Considering Switch - A few questions.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lyserjic, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Lyserjic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    Ok, brand new to the Macrumors site..Great forum!

    Been a IBM/PC user since the mid-80's, have absolutely no experience with Macs/Apple/etc. Over the years I've run OS/2, the various *BSD's, Linux and so on. Still "XP Free" around this house! I've always built my own machines..

    Since the introduction of OS X, I've been casually following Apple's hardware/software developments. The Mac Mini has really caught my eye. It seems to be the perfect machine for the everyday user for email, web browsing, listening to music, etc. Low power consumption, small form factor..

    I'm seriously considering replacing my wife's aging Athlon 1.3 Ghz box with a Mini. She uses a computer for browsing and *heavy* email and web design work. No watching movies or ripping CD's.

    My question is, would a Mini be adequate for light web design work? This may sound like a dumb question, but I have *no* frame of reference for the speed of a Mini. I also have no clue what's out there for Mac HTML/ web design software. Anyone have any suggestions?

    I'm a little apprehensive about buying one now, with the "transition" to Intel and all, however I want to get in for OS X and the Apple software, I could care less about the "backend". I'm many years past evangelizing the merits of one architecture over the other..;) Save those battles for the young folks.

    It seems to me Apple will *have* to support the PPC architecture for at least 3-4 years out, given the large number of machines in use out there.

    Thanks!

    -Lyse
     
  2. willyhunt macrumors member

    willyhunt

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Exeter, UK
    #2
    Maybe someone will offer a more indepth answer to your questions, but for what you describe the Mini would be perfect. I have one myself and can assure you that it does whats needed.
    As for HTML and web design there are quite a few packages available including Adobe's Go Live and Dreamweaver plus a few more.
    However for HTML i recommend NVU its free and is kind of like Frontpage for Windows but better.
    Anyway for the speeds and such like yes it will be quicker than the Athlon but thats about all I can say. TBH Everything opens pretty quickly on my Mini and I dont think it has any speed issues even compared to my Centrino Laptop (Yes I know different OS's).
    Anway I say buy, although there should be some sort of official upgrade shortly (maybe).
    Hope this helps a little.
     
  3. willyhunt macrumors member

    willyhunt

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Exeter, UK
    #3
    Maybe someone will offer a more indepth answer to your questions, but for what you describe the Mini would be perfect. I have one myself and can assure you that it does whats needed.
    As for HTML and web design there are quite a few packages available including Adobe's Go Live and Dreamweaver plus a few more.
    However for HTML i recommend NVU its free and is kind of like Frontpage for Windows but better.
    Anyway for the speeds and such like yes it will be quicker than the Athlon but thats about all I can say. TBH Everything opens pretty quickly on my Mini and I dont think it has any speed issues even compared to my Centrino Laptop (Yes I know different OS's).
    Anway I say buy, although there should be some sort of official upgrade shortly (maybe).
    Hope this helps a little (A long answer in no order what so ever).
     
  4. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #4
    By the sounds of what you're looking to get out of the mac mini it'll suit your needs. I won't be extremely fast but very adequate for email, browsing, web design and office apps. Apple's free Mail application handles email very well and can very easily cope with huge mailboxes (3000+ emails). I personally find it a lot more efficient with high volume emailing than for example MS Outlook (which got really slow once your mailbox started to swell).
    As far as webdesign goes, there's plenty of good html editors out there. The two best WYSIWYG editors are Macromedia's Dreamweaver and Adobe's GoLive. They're not cheap, but very complete.

    Good luck with the switch!
     
  5. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    A mini should be more than powerful enough for webdesign work. May i suggest as you are changing to the Mac platform, you may want to try and work with a webdesign program unlike any other on the pc market. Freeway Pro 4 (available as a free trial on softpress.com) can really allow creative freedom. Simply create a page dragging on images which overlap each other, transparancies etc... And the program does all the hard work. It is with a bit of knowledge one of the best web design programs I've ever used.

    No more limitations working in squares and tables. Just your own abiltiy holding you back.

    It will also make your new mac experience that more of an awakening :D
     
  6. stridey macrumors 65816

    stridey

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    #6
    I would say your assessment of the Intel situation is right on the money. Support for the PPC architecture will remain for several years, and software will be much more easily available for the PPC for a while to come. I wouldn't let the Intel switch stop you from the OS switch. :)
     
  7. Lyserjic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #7

    I think the decision has pretty much been made. The wife took one look at Freeway Pro and was hitting the "download trial"..Heh, Told her, "That's for the Mac only dear.." to which she responds, "Hurry up and order me one".

    Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions.

    -Lyserjic
     
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #8
    The mini is pretty much the same as a 14" iBook without the display.

    If you have a good display, it would suite your needs fine.

    You might even be fortunate to get the unadvertized upgrade to 1.5 GHz
    with the 64 MB GPU.

    I would also strongly consider a 12" iBook 1.33 GHz/512/9550/trackpad refurb for $799.00
    All the benefits of the mini in a super portable form factor.

    Regardless of your choice I would equip any of the above with 1 GB RAM.

    I usually advise anyone with these smaller notebook drives to
    re-install the OS custom, deselecting all the extra language translators, printer drivers, demos and iDVD themes.

    This frees up 4.7 GB+ of your hard drive space and you won't miss any of it.
     
  9. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a

    GorillaPaws

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #9
    Yeah... you need to think of your mini as more of a laptop in terms of performance since it uses mostly laptop components like the Hard Drive. Also, I think that's good advise about a re-install of the os. OSX bundles support for a huge library of 3rd party drivers + a lot of other languages so when you plug in almost anything common it'll just work, but if you're only going to use it w/ 1 printer, and only in English, its kind of a waste of space.

    Another thing that will take up a lot of room is GarageBand and iDVD. Both apps are great, but if you have zero intention of making music and or DVD's then they are other items that can get the ax. Check this website out for some great reviews of OSX, the mini (although the current linup is better than the one reviewed here), and others from a hardcore PC guy here: http://www.anandtech.com/mac/ . He points out a lot of things about the OS that someone from the windows paradigm would be interested in, although the articles are on the long/indepth side.

    Also, even though your wife probably has a keyboard and mouse, you may want to get an apple keyboard (She may get frustrated if some of the butons are a little different) and make sure her usb mouse has at least 2 buttons + a clickable scrollwheel. The mighty mouse is ok (I've got one and I like it in general despite its shortcomings) it has a problem w/ the scrollball gumming up and needing to be cleaned however.

    And lastly, the advise about the ram is a good one. OSX loves memory, so it'll use what's available to it's advantage. Most people say that 512 is the absolute bare-bones minimum for Tiger on a mini.
     
  10. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #10
    As every one else has said, the Mini will suit your wife's needs perfectly (and it won't cost you a fortune). Not only will you get value but you get the best OS in the world! :p That alone should make your wife very happy. As for software, I've also d/l the Freeway demo and I think it is a fantastic program for web-design - easy to use but you can still integrate your own HTML knowledge and skills.

    Good luck
     

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