OK, I'm a complete newbie to Macs, unless you count that Computer Lit class I had on an Apple 2E back in 1988. When we finished early we got to play Oregon Trail . Woohoo! Anyway, I have decided I want to go with a Mac for my next computer, but I'm completely lost. I'm really hesitant to buy something for $1,500-2,000 and then discover down the road I picked the wrong options or paid for things I never use. And I'd really rather keep it under a grand to begin with. Laptop/desktop is irrelevant. I assume desktop will be cheaper. I'm just doing everyday word processing/web surfing/email, etc. Minimal downloading, no game playing. My partner is a bit of an amateur photographer, but I'm guessing the standard iLife software will cover that just fine. What I really need is some guidance on the specifications. Is there a meaningful difference between the iMac and the mini and so forth for my purposes? How much RAM do I actually need for those basic programs? What else should I know? What is the version of OS X I should be looking for? All non-snarky responses very much appreciated.