Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by KG4IDA, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. KG4IDA

    KG4IDA

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    A friend brought by a new Apple Powerbook last night and it was very impressive. He had XP set up to run in a virtual machine on the desktop. I haven't had any Mac experience since the great purge at work in 96. I am a Windows system admin by trade so I can't abandon Gatesware entirely. I already run Linux on a machine at home. Now I an thinking about a Mac Mini. Anyone have one and how do you like it?
     
  2. BilltheCat

    BilltheCat Quieter Cat Millennium Member

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    I dont have a mini but do have an iMac core 2 duo and love it.

    Yes you can run windoze and all the programs you may need/want/like that you already own. You either use a program (freeware) called bootstrap which is a selective boot program, or you use parallels, which is not free but allows you to run both os's at the sime time on the same screen. Cut and paste from one OS to another if you wish. pretty neat.

    The only downer I have heard about the mini is it needs a bit more ram to start with to be a great experience.

    Are you migrating your network to vista? Not a lot of sysadmins are yet.
     

  3. KG4IDA

    KG4IDA

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    No, we are not going to Vista at work in the near future. We have problems with some of its big brother features. I can see no reason at all to upgrade my home systems. If I should buy a new Windows PC I would get Vista but I suspect a Mini Mac is more likely. I wouldn't install it till SP1 is released in any case.
     
  4. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    Sooooo... a lot depends on what you're doing with it.

    I have a previous-generation Mini with the older G4 Processor, and the current Mini has the same specs as my MacBook - a great little laptop, but I use it almost exclusively for mail, web, MS Office, and run WinXP in Parallels about once a month for an hour or so.

    It's surprisingly good in all those uses, but the minute I know I've got a hardcore job like heavy graphics software, I head for my iMac or my older PowerMac dual G5.

    The primary problem with the Mini is the laptop hard drive - just toooo slow for hardcore use, at least for me (I'm not patient). Otherwise it's a pretty snappy little box, with amazing processor power for such a little box.

    If you're mostly running admin applications, or network monitoring software, or normal office stuff, the Mini is a great platform.

    It is NOT, IMHO, appropriate for anyone working professionally on graphics, powerpoint, or any kind of video. Anything where the HD is churning all day long will be tooo slooow.

    I went up a notch for a new 17" iMac, and it's my full-time Parallels host, runs all my office and graphics stuff, and does it very quickly. even with a 20" Dell LCD hanging off the side as a second monitor.

    I really wish Apple offered something with iMac hardware specs, but no monitor, at a price between the iMac and Mac Mini. But they don't, so I went w/ the iMac.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Mini for any 'I need a computer at this location' use, but the slow HD means you need to think a little about whether the HD speed is a big deal for your applications before making it your primary machine.
     
  5. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I'm wondering if the day will come, with Mac's running on Intel hardware, peoples obvious displeasure with Vista, Linux becoming more popular, etc.. How long it is before we just buy a PC at BB/CompUSA/whatever, and buy whatever OS we want separately.

    Probably a ways off, if it ever happens, but I like the idea of it. It'll be light years before I buy a box store PC anyways...

    IGF
     
  6. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    Yeah - I think Steve Jobs is once again missing the boat - if people could pay $150 and have a copy of OS X to run on their existing box, they'd buy it in droves.

    At the moment, there's nothing really special about Mac hardware, except that they've arranged it into very attractive shapes... all the other components (HD, video card, RAM, Power supply) are stock...

    I'd LOVE to run OS X on a standard Dell box - I'd buy the same box from Apple, if they'd sell me a 'standard' desktop without a monitor built in.
     
  7. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    It'll never happen on any significant scale. Microsoft has virtually complete control of the desktop market and would go bankrupt before they allowed that to happen.
     
  8. KG4IDA

    KG4IDA

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    I suspect that if you could buy OS-X without the hardware then Apple would soon be reduced to a software company. I say that but I would buy OS-X if I could. I have a nearly new duo core dell laptop so my interest in Macs at this point is just to get one to learn about them and OS-X. My friend with the Powerbook was showing me how you could take your picture with the built in camera using the screen for a flash. I sense a killer security app there. Your laptop is stolen. it asks whoever is using it for the "secret handshake". If it doesn't get it then it takes a picture of whoever is using it and emails it to a preset email account. If it had a built in gps then it could also report where it was.
     
  9. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    Cool. Mac Mini is the PERFECT 'check out the Mac' box... it's exactly what it's made for.

    Though I'm a little surprised by the number of folks who bought one under the 'I'll check it out for $600' concept, and find themselves sitting in a room with a half-dozen other computers, and the Mini is the only one in use...

    Worth noting that the current Mini is right at the end of its product life cycle. If you hang on a few weeks, you'll probably get a better machine for the same price, plus whatever other new goodies Steve throws in, or get the current Mini for a lower price on closeout.

    Some are predicting an announcement either this coming tuesday,or next.

    http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_mini
     
  10. KG4IDA

    KG4IDA

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    Thanks Deanster.
    Thats exactly what I'm looking for.
    I'll probably wait for a month or so and maybe up the memory a bit.
     
  11. dport

    dport

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    You can buy OSX by itself. Has anyone bought it and tried to install it on a non-Apple Intel machine?
     
  12. grindchug

    grindchug Guest

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    you can run hacked versions of OS X on a non-Apple box.
     
  13. NGWT

    NGWT

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    Don't even think about buying this thing until Apple comes out of the 19th century and replaces the Core Duo chip with a Core 2 Duo.

    They must be making money hand over fist for what they are charging for these things now.
     
  14. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    Yeah, these are overdue for the Core 2 upgrade. though the difference between Core and Core 2 isn't huge for this type of work, and even the Core Duo are still over $150 just for the processor - not much money left in a $600 (retail)machine, once you add HD, RAM, Wi-fi and Bluetooth, mobo, case, fans, etc., a little bit of profit for the manufacturer and retailer, and so on.

    I'll note that similarly priced Dell boxes are using Pentium D, P4, or Celeron D chips, any of which just get stomped by Core Duo. C2D doesn't typically show up in most new PC boxes below the $800-900 level, and then only in stripper builds.

    That said, it's time for Core 2 to come to the Mini. I'd also like a slightly larger case to accept a 3.5" HD, as long as I'm wishing.