Switchers Mac Mini first impressions...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by TrumanApple, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. TrumanApple macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2005
    So today I finally took my computer out and fired it up (Rev A minimac 1.42ghz)...

    My equipment:
    Computer: Mac Mini Rev A 1.42ghz
    Keyboard: Apple USB Keyboard
    Mouse: Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse
    Screen: Dell 2005fpw 20" Widescreen

    Opening the box:
    This was a pleasant experience compared to what I am used to (Dell). Everything was Nice and clean and organized in a meaningfull mannor.

    Hooking it up:
    This was a fairly simple process, took about 10 miniutes, I love the DVI-VGA converter that came with the computer, and that the Dell LCD had both vga and dvi-d cables. Also, the keyboard came with a usb expansion cable.

    Turning it on:
    The start up screen was very simple to set up, quick, and helpfull. To my surprise the computer was only running 10.3.7 (can anyone tell me when that came out, along with then 10.3.8 came out?). No fear though, in the box was a Tiger DVD which i popped in. Fifty minuites later i have a fully funtional Mac Mini running Tiger (only 256mb of RAM, soon to be 1gb).

    Overall Impression:
    I love this computer, I love this operating system, I love this company. Finally a computer company that realizes that like cars, computers can be "emotional" purchases. I highly recommend Adium over iChat.

    Looking Forward:
    Does anyone know whether the RAM is user installable (will it void the warrentee). If it is, where can i get instructions?

    Programs to get:
    Virtual PC: I am doing systems programming next semester for intel based computers (non mac).

    Microsoft Offfice: What are my alternatives?

    One last question... Can i program my logitech MX1000 mouse to activate expose and dashboard with one of the buttons? If so how?
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    First question regarding M$ Office: For best compatibility, M$ Office is your best bet. Plus in many colleges and universities you can buy a copy for like, $20 or even less. But if you want to try out alternatives, check out Apple's own Pages (there might be a trial that came with your Mac mini, check it out), and you might want to check out NeoOffice/J (here), a open source office suite based on OpenOffice.org.

    As for your second question about the MX1000, for basic customizing, simply go to System Preferences (in the Apple menu on the top left), then click Dashboard/Expose. In there you can assign all of your MX1000's buttons to all the Expose and Dashboard functions. Or as an altnerative (if you want to customize it even more, such as mapping key combinations to buttons), you can download and install the official Logitech Control Center drivers (get it at Logitech's site).

    Enjoy your Mac!
  3. iMatt mini macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2005
    Central New Jersey
    When did you order this because I thought the new Minis came with Tiger pre-installed and the minimum RAM was 256... :confused:
  4. TrumanApple thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2005
    I got it free through a website, so it was the rev A and i have no idea when apple sent this thing out.
  5. TrumanApple thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2005
    One more thing...

    I cannot believe that apple would ship 256mb of ram and tiger to new switchers... This computer performs terribly because of the ram... when i have nothing but adium and 2 safari windows running, there is a whopping 2mb of ram free. The virtual memory on a 4200 rpm hard drive is painfull, and i could see how somone who doesnt know very much about ram and computers could think that apple computers are slow judging by this 256mb mini.

    My thoughts: apple should ship 512x1 minimum on ibook, emac and mac mini, and 1x1gb on powerbook, iMac, Powermac...
  6. joeconvert macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2003
    UH? They do ship the 512MB at least now.
  7. chucknorris macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    You've got a definite point, but as mentioned, this is all standard now. I guess outdated hardware goes with the territory of free hardware. Good luck with all of the upgrades. I'm sure your mini will run beautifully! :) :)
  8. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    Mac mini's are really only good for lightweight work. Anything that requires much disk I/O is going to be slow because of the hard drive :(
  9. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Thanks for the report!

    And well-chosen peripherals, I might add :) I own none of them, but they all come recommended.

    I know VPC is slow, but it's also really cool to have both Mac and XP windows on screen together :) (For a speed boost, set XP to the old Win98 theme.)

    My own Office alternative is... nothing! I DO need Word compatibility, but the app TextEdit built into OS X can read/write all the docs (not super complex ones) that I need.

    As for the Mini being a lightweight... it performs just about the same as my 1.25 GHz, 4200 rpm PowerBook--and I run my whole business on that, including LightWave, Final Cut Pro, and Flash animation. I multitask like crazy (RAM is important, no doubt) and although I'd love a G5, it's very productive as is. I wouldn't hesitate to pay $500 for this level of performance coupled with Tiger.

    Now, if you're used to a dual G5 or something, I'm sure you'll notice a difference you don't like. But--thus the price :)
  10. Arcus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2004
    of my hand will get me slapped.
    For a decent office alternative try NeoOffice/J . You can grab it at openoffice.org . Definately worth a look. BTW , its free.
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Glad to hear that things are going well with your new Mac Mini.
    Your upgrade to 1GB DDR should give you a nice performance boost (and if that is not enough you could always slap a 7,200 rpm HD in there).
  12. scarlco macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2005
    Ossining, NY
    My first mac experience was with a mini about 3 months ago. I absolutely loved it, but had a huge project coming up that the mini just couldn't do out-of-the-box. So, in a state of uneducated hurry, i returned the mini to the Apple store from which it came. I actually regretted the return - I had so much fun with it, and found it to do almost everything I needed. (The only thing it won't do is run Vectorworks - i have the pc version. Until reading this thread, though, I didn't even consider vpc. Seems odd, though - running an app ported from mac to pc via vpc because my company's too poor to buy the mac liscense.)

    Turns out the 256mb ram was my only true issue. I considered upgrading, but wasn't positive that it would help enough.

    In the meantime, I did my research and discovered that the upgrade would have helped. And I was stuck doing audio and video on a (allbeit a nice) pc.

    So, I went out about a week ago and got myself an iMac, and upp'd the ram to 1.5gb. Absolutely no complaints here - except I wish it was a laptop. Now, I've got this new pc that i haven't turned on since I transferred all my files through the network. hmmph.
  13. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004

    To quote Anandtech,
    "Apple should not be allowed to sell the Mac Mini with less than 512 MB of RAM, and you should not buy it with less than that."

    The new update just this week puts Tiger and 512 MB RAM standard on all iBooks and Mac Minis.

    Yes, the RAM is user upgradeable, but you'll need a putty knife :D
  14. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    Yeah, the RAM is user-upgradable.

    There's something like.. if you don't mar the case, it's still under warranty. It's some weird deal like that.

    Congrats on your Mac! They are awesome!

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