Mac Mini

Well, I finally went crazy insane and bought an Apple computer.

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The Mac Mini is actually pretty cool, mainly because it’s so small.  But in any case, I needed a Mac system so that I can develop and debug web pages in its Safari web browser, and that’s basically all I’m going to use the Mini for.

Within a few days of having it up and running, I was able to spend some time getting FileChucker to work properly in Safari, so it now works in all modern browsers.

Of course, a couple weeks after I buy the thing, Apple releases a big update to the Mini, most notably including the switch from the old PowerPC architecture to the x86 architecture: the Mini now runs either an Intel Core Solo chip or an Intel Core Duo chip.  Other fun upgrades include:

Quoting ARS:

...built-in 802.11g and Bluetooth support, 4 USB 2.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, analog and Dolby Digital audio out, DVI video out, two slots for RAM, and 512MB of PC2-5300 DDR RAM (to go with its 667MHz FSB)...

So that’s kinda stinky, but on the other hand, it’s cool to have one of the last PPC-based Macs too.  However, I wouldn’t mind having the increased performance of the newer units:

Quoting ARS:

Steve Jobs claimed that the new Core Solo Mac mini is anywhere from 2.5 to 3.2x faster than its PowerPC 7447 predecessor...

But that’s OK.  As I said, I’m not going to use the system very much anyway; I’m just glad to be able to have a system running Safari to debug web applications on.

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Posted by Anthony on 7 replies


01. Mar 3, 2006 at 11:48am by Kev:

Sweet! Instead of using it just for testing web apps with Safari, you could use it as a PVR if you stick a tuner card into it. Given the small size, and that you’re not going to use it for much else, it seems like the perfect use for it.

02. Mar 3, 2006 at 01:45pm by Tasha Moyer:

I thought you hated apple with a passion. I guess if you need it for work... But still... I remember when I wanted to buy an apple computer for sam and you nearly died.

03. Mar 3, 2006 at 05:05pm by andy:

funny, a friend showed me the update about that the other day (intel mac minis) and i marvelled that "the mini doesn’t look much bigger than a cd jewel case", though i’ve never seen the direct comparison.

re: kev - is there actualy any expansion space in those things?

04. Mar 3, 2006 at 06:14pm by Kev:

andy: Hmm, I’m not sure if it has expansion slots, after all where would they put it/them?  A USB tuner might be the way to go, but all I’m saying is that a small homebrewed PVR like that would be sweet.

05. Mar 5, 2006 at 12:22am by Patrick Copland:

We have been rockin’ with our iMac for 2.5 years now.  It is only 1.2 GHz PPC, but is still more powerful than everything we have at work except the dual proc. xeon servers and the newest desktops (3.6 GHz).

If course we are always doing movies and songs for people.

The best apps are:

Google Earth
NeoOffice J (OpenOffice port)
Thunderbird e-mail
Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC)
Dashboard (OS 10.4)

We use CCC to clone the boot drive over to firewire drive, then test boot to check it out.  Incredible disaster recovery capability on those Macs!  And yes... you can right click the mouse on a Mac!

06. Mar 6, 2006 at 01:00am by andy:

i don’t have a mac but i use one at the studio all the time - a really cool and somewhat freaky thing is inquisitor.  it works for google (or any search engine, only in safari i think (unfortunately)), but as fast as i’ve ever seen does auto-complete on searches.  much like spotlight on your os.  only spotlight is slow =P

there’s also a ton of cool things in os x like "look up the work the mouse is over in the dictionary" with a hotkey, tons of things, i don’t know them all though.

07. Mar 6, 2006 at 06:59am by Patrick Copland:

"Look up the word the mouse is over in the dictionary"

I have to look that one up.  We bought 3 year apple support and they are very good.  We also go to the apple store where you can sign in and wait to speak to an apple "genius" at the genius bar.  Ha, ha.  You can bring your whole workstation with you.  Kinda like a party at those apple stores.  Free classes scheduled every day too!

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