Mac Mini: Day #1

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by fatboyhouston, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. fatboyhouston macrumors member

    fatboyhouston

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    #1
    So my new Mini (2012 i7 2.3, 4gb RAM, 1TB HDD) arrived yesterday, to great interest from my workmates (all of whom use windows and had scoffed when I said I was buying it).

    Way too early to say whether I'm a converted Mac disciple yet, but I like it. Couple of things I've noticed though:

    1. It doesn't have Yosemite, instead it's 10.9.something (Mavericks I presume). I haven't upgraded to Yosemite in case I'm supposed to make a backup first. Also I've seen some internet chatter about problems with Yosemite on Mini. Should I go ahead and install it, or do I need more RAM first? (How much? I want to use Garageband and iMovie mostly)

    2. My Microsoft USB wireless keyboard and mouse work fine, except... the @ and " symbols are reversed. Are you kidding me Apple? This was an issue 10 years ago! Have you seriously not fixed it yet? To experience this on a platform designed to lure Windows people by allowing them to use their existing peripherals seems unbelievable. Surely there must be a simple fix, but an hour of googling hasn't got me there yet.

    3. Wifi connectivity is inconsistent. Safari web pages load fine mostly. But at times it hangs like I've lost connection. Same thing on App Store. At first I assumed my router was playing up, but then found my iPad was connected just fine and not suffering any slowdown or dropped connection. This could be a big problem as I want to use my Mini to work remotely via VPN.

    Like I said, it's early days and I know everything is bound to feel weird. I need to learn some keyboard shortcuts to help me get around. Grateful for any advice on the questions above.
     
  2. Idgit macrumors 6502

    Idgit

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    #2
    Do not upgrade to Yosemite. Just don't do it. Not until Apple fixes all the bugs it introduced with Yosemite (of which there are so many) including flakey WiFi, a CPU-hogging WindowServer bug, broken screen-sharing, and broken DNS.

    As for your current WiFi issues, make sure you've updated to 10.9.5
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    I like Yosemite...

    Yosemite is a great operating system and it is fine on my macbook and my friend 2012 mini. As for RAM I would go with an SSD install first the difference in speed is amazing far surpassing anything extra RAM will give you. Add a 128gb SSD using a mac mini data doubler and you can boot through disk utility to create a fusion drive.

    You can remap keyboard keys if I remember correctly using this little app...

    http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=ukelele

    I haven't used it myself though...

    Maybe a Yosemite update will sort your WIFI issues...
     
  4. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #4
    First of all: Welcome (back?) to OSX and your new Mac.

    Regarding your questions:

    1.) I would stick with Mavericks (10.9) for now, as Yosemite (10.10) seems to need some more time to mature. I would also upgrade the Ram to at least 8GB, seeing that you intend to do memory-intensive work. 16GB would be better though, as you only have 2 Ram slots and would probably be able to make good use of it. Even more so, as the spinning HDD's in the mini have a reputation of being a bit on the slow side and OSX can make good use of free memory for buffering system data with more Ram.

    2. The German keyboard layout has the "@" sign switched between AltGr-Q and AltGr-L (Windows/OSX). I read somewhere that the former is in accordance to the recommendations of some norming authority, so not sure whether Apple is to blame in your case. Many different keyboard layouts in use worldwide instead of "the one standard". Under http://superuser.com/questions/665494/how-to-make-a-custom-keyboard-layout-in-macos you can find some hints for Ukulele.

    3. If updating to the latest 10.9 revision does not help, check how you connect to your AP. Make sure you use 5GHz connections, as the 2.4GHz band is often (over)crowded. Eventually the culprit may also be connected to the combination of little Ram and a slow hard disk. As the OS can't cache that much data in Ram, from time to time it will access the hard disk in order to write system information like log updates or similar. If the hard drive has spun down for energy saving reasons, the system will hang until the hard drive is ready again. Check energy settings for the hard drive.
    Going to either a SSD or more Ram (ideally you should do both) would most likely partly (Ram) or completely (SSD) mitigate the problem as well.
     
  5. fatboyhouston thread starter macrumors member

    fatboyhouston

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    #5
    Thanks for the help guys, I think I'll hang fire on Yosemite for now. Frankly I've no idea what features it adds anyway. The whole switching to Mac experience is slightly weird. I can tell it's great, but right now I feel like one of those guys at the ice rink who cling grimly onto the side whilst others whoosh past spraying ice and chuckling.

    I was hoping I wouldn't have to shell out for RAM right away, but fair enough.

    Is it genuinely easy to install an SSD in a Mac Mini? I was thinking I'd wait until my Mini was out of warranty before taking a saw to it. I installed one on my ancient laptop and was amazed at how it sprung back to life. But that was a Dell XPS, which doesn't require a degree in surgery to modify. I'm happy to do the surgery, just slightly nervous I'll kill the patient!

    I really need a better monitor too: currently using a portable flat-screen TV which looks a bit lame. I do have an old VGA monitor but I'm reluctant to shell out £20 on an active adaptor when I'll probably replace it soon with new twin monitors.
     
  6. P00t macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham UK
    #6
    I switched to mac from a PC back in 2005 I think it was and I've never looked back since. It did take a few weeks to get used to and I was kinda regretting it until I saw how easy it was and not to mention the stability compared to Windoze Xpee, so don't worry I've been there too.

    I'll never miss all those BSOD's, reformats etc ever again.

    I've too got some issues with Yosemite, mainly from laggy mouse when sharing my internet via wifi, which I never had with Mavericks.

    Also some apps I used don't yet work with Yosemite, so I can see quite a few people sticking with Mavericks for at least a few more months before moving on, some might not even move due to higher priced software requirements.

    I'll be going back to Mavericks later, YAY another 4 hours wasted running tests.

    You're not missing much with Yosemite though, just some bland visuals.

    I miss Steve Jobs :( RIP
     
  7. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #7
    Replacing a lower bay HDD with an SSD is not too bad at all. Relocating or adding a HDD/SSD to the upper bay is doable after training and using caution. SSDs really make a HDD mini way nicer to use.

    ----------

    Many of us who have lived through the generally useless but almost always PITA yearly OS X Yearly Fashion Show upgrades and/or who have considered a 2014 mini really miss Steve.

    While I have had pretty good luck with Yosemite I am still kicking myself for upgrading from Mavericks. Maybe I will have the willpower to pass on upgrading again in the fall when Tim lisps through another "greatest operating system on the planet" line of total BS.
     
  8. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Northeast
    #8
    Tim may lisp, but one thing for sure, he has a whole lot more money than you.
     
  9. garylovesbeer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #9
    And that's how you judge someone's worth.
     

Share This Page