LCDs for $175 keybord and mouse $20
    mmm where did you get $1k from?
    did you add the price of both together and chuck the Dell CPU?

    Also factor in the software (ilfe & Applworks worth$150) and the fact the Dell only has a CD rom (how do you get your files off)? and only 90 day warranty
    Still the mini is aimed at those PC users who already have monitors (KVM anyone)
    No wonder Walt feels so threatened, the mini is the fastest selling PC ever!
    Reply
  • epiv - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • JeffDM - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    "and remember that the shuttle has an Internal PSU. Without that unit, it would likely be fairly close to the mini's size."

    That depends on what "fairly close" means. A desktop internal DVD drive is about as big in volume as the mini. The Shuttle cases are about twice as deep, four times taller and a third wider (12" x 8" x 8"). They aren't really in the same order of magnitude in volume, even when you include the power supply. That, and the three Shuttles I've had the pleasure of being around were obnoxiously loud. Otherwise, Shuttles don't seem to be too bad.
    Reply
  • tinydancer - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #101

    1st read #18
    2nd read #23
    then read this: http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/editors/2005/01/mi...

    Maybe you'll have some perspective after that!
    Reply
  • msva124 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    We must not be visiting the same websites. Viruses have never been an issue for me, I haven't had an AV program installed since maybe Windows 95. As for spyware, running Ad-aware once every week or two will usually find nothing. I am using XP SP1.

    I agree that macs are free of spyware and viruses, and that is a huge convenience for most users. But for someone who has been using pc's and macs for over 10 years? Please.
    Reply
  • cryodude - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I just love reading the rants, the nice responses and the clueless ridicules. Unfortunately, most people have never used a mac, will never understand that most people really do not want to have to mess with their computers, they simply want them to work. I'm a dual user, pc's and mac's both for over 10 years beginning with windows 3.1 and mac system 7. Both have come a long ways, but having windows at work, and a high end AMD machine at home, (strictly for playing games) and then having my macs, I can from many years on both platforms tell you that there truly is no comparison between the systems when it comes to downtime, system maintenance, ease of use, and the big one, "Peace of Mind". Until you understand that you really have an alternative, although it will cost you more in $$'s up front, never ever having to deal with spyware/malware/addware/virus protection, blah blah blah, is worth 4 or 5 times the cost in a machine. Now I'm not advocating that you go spend that much, or even close to that, but honestly, if you could get something that just did the things u want to do with ease, without heartache, headache and frustration, is that such a bad thing? If your answer is yes, ( or you are stuck on the money issue) then there is no hope for you to ever understand what macs have always been about. Simply a choice, to do things easier and in many ways, better in the long run when you consider the big picture of computing. Reply
  • JeffDM - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Anand didn't compare the warranty lengths (the cheapest Dells have only 90 days, vs. mini's 1 year) or support when comparing with a Dell. According to a big PC Magazine survey, Apple rates noticibly better than Dell in support quality and how often people need to call support. Reply
  • Burbot - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #71: I am recording and mixing a community radio program. Thus, I need at least one input and one output with decent sound quality. Mac Mini has only one output, so an external sound card is needed.

    On programming: I am mostly interested in SWT/JFace for GUI, and various stuff (Perl, Python, Java, AspectJ) for anything else. I am not interested in win32-specific stuff, so pretty much any machine and OS will work fine for me in this area.
    Reply
  • WaltC - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I am constantly amazed at the bias Anand obviously feels compelled to demonstrate when comparing Wintel to Apptel....this particular comparison could have been penned by the RDF gang at Apple PR--no doubt about it...;) (I'm sure it rates their stamp of approval for being so masterful in failing to actually reveal any pertinent facts while wandering heavily into crass product promotion and PR. Good for Apple, no doubt--but I think not so good for the consumers who read Anand's site.)

    First, does the $499 Apptel actually cost the same as the contrasted $499 Wintel?

    Well, let's see...by the time you add for the keyboard, mouse, 15" lcd monitor and the 256-mbs of extra ram Anand states is needed to make the mini something useful, all of which is built in to the compared Wintel box...gosh, I guess we're talking at least $1,000 for the actual MiniMac Anand likes--which makes it--oh, 2x the cost of the contrasted Dell consumer box. This is leaving all other considerations as to processing power, graphics horsepower, 3.5" desktop IDE hard drive perfomance, expansion capacity, and the rest of it, aside, give or take the $40 more you might have to spend to put a DVD/CD-RW *of your choice* into the Wintel box.

    I was delighted to see how petite and quiet the $1,000 mini appears to Anand--no doubt courtesy of the *external power brick* it requires--whereas the contrasted Dell box athalf the price, I'll bet, not only includes a lot more expansion room but also something as exotic as an *integrated power supply* so that sans monitor, keyboard, and mouse the Dell comes in one piece as opposed to the two pieces required for the mini. (My HP Deskjet 722C has an external power brick, too, so I hardly feel left out...;))

    And of course, only Anand would pair a "$500" minicomputer with a ~$2,000 monitor, and then declare how great the graphics on the "$500" computer looked, as if the far more expensive monitor had nothing to do with anything...;) Nothing like testing a $3000 + system while telling your readers--over and over again--that it costs "$499"...;) And then there's the whole prospect of "taking the miniMac apart to see what's inside" that I find very amusing--as if this is exactly what the "computer illiterates" Anand recommends consider a miniMac are ever apt to do...;)

    I'll never understand why Anand is so shy and timid about publishing a "price as tested" sticker along with the MSRP for the base package! Seems like nothing except common sense and good ethics, to me. There's much more I could say but I think this covers the basics pretty well. You know, I'd have much more respect for this kind of superficial "comparison" if Anand would say something like: "Well--compared to the Dell box the mini is literally 2x it's price, so it's certainly no bargain. Even so, I liked it a lot, and if novelty gadgets or conversation pieces trip your trigger you can't go wrong with the MiniMac." That would certainly be much closer to the mark.
    Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    post 100!

    uuhh what was the topic again?
    Reply
  • pringlis - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    eek.. I should note that it wasn't on a Mac mini but on a PowerBook with specs a little lower than the mini (except the RAM which was 512megs). Reply
  • pringlis - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #75 - I used Microsoft Remote Desktop to work from home for several months and I've never had any problems with it. Fairly speedy and no crashes. Reply
  • WorkingHardMan - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #94. I don't think anybody was biased, and certainly didn't mean to imply so. Regarding your hypothetical computer and related points, Dan Frakes addressed such concerns in a follow-up article (see URL below). At any rate, you make my point with your final statement " but I agree that it still has a small price premium over equal performing PC's.". A small price premium, when you consider other factors, such as differences in warranties, complexity of ordering, set-up, and software acquisition, does not equate to a "better value" except perhaps for a small sector of the population. Consider how many users for a sub $600 computer have the inclination, knowledge, or desire to go out to get, install and configure the freeware you mention, much less figure out the case and internal hardware components to use such as those you suggest be used for an alternate base Wintel ( WinAthlon?) computer. The statement in Mr. Shimpi's original review that I feel does not maintain the same high standards as his other work is the one reading "The PC continues to be a better value from a hardware standpoint, there's no doubt about that." For many, if not most users, the "small price premium" that you note does not constitute "a better value." People want a computer that works for them. As Mr. Shimpi stated in one of his articles, "I came to the realization that what attracted me most to [Macintosh] OS X was the way everything just worked the way that you'd expect it to. Prior to my OS X experiment, I had done things in reverse. I molded my usage patterns to the way Windows wanted them to work in order to get things done. " This sort of benefit in use, for most users, outweighs any small cost differential. In his review of the Mac Mini, Mr. Shimpi used the phrase "a better value" where it would have been more accurate to say "a slightly lessor cost." There is a big difference.

    The url for Mr. Frakes follow up to points similar to the ones you raised is:

    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/editors/2005/01/mi...
    Reply
  • DigitalDivine - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Antivirus is free... avg is a great antivirus program that loads faster than norton and other anti viruses out there,

    dvd player is free... windows comes witha dvd player and media player classic is excellent...

    Open office is a great office suite that has replaced microsoft office in my pc.

    Picasa is great, and so is gimp. for the pc.
    just going through sourceforge.net would give you great free and legal software that rivals and is sometimes better than leading commercial software.

    but the apple does have one thing going for it, is that the OSX is an excellent OS, very easy to use and microsoft should take note. I think apple can gain more ground with the PC users if they just go ahead and release an operating system for the x86 platform, but apple has invested way too much in R and D to just dump their platform. Heck if you look at a mac, it uses pc tech the only glaring difference is that it uses the power archetecture.
    Reply
  • CrystalBay - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Lookin good AMan, very right right to the guts review. Apple needs more like you....Sold I'm picking up one ,just for Shitz and jiggles Reply
  • Cygni - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    No offense #92, but I think that "Apples and Oranges" article is also very biased in its comparison. Here is what i posted when the Mini first shipped:

    "I built a comp on Newegg, comparble to the Mini. Shuttle SFF NF2U case, Athlon XP 2200 (should smash the 1.47 G4), Radeon 9250 128mb (signifigant step up), everything else comperable to the higher end Mini... with a copy of XP, comes out to $533. Compares pretty close to the Mac Mini. WMP plays DVDs and burns CD's, AV and adware are free... and i really doubt alot of people will use their mac mini for audio video editing. In general, i dont really think the Mac software package comes into play for me, although it is a nice bonus.

    When all is said and done, the Shuttle box will probably wipe the floor with the mini... but it is considerably larger, and a little more expensive"

    and remember that the shuttle has an Internal PSU. Without that unit, it would likely be fairly close to the mini's size. It also is upgradeable with any AGP card, and has a PCI slot. It has firewire, twice as many USB ports, PS2 ports, SPDIF in and out, and much better sound. For a dollar more, you can get a Sempron 2600+ and get a little performance boost.

    Its tough to compare the Mac Mini to a PC. I personally feel like a Mac Mini with 512mb would be quite a good little comp, but i agree that it still has a small price premium over equal performing PC's. It is a Mac, afterall. Its still very neat.
    Reply
  • mzlin - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Anand, one small quibble to your otherwise outstanding review: by mentioning that a certain program can export to PDF, you make it sound like that is something special, when all programs can export to PDF via the "Save as PDF" button in the print dialog box.

    So that means you can add Adobe Distiller to the list of software you do NOT have to buy to get a usable system. Other things would be anti-virus, Office, photo editing, movie editing, etc.

    By the way those who claim they will wait for the price of the base mini to fall to $150 on ebay -- you will be waiting 3 years, I predict. Even now a 500Mhz Powerbook G3 from 2000 costs $500, about a quarter of their original price. The most "faddish" and much-criticized clamshell iBooks, also from 2000, have depreciated about the same %.
    Reply
  • WorkingHardMan - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Generally, a well written article. I believe, however, that it does have two weaknesses. (1) Based on your earlier articles on your experience using a PC, and the level of thought that went into them, I was surprised to see the statement: "The PC continues to be a better value from a hardware standpoint, there's no doubt about that - the above comparison alone proves that." Mr. Dan Frakes did a more detailed comparison of the low end Dell to the Mac Mini, that, if objectively reviewed, would I think cause anyone to see that such a blanket statement about "better value" just can not stand close scrutiny. Mr. Frakes review can be found at:
    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/editors/2005/01/mi...

    (2) The second area in which I think your review came up short was in its dismissal of Appleworks. Admittedly, this older application does not take advantage of all of OS X's bells and whistles, but for most people it has all the power they need. I switched from Microsoft Word to the Word Processor in AppleWorks because, for the work I do, which involves preparing engineering reports and proposals (running from 10 pages or so to in excess of 200 pages) with lots of figures, drawings and photographs interspersed with the text, I found it to be far superior to Word. For a new comer to computing, its also a much faster learn than Word. While the Appleworks spreadsheet doesn't have anywhere near the power of an Excel, it is more than adequate for 98%+ of the work I actually see done on spreadsheets. Considering the likely target market for an entry level computer, I would suggest any purchaser give Appleworks a good hard look before shelling out any extra money for word processors or spreadsheets. And, the next time moving a graphic or text box around in MS Word gives you a pagination problem, I suggest you crack open the humble little AppleWorks program, get your paper done, and get a good nights sleep with the time you save. I know it has saved me hours of time I used to spend fighting Word.

    Overall, I found all three of your articles most interesting and informative. I would, however, suggest you review Mr. Frakes work, and reevaluate Appleworks through actual use. If you do, I suspect you will want to make a few changes to your article, which will only make it better.
    Reply
  • mzlin - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    Anand, one small quibble to your otherwise outstanding review: by mentioning that a certain program can export to PDF, you make it sound like that is something special, when all programs can export to PDF via the "Save as PDF" button in the print dialog box.

    So that means you can add Adobe Distiller to the list of software you do NOT have to buy to get a usable system. Other things would be anti-virus, Office, photo editing, movie editing, etc.
    Reply
  • wad45 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #87 I have read most of the posts on the forum and well yours are the longest lol. But they were all well pressented and not all one sided. I figure you like the mac alot or atleast their OS. I personally only have had PCs my entire life so I cant share your enthusiasm but I would love to get more exposure to their systems as I know alot of people say they are a great OS. You were not rude in anyway.

    #85 msva124 your the kinda person that starts these flame wars and gets everyone in a huffle. Your post did seem like an attack perhaps in the future you should think before you post because you just sound like a jerk in the end.

    Anyway I wish the price was lower on the mac mini. The ram options are still a bit too high. I have seen the video of the case opening but has anyone tried it yet and is there a better video?
    Reply
  • jm20 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    This is the kind of review people look for. Another great review from Anand. =) Reply
  • Rand - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    "Hello? The Mac Mini comes with over $100 worth of software. Where are you going to get a software suite on Wintel for $100? Kazaa?

    Not to mention the lack of a need to buy an antivirus subscription, which kicks in at $25/year for Norton's antivirus program."

    There are some pretty good antivirus programs that are quite decent available, Picasa is a pretty good freeware image manipulation/editing app, and there are excellent free office applications available for the PC.

    iMovie/iDVD are a bit harder to match without spending some extra $ though. I haven't spend much time with GarageBand, but that's definitely one application that cannot be easily matched on the PC without spending a decent chunk of cash.

    I wish it came stock with 512MB of RAM, I've always felt OSX to be a bit more RAM hungry then WinXP and 256MB under OSX will kill the user experience except under the most basic of uses.
    Would have been nice if the R9200 had 64MB of RAM as well, Expose is much nicer with at least that.

    Beyond that the Mac Mini's stock setup should be more then comfortable for most users IMHO, the 1.25GHz G4 does quite adequately in under OSX.

    The hardware configuration isn't perhaps quite as nice as one could get in a comparably priced PC, but it'll do nicely for an intro to the Mac for PC users. For many the sheer size and convenience of the Mac Mini would more then mitigate that factor.

    Anyone that's been tempted to give the Max platform a chance but has held off due to price finally has a reasonable option.

    I've been quite enjoying the Mac articles on AT. It's slowly been easing a bit of the ever present Anti-Mac stigma that's so prevalent among PC enthusiasts.

    Maybe it'll entice a few to try Apple's PowerBook/IBook lineup, thats where Apple reakky shines IMHO. Their notebooks are absolutely fantastic and the quality of manufacture is easily comparable to the best you'll find in PC notebooks.
    Reply
  • Dualboy24 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #85 I am not saying come develope on the Mac. I am just saying that it comes with a great asortment of languages and even a full IDE. You can get these for free on a windows platform also but they are not included by default and thats understandaable that the majority of users would not use them. I assume apple includes Xcode to help promote software development on their platform.

    "I think that most developers are a bit more educated on this subject than you are, buddy. Save the marketing hype for those who are more easily persuaded. Some of us may decide to program for OS X (I have), some of us may not. But we will do it for our own reasons, not because you throw around the names of programming languages like they are the latest buzzword. "

    Gee somewhat hostile no? I never said anything negative in my post have I (please people read my post and tell me if you think I was rude in any-form).

    You may be right I am not an expert developer, nor have I worked on any large complex projects for companies etc. But I have programmed a lot in my life. And did get a degree in CS Software Engineering.

    As for the throwing around programming languages I listed I really just summarized what was on that link I added to that post. I assumed it was nice of me to do that as it saves people having to read the full link to get a composed list.

    And I do not wish to start any issues or flame wars or anything negative.

    Great article also Anand!

    Your site continues to be one of the top hardware sites in the world. It just continues to get better and better. Keep up the good work.
    Reply
  • abakshi - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    I'll pick one up when they're under $150 just to play around with OS X. Otherwise, there's not much use for it -- I code in VS.NET (VB), do some gaming, and some image and video editing. The first is obviously not going to happen on Mac, the second is N/A (except UT, Halo, D3 -- running on a 9200 with 32MB...), and so basically I could only use it for some basic browsing and image/video editing - anything fancier would require getting a lot of Mac version software (e.g. Photoshop, Premiere, etc.).

    Alternatively, if you could get one of these with something like a 9600 onboard and a 7200RPM HDD in the range of $300 within a few months from now, that would be quite cool to play around with :)
    Reply
  • msva124 - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    >Oh lets not forget about developers. You will love a mac if you do C, C++, Objective C, >Java (built deep into the system) oh and Apple XCode a fully featured IDE that is so >simple to use if you have used Visual Studio etc...

    You’re right, Xcode is totally intuitive for the Win32 programmer. The GUI target and action system is pretty much second nature, especially for the Visual Basic developer who is used to double clicking on a button to write an event handler. Heck, even the framework is the same as with Windows, to most people I’ve talked to there is no noticeable difference between MFC and Cocoa. Then there’s the compilation speed, it must be ten times was it was on Delphi on my Wintel machine. And I hear in Tiger there will be a project converter that lets you import Windows source directly from Visual C++ 6.0 without any recoding. Yes, I’m serious. You need to go to other sites and start spreading the word about these things. Many people will say you are lying or wrong, just ignore them.

    I think that most developers are a bit more educated on this subject than you are, buddy. Save the marketing hype for those who are more easily persuaded. Some of us may decide to program for OS X (I have), some of us may not. But we will do it for our own reasons, not because you throw around the names of programming languages like they are the latest buzzword.

    And from now on you might want to read links before posting them, to make sure that they align with your inexperienced viewpoint. On that kernelthread site one of the first things it says is:

    “Life is still much better for a developer on Windows than on Mac OS X - no matter what one might think of the usability, etc. of Windows.”
    Reply
  • Dranzerk - Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - link

    #83
    Because many people will buy it for the Hype and find they really don't care for it, esp many PC users who might not be as thrilled like they thought they would about it for whatever reasons. :)
    Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #66 Dranzerk: Why would you expect there to be a flood of cheaper minis? If anything, I imagine you'd find a flood of old G4 PowerMacs, G3 PowerMacs, and any minis on eBay would be really expensive (though still less than retail) as all the old Mac users look to upgrade from 8 year old machines to a more modern one.

    That's exactly what's happened for the last 4 years I've been a Mac user and seeing how used Macs are priced.

    So I would expect you'd find them on eBay for $400 :)

    #82: The Apple Mac mini accessories page also mentions that same DVI to video adapter.
    Reply
  • Dualboy24 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #81 there is a "Apple DVI to Video Adapter" for $19 USD"

    "DVI port to S-video or Composite video devices such as TVs, VCRs, or overhead projectors with S-Video or RCA (Composite) connectors"

    Its stated as being designed for the Powermac G5 but it will work with the mini.
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Too bad cMAC doesn't have a TV out. It would make for a nice HTPC even for those less fortunate of us, who don't own HDTVs with DVI inputs -- that would be the so called majority :-) Reply
  • dingbat - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I think the Mac Mini has the potential to be the jukebox for the living room, except the designer forgot one thing... good audio input/output. Either that or you have to dangle a USB based audio device and I am not sure how well those will perform. Reply
  • Dualboy24 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I forgot to mention a lot of additional things... but I will hold back.
    If your into programming (Java, PHP, MySQL, C/C++, Fortran, Applescript, Perl, Ruby, Lisp, Scheme, Python, OpenGL, Qt, Tcl/Tk ,X11R6) then you should read http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/programming.ht... << a great read
    Reply
  • Dualboy24 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    [/START INTERESTING RANT WITH SCREENSHOT URL]

    I dont have a Mini yet.. but I got a powerbook 17" (First mac ever. Its a beautiful machine). I would never have gotten a mac if it wasn't for one of my old friends that I was in CS with got an ibook. I got to use it and did a lot of reading and research before trying the Mac world. BTW I do computer sales/repairs/system quotes/web-design and system admin for an ISP/Computer company. Used Windows 95-2003, Linux from redhat 5.2-SUSE 9.2 and now Mac OSX 10.3.X. I must say that the OS on Apple is by far the best OS for desktop users. The only thing it falls behind on is video gaming.

    For #75: I have been able to connect to my PC with the Remote Desktop with no issues. However I find myself using a program called VNCDimension and running RealVNC (or any VNC software) on my PCs so I can connect to Windows/Linux systems in my house and from my office. I can also use my PCs in Win/Linux to control the mac. Plus SSH/Telnet access thats so easy to setup.

    Also for the Linux fans you would love the terminal and a program called Fink. Which allows you to install a huge selection of linux apps including KDE/Gnome that can run rootless or full-screen

    For those people that like to download you can get a host of different P2P apps for every P2P network and torrents for music/movies/apps

    Sherlock is another great application that you get with OSX that lets you do so many things. Search the net look for pictures, search ebay, check for flight data, Dictionary, Translate languages, AppleCare database, RSS feed reader, and Version Tracker the best tool ever!

    The default calculator also has built in converters including a currency converter that updates via the internet the daily currency values.

    Oh also going over installation and removal of apps would be a great read. Its drag the app to a folder and its installed. If you run terminal you can actually go into the app were it stores all of the data and settings for the app. Very smart method.

    Oh lets not forget about developers. You will love a mac if you do C, C++, Objective C, Java (built deep into the system) oh and Apple XCode a fully featured IDE that is so simple to use if you have used Visual Studio etc...

    Well all in all its really impossible to cover all of the default apps that come with OSX but lets just say Windows is a joke compared to OSX

    Oh one problem is if you buy a Mac you become a Mac fanatic... It made me one. And I was very anti mac before I got my powerbook.

    I will probably get the Mac mini with the wireless and apple keyboard with the USB ports. Add a stick of 1GB OCZ for under $200 and all good for a system for silent operation in my bedroom. You can turn this thing into anything you really want. Silent download system and transfer the files via network or usb/firewire, http, ftp, ssh, great for photoshop work, email with Mac mail (instant searches almost), safari/firefox web-browser. Plug it into your TV for a great media experience with VLC... you name it and it will do it. I have yet to find a limitation to my G4 CPU. Of course I do not do any heavy video work. My daily use is best summed up in a screenshot http://www.travisjmac.com/screenshot/

    BTW I still keep 4 PCs at home one gammer, one storage and download, one linux for dev/testing/fun, and one win2k3 server for testing/dev/fun and I love windows... just love mac more lol.

    [/STOP RANT]
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    For articles from Anadtech, you seem quick to jump to performance comparisons without any data to back them up. The G4 is quite a capable beast, and just because it has been surpassed by the G5 doesn't make it a slow chip. It's an incredible number cruncher, yet I never see anyone put it to such tests.

    Having used the mini, though the max config, I find myself wanting one more and more. I'm a hardcore PC user, but it just has to be seen in person. Then there's OSX, which is something to experience and give the time to get use to.

    Also, the Apple mouse is great. Thing I miss most using it is the scroll wheel, but right clicking can be managing with a control + click and further alternate options with control + option + click.

    I share your opinions with the apps for the most part. The iWorks programs both show a lot of promise IMO.
    Reply
  • Ecgtheow - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #62: I think it's a month or so. Reply
  • davecason - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Anand, other Mac Mini owners, would you please try MS Remote Desktop for OS X and let us know how it performs on the Mac Mini:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?Fa...

    I had hoped to get one and use it to connect to a faster computer in my basement when needed... like a very stylish dumb-terminal.

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • jasonsRX7 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #71, In response to point 2.

    Because PC manufacturers typically wait for someone else (like Apple) to do it first, and then copy them.
    Reply
  • rowcroft - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Got one, love it (hooked up to a 30" Dell LCD - VERY NICE!). Very good article as well. I like the commentary and explanations of your points. Good job. Reply
  • hopejr - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #36, Appleworks is included with the mini, as is a trial version of Office 2k4 Reply
  • hopejr - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #26, The mac mini already has a sound card, and it's pretty decent. Unless you're talking about something to bring audio in, why get another one?

    #69 in response to your two things:
    1. Get an Apple keyboard with the built in hub (they all have one). You can plug your mouse into that, and the printer into the spare port on the back of the mini.
    2. If PC manufacturers could make something this small, why haven't shuttle done it already when getting into SFF?
    Reply
  • Chuckles - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #67: You've got some brown on your nose... ;)

    As for the article, I agree completely with the "five year" idea. The computer I am writing this on is three-and-a-half (G4 .73GHz) and I am not planning on replacing it for another year. The computer my parents use is, well, its one of the last of the beige Macs. Also, it was a good article, a lot better than the typical "Mac review". Kudos.
    Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Two things:

    1. With only 2 USB ports - wouldn't you need a USB hub to connect a keyboard, mouse and printer?

    2. I recently purchased (for a new secretary) a Dell Optiplex SX80 (which I am very impressed with by the way). It's a bit larger than the Mac Mini, but with a lot more performance. It does not seem it would be too difficult for Dell or some other large PC maker to create a PC that is as small as the Mac Mini with equal performance. I have to wonder how much market there actually is out there for such a PC. I thought the Shutle Zen would have been a bigger success than it was.
    Reply
  • ShadowVlican - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    good article anand... always wanted to know more about macs... just to see both sides of the picture!... i wonder how this will compare with a mini-itx system? Reply
  • karlreading - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #23:

    You kick up against mac bashers and then u have a pop at AMD fans. HOW RUDE. It's quiet obvisouse your a intel fan. your no better than the people you try to show up, claiming they do things whilst you do exactly the same things yourself.
    Im a AMD fan, but i dont find that i have to have a pop at intel, mac, or anyone else. AMD make fine products. Intel make fines products. Apple make fine products. just each ones products match diffrent peoples expectations and needs.

    as for the mac mini, i think its a excellent little machine. As Anand says, more appliance than computer. i think they will do well.

    karlos
    Reply
  • Dranzerk - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #2 in response to #1 Im talking about how lots of people will buy these because it's the "it" thing to do, and I will be looking on Ebay for when they are sold cheaper.

    How was that hard to understand?
    Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Well, if it's within the return period, you can technically 'return it' and get another, with the Tiger CDs/DVDs, or just tell the Apple person, "It would be better for you to send me the Tiger CDs, wouldn't it, than to return this one to CompUSA and get a new one with the new OS right?"

    So within two weeks I would expect it free, basically (though it takes some social engineering). I don't know about the 'heavy discount' however.
    Reply
  • bupkus - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Perhaps Apple should have offered the mini with 512MB as standard and then offered a downgrade option rather than their upgrade option. Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    If you want Tiger, just wait till it's released then by the Mac. Reply
  • msva124 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    You say if tiger comes out right after you buy your machine, it is heavily discounted. Define "right after". Reply
  • Draco - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Great article. Very refreshing to see so much Mac coverage. Look forward to more. Reply
  • Ecgtheow - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #59: If Tiger comes out right after you get your machine, you can get it for $30 through the "Up-to-date" program. Reply
  • sluramod - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #57: good news for apple then ... $499 now + $100 or so later Reply
  • Burbot - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #40: Thanks for correction.
    #53: Very true. A lot of people do not understand the connection between memory amount and performance. I've seen that more then once - folks have a machine with 128 megs of RAM that is just dying under load, and when I suggest them a memory upgrade they say "But isn't Ghz the thing that makes it go faster?".
    Reply
  • Ecgtheow - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #56: Probably not. Reply
  • sluramod - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Probably stupid question, but I'll ask anyway...

    Is Tiger upgrade going to be free for Panther users?

    Alex
    Reply
  • HardwareD00d - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    the Mac Mini sounds like it would be a fun toy to play around with, but it's a bit too expensive for what you get. If you don't mind paying close to $600 for a screenless laptop, go for it. I personally hate laptops cause they have such crappy performance. They're only useful if your always on the go. Reply
  • msva124 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Exactly #53. I can't see the word of mouth from all of the 256MB mini owners being too great, which is a shame because at 512MB it would have had a much better reputation. Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #35
    Unless the buyer is an AT reader or the salesman is an AT reader or the Best Buy ad says buy the extra 256MB of ram, they'll buy the unit at $499 without upgrades. Unless they specify the extras or a salesman suggests getting some extras, they'll get the unit as is. If it gets too much over $499, they'll choke and go get a Dell with the "free" flat panel. Like #32 said, cost and name. I guess it really is hard for some of you to imagine yourselves as a typical computer buyer.
    Reply
  • downtowncb - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Anand concedes:
    "Working as a simple file, ftp or web server with no end user interaction in the OS, you can get by with a 256MB configuration, and the same goes for a single user, single application usage environment..."

    I know that most of the people here would never dream of using a machine with only 256 MB of RAM, but for a few people 256 MB is enough, especially those who just need a cheap, reliable web server that they can stick in the basement and administer with VNC or even ssh.
    Reply
  • MIDIman - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned above, but I think a smaller system, along the lines of something at mini-itx.com's store front would be a more useful comparison than the stock Dell. It would allow a better representation when you take size into the comparison.

    IMHO - when these two are put side-by-side, you'll find similar performance issues as well - i.e. needs for 512mb, a faster HD, etc.
    Reply
  • elvisizer - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    48, that might be it- i always keep my pictures huge, since I don't have a webpage of my own like anand :) Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Perhaps the applications alone are worth me trying a Mac Mini. BUT, more ram, and use Hitachi's 7200RPM hdd and that will make it MUCH better.

    Then again, I rather just use apps on a completely GPL system rather than a proprietary system. If only it was easier to find more PM itx systems, a PM system in a cubit case would appeeal more to me.
    Reply
  • jasonsRX7 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I get the feeling that he's using export to resize the pictures for the web. Just dragging them out of iPhoto will retain their original size. Reply
  • elvisizer - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    also, someone needs to tall anand that you can get pictures out of iphoto via drag and drop, not just going to Share->Export. Reply
  • Saist - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Wanted to step in and comment that the Microsoft Office problem is also solved by a little application that you may or may not have heard of.

    It's called.

    OPEN OFFICE.

    http://www.openoffice.org
    Reply
  • wilburpan - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #44

    Not to mention the lack of a need to buy an antivirus subscription, which kicks in at $25/year for Norton's antivirus program. If you keep your Windows PC for 4 years, that's an extra $75 in software updates you'll need to buy.

    Reply
  • shuttleboi - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    "The comparison above was very deliberately set up to focus on hardware alone, ignoring things like software differences and form factor differences. "

    Hello? The Mac Mini comes with over $100 worth of software. Where are you going to get a software suite on Wintel for $100? Kazaa?
    Reply
  • edwardhchan - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #25: I used a Kingston ValueRAM PC2700 1GB DIMM... Works like a charm. Just a note on using as a media server: Divx and MPEG4 playback is fine with VLC. DVD is good too, but the DVD player doesn't have a very good de-interlacing algorithm. My Mini is being watched on a 43" Samsung DLP at 1280x720. Beautiful display for the compy :)
    Reply
  • Eug - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Apple has just dropped pricing on some of the BTO options:

    BlueTooth/Airport Express combo now $99.
    1 GB RAM now $325.
    80 GB hard drive upgrade now $50.

    And now the SuperDrive option is 8X. Cool. :)
    Reply
  • pbrice68 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Just a quick FYI:

    TextEdit does open MicroSoft Word documents. Obviously, it doesn't support all of Word's features, but it will open and display the text and try to maintain all of the formatting.

    Although you went over a great deal in iPhoto, you really didn't mention it's built in slideshow features, professionally printed books, and the ability to purchase prints directly from the application. The books really need to be seen to appreciate them.
    Reply
  • Doormat - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #26: the mini takes a regular DIMM, not an SO-DIMM. 1GB PC2700 DIMM is under $200. Plus the putty knife you'll need to open and install it.

    And I was planning on getting one until I read that they had problems at 19x12. As someone who is going to hook this to a HDTV at 1920x1080, this is disappointing news. Maybe next years refresh with a 9600+ with 64MB framebuffer will do the trick.
    Reply
  • barnett25 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    First I want to say that I loved the article. With that out of the way I have to ask, when you said that Pages exports well to html, what were you smoking? I just recieved iWork yesterday, I bought it becuase Pages seemed like an easy way to make good looking webpages. I saw the family newsletter template and knew my mom would love to have a webpage based around that. But try saving just the template, with no editing, to html. You get a big mess. Pages was not ready to be shipped. It's export to .doc format is messed up with the supplied templates too, but I can understand that being due to Word's lack of refinment and features. I do like pages, but it seems to only be good if you are either printing, exporting to pdf, or simply saving as a pages file. For any other kind of exporting it's next to worthless. (By the way, if you go to Apple discussions you will see dozens of people with similar compaints to mine.) Reply
  • jasonsRX7 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Apple today lowered some of the prices on the BTO Mac Minis at the Apple store.

    http://www.macnn.com/articles/05/01/25/lower.mac.m...
    Reply
  • elvisizer - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    stylex, the mini uses regular pc2700 ddr ram. nothing special about it. Reply
  • egilDOTnet - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    And one more thing - regarding Office compability - I thought that the Appleworks package still was included with the Mac mini?? Is this not so anymore, Anand, or did you just forget about that? Reply
  • elvisizer - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #16 and #12- yes, it's true that if you don't have those items already you'll have to spend money to buy them. So what? if you don't have them sitting around, then the mini isn't as good a deal for you. The point is, for the vast majority of people buying one, a mini will not end up costing $1000. it'll end up costing $499+ 1 memory upgrade.

    also, there's one error in the article- anand says that TextEdit can't open Word documents. that's not true. TextEdit has been able to open and edit Word documents since 10.3 came out.
    Reply
  • egilDOTnet - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Just wanted to chime in on one thing - exporting images from iPhoto - you know that you can just select images, and then drag them out on the desktop or wherever you want them to be copied??

    Good article!
    Reply
  • bupkus - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I'd like one just to take it for a ride. I wholely support the idea of SFF and this certainly takes the "S" seriously. As to using less energy, 85W is probably as good as it gets.
    This is the first I've heard of AMD's mini-itx which uses Windows CE. I wonder if that means it's much more vulnerable to malware than the "mini". Sure it costs more than something like the Biostar IDEQ 210V, but if the "mini" means less free tech support to relatives who just web surf, I'd recommend it.
    Reply
  • miketheidiot - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #30 most people are still very computer illiterate. They also don't buy them because of their compatability or upgradability. They buy on cost alone and name. Apple has a name (whether a good or bad name is a matter of opinion) and now they have the price. I see no reason why these won't sell. Reply
  • bigpow - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    >2) Sure you get better graphics with the mini and a better optical drive, but you get more memory and a faster hard drive with the Dell.

    Oh yeah... riiiight!
    Better graphics because you're imagining the picture! Dell comes with 15" LCD, Mac comes with your imagination.

    Nice comparison, duh!
    Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I still think these titles that suggest the MiniMac will steal marketshare from the PC is rediculous. People don't use PC's because they're they come in the smallest form factors. They use them because of their compatability, upgradability, and cost. Apple has only scratched the cost issue with the MiniMac... but most PC users will avoid a Mac simply so they don't want to learn to use a computer all over again... for some people that's not an easy thing to do. Reply
  • ehanneken - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Stylex, Crucial's Mac page is http://www.crucial.com/mac/index.asp

    You would actually pay more to buy a 512 MB DIMM from Crucial than you would to upgrade the Mac Mini to 512 MB when you purchase it. On the other hand, you would end up with two DIMMs instead of one.

    Reply
  • jasonsRX7 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #23 - Nail on the head :)

    #25 - Apples prices to add ram to the mini are reasonable. $75 to upgrade to 512mb, less if you're a student.
    Reply
  • KirinRiotCrash - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #25, you can check Crucial's website for memory that will be compatible for the Mac mini: http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp?Mfr%2BP... Reply
  • Burbot - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I am interested in a machine for Java programming and some amateur photochopping and recording. This sounds like traditional Mac domain, but lack of connectivity and expansion of Mini makes it a lot less fitting. First of all, it takes one memory stick, and 1GB SODIMM prices are fairly costly. Then I would like to get an external hard drive (sounds pretty reasonable for my needs), external sound card, mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner, hub to connect all USB stuff to one port, patience to deal with USB problems after those hordes of devices begin talking on the same port... see where it is going? Mini might be a neat thing by itself, but as soon as you try to do something serious with it, you get a rat's nest of external boxes and wires.
    A regular PeeCee SFF box might not be that nice looking, but it will take a couple of disks, a sound card, two memory modules, and will have a quite sufficient number of USB ports (4 rear/2 front is a common combination). So guess which one I will be getting, after all.
    Reply
  • Stylex - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I want to buy one of these, but I don't want to pay apple's ourrageous prices for RAM, what kind of memory should I buy besides apple's? I was unaware that the SPD of the modules would be an issue. Is there any 'safe' non-apple ram for this? Reply
  • lookmark - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Nice article, very balanced.

    re hopejr. (#13) -- I imagine the mac mini would be pretty decent for intermediate audio editing, but you'd have to purchase a USB audio adapter like Griffin's iMic (around $40), as the mini has audio line-out only.
    Reply
  • Questar - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #18,

    The reason why people rudely rant and rave against Macs, or Intel, MS, Etc. is due to their need for validation.

    Most people here are AMD PC users. There is a herd mentality, kind of "you're ok, I'm ok". People are looking for the assurances from others that their decisions/prejudices are the "right" ones.

    Just look at way people here gang up in Intel. I can just see it now, people will respond to this saying Intel makes crap..etc. But Intel makes fine products, just like Apple. Most people here feel elevated by tearing down someone/something that is not their personal preference, and feel pumped up that others support them.
    Reply
  • rivieracadman - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #12 It would be important to remember that the Dell (or any other cheap PC for that matter) only come with a 30 Day warrenty. Don't get me wrong, I'm a PC guy through and through, but I have had to repair more of those pieces of junk then I can count. Not to mention that the mini is quieter, nicer to look at, and much smaller. I have even considered buying one. It would be great for a support unit. A RAM upgrade is only $70 more, and most people already have a keyboard, mouse monitor, and speakers. If I couldn't build my own systems I would perfer to select what I wanted as well. I hate LCD monitors BTW...

    On a side note, you have to consider the market as well. My mother in law is very happy with her 400mhz K62, and my mother is very happy with her 1Ghz Athlon. Both running Mandrake Linux. They play games, edit photos from their digital cameras, surf the web, and who knows. Both machines only have 256MB of RAM and 32MB/64MB MX Nvidia Cards. If they ever allow me to upgrade their machines I think I may go with the minis.
    Reply
  • ehanneken - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Hm, make that a, b, c, and d (not a, b, b, and c).
    Reply
  • ehanneken - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I bought a Mac Mini for two reasons. First, I was curious about OS X. Second, I was looking for a Unix file server that

    a) was small
    b) was inexpensive
    b) consumed little power
    c) looked reasonably attractive

    The Mac Mini fit those criteria reasonably well. My next best option was a mini-ITX PC, but I gathered from my research that they tend to be noisier and less powerful than the Mac Mini.
    Reply
  • brichpmr - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Excellent article, Anand. My own 1.33 ghz G4 is quite snappy with sufficient ram, so the 512 mb suggestion is right on the money. Reply
  • tinydancer - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Nice review Anand! Thanks for the objectivity, which is more than I can say for some of your readers. I usually don't respond in these posts, but this I can't avoid. Why people hate on Macs is beyond me. Mac haters were weened to early and have an inferiority complex, which translates into an inability to LET IT GO!. The fact is that Macs are about style and creativity seperate from function. Macs do what they do very well and with reliability. No...Macs are not the fastest, baddest computers on the planet, and who cares--only PC users that have no life except to worry about wether their GPU will handle Doom III. Hardware is hardware, where apple makes up the difference is in the OS and apps. The Mini will fill a void in the market for some wether they have a mouse, monitor or not. But you know what....keep hating. I like being part of the 2% market share, because I don't have to deal with the other 98% of you @$$#0!&$. It really doesn't matter to me if you ever get the point. Enjoy your grey box and your blue screen after it crashes! Reply
  • ehanneken - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I got my Mac Mini yesterday. It came with iLife on a DVD *and* preinstalled.

    gibhunter, the upgrade to 512 MB is a $75 option when ordering the Mini; the owner is not required to do it himself. The only other expenses I had were taxes and a $13 USB adapter for my old PS/2 keyboard and mouse. I already had a spare 17" monitor. Altogether, I spent about $630.

    I may buy a cheap new keyboard, though. My old keyboard doesn't have a Windows key, and I think OS X maps the Apple key to it.
    Reply
  • deathwalker - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #12..I'm in your corner. If you can see through the fog of the $499 price tag then you are really looking at a $900-$1000 "Pig"...no thanks!~! Reply
  • ianwhthse - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #4, downtowncb

    They might not know the speed of the hard drive, true, but they're definitely going to notice it's slow.

    I think you underestimate the average user's ability to notice that their computer is running like a pig. Why deal with a spyware infested Windows machine when you can switch to a Mac and get a system that's barely faster than said infested machine because Apple decided you needed a slow HDD, and pathetic amounts of ram?

    Anand commented about how the 256 MB of ram was insufficient, but do you think most people are going to magically know that they need to double the ram to get a good experience? (Assuming "most people" aren't Anandtech readers).

    Anyway, I'm done with that rant.

    Anand, are you going to look more closely at the iMovie, Garageband, iDVD trifecta? I currently use the Adobe Video Collection Professional (Premier, After Effects, Encore DVD, Audition, and Photoshop). I’m just looking for something that can make something nice for the smaller projects I end up working on. So those applications are interesting (plus the fact that you can buy the Adobe collection on Mac would allow me to make a complete move off the PC). Well except for gaming. But all I play on my PC now is KOTOR, so I won’t cry too hard.

    (I can also get a Mac version of Seti@home, how ‘bout that?)
    Reply
  • Avalon - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #13, most people do NOT have $300 flat screens and USB keyboards/mice just simply laying around. Take this for what it is: the cheapest way to use OS X. Reply
  • hopejr - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #11, I have a 1GHz iBook G4 and it's good for audio editing with Garageband. I'm sure the Mac Mini will be better

    #12, many ppl already have those things laying around (apart from the RAM).

    Good article!!
    Reply
  • gibhunter - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    You're all forgetting the fine print.
    First, a Mac mini is crap with 256MB of RAM. Gotta buy the more powerful Mac. Do they offer them with 512? If not, suddenly the average Joe needs to learn how to upgrade. Suddenly it's $600.
    Gotta get a keyboard and a mouse. Only USB ports are available though so they will be pricey. $700.
    Gotta get a monitor. A stylish PC absolutely requires a stylish flat panel. $300.

    Suddenly you have a very weak personal computer for a thousand bucks. What a bargain! (sarcasm)
    Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    hey Anand, do you think this little box would be any good at Audio Editing? My lil bro is starting to get pretty heavy into it and REALLY wants a Mac, and this mini seems like it may be in his price range. Reply
  • downtowncb - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #7
    I know a few techie friends who have always been PC users that are purchasing Mac minis because they are a cheap way to get familiar with OSX while getting to work with BSD. Also the built-in Apache server is good for them (and can be activated by a single click). I'd say there are at least 2 crowds buying minis, the techie "I just want to try it out and it's 25% the cost of my last system" crowd and the $499 "I always buy the cheapest thing" crowd. You're right, the normal arguments don't apply because in the first case the arguments are overlooked in favor of software and OS and in the second they've never even heard our arguments (to them RPM is how fast your engine is going).
    Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #5
    Itunes isn't preinstalled. It's part of the iLife package.
    Reply
  • jfpilon - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    About the office compability: why not just use openoffice.org?

    check it out: http://developer.apple.com/darwin/runningx11.html
    Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    #4
    The Mac mini isn't just targeted at Mac users that's why there is a comparison with Dell. There WILL be PC users that buy this thing and at $499 people primarily at price. The $499 crowd IS NOT the techie, computer-savvy group. Most of our arguments for buying computers don't apply.
    Reply
  • mickyb - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I would wait for the turbo mini. It sounds like it needs a faster drive and better video. Reply
  • Aileur - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    A thought comes to mind.
    Could apple get sued by other online music stores because osx comes with itunes preinstalled? Isnt that kind of like microsoft ie/windows?

    Oh and, i want a mac mini. I bought an ibook g3 800 a couple of months ago, on an impulse to actually try out osx. Sold my toshiba 2410 1.8GHZ (p4 not pm) and let me tell you, ive been advocating macs ever since. I believe if you're everything but a gamer, a mac is a great buy.

    On this note, let the whining begin.
    Reply
  • downtowncb - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I'll never understand why people insist on comparing the Mac mini to Windows based systems from a hardware standpoint. Getting a "more powerful" CPU from a similarly priced Dell doesn't matter to the target demographic of the Mac mini. I can tell you that neither Grandma Claire nor Joe iPod-owning-college-student can tell you the speed of their hard drive and probably couldn't tell you three things about their graphics processor either. They both want a computer that works and won't break. The hardware is actually quite trivial to most of the users of this machine. Enthusiasts know they aren't buying a high-end machine, and the others don't know and/or don't care. Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    Good article. Why?
    3) To the user that this type of computer is targeted at, do either numbers 1 or 2 matter? The answer is no, all that matters is price and whether or not the thing works. If that statement weren't true then you would never hear the phrase "I've had my computer for 5 years, I need a new one", instead everyone would be a performance fanatic like the rest of us and upgrade every year at worst.
    Reply
  • jtntwozz - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    no.1 what are u talking about?!?!?

    nice article.. i love all 3 of ur mac articles..
    Reply
  • Dranzerk - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - link

    I'll wait till you can find half a million on Ebay for $200 fully upgraded in a few months..thats the sweet spot when people say "Why did I buy this!". Reply
  • JacobAppler - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    You can also save some real money on the Mac Minis by shopping safely. Go to a comparison site like Apple Sliced.com and you won't need to worry about your Mac Mini costing too much.

    The Mac Mini can be the redheaded stepchild of Macintosh land, but it's worth looking at.
    Reply

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