Mac Mini

The new Mac Mini is all the news today. While I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one it’s funny to me that Mac people think $499 is cheap. They are so used to Apple’s high prices. What do I mean?

Well, just last month I was out computer shopping for my 90yr old grandmother. I thought about a Mac but she only uses E-mail, she’s already used to Outlook Express and the cheapest Mac was more than I could effort. Even at $499 it’s more than I could afford.

I thought about giving her one of my old PCs but getting it back to the USA would have been a pain in the ass so I went on line checking for prices.

Linspire PC: 128meg ram, 40gig HD, CD drive, internal video+sound+net, keyboard, mouse, external speakers. $189 from Walmart, $199 from Fry’s

Compaq PC: 256meg ram, 40gig HD, CD-drive, floppy, internal video+sound+net, keyboard, mouse, external speakers, Window XP Home, Ink Jet Printer, 15 inch monitor. $299 from Best Buy.

Even the lowest end Dell is only $449 and that includes 512meg of ram, keyboard, mouse and LCD monitor.

I had a spare copy of XP at Home I wasn’t using so I went with the Linspire machine and installed XP at Home

Apple still has a ways to go.

  • Colin
    That’s cheap…for them!

    Apple have always been “elitists for the common man.” Yes, that’s an oxymoron.

    I am saddened when schools waste their limited budgets on Macs when they could buy double the Wintel PCs for the same price.

  • Leo

    Seriously, that is cheap for a Mac. I’ve had to oufit a small graphics department with macs. For the money I spent, I could’ve gotten some decent XP boxes. I had no choice in the platform and while I like Macs, I wouldn’t have bought them. Now, with this cheaper Mac, I’d would buy ’em without any second thoughts. The question that is the clincher is, just how good is the hardware over the short and mid-terms.

  • I agree.. price for me is the clincher… $499 is a great price for what looks like a solid peice of hardware, but you can get so much more out of a PC for that price. As Greggman already pointed out, the cheapest Compaq offering includes a monitor, etc. AND you can trick it out in the future if you want. With the Mac Mini your relegated to this small box that has no extension capabilities (unless you want shell out big bucks for external FireWire equipment).

    I could still be living in the 90s as far as hardware goes, however. I haven’t been keeping up now that my employer(s) have been subsidizing my computer costs….

    It’s good to see Apple try to compete in the lower end market, but I doubt they’ll have much success. Someone who is in the market for a Linspire is not going to pay 4-5 times as much. “They’re both computers right? I can check my email with either one? What’s the difference then?” they might say…

    As for me, I might have bought one a few years ago when I was a student, but now that my job is firmly based in Windows environments, I won’t have much time to play around with Mac OS X…

  • One more problem, 40gig space is nothing in the days of BitTorrent, 5+megapixel cameras, iMovie, iMovieHD, etc.

    Except for maybe grandma who’ll only do e-mail, anyone that wants an easy to use Mac for photos, music etc will end up spending at least $1000 after adding keyboard, monitor, more memory and more storage.  At that price there are quite a few other options.

  • Slimboyfat
    IPod Shuffle

    Take a look at their iPod Shuffle ad.

    * Do not eat iPod Shuffle.

  • I don’t get the iPod Shuffle

    what’s the big deal?

    The iRiver make about 9 models just as small WITH a display to you can actually find what you are looking for and nearly double the battery life

    iClick makes 3 models of similar size

    Creative makes a couple.

    Sandisk makes a 3

    And so does pretty much every other company under the sun.

  • Zafunk

    Colin. As far as Apple in schools goes, I *think* they offer deep discounts to educational institutions just so they can get in the door and get the exposure.

    I’m a long time Mac user, and I don’t really see the point either. It seems awfully exensive for what you get. I also wonder if this all-in-one Mac will suffer the same problems as the short lived Cube (over heating). Plus having only one memory slot that will only accomodate up to 1 GB of ram is a joke. Shipping with 256 megs is also pittiful. OS X will gobble up all that ram and be begging for more. The G4 is also getting a bit long in the tooth. If this thing had a G5 processor, it would be a different argument.

    If Apple is targeting PC users, they’re barking up the wrong tree. PC land has been used to low prices, lots of choices and plenty of expandabilty for years now. Sexy industrial design isn’t enough to sway consumers these days. I suppose the biggest selling point is the few Virii and trojans that affect the Mac.

    Perhaps they’ll get lucky and fool the waves of people who plunked down way to much $$ for their iPods into buying this over priced accessory to add to their “iLife” – which must be an abreviation for poverty.

  • rc
    iRiver, iClick, etc.

    Greg, I don’t think any of those you mentioned offer the same amount of storage at the samel pricepoint as the ipod shuffle, do they? As much as I think other apple products are overpriced, I actually think the shuffle is a piece of nicely designed hardware at a decent price.

  • anonymousfool
    don’t be so quick to judge. it’s all about the software bundle…

  • The software bundle doesn’t do it for me.  iPhoto?  I’m happy with XP’s internal support.  It lets me see thumbnails from anywhere, not just from inside one central database.  I can print in various sizes.  If I plug in a camera it automatically asks me if I want to copy the pictures, print, etc. If I want the fancier interface I can download Picasa for free.

    iMovie.  Well, maybe but not on 40gig.  iDVD, same thing.  You aren’t going to dump your home videos to DVD with 40gig of space when DV video take 1Gig for every 5 minutes of video.

    iTunes? Okay, that’s free for the PC as well.

    That leaves Garageband which is cool but really, if you want to make music you’re going to get something better.  If you don’t then Garageband is 5 minutes of “hey, that’s kind a neat” and then you’ll never run it again.

    I’m not saying those programs suck. Their all good software but the different is not that great and certainly not on a Mac Mini which is not enough power to use 2 of them.

  • Leo

    For those interested in switching to another platform but might be too afraid to completely go over to Linux, this isn’t a bad alternative. Yeah, PC’s are that cheap too, but I’m talking about that segment that is tired of the viruses (virii ?), spyware, etc. and want something else. Now, I’m not saying OS X (and Linux) is the end-all saving grace, but it comes from a company that people can turn to for the semblence of support. But then I could be wrong. Naaaaaah, I’m not 😉

  • It’s only a matter of time until Mac OS X is plagued with viruses and spyware… yes, only a matter of time…

    As for support, I think with both you’ve got to shell out cash, though I could be wrong. Either way, it is a major pain in the ass to not be able to upgrade to the latest version of Safari without paying for the next version of Mac OS X. This pain was (bad experience I guess) by the fact that .dmg mounting was screwed up on the Mac I was using so I couldn’t even install Firefox. In the end, I want to believe that Mac OS X is/was a better OS, but the one experience I did have with the OS was terrible. Incidentally, I looked on forums about the problem and only came up with “reinstall.” I thought, “hmm, this sounds like what I should do with Windows, WTF?”

    Anyway, enough ranting and hijacking of this thread. Sorry Greg..

    (I’m waiting for all the Apple zealot flames).

  • Hijack away

    I want to like Mac but it seems to me Mac people live in a reality distortion field. They are blind to every problem or come up with excuses for them and yet remember every PC problem.

    I was asked to try to get a OSX 10.2 machine sharing a printer with a PC and it was like configuring linux.  There was no Apple solution, only installing GIMP printer drivers or something like that which I didn’t want to do.  We had native printer drivers for both Windows and the Mac but the Mac printer drivers are not as flexible as Windows. They don’t work over any transport like Windows, they only run over USB so I couldn’t share the printer on Windows and connect with the Mac.  Visa versa I tried putting the printer on the Mac, sharing it and connecting to the Mac from Windows but the Samba support in OSX 10.2 was messed up and I couldn’t get it let me see the printer.

    The friend who was asking me to do it was also complaining about how hard it is to install stuff on the mac.  On Windows generally you click the download button on some site and click “open” and in moments it’s installed.  On the mac you download some file (a DMG file), open that, pull out the stuff inside, then run that.  It seemed like 3-4 times the steps.

    In the end I just told them to get OSX 10.3 and hope Apple had fixed that stuff.

  • sammyjojo
    Fud on OS X hard installations + more

    Just because it’s not done the same way as windows doesn’t mean that it’s harder. I own a windows and a mac machine and from experience, I can tell you that installations are easier on the mac. You may get a .dmg file which has to extract, but that’s the same step on a windows machine for anything that comes in a zip (you can also get files that are zipped or sit’ed on macs) or a self-extracting exe before setup can be run. So the next step is where windows mac differ hughley (is that a word :)) on installation. On windows you get the setup wizard that takes you through all the paces of installing, like destination, the crap you want installed, shortcuts, blah, blah. On most mac applications you either drag the application (applications are usually bundles, which are folders, but to the user only sees them as a double-clickable icon) or the folder that the application is in to the destination. That’s it, I don’t think you can get anymore simple then this. It as also been this way since OS X 10.0 (X and 10.0 kinda redundant, huh). Okay so how is the uninstall, easy delete the application or if it has a folder delete that one. On windows you have to run the uninstaller because you usually won’t have a clue to where it decidied to put extra files or stupid stuff in the registry. I will say that OS X does have a installation wizard for system stuff, like librarys amd stuff. Also most if not all of Apple’s software has an installtion wizard.

    Just to comment on the mini vs pc poo, the mini is a good cheap mac. It doesn’t matter that you can get whatever equivalent on pc that’s faster/slower because those aren’t macs and they don’t run mac software. The mini is a pretty good mac that’s a price (flawed price if you don’t have a monitor though) that Apple has never bother to offer before. If my mac, that’s a G4 867Mhz (slower then either mini models) and has a radeon 9000 (mini comes with a 9200) and I can run nearly everything fine (I don’t have too many games on it, but I have a few) then the mini can sure run nearly everything out there better. If you want a mac get a mac, if you want a pc get one of those they both have stuff to bitch about, but they’re both good.

  • Not FUD

    I agree installing software is better on OSX.  Downloading is not though.  The majority of software downloads on the PC install automatically after download.  The majority on the Mac don’t  It’s a minor point but it is true.

    As for $200 PCs vs $500 macs.  Clearly Apple is hoping people will see $500 as a good price since it is often claimed Macs are overpriced.  Maybe people will think $500 is cheap.  It certainly would have been a good price 3-4 years ago.  Today though, especially with $200 PCs out and $500 PC with everything included (monitor, keyboard, printer, more memory, more storage, faster processer), Apple really hasn’t solved their “Macs are too expensive” issue.

  • sammyjojo
    another long one 🙂

    Since when have a majority of downloads automatically installed after being downloaded? If you’re talking about active-x installations then yeah, but those don’t acount for most of the available software. Why would you want anything to automatically install after being download other then updates to the os which both os’es do? I don’t understand what your trying to say with your first paragraph, because in all the years that I’ve had my pc nothing has installed after being download other then os updates and things installed with active-x.

    For a $200, it’s a crap pc, compared to other pc’s that one won’t be able do much other then surfing the web and whatnot. On the other hand the $500 mini will run most of everything on the mac compared to Apple’s other lineup. What do you get with the $200 pc? onboard intel graphics? a non-burner cd drive? not even a copy of windows probably (from looking at your article it looks like you don’t). You also fail to mention what processor you’re probably getting with the cheap pc’s it’s probably a celron or amd equivlent or worse. You’re not getting a G3 (for those that don’t know, 2 generation old processor for macs) in the mac, you’re getting a G4 (the last generation processor and the same processor currently in all Apple laptops) which although is not a G5 (they haven’t gotten a G5 in their laptops so I don’t think they could fit it in to the mini). And on the $499 dell pc, I just went to their site because when I helped my roommate get a computer a few months back they didn’t have a computer that cheap with the specs you provided. The $499 computer they have on their site right now is with 10% off and you only get 256MB RAM and a 17″ CRT. The cheapest one with an LCD is $739 (originally $829, but it’s 10% right now) and guess what, it still only has 256MB RAM (although they offer a $579 one with 512, CRT though). I’m not saying that the mini is the worlds greatest computer, but if you buy any cheap computer mac or windows, you can’t be expecting an amazing device. I would almost say that getting a mini gets you better computer compared to other macs then, buying a $200-300 pc gets you compared to other pc’s. Do you remember how much computers used to cost? The current prices are insane compared to a few years ago. On a sidenote, my brother used to work at Dell and he told me that Dell looses money on those cheap pc’s that come with everything and they would tell all their telesales people (not sure if that’s what they were called) to try to not sell those. The other nice thing about buying macs is that your computer is not outdated as fast as a windows machine. The resale values on macs are generally higher then most pc counterparts. I’m still using a 867MHz mac! How many people are still using 867Mhz pc’s?

    To end, I just want to say that to me this all friendly debating, no hard feeling for anyone. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I have have mine. Some may agree with me other probably won’t, but this is one of those arguments that have been around since macs came about, so it’s never going to end and no side is going to get the other’s vote. So that’s it for my rant on it for this article’s comments. I’m still wondering about the whole download thing though, cause you got me confused 🙂 If you’re talking about the dialog box where you can choose to run instead of save, well that is a saved step… but one that many don’t recommend.

  • anonymousfool

    not sure why you’re comparing a cheaper pc for a mac? can you get an equivalent of what the mac offers on a PC? i think not… plus if i had a choice of getting a pc for my grandfather, i’d prefer to get a mac. why? b/c i don’t want to have to sit there for two hours removing spyware, viruses, and loads of other crap and waste 2-4 hours doing it.

    osx is freebsd based. there are no viruses. atleast not even close to the countless viruses and crapware outthere to hijack your typical “windows” pc.

    the fact is, it’s a good bargain… i guess “for a mac”.

  • anonymousfool
    another long one too…

    try to match and get a cheaper pc that has firewire, usb 2.0, DVI, DVD-ROM, lan/modem in a ultra stylist smaller than mini-itx form factor and comes with alot of “useful” software bundle including iphoto, imovie, quicken?

  • give it up

    Dell has new deals every day.  Today the 256meg with monitor machine is $399!

    As for the other arguments.

    1) the Mac Mini is the cheapest Mac therefore it is valid to compare it to the cheapest PC.  I’m not going to argue that the cheapest PC is a as good as the Mac Mini, it’s not, but it will work, you will be able to do most things on it.  Net, Email, Office, Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, etc etc.  It won’t be good for games but then if you wanted games you wouldn’t by a Mac either.

    2) A useable Mac Mini requires adding a monitor, keyboard and mouse.  That going to cost you $200 to $300 minimum.  That means the true price of a Mac Mini is $700 – $800.  Comparing at that price there are all kinds of PCs I can get that have more memory, more hard drive space.

    3) You can do anything on a Mac Mini. Well, yes and no.  Techincally use but in actuality you’re going to run into trouble unless you upgrade it.  With only 256meg of ram and 40gig space even according to Mac experts you are not going to get every far.  OSX is even more of a memory hog than XP.  40gig space even if 1/4 to 1/3 of it wasn’t already going to be used by the OS and bundled apps is not that much space in the days of iMovie, iMovieHD, iDVD and iPhoto with 5+ megapixel images.

    4) Mac is better then PC.  That’s a different arguement.  I don’t agree the Mac is better then PC but then I don’t think they are worse either.  Mac fanatics disagree, fine but that’s not the point.

    The point (1) as the cheapest Mac it’s still not nearly as cheap as a PC therefore the Apple is still too expensive argument is still valid. (2) For the true usable price of a Mac Mini you can get a more powerful PC.  Both are provably true.  The only true counter arguement is that Mac is better than PC period.  Agani, I don’t agree but you are welcome to your opinion.

  • anonymous_bos
    You forgot an important factor…

    How long do you plan to own your computer?  A mac will last you almost twice as long as a PC.  I used to be a pro-PC MAC basher for years until 3 years ago when, on an unexplainable whim, I bought a G4 iMac.  It took me no time at all to learn how to use/do everything (amazing considering I had NEVER used a Mac before).  I swore that day that I would never buy another PC ever again.  3 years later I still feel exactly the same way and more important, the computer still feels as fast as the day I bought it (I’m not sure I have ever experienced a PC that doesnt get bogged down as time goes by).

    PC’s have the terrible ability to allow the user to screw everything up by changing the settings deep within the control panel.  I have experienced on many occasions the self-destruct ability of a PC when you are cleaning out all the spyware and other parasite applications.  One minute its all ok, the next you delete a critical file and BAM! “fatal error”.   You just cant do that with a MAC.  The settings are so easy it makes me wonder why Microsoft would insist on making everything so convoluted and inter-dependant. 

    In the long run you can probably keep a PC for just about as long as a MAC but the MAC will still be exceptionally fast compared to its original processing speed, whereas the PC will most likely just be limping along.  That’s true even if you factor in the multiple reformatting/reinstallations of windows that almost all windows users have experienced.

    In the end, you really do get your money’s worth.

  • anonymousfool
    you’re missing the point…

    gregg, you’re still missing the point. it’s not just about price, it’s about the whole package.

    i’m not by any means a “mac fanatic”. and in fact, i don’t even own one, but i’ve used one on many occasion.

    the bottom line to this discussion is that the whole package is simply uncomparable. speed for speed, an intel/amd processor is faster, but as personal computer, does it come in a tiny form factor that sucks up less power, has “useful” software bundles, DVI (who needs monitors when you’ve got HDTVs), dvd-rom, storage? in the end, you end up spending less although the initial cost may be higher than a pc. 

    in addition, i know that you can get to do something done on a mac with fewer clicks per average operation (atleast in software usage) than on a pc. it’s really true… so processor speed may not be everything.

    you even argued that people will need to upgrade their mac’s if they were to do any real computing… yes, it’s true. but if you wanted performance, why would you even get a mac mini? it’s bottom of the barrel.

    i think this would be very useful as a media pc. it’s small and aesthetically pleasing enough to go well with stereo equipment and to playback music and movies. (storage can be added via firewire or usb)

  • Pure Mac fan FUD as usual

    1) Mac’s last longer than PCs.  BS.  My 7 year old PC still runs photoshop just fine.  My 7 year old Mac won’t run OSX and therefore will not run any current Mac software

    2) PCs break more than Macs: BS, Mac people, believeing Macs are better, ignore/excuse anytime they have a problem with Mac.  i’ve had far FAR more problems on Mac than I’ve had on PC.  That includes using them to develop M2 software on as well as teaching Flash on Macs at Digital Hollywood.  On top of which they don’t treat them the same.  Mac people generally use less software basically because there is less software on Mac.  Most Mac people install 3 or 4 apps and then get useful work done.  Most PC people install 3 or 4 apps and then 50-150 games, 50-150 free downloaded things, etc etc.  Why?  Because they actually exist on PC.  If you treat them the same, run the same software on both, they have basically the same experience

    3) PCs have the ability to screw things up more than Mac.  BS, that might have been true before Win 2K and Win XP but it’s not anymore.  Don’t compare old windows experience to new Mac experiences.  Mac was just as easy to screw up Pre OS9 as Windows pre 2K and actually it still is (see reference below for trying to get OS 10.2 to share a printer).  XP will actually replace system files if you happen to delete them and by default you can’t see them.

    4) It’s not about just price it’s about whole package.  True, and a $700-$800 PC will do just as much as a $700-$800 Mac Mini if not more since it will have more storage, more software options, more games, more websites that are compatible, more music stores, more video formats, more printers, more cameras, etc.

    5) Useful software bundles matter. BS, The only thing that a Mac will do out of the box that a generic PC won’t is edit DVDs and Music.  Everything is built into both systems.  E-Mail, Web, CD-Burning, Music Listening, Video Watching, Video Editing, Photo Management, Photo Printing.

    6) You can get more stuff done on a mac in fewer clicks. BS. Most of the useful software is EXACTLY THE SAME. Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Director, Freehand, GoLive, InDesign, iTunes, Maya are all EXACTLY THE SAME SOFTWARE.

    I’m not dissing the Mac here. I’m only trying to cut through the BS.  If you want a Mac, get one, they ROCK!  But don’t post BS reasons for it and don’t try to tell me the Mac Mini is a good mac to get and that it’s worth it a $700-$800 (usable price).  It’s not.  If you want a Mac get one you can actaully use.  If you are trying to save money, the Mac Mini is not the way to go.  If you are trying to get something done the Mac Mini is not the way to go either.

  • anonymous_bos
    More BS

    I ignored this yesterday but now since you insist on using it as an argument I’ll have to bring it out.  Networking a Mac and a PC is not as hard as genius boy below seems to think.  My very first network ever was my Mac and My 2 PC’s so I can say from experience exactly how easy it is.  It was a matter of plug and play for the Mac (FAR easier than the PCs were by the way) and in a matter of minutes I was sharing a printer.  Mac makes it a point to make inter-platform sharing as easy as possible.  Since it was my first network I have to asume that anybody could do it.

    I just spent 3 hours fixing my mothers 3 month old PC because she messed up the settings.  I wonder how she did that since you seem to think its not possible. Bizarre, huh?

    By the way, since you think I’m “ignoring” problems with my Mac, I feel I should point out that My Mac has never so much as hinted at having a problem. Nothing.  No software problems, No hardware problems, NOTHING.  Unless you want to count the dead pixle I had on my screen which was fixed by massaging it out with my pinky finger for 5 seconds. 

    I have no problem conceeding that games are more readily available for the windows user but I nor most computer users are gamers.  Most true gamers would probably be running custom machines anyways so I’m not sure a discussion about out-of-the-box machines really applies to them.

    Finally, I too am not saying that the Mini-Mac is a great machine for everybody.  But For people with any semblance of style out there, It would look a hell of a lot better on a desktop than a $200-$700 budget PC.  I doubt anybody could argue with that.

    I have a feeling we are going to have to agree to disagree so I’m done with my arguing.

  • Leo

    Damn, 24 posts on this topic alone ? lol OK, more of my $.02. I’ve supported both platforms from wNT4, 95, 98, 2k, XP, servers, Mac OS 8, 9, and X. I’ve had less problems with the Macs than I did the PCs (and that’s ONLY because the PCs outnumbered the Macs). Each platform has its strength and weaknesses. As for networking, with Mac specified shares on servers, and printing was easy (don’t know why you had a problem with 10.2). Yeah, you can create a server share (or a PC share) and have it accessed by a Mac. Ported software for either platform doesn’t make it any harder (or easier) to use. XP can replace files it you delete ’em (including infected files, yippee).

    The budget PCs are a great deal for those who need a computer but can’t afford a decent one. From specs that I’ve seen of the low-end PCs, I wouldn’t be playing Doom 3 or Half-Life 2 on them (or at least have great response time on them). Think of the mini as a laptop.

    But I think the point is being missed on why the mini is out there. Its aimed at that market segment really, really, really, really wanting to cut away from Windows because of viruses (virii?), spyware, etc. They’ll probably be more technically adapt than my folks at getting thier needed files over to a new platform. They’re the ones who can either cut over completely, or go out and buy another monitor. This is in now way, Apple’s attempt to dominate the PC market. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Each platform has its strength and weaknesses.

  • Rei
    The solution is simple

    Mac – For focus on graphic editing, designing, etc. thus why the majority of design institutions use Mac’s. Althought PC’s can do the job as well, Mac’s have been specialized in that field.

    PC – For everything else. There is not much more to it, you buy one or the other for whatever your needs are. If you do a bit of everything (graphics, gaming, etc) you buy a PC.

    it is a long topic, but it really is this simple.

  • Mac = For Graphic Design.  Well, I agree with you that lots of graphic designers use Macs but if you actually check, 99% of the Computer Graphics (movies) and 99% of all game development (in which there is tons of graphic design and CG graphics) are done on PC.  So while I agree most “graphic designers” use a Mac there is arguable no reason for it except habit.

    As for Mac and networking.  (1) I know that Macs as for OSX 10.2 don’t share with PCs well without hand editing samba.conf files.  I know this because I had to do it and because there are pages all over the net explaining how since the Mac doesn’t do it by default.  That is letting the PC see the Mac.  The Mac can see the PC as shipped. (2) as for printers, if you have a Postscript printer then Macs will share the printer.  If you have anything else (like the more common Ink Jets) then Macs will not share with PCs as of OSX 10.2 without lots of work.

  • anonymous_bos
    i wont even try

    … to tell you any technical explanations because I only followed the instructions on the router box but I can tell you with 100% certainty that Macs and PC are easily networkable. I’m just some guy who has never taken any kind of computer classes (ei: I’m not in the industry) yet I was able to do it. I can do anything a normal network can do including sharing a “common injet”. i understand it has been difficult in the past (when I declared my intentions to the guys at Best Buy they thought I was crazy) but apparently the good folks at Apple did something and it works great. You can say what you want but in the end I have a network of 2 PCs, a Mac, and a printer. No crazy programming involved.

  • anonymousfool
  • anonymousfool
    the solution sir is not simple…

    osx is freebsd based. it’s unix. hence a majority of open source software will compile on osx (perhaps without aqua).

    i don’t see why certain usage (i.e. graphics designers vs you) has to stick to a particular platform. designers (non-techie) stick to macs b/c it’s *simple* to use. the only reason macs have not penetrated the pc market is b/c of price&software variety. macs are expensive b/c hardware is provided by ONE vendor unlike PCs. hence there is no compatibility issues on a mac. software… it’s just the rate of adoption (and b/c ppl like you are passing judgement on a platform you do not understand).

    i’m not a mac fan. i just don’t like your ignorance against your readers.

    just getting back to your original post… you hate the mac b/c you can’t afford it. then that is O.K. you’re also correlating PC’s with windows… intel/amd can run linux and macs can also run windows, so to me you’re really arguing about operating systems and that’s really is a never ending argument… 


  • The only thing I’m arguing is the Mac Mini is not all that.  The rest is just responding to pointless counter arguments or ignorant mac zealots.

    For example that article linked to below has a few valid points but some of them are pointless.  Almost no one needs firewire so I don’t really care if my PC has it or not.  I don’t care about Apple’s bundled software.  Mac fans always think that’s great and that PCs don’t come bunded with the same, but as I’ve point out only by a very few small points.  Specifically Garageband and iDVD.  Everything else is included on an XP machine so while that’s a win for Mac it’s not a win worth arguing over IMO.  Especially on a machine where there’s isn’t enough HD space to run iDVD.

    The ability to run open source unix software on a Mac Mini is not a feature for the target audience.  As for open source apps, there was an article on Slashdot the other day about how most open source apps run better on Windows than on OSX.  The arguble reason is because one of the tenents of open source is “more eyes = better code” and with 10 times eyes using PCs that means open source windows software gets more attention that open source OSX software.

    I don’t hate the mac.  I think it’s a very awesome sexy machine.  I hate mac fans that can’t see through their mac blinders. If you want a mac get one.  Just don’t give me bogus rationalizations.

  • Leo

    Well said, Greggman. Or is it well-typed?

  • anonemouse
    Win USERS vs Mac USERS

    I think you are ALLLLL missing the mark here.

    It’s NOT a question of is Mac better or PC better… It’s all about the USERS. The main argument I keep hearing here is about how things are EASIER on the Mac and that you “can’t screw it up”.

    What this boils down to is that MACs are for “simple users”. People too dumb to understand technical things. Too dumb to know not to install “internet accelerators” etc.

    So really, the argument has two levels. There are advanced users and then there are the one-button “I don’t understand what a file directory is” users. For the latter, I’ll agree Mac’s probably a better solution. Kind of like “Fisher Price” kid-safe technology for the technically illiterate.



  • sammyjojo
    worst argument ever

    The last comment has to be the worst argument ever for this never-ending debate. At this point in time if you’re going to contribute to these mac vs. pc hooey, you might as well make it worth reading 😛

  • sammyjojo
    An article or two to read (maybe three)

    There are 3 articles I think pc users interested in macs should read at, which is a great hardware site (almost totally geared towards pc hardware) and my favorite :). Since these are comments are on the mini, I’m linking to the mini review The other two articles are on the experience that the editor of the site had using a mac, coming almost exclusively from a years of using pc’s. The articles are very well written, but I have to warn everyone that they are really long. I’m not trolling to get people to go to the dark side of mac, but you should read them to get an insite on how macs are. If you’ve ever been slightly interested in macs, they are a very good read.

  • It’s a very interesting article.  It doesn’t say what he’s comparing it to though. For example, he got a $3000 G5 Dual with 2Gig of memory.  Is his PC also a $3000 dual processor PC with 2Gig of memory?  Bring this up because he claims Windows gets slow and unstable with lots of apps open.  I routinely run Maya, Photoshop, VC++, Visual Slickedit, Outlook, MSN Messenger, Rhapsody, WMP and 10-20 IE windows all at once.  It’s usually fine and I’ve never had it be unstable or refuse to open a new window.  Conversely, I walked into a Mac store the other day, they had the way awesome 30inch Apple LCD monitor and about 12 windows open including photoshop, some video editing software and a bunch bunch of browser windows.  I pressed F12 or F11, whatever that key is that brings up Apple’s expose thing and it took a full 10-15 seconds before it came up.  I assume it was swapping memory around.  I’ve seen this behavior on Windows as well and I was curious if Mac had the same problem.  Verified, it does.

    He also mentions instant changes in mac dialogs.  In Windows you generally press “OK” or “Apply” to see the changes.  I perfer the Windows way.  I often start to change something and then change my mind.  I’d prefer it didn’t go off an make the change until I was ready.  Even more, sometimes making a change takes time in which case I want to change 4 or 5 settings at once then click “Apply” but in the Mac case, each single change starts the process of applying the change.  🙁 

    As for the Menu at the top.  I agree with the interface guru’s that it has its pluses.  It also has its minuses.  This might be something you get used to but for example it is VERY common on the Mac to have the top window, say a word document, and the menu be for Safari or the Finder.  You go to the menu to pick something since you assume the menu must be for the top window but it’s not, it’s for the top app which if you just closed the last safari window is still safari even though the top window is not.  That’s confusing to me.

    I also dislike the no maximize function.  According to that article, there is Close, Minimize and “fit content”.  I want Maximize specifically because I need to get rid of the clutter to stop my brain from being distracted.  On Windows, maximize makes the current app fill the screen.  There is nothing else to see (except the taskbar).  No desktop, no icons, no anything distracting my attention from the job at hand.  On the Mac, the “fit to content” button means that up to half a screen will be left to distract me.  There is an expose key as of OS X 10.3 that will move everything but the top window off your screen but still, I want even the desktop covered.  Those colors and icons around mess me up.  A perfect example is working on a design in Photoshop.  I don’t want the color of my desktop effecting my perception of the colors in what I’m editing.  Maximize on Windows does this better than “fit to content”.

    He mentions in Windows, background apps that steal the focus.  That might be better on the Mac but I have to say, my experience with Windows XP in particular is there are no programs I run that steal the focus.  That includes MSN Messenger, Outlook, Nero, … I can’t think of what other programs I run that do things in the background and then pop a dialog up but in my experience under XP all they do is flash there icon in the taskbar orange.  Still, I’m willing to accept that it happens less or never on OS-X even if it’s getting rare and rare on Windows.

    He mentions not losing the focus in the current app if he clicks the close button on a background app in OS-X.  I just tried that in XP and it works the same so I’m not sure where he got the idea that it was any different in XP.

    He claims there’s no difference in the feeling of caching when adding more memory to an XP box.  As someone that just upgraded from 1gig to 2gig I can definately say he’s wrong.

    On crashing he says he never had to reboot his mac because of a crashed app. I believe him but I have had to reboot a mac because of a crashed app.  I’ll take his word for it that his mac crashes less although like him, my XP pretty much never crashes.  In fact, I can’t think of the last time I’ve had to reboot it at home or at work.

    Acknowledged cool things about Macs from the article:

    • Expose
    • Drag and Drop from Title bar
    • OpenGL desktop

    Everything else seems a wash or poorer.  Slower over all feel, Safari twice as slow as IE, lots of hardware you have to wait for support for, etc, etc.  My conclusion has always been about the same as his. 

    1) For the same reasons has his I couldn’t give up my PC for Mac.
    2) OSX is better in some places, worse in others
    3) Over all the two systems are really not all that far apart.

  • sammyjojo
    give credit where credit is due

    Good freaking poop! I give up, I had stuff written here, but I just deleted it in the end because it’s absolutely pointless to talk to you about other comuputers. I posted those articles because it shows an interesting view of a mac from a pc users perspective (better then any other article like it) and I’m sure that most readers on this site are pc users. I’m not trying to convert people here, but you you don’t give the mac any credit (3 points are not much out of the whole). I own a mac and pc so I think I can be fairly objective about things and I think I can rightly compare the 2 systems. I’m not saying it’s the greatest, but it sure is better then what i can make out of the sytem from your comments. Try to open your view to something that isn’t windows for once.

  • I don’t see what your point is?  I gave the mac credit.  I’ve said several times on this page I think they are great.  All I’m point out is the BS.  Mac fans would have you believe the difference is night and day when nothing could be further from the truth.  They aren’t perfect.  They aren’t an order of magnitude different than PCs.  And many of the things Mac people bring up tend to be untrue.

    I’m curious what you were expecting the response to be?  Once you subtract the errors on that article and discount some differences objectively as user preference the clear conclusion is there are pluses and minuses to both systems and they are mostly relatively minor.  You can make an argument for either system. 

  • sammyjojo

    I tend to not make things clear at times 🙂 My only point in my last post is your over negativity that your comments convey towards the mac and other ways of doing things that don’t conform to the “windows” way. After thinking about it a while though, I guess a lot of things come down to preference, but at times it seems like you’re so closed different computer ideas, not giving them a fair chance.

    Well this is probably never going to get anywhere further, so let’s end this debate! 🙂

  • Dak
    Just another viewpoint on this…

    I’m not going to argue any points trying to back up the Macs are better than PCs argument. Most of the points brought up here depend on your point-of-view and experience with either platform. I will say, as a Mac user and former/current Windows user, that the Mac Mini is not the ultimate solution for all Windows users looking to get into a Mac. The Mac Mini is a basic computer. No frills, no thrills. It’s designed for users who want to be able to use the internet and do their email without having to worry about Viruses (there are currently no successful virus, trojan or worm attacks on the Mac OS X operating systems in the 3 years it’s been out), spyware (there are currently no spyware or adware problems on the Mac OS as compared to the current issues on PCs), or complexity. This is not to say that things will remain so down the road. Eventually, more attempts *will* happen. However, due to OS X’s underpinnings in Unix and FreeBSD, it will be much more difficult to create successful Malware for it. I work for an ISP and I see computers coming in here all the time that are just deluged with Spyware. Several of these computer come in every couple of months to be cleaned out, and these are costs that people need to consider as well. Not just money, but lost time on the computer. For a home user, time lost isn’t as bad as a business user, but it’s still money.

    Also, on the cost points, I will agree with Gregg that you can always find a cheaper PC or PC package for hardware than the Mac Mini. He points out the Dell promotion as a case in point, and there’s no arguing that. However, there is the point of TOC (total cost of ownership) that needs to be considered. In most cases, PCs cost a user more *over time* than Macs cost their owners. Upgrades can still add up, and repair costs too. But when you compare the cheapest PC to the Cheapest Mac 2-3 years down the road…I think the TOC on PCs will range from somewhat higher, to much higher. The only problem here is, you need to make a fair comparison, and that’s hard to do. You need to configure each system to be as equal as possible, software, hardware, and then use each one equally over time. I think this would make a great study to see where it pans out.

    As for the Macs Don’t Break As Often point, it is a statistical fact that Macs don’t break down as often as PCs. However, your viewpoint on this will be colored according to your own experiences with the Mac hardware. I personally, have never had a problem with either of the 2 iBooks I’ve owned or the Dual 1.8ghz G5 tower I own. However, the first iBook I sold to a friend had the LCD backlight die on it about a month after they bought it from me, and another friend I recommended an iBook for had to replace their Hard Drive and now they need to replace the power adaptor because the wires broke inside the cord. They have it spliced for now, but it obviously needs replacing. My brother on the other hand, has owned 7 different Macs, and only one of them, his 14″ iBook ever had to be serviced (replaced logic board for the known video problem on that model). On the filp side, I have never owned a PC that didn’t need to be fixed at one time or another, but my friend in Kentucky has never had a problem with his PC, and therefore has never had to contend with a repair shop or warrenty service (except for Spyware removal). Again, your experience colors your point of view in this regard. My personal opinion, even with the good luck I’ve had, is just that. It’s good luck. Hardware, no matter how well made, will fail. It’s just a matter of when and how, combined with how well the device is treated, how it is being used and it’s age. In our repair shop, we may see one Mac for every 300 PC repairs. Now if Mac saturation is about 9% (marketshare is only yearly sale, not actuall installed user base), then we should see 9 Macs for ever 100 PC repairs. I know this is not scientific, but it’s just something interesting I’ve observed. (We have a college community here, and at least half the schools use Macs exclusively, and so the teachers at those schools tend to own similar computers.)

    Typically Macs do last on average, 3-4 years longer than most PCs. Gregg brings up a valid point that older hardware cannot, in most cases, run the current OS (at least not without significant upgrades which may not be cost effect for such older hardware). This does not mean that it is obsolete. We have many customers subscribed to our ISP who still use OS 8-9.2 and connect to the internet just fine. They don’t need the current software because what they have been using still works just fine *for them*. In their case, they can still use a 7-10 year old computer and that’s okay. The same can be said of the many Windows 95/98 users we have on the service. They are satisfied with what they use it for and it works just fine for them. They can still use the computer that they bought back in 1995/1996. Now, the segment where this is not the case is the hardcore gamers, tinkerers and early adopters. For them, they require the latest hardware, the maxed out upgrades and the latest new stuff. For them, most computers typically last no more than 2 years, and then they either *have* to upgrade, or they want to in order to keep up with the latest tech. For these people, there is no argument valid for how long computers last, because for them, they replace it at a faster rate than the average home user.

    Networking between Macs and PCs is not as difficult as it once was. Many of the issues Gregg brings up were common in 10.2, but have mostly been resolved in 10.3. I expect continued progress in 10.4 as well. I use my G5 and iBook at home on a network with a PIII 800Mhz PC running Windows 98 & Linux Mandrake 9.2. Sharing files is not a problem, and sharing the HP printer that is plugged into the PC works better in Linux than in Windows, but can be done in either. With Windows XP, I believe it is much easier, but I haven’t personally tried it yet. In the long run, Macs do play much nicer than ever on a Windows network. I will agree that there is lots of room for improvement.

    There is one argument that I think is rather bogus, and that’s the one about the availability of software for Macs vs for PCs. Windows seems to have more software, usually 10 to 1 ratio, but this number isn’t really fair. First of all, the numbers are higher for Windows because of the disproportionate amount of shareware and freeware available for Macs. 80% of it is game related. Macs however do have almost 50,000 titles available for OS X and OS 9 (which can still run on machines running OS X, but in classic mode). There is much more available online as freeware and shareware. But the difference comes down to games, I believe. Just how many versions of solitaire do you need to play? How many first person shooters? On the Mac, there’s usually 2-3 really good titles for specific tasks, like accounting, word processing or email. But on PC, there could be around 50 different programs for each task, sometimes more. There are also only a handful of Windows programs that are not available on the Mac, these are usually limited to games or specific specialized programs designed to run in Windows, but for which no Mac version is available. One thing Windows users must admit, that even though there’s more software ‘choice’ available, there’s a lot of crap you have to sift through to get to good, useable programs. On the Mac side of the equation, there’s less crap, so you can find what you need faster. And if there’s a Windows only app, you can usually run it in Virtual PC. I have a Dual G5 at work that I use for Tech Support, and I run Virtual PC for my Support work as well as to be able to run our billing/signup software. Other than that, everything else I use for tech support is already included on the Mac.

    It all comes down to viewpoint. For me, I work with Windows problems all day long, 5-6 days a week, 40-44 hours a week. When I get home, I don’t want to even look at a Windows PC…that’s one of the main reasons I bought a Mac. I look forward to using it, I can play around in it and not have to worry about problems as often as with on my PC. I still use my PC from time to time, in fact, it tends to compliment what I do on my Mac, but it not needed very often. For others, this may not be the case. What drives me nuts is when people start trying to apply *their* experience and viewpoint to the argument. It does more to alienate people rather than get them to see your side of the story. That’s why I always make sure people understand, when I speak about my experiences, they are *MY* experiences, and not general facts about either platform. As the old saying goes, “Your mileage may vary…”

  • stoking the flames 😉

    On PCs breaking vs Mac’s breaking:  I’d like to see those stats.  I’d like to see what they include as well.  Are we comparing all PCs including homemade, made by mom and pop shops as well as big names like HP and Dell?  If so is that a fair comparision?  I suspect if you just compare Apple to Dell Apple will come out behind in terms of reliability.  But I’m just as sure if you compare Apple to all PCs including the cheapest mom & pop store PCs you can by at the computer swapmeet then yea, Apple wins.

    As for the games arguement.  If you don’t need or want games fine.  But the arguement that “who needs more than 1 or 2 FPS games” is complete nonsense.  Games are Entertainment.  What if it was movies?  What if Mac’s only played the same percent of movies that they play of games.  Would your arguement then be “well really, who needs more than 1 or 2 drama’s a year”.  What if it was music?  Would your arguement be “who needs more than 1 or 2 rock CDs a year” (name your genre).

    As for other software it comes up all the time.  For example, here in Japan we have wireless modem cards sold by the cell phone companies.  Mac OSX support was 2 years later than Windows.  Right now you can go to and sign up for a free blog from google .  Google also offers free image posting.  But, they don’t support Mac.  It’s these kinds of things that add up.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter.  For photos on blogs mac people can use Flickr.  But other times it does.  For the wireless modems you were just S.O.L. if you had a Mac for a couple of years.

    The spyware and viruses is a valid issue.  I 100% believe it is solely because Mac is the smaller market.  I don’t believe it has anything to do with better written software or Unix/BSD base.  But, why doesn’t really matter.  What matters is it’s less of a problem on Mac.  That is certainly a plus.

  • Dak
    Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster please….(couldn’t think of anything else to put here)

    I will find you the article that cites the specific stats for you. I can also watcht the trends here at work where we repair computers for our customers and try and come up with a decent 3 month overview for you. It won’t be completely scientific, but it should support the claim.

    As for the games argument, I understated the numbers and didn’t recheck it before I posted. Basically, the point I was trying to make was that usually for the Windows platform, you can find 50+ versions of a type of program or game. FPS games are usually unique enough that they stand apart (Quake vs Unreal vs SiN, etc..), but there’s also the hundred other games coming out all the time that leach off the success of the other games, and generally don’t have quality to go with them. With a few exceptions, only the most popular games get ported to the Mac. The less popular ones are never ported. And most of the shareware stuff for windows is never ported either. But there are games for the Mac. You can play Halo and soon Halo2 for the Mac, as well as Doom3 and many more popular games. My main point here is that even though there isn’t as many titles available for the Mac (18,000+ for OS X alone) as compared to the PC, you can usually find the same software or something equivalent that works on the Mac. There are some titles that are specifically Windows based, and so for some this will be a major deciding factor. But if you can do everything you normally do on the PC, on a Mac, then the Software argument falls apart. Can you play games on the Mac? Yes. Can you play the exact same games? That depends, but usually the most popular titles are available.

    New tech software support for Macs is a hard one. Companies will only decide to support a platform if they have assurances they’ll be able to make money on it. That’s been one of the Macs biggest downfalls in all areas, companies look at the market share number, and think they won’t be able to make enough money on it. It takes a lot of work to port a program for the Mac that was written for Windows. Less work to port from Linux to Mac, but still, time consuming enough. Your example of the Wireless Modem Cards is one I can’t argue with. It’s not the fault of the Mac, exactly, but rather the viewpoint of the company making the decisions. They’ll support the user base they know they’ll get the most money from. For the moment, that’s Windows. Unfortunately, it’s nothing personal, just business. It’s irritating, but understandable. Things are changing for the Mac side of the equation in this regard, though it still has a ways to go. But when you need the latest tech, if you can’t use it on Mac, obviously, you have to go with Windows. Even I see that point.

    I somewhat agree that marketshare has something to do with Macs being free of the viral and spyware pests aflicting PCs at the moment, but I also believe that designing Malware for a Mac is a much trickier task. Most of the viruses coming out for Windows (if you watch the Symantec Security Response Threat List) are basically point and click variations of existing viruses. They’re not particularly technical, just slightly changed. There’s little technical knowledge needed to create Malware for Windows. In fact, I’ve read about kids downloading virus construction kits that you just point and click what you want it to do, and then click “Create” to make it. Windows vulnerabilities are being found daily it would seem, and it doesn’t take long for some nose-picker to figure out how to take advantage of them. There will be a virus for OS X someday, there were plenty on the old OSes, but it will take someone with the technical knowledge in Unix and Darwin to be able to design something that will work. I worry that too many Mac users are complacent in this regard, and they’ll be caught unawares when it happens. I keep telling people that just because we’re okay now, doesn’t mean we’ll stay that way forever.

    Thank you Gregg for the great site, btw. It’s cool seeing Japan through your eyes and experiences. My daughter and I are starting to learn Japanese and we’re hoping to visit there someday soon.

  • I don’t mean to be mean but….

    > But there are games for the Mac. You can play Halo and soon Halo2 for the Mac, as well as Doom3 and many more popular games

    Spoken like a true Mac fanatic.  Let’s see.  Top 10 chart currently:

    Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
    World of Warcraft (*)
    Half-Life 2

    Final Fantasy XI
    The Sims 2
    Playboy: The Mansion
    Rome: Total War
    The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth

    Need for Speed Underground 2
    Sid Meier’s Pirates!

    Of those titles exactly 1 is available for Mac.  Basically don’t even try to defend the Mac for games.  You can’t and trying only shows Mac blindness.

    As for Windows being easier to write viruses for, that’s only true for OLD WINDOWS and it’s just as true for OLD MACs.  For example the majority of PC Viruses were e-mail viruses.  That bug was fixed 3 or 4 years ago.  Yet Mac people still bring up issues of e-mail virus. My point is quit trying to support your point through BS.  I agree there are more viruses on Windows.  The only valid reason is there is a larger target.  Unix and Darwin are just as bug riddled.  Go read BugTrac if you don’t believe me.

    As for the Mac repairs vs PC repairs. I’d have to see stats from the industry, not from you.  My own personal experience goes the opposite way.  My 3 biggest Mac fanatic friends are always complaining that something is wrong with their Macs.  One upgrades to the latest model every 6-12 months and still has problems.  Of course they remain true loyal Mac fan.  The Mac lab at Digital Hollywood was always full of problem Macs.  The PC labs not.  Yes, I agree, that’s only my experience.  The point is only some real industry wide stats broken down by brand would have any possibly validity.

  • MacDuff
    Games on the Mac? Greggman’s looking in the wrong place!

    The exposure of mac titles and PC titles is so separate, its like living in Bizarro jerry’s world!

    Any PC-based games destined for being ported to the Mac platform is usually NOT performed by the original PC-based (or console-based) companies, such as EA Games, but rather the port is done by other companies that specialize in porting games to the Mac. In turn, the marketing of these ported game titles is ALSO maintained by the company that ported it. Perhaps the biggest company porting games to the Mac is Aspyr Games. Ever heard of them? I’d not be surprised if you haven’t. The only Windows games they have produced are the Tony Hawk series, Wakeboarding Unleashed, Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer, Spy Hunter and a couple of others. BUIT, they have ported A LOT of PC games to the Mac platform. Rather than going through the entire list, I’ll note which of the Top 10 titles you listed are indeed available for the Mac:

    World of Warcraft

    Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic (I own it)

    The Sims (tons of titles)

    Playboy: The Mansion

    So, there’s a bit more.

    Aside from this, there are loads of popular games available:


    Loads of Star Wars titles

    Battlefield 1942

    MOH (several packs)

    Call of Duty

    Halo I (II’s coming)


    Rise of Nations

    Age of Empires II

    Civilization III


    Delta Force (two titles)

    SIMs out the whazoo

    Tom Clancy out the whazoo

    Spiderman I & II

    And more. Check out the publisher’s lists:

    Certainly, games come out for the PC first. I would never expect a HARDCORE gamer to leave the Windows platform. That would be stupid FOR THEM to do. The situation, however, is not as bad as you believe, and there’s plenty of interesting titles for the Mac to kill time with. I just wish that they’d slap the mac logo at the bottom of those game ads you all se. Would it kill ’em for God’s sake??

  • MacDuff
    You’re dismissing the virus issue on Windows??


    I subscribe to ZDNet’s alerts — and one doesn’t have to do that to know this: There is crap coming down the pipe for Windows almost every week! Security has NEVER been as bad as it is now on the Windows platform. It’s a huge issue and I can’t see a valid reason for you to dismiss this point. Mac OS X has two advantages over Windows in regards to security: better design, more difficult to penetrate or infect, and there’s the Obscurity Factor. And even f Apple miraculously DOUBLED their user-base, the assholes out there writing viruses would STILL go for Windows. So, there’s little to worry security-wise about using a Mac — ever.

    And now, your comment about “problems” and your Mac friends upgrading machines six to twelve months IS PATENTLY RIDICULOUS, MAN! LMFAO! I know A LOT of Mac guys, and I just don’t see that happening. System-wise, I’m running on the same original install of OS X I did over three years ago! It’s patched right up to the current rev. Secondly, I know LOADS of people running OS X on older gear — and I’m one of them. I use a five year old Powermac G4 for heavy-duty digital audio chores on Mac OS X. How?? I’ve upgrade it like crazy — just like PC guys like to do. Watch:

    Single G4/450MHz G4 –> dual 1.3GHz G4

    0Kb L3 cache — > 2Mb L3 per CPU

    128Mb RAM –> 2Gb RAM

    DVD-ROM –> CDRW — > Pioneer DVR-107 DVDRW

    20Gb ATA66 drive — > 72Gb & 120Gb drives — > dual 180Gb 8000rpm 8Mb cached drives on PCI133 (didn’t want to pop for a SATA and got a deal on the ATA6 drives) in a striped RAID

    ATI Rage 128 Pro 16Mb GPU –> ATI Radeon 9000 Pro AGP 64Mb & ATI Radeon PCI 32Mb running dual NEC flat panels.

    This thing is upgraded like fricking crazy and serves my needs very well, runs all the latest apps — and games — I need… and it’s five years old.

    As for the Mac Mini’s lean specs (mainly RAM and drive), yes, they really ought to ship it with 512Mb of RAM. And an 80Gb drive. But guess what? For the same money, SO SHOULD DELL! Both the Dimension 2400 and 3000 ($399.00 and $499.00 each) ship with 256Mb RAM, a 40Gb drive, a CD-ROM drive (NO DVD, NO burning like Mac Mini). No Firewire. Crap, Intel “Integrated Extreme” video that DELL THINKS is fine to share that paltry 256Mb main RAM with XP and you absolutely SUCKS. I think selling it without KVM is okay, but Apple should also offer a steeply discount KVM bundle (using a 3rd party CRT — which they already do sell on their site).

    As for Linspire? Whatever, man. Apple isn’t a Wal Mart price level — and neither is Dell. And Dell is sells MILLIONS more systems than Linspire does. Dell — and Apple — are relevant to the market; Linux quite frankly just isn’t (to the end-user’s desktop).

    Bottom line is that all I’ve seen from your comments is a lot of outdated info and bias, man. you don’t have to switch (switching may not be right for you), but get with the program. Anad Lal Shimply has, PC Mag and Extremetech forum admin Jim Whatshisname has. Several notable PC guys have added and a couple have even switched. you don’t have to, but at least get your facts straight… if “truth” is important to you, of course.

  • Leo

    Well, I’ve gotten one and I’m pretty impressed with it and OS X. Its not a gaming rig (I spent way too much money on my XP box for that purpose). Bu as far as everything else I need to do (email, web, docs, spreadsheets, database work) its fine.

  • dasd