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View Full Version : Expecting too much from a mac mini?


darwen
Nov 29, 2005, 06:43 PM
I have been reading the posts on the new rumor about the mac mini in January and am a little taken aback.

Correct me if I am wrong, the mac mini is there to create a cheap mac on the market. Why are people complaining about things like processors and graphic cards? Get an iMac for better components... or even a power mac!

I like the new rumor but it seems like what it is promoting and people are requesting is straying away from the real goal of the computer.

Does anyone else agree? :confused:

gwuMACaddict
Nov 29, 2005, 06:46 PM
i mostly agree... people will moan about anything when i new product comes out- not fast enough this, not quick enough that...

and while the mini was originally marketed as a cheap-o mac, maybe apple is shifting the focus a bit- towards an "integrated-home" computer? you still buy your iMac to work process, etc- but you get a mini to hook up to the tv, etc.

?

i dunno...

Danksi
Nov 29, 2005, 06:54 PM
I was originally going the Mac-Mini route, as I already had keyboard, mouse, monitor. However I got the iMac instead. Interestingly I've since sold the monitor (which was a freebie from my last job) and putting this money back into the bank meant the iMac wasn't a great deal more $ than the Mini-Mac - especially when you consider the std. iMac has a larger harddrive then the Mini, which was going to be an issue for my MP3 collection etc. Obviously there are a few other extra's with the iMac as well.

generik
Nov 29, 2005, 06:58 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, the mac mini is there to create a cheap mac on the market. Why are people complaining about things like processors and graphic cards? Get an iMac for better components... or even a power mac!

What if the customer wants a more powerful box.. but not the built in LCD?
What if the customer only needs a single processor solution and not a professional grade dual workstation?

I hope you are starting to see the ills of having consumer choice locked in and dictated solely by Apple.

portent
Nov 29, 2005, 08:43 PM
There's a bit of a gap in the current Apple lineup. A top-end Mac mini is $700; a bottom-end iMac is $1300. The $1000 mark is a big "psychological barrier" in the minds of a consumer, but there's nothing there for anyone buying a consumer Mac. It would be a great place to put, say, a "super mini" or "headless iMac" with a 1.6 or 1.8GHz G5.

It would be even better if such a machine had a PCI-E slot. At the moment, the minimum cost for a Mac with PCI expandability is $2000. Many hobbyists and enthusiasts would like, say, a custom audio board, or a second video card, without having to go all the way up to a dual-core Pro machine.

Danksi
Nov 29, 2005, 09:03 PM
There's a bit of a gap in the current Apple line-up. A top-end Mac mini is $700; a bottom-end iMac is $1300. The $1000 mark is a big "psychological barrier" in the minds of a consumer, but there's nothing there for anyone buying a consumer Mac. It would be a great place to put, say, a "super mini" or "headless iMac" with a 1.6 or 1.8GHz G5.

It would be even better if such a machine had a PCI-E slot. At the moment, the minimum cost for a Mac with PCI expandability is $2000. Many hobbyists and enthusiasts would like, say, a custom audio board, or a second video card, without having to go all the way up to a dual-core Pro machine.

The range tends to blend a little better when you take into account the optional builds, but as far as standard machines go, there's definitely a jump between machines. They're not really comparable either, start without a screen, then you get one with a screen, then another without a screen - each with it's own pro's and con's.

Personally I would have preferred the Desktop approach of the PowerMac - expandability if/when needed - unfortunately there wasn't that option available for my price range. For now though the iMac I have suits my purposes well.

darwen
Nov 30, 2005, 12:45 AM
There's a bit of a gap in the current Apple lineup. A top-end Mac mini is $700; a bottom-end iMac is $1300. The $1000 mark is a big "psychological barrier" in the minds of a consumer, but there's nothing there for anyone buying a consumer Mac. It would be a great place to put, say, a "super mini" or "headless iMac" with a 1.6 or 1.8GHz G5.

It would be even better if such a machine had a PCI-E slot. At the moment, the minimum cost for a Mac with PCI expandability is $2000. Many hobbyists and enthusiasts would like, say, a custom audio board, or a second video card, without having to go all the way up to a dual-core Pro machine.

so it's like a power mac minus the power...

I like this idea though. creating the power mac with a slightly different name and about half the cost with half the standard features. I think adding another computer to the line up would confuse things to much though. As is, there is a purpose for every computer out there. A low end power mac (for about $999) might kill the mac mini. And if these update occur to the mac mini that are rumored then shouldn't it be downgraded, not upgraded? If the mac mini is going to become a media center then it should probably be a little cheaper. That would leave room for the low end power mac to step in. But then the idea behind the mac mini is lost.

None of these suggestions make sense to me. I don't see why apple would upgrade the price of the mac mini or even why they would add a 4th computer to the line up.

Cheese
Nov 30, 2005, 12:58 AM
My mom's Mini is more than she could imagine a computer could be. My Rev. A iMac is the same for me. Imagine what I will think about it when I finally start running Tiger! The mini is the perfect switch tool with plenty of bang for the buck. My opinion is that there is nothing wong with the current Mini as an entry level, education box with full blown Tiger, not to mention UNIX. The PC world doesn't seem to have anything as nice for the price yet. Gettting rid of your Dell's (smell's) and H-Pee's has never been more painless. As a home user's PC, the Mini rocks the hut!

localghost
Nov 30, 2005, 03:09 AM
(...) Gettting rid of your Dell's (smell's) and H-Pee's has never been more painless. As a home user's PC, the Mini rocks the hut!

I agree that the mini covers the need for casual users better than any pc-box in that price range.

Still there is a huge Group of Users looking for a _little_ more space, power, expandability. Not everyone is about to upgrade from a P-III box on its last legs, most of my PC friends considering the switch have decent P-IV/Athlon Boxes about 1-3 years old and are used to store all their movies and tunes on their internal 3,5 driveS. They would change either the display _or_ the pc, willing to spend up to one grand.

It would be great if the new Mini is an additional (!) Mac that fills the gap: Yonah CPU, 10/100 Ethernet, (2 independent) FW 400 + 2 USB 2.0 ports, integrated Graphics to keep the price low but 2 fast PCIe slots to put whatever additional GPU/Drive/etc you want. Single Core 1.66GHz, 160GB SATA for 899; Dual Core 1.83Ghz, 250GB SATA for 1.299; (w/o mouse, keyboard, remote but Front Row + AirPort ready).

Id get one and more than one of my PC friends would, too.

chaosbunny
Nov 30, 2005, 04:53 AM
It would be cool if they made something like "The Cube2" for about 1000. I'd certainly buy one. :D

localghost
Nov 30, 2005, 05:49 AM
err, but the cube offered few possibilities for expansion and a asked a high credit limit I want it the other way round :D

Im probably typing this around the corner, btw: zip = 1050 ;)

MacTruck
Nov 30, 2005, 06:32 AM
Well the mini is a little slow in some areas but look at what its good for:

- got one for my mother in law after numerous pc viruses and spyware issues. Now she is running smooth for the past 6 months no problem.

- Got one for my 2 yr old. He can use it no problem. THe pc I had him on was constantly crashing from his mis-clicks.

- Got one for my tv to use as a dvr with eyetv and its great. Check email surf etc.


So the mini has many uses for many people. Poweruser like me is not one, I have a dual G5 but for alot of people, kids, elderly, monther-in-law, tv, they are perfect for.

localghost
Nov 30, 2005, 07:27 AM
Its great, no doubt, seriously.
The IMac is an even better deal.
The iBook is a real nice entry-level notebook.
Ok, lets skip the PowerBook.
All of them are fantastic packages, but HDs a cheap, Displays are cheap, a lot of useful PCI/x/e cards are cheap.
As a matter of fact, if you want to use ANY of them on OS X you have to shell out serious cash for power (Mac, that is) you might not need.
Hence my wish for a cheap, silent, expandable OS X machine .
Just have a look what you get for a G4 Power Mac with the same speed, its almost twice the price of a Mini.
Yes, used Macs hold their value for a reason, still Id rather get a new tower with the same specs. With Intels Yonah, I could be a Desktop alternative for early adopters at the same time!

rogerw
Nov 30, 2005, 12:31 PM
[QUOTE=- Got one for my 2 yr old. He can use it no problem. THe pc I had him on was constantly crashing from his mis-clicks.[/QUOTE]

2 year old????????????????????????????!

Danksi
Nov 30, 2005, 12:37 PM
2 year old????????????????????????????!

I was thinking the same thing.....

However, having seen how quickly our 3 1/2 year old daughter's recently grasped the mouse controls we think it's better than TV.

She enjoys playing a Dora game at the moment, which is immensely more interactive than the TV show version. TV makes kids zone-out, into mindless zombies, with the PC she actually HAS to interact, rather than just get away with simply watching.

MacTruck
Nov 30, 2005, 03:38 PM
2 year old????????????????????????????!


No joke. When he turned 2 I gave him my thinkpad. Hooked it all up so he could surf to playhouse disney and stuff. It didn't work out. Windows were all messed up, kept right clicking bringing up the menus, xp pretty much was hosed. I then took the right button and broke it so it wouldn't work. He was ok for a while then started clicking the start menu and things got messed up. So I took it away. A month later he climbed into my office chair and started using the G5. He could actually use it. Had him clicking through family photos in graphic converter. He picked it up so quick, in like a week he was going to his favorite websites and playing flash kids games. I bookmarked them ofcourse, he can't read yet. So I went out and got him a mac mini. Now he turns it on, logs in, opens safari plays games, puts disks in there to play music or games, puts it to sleep when he's done. Its freakin amazing. He's still 2 yrs old. Crap my first computer was a commodore 64 and I was 15. These kids will be gods of computers when they are 10yrs old.

The apple one button mouse is the KEY.

rogerw
Dec 1, 2005, 02:12 AM
No joke. When he turned 2 I gave him my thinkpad. Hooked it all up so he could surf to playhouse disney and stuff. It didn't work out. Windows were all messed up, kept right clicking bringing up the menus, xp pretty much was hosed. I then took the right button and broke it so it wouldn't work. He was ok for a while then started clicking the start menu and things got messed up. So I took it away. A month later he climbed into my office chair and started using the G5. He could actually use it. Had him clicking through family photos in graphic converter. He picked it up so quick, in like a week he was going to his favorite websites and playing flash kids games. I bookmarked them ofcourse, he can't read yet. So I went out and got him a mac mini. Now he turns it on, logs in, opens safari plays games, puts disks in there to play music or games, puts it to sleep when he's done. Its freakin amazing. He's still 2 yrs old. Crap my first computer was a commodore 64 and I was 15. These kids will be gods of computers when they are 10yrs old.

The apple one button mouse is the KEY.

wow!, remarkable

the one button mouse is the key for me, as well

;)

adk
Dec 1, 2005, 10:53 AM
I agree that there should be something in between the mini and the imac. maybe even something as powerful as the imac just with no monitor. I sort of want a desktop, but already have a ton of monitors sitting around and I don't want to buy a desktop that's actually less capable than my pb.

GFLPraxis
Dec 1, 2005, 11:05 AM
Apple drops the price on a product, people rate it as negative because they wanted a bigger price drop.

Apple adds AltiVec to Rosetta, so that it can run ALL programs, even ones that require a G4, and there are people that rate it negative.

Almost anything, even things that seem like the best news possible, will have someone rating it negative.

Why is this? I have NEVER seen anything get 100% positive ratings.

Naimfan
Dec 1, 2005, 11:24 AM
GFL--

I have to agree! Some people are just never happy!

And on the idea of a huge group of hobbyists wanting something between a Mini and an iMac--"huge" strikes me as an overstatement. I think it a good idea, but not with a G5. It would make no sense whatsoever to introduce a new machine based on a chip, however good, that Apple is moving away from. I could see something halfway in between the current Mini and PM, but in reading rumors and reports it strikes me that if the rumor of the Mini going to a 3.5" HD is accurate, the new Mini is probably what folks are looking for (because I understand a 3.5" HD would require a larger case, which should provide more room for expansion, other components and ports, etc.).

I love my iMac, but I'd buy a larger case Intel Mini with expansion in a second--I don't need the power of a PM to run a law firm of two people.

Best,

Bob

asphalt-proof
Dec 1, 2005, 11:45 AM
[QUOTE=MacTruck]No joke. When he turned 2 I gave him my thinkpad. Hooked it all up so he could surf to playhouse disney and stuff. It didn't work out. Windows were all messed up, kept right clicking bringing up the menus, xp pretty much was hosed. I then took the right button and broke it so it wouldn't work. He was ok for a while then started clicking the start menu and things got messed up. So I took it away. A month later he climbed into my office chair and started using the G5. He could actually use it. Had him clicking through family photos in graphic converter. He picked it up so quick, in like a week he was going to his favorite websites and playing flash kids games. I bookmarked them ofcourse, he can't read yet. So I went out and got him a mac mini. Now he turns it on, logs in, opens safari plays games, puts disks in there to play music or games, puts it to sleep when he's done. Its freakin amazing. He's still 2 yrs old. Crap my first computer was a commodore 64 and I was 15. These kids will be gods of computers when they are 10yrs old.

My son is 13 months old. We have celing fans with lights in my room and in the living room. At about 11 months old, he learned that if he pressed a button on the remote the fan would move or the lights would turn on/off. Its fun to watch him look down at the remote, push a button, look up at the light then laugh. Now he has begun to play with the mouse on my iMac but watches the screen and not the mouse itself. This is pretty incredible developmentally speaking. However, its not like he is actively looking for things on the screen to click on. He just likes watching the cursor move around. I need to get a paint program for him to play on.

(I hope that this post doesn't come across as one-upmanship.):)

Danksi
Dec 1, 2005, 11:47 AM
...(I hope that this post doesn't come across as one-upmanship.):)

... well my ONE yr old can.... ;)

(I'm not letting our one yr old anywhere near the iMac - I don't care how good she is!)

MacTruck
Dec 1, 2005, 12:16 PM
My son is 13 months old. We have celing fans with lights in my room and in the living room. At about 11 months old, he learned that if he pressed a button on the remote the fan would move or the lights would turn on/off. Its fun to watch him look down at the remote, push a button, look up at the light then laugh. Now he has begun to play with the mouse on my iMac but watches the screen and not the mouse itself. This is pretty incredible developmentally speaking. However, its not like he is actively looking for things on the screen to click on. He just likes watching the cursor move around. I need to get a paint program for him to play on.

(I hope that this post doesn't come across as one-upmanship.):)


The more you feed them the faster they learn. The brain has that capacity early on. I saw a show of a girl who was locked in the closet her whole life. She never heard spoken words and never learned to speak. Now that she is 20yrs old she can never learn to speak. That part of the brain never developed.

Ever wonder why kids today always have more homework than we had? Its because they can do it. Whatever you give to a child to learn they will learn it. Clicking icons on a computer is no different than playing with blocks letters. Its just digital.

I have extensively crammed letters and numbers into my sons head. He knows all his abc's, can count to 100 and knows basic arithmetic. Try setting up a laptop with word open and let them type. Show them how to use the space bar and backspace and you will be amazed at what they type.

My kid now watches all his shows on eyetv. Goes into the menu, clicks the show he wants to watch and sits in his bed. When its over he will put on another one. Hell, my wife doesn't know how to do that. :)

He doesn't know it yet but he is going to a good university to get an engineering masters degree then going into the air force academy to become an air force jet pilot and after a few yrs of that applying to NASA to become an astronaut.

I wish I had that kind of guidance when I was a child. :cool:

madmaxmedia
Dec 1, 2005, 12:25 PM
There's a bit of a gap in the current Apple lineup. A top-end Mac mini is $700; a bottom-end iMac is $1300. The $1000 mark is a big "psychological barrier" in the minds of a consumer, but there's nothing there for anyone buying a consumer Mac. It would be a great place to put, say, a "super mini" or "headless iMac" with a 1.6 or 1.8GHz G5.

It would be even better if such a machine had a PCI-E slot. At the moment, the minimum cost for a Mac with PCI expandability is $2000. Many hobbyists and enthusiasts would like, say, a custom audio board, or a second video card, without having to go all the way up to a dual-core Pro machine.

The prices overlap once you start adding upgrades to the Mac Mini. However, I think there is a great opportunity for a mid-range Mac desktop with a low-end G5 or Intel equivalent, starting at around $799. Smaller than a regular desktop case, but larger than a Mac Mini.

The problem with the Mac Mini is that it's a great $499 computer, but not a great $800 one. You have inherent limitations such as 2.5" HD (slow, less capacity, expensive), 1 RAM slot, little upgradability. You shouldn't have to pay $2000 to get a Mac with PCI slots.

Instead, people are shelling out top dollar for pretty antiquated G4 PowerMacs on EBay. It's great that you can add a faster CPU, but these machines have slow RAM and other things that can't be upgraded.

asphalt-proof
Dec 1, 2005, 01:37 PM
The more you feed them the faster they learn. The brain has that capacity early on. I saw a show of a girl who was locked in the closet her whole life. She never heard spoken words and never learned to speak. Now that she is 20yrs old she can never learn to speak. That part of the brain never developed.

Ever wonder why kids today always have more homework than we had? Its because they can do it. Whatever you give to a child to learn they will learn it. Clicking icons on a computer is no different than playing with blocks letters. Its just digital.

I have extensively crammed letters and numbers into my sons head. He knows all his abc's, can count to 100 and knows basic arithmetic. Try setting up a laptop with word open and let them type. Show them how to use the space bar and backspace and you will be amazed at what they type.

My kid now watches all his shows on eyetv. Goes into the menu, clicks the show he wants to watch and sits in his bed. When its over he will put on another one. Hell, my wife doesn't know how to do that. :)

He doesn't know it yet but he is going to a good university to get an engineering masters degree then going into the air force academy to become an air force jet pilot and after a few yrs of that applying to NASA to become an astronaut.

I wish I had that kind of guidance when I was a child. :cool:

Actually, playing on acomputer at at the developemental age of 1-3 is different because the child tends to play with the mouse as a thing unto itself (look I can bang it on the ground) rather than a tool to move a cursor around (ooh if I move it this way, the arrow moves also. There is a term for this but I can't remember what it is. Rather embarrassing for a school psychologist. The children spoken of on this thread are using the mouse as a tool to make movement on a screen happen whereas other children would use the mouse a plaything in of itself. I'm sorry I can't explain it better. It really involves a leap in conceptual thinking. Maybe children of Mac users are faster learners:D

Danksi
Dec 1, 2005, 01:56 PM
.. perhaps we should rename this thread to "are we expecting too much from our kids". :)

Toadinthehole
Dec 2, 2005, 03:39 AM
i had a mac mini 1.25 with ap/bt and 512mb ram. i got so frustrated with it i just had to sell it and i just got a new Imac g5 (isight), i mean i was only doing general web browsing some enemy territory and a bit of garageband but the thing just couldnt cope, and the gpu and hdd speed sucks big time. im so so pleased with my new imac i treated it to another 1gb of ram. if your buying a mac mini new and dont have a monitor, dont bother, go for an imac its a much more rewarding mac experience.