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Mac Mini? [Jan. 11th, 2005|09:00 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
They're cute, they have a cheap base price, but ...

With my University Discount:

Mac Mini 1.42GHZ + Superdrive + 1Gig RAM + Wired Keyboard & Mouse = $727

I spec'ed out an AMD64 2GHZ system with the same hard disk and RAM, DVD burner, Keyboard, Mouse -- all top of the line parts, more USB ports, more Firewire Ports, Dual video outputs -- and it came in at $853, shipped. Adding Windows XP is another $92.25. I don't have benchmarks in front of me, but I'd rate the 2GHZ AMD64 as honestly 1.5 to 2 times as fast as a 1.42GHZ G5.

And I could have spec'ed cheaper parts -- Athlon XP instead of Athlon64, base motherboard instead of deluxe -- and come in well below the Mac Mini's price, still with better overall performance.

Oh, and I didn't include the $99 Applecare in the Mac Mini price, which is pretty much essential because Macs do break, and without Applecare, you might as well strip it for parts and throw it in the trash, because it's cheaper to buy a new machine than to get an old one fixed.

Just because it's the cheapest base price Macintosh, and it's small and cute, doesn't mean it's the best bang for the buck, is all I'm saying.

They are cool, but I see no sign in this announcement of Apple improving their price/performance ratio. I'm sure Mac people will shake their heads at me and say I just don't get it, but hey -- I just don't get it. It's not THAT much easier to use, or set up, it's way more expensive to fix, and it's not as expandable. It's more portable, but if you want portable, buy a laptop.

[User Picture]From: marmoset
2005-01-11 08:15 pm (UTC)
Now put that AMD64 in a Shuttle case, and make it totally silent, and make it invulnerable to 99 3/4% of the spyware and all the other horseshit I wasted an hor cleaning off my cousin's EMachines the other day.

This is the box that will sit in my family room and not annoy everyone around it with 6 fans. That, my friend, is worth a few hundred bucks.
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2005-01-12 04:18 am (UTC)
Well yeah. The big draw for me would be the system software, and the silence, and the cuteness. But if Apple ever did claw its way up to double digit market penetration, the spyware would follow.

Microsoft definitely has several dark sides. OSX is really kinda cool.

What I'm wondering is this: can you buy a Mac Mini, plug it into wall current and ethernet, and run it without a keyboard or mouse or display? You can get 4 of them on a rack tray, so you could get 48 of them in a 6" server rack.
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[User Picture]From: marmoset
2005-01-12 06:50 am (UTC)
Will spyware show up with increased market share? I don't know... but I suspect it would never be as severe a problem. OS X is a lot easier to secure, quite honestly. There's no opaque registry for programs to hide in, there's a quickly GREP-able process list, there's the fact that installing software that starts up at boot time requires acknowledgement with both a username and a password, etc. There's also a far less uniform distribution of default browser, mailer, and office software. There's the fact that there are almost no outward facing ports listening in the default install...

Is the mini rackable? I'd hope so. Every other Mac I've used in recent memory has been perfectly happy to run headless, so I think it should. My job is supporting a batch clustering software package (PBSPro) that supports OSX, so your MacMini Phalanx idea intrigues me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. :)
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[User Picture]From: eigenvector
2005-01-11 09:35 pm (UTC)
But the Mac mini will make waffles, and it purrs and glows pink when you pet it.
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[User Picture]From: colorless_pixel
2005-01-11 09:38 pm (UTC)
yea npr news had a lil article about the mini macs and how no one cares.
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[User Picture]From: marmoset
2005-01-12 02:45 am (UTC)
no one cares



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[User Picture]From: m3ani3
2005-01-12 08:45 am (UTC)
While I agree that this is no sign as to Apple improving their price/performance ratio, I don't think the main purpose of the Mac Mini is to *beat* similar Winblows PCs in price. I believe the main purpose is for Apple to put a machine out there that is comparitive in price to a windows machine. Think -- prior to Mac Mini -- NO ONE that was price shopping would buy a Mac desktop. plain and simple. Why spend $2500 on a Mac desktop..when you can get a winblows for $800.

With that said, I love the Mac Mini. I think it will make inroads with consumers -- ESPECIALLY ones who love their iPods. By leveraging the popularity of the iPod, they are able to tap into the PC market and gain more foothold...and more profits. I wouldn't doubt -- next Christmas -- iPod + Mac Mini deals from Apple. They are prepping for "the Mac revolution" and the current consumer backlash towards Microsoft (which, imo, will lead to the downfall of the PC). Linux OSs haven't made good enough headway in ease of use. My redhat machine was a pain in the ass to set up for Samba -- when..with Windows and Mac -- i click a couple of buttons and *bam* it works.

As a heavy and experienced user in 3 environments, Mac OS X is BY FAR the easiest to use and maintain. I was once a hater...now I've made the switch.

p.s. -- have your son by WinXP at the bookstore -- 6 bucks ;)
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[User Picture]From: marmoset
2005-01-17 03:31 pm (UTC)
This looks interesting...
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