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Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 12, 2005.
Link: A Mac for the masses
Posted on MacBytes.com
Approved by Mudbug
and the news articles start rolling in about the shuffle and the mac mini.
I can see majority of the articles starting out something like "mac's have allways looked pretty but... " or "i allways wanted to try..."
even with a G5 and a ibook, im still considering buying this mac.
but i hate buying stuff online, so il wait until the 22nd to go and try it in the store.
seriously thow, someone needs to get into Objective C, and build a Tivo type deal with a elgato pvr, firewire or usb, ur pick, cause as of right now, having a mac mini that can sit ontop of my surround sound, send svideo out and is dead quiet with a dvd player built in, pvr software is about the only thing missing for this to replace 3 components (dvd, pvr and cd player) in my surround sound system.
maybe incorporate ATI's remote wonder remote controller, its usb and RF signal. they even make OS X drivers
id write it myself, but i do web dev, not objective c.
Seriously. That seems to be the most logical extenstion of the Mac mini design. Apple has obviously thought of it already. My take is that Apple is waiting to see how the 'digital hub' road map shakes itself out. What they don't want to do is rush something to market, get it wrong, and turn mass markets away from Apple (again). TiVO is great (i have series 2), but there is definitely potential for improvement both in hardware and UI. I don't doubt that this type of device is in Apple's roadmap.
Also, there is SO much potential for digital delivery of movie content. . but what's the right business model? Monthly vs. per rental fees? How will DRM be handled? What should the UI be like? etc. . . Mac mini is a step in the right direction, but in this case Apple is wise to take things one step at a time.
As for myself, I may pick up a mini for use as a home file/music server. Would also be nice to set it up for XGrid computing for those times when I'm impatient with my 12" Lappy.
Skipping the ad
Hint: Paste http://www.salon.com/news/cookie.html into your address bar when the ad starts playing and you won't have to sit through it
This is one of the first signs of the huge change that is about to take place in people's minds...
The Mac mini is the ultimate trojan horse for getting people hooked up to the Mac platform, thanks *ONLY* to its pricepoint. Believe me, the price tag alone will make the whole difference, since the Mac mini isn't a breakthrough or anything. They took the iMac G4's dome, and squeezed the components to fit in that enclosure; or maybe they took the iBook's innards, and repositioned them, who cares. It's small, but the technology found in there is years old!
And here's why I think this thing will be like a "second iPod": People who use their PCs mostly for web surfing, chat, iTunes, etc., and who therefore don't value hardware specs that much anyway, will be fine with the Mac mini, unless they get really hooked up to iLife and feel the need to upgrade to a better Mac (which is great both for Apple and themselves - perhaps not their wallets, but at least they'll have two Macs, which is cool); And even those die-hard Windows users, who think PCs are the best bang for the buck (which it isn't, at least as far as TCO is concerned) are considering buying a Mac mini because of its price tag, just to try OS X... And what'll happen when they try OS X? They'll likely get hooked up to OS X and also iLife.
I know that comparing Apple's techniques to those of drug dealers isn't that nice, but you know, Apple's hooking people up for a good cause. I'm looking forward to whatch Micro$oft's demise with my very eyes, even if that means having a few viruses written for my favorite platform... I hope a massive switching wave takes place, since the world will become a better place without M$ shovelling crappy software into people's computers. I hope that things will change so much for the better that I shall be calling it "The Revolution"
For a device that's so irrelevant, salon.com can't stop talking about it.
How about comparing them to missionaries. After all, people's choice of computer (for those who actually express a choice - most just use whatever they're given at work/school) is as much about blind faith as it is in technology.
It's happening. Slowly right now, but it will accelerate if MS doesn't wise up. And if they do, hey, I won't hold a grudge against them if they manage to start shipping quality products.
This article claims--like many ignorant writers--that Macs offer nothing except style.
For them, OS X, security from viruses, and iLife don't exist. Nor do the things that Macs have that cost money to add to a Dell offer any value.
A Mac with OS X, Combo drive and a great software bundle is, to them, not as good as a Dell with CD-ROM and no software bundle... as long as the Dell has higher MHz.
But now, with the Mac Mini, Macs are finally priced like the low-end worthless machines they are So for the first time, it's OK to buy Apple style!
Still, if the ignorant start buying Macs, that's a BIG market
They did mention a few mac falicies as near truths, but they are also planting a few seeds too. This is my favorite quote about the mini yet:
"Think about this: For $500, a little more than you spent on that iPod you love, you can trade every hassle, every worry, every headache that Windows has ever caused you for a graceful, elegant Mac, a machine so small that you can ferry it around with you from the office to the apartment, or bedroom to bedroom."
Essentially the same desktop? How closely did they research before deciding to make this claim?
Yep. They ignore the quality of the software package in their evaluations.
But to be fair, they do the same when comparing different PCs against each other. If one PC costs $20 more than another, but comes bundled with a $6000 video editing suite, it still gets marked down as costing more.
Journalists are idiots. But that's to be expected. After all, they couldn't find a job doing anything else.
To be fair, I have been able to price a Dell system with equivalent hardware for a lower price. As soon as the mini shipped, I went over to their web site and was able to configure a Dimension 3000 with 2.4GHz Celeron, 512M RAM, 40G disk, ComboDrive and FireWire for about $560. Compared with the low-end Mac mini with a memory upgrade to 512M and a keyboard/mouse, costing $632.
In terms of raw hardware power, I think the two systems are about equivalent. Although a Celeron is substantially inferior to a G4, it's not enough to compensate for clock that's 90% faster.
Where the Mac justifies the added cost is in the bundled video, which is much better, and in the bundled software - which journalists never pay attention to.
IMO, the mini is probably not that great as a first computer, since the addition of keyboard, mouse and monitor will add a lot to the price. Especially if the potential buyer discovers that the cheapest monitor made by Apple costs $1000 and doesn't realize he can pick up a simple one at CompUSA for much less.
But I think it shines as an additional computer for someone who already has a system of some kind. Combined with a USB KVM swich (to share existing keyboard, mouse and monitor), those extra costs all go away. A 2-port USB KVM costs less than $100. 4-port can be found for a little over $100.
I also think the mini has a market as a portable system. In many companies, employees use laptops as their main desktop computers. They lock the computers up in drawers after hours and set up extra docking stations at home for telecommuting. For those who only use their laptops in these docking stations, the mini becomes a better choice. You get all the portability (thanks to the very small size and weight) without the (pretty expensive) cost of a laptop's LCD display panel.