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Thinking Of Buying A Mac Mini...Advice?  
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1675 times:
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Well, I've about had it with the curse that is Microsoft. Adware, spyware, programs inexplicably locking up or shutting down, etc, etc, etc.

I've decided my next machine will be an Apple, and given my budget (or lack thereof), the Mac Mini is looking pretty good to me. Here's why:

- It seems to have about 80% or 90% of the performance of an Emac, except the Mac Mini gives you the freedom to choose your own monitor

- I'd prefer to get a nice, 17" or 19" flat-panel monitor in the future

- I don't plan on doing any heavy gaming, or using any graphics-intensive applications

- Although it lacks HD space, I can get a 160GB drive for $99 in the future, if I decide I need the space.




If there any seasoned Mac users out there who can offer some tips or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!




2H4







Edit: Just after I clicked "Post The Message" after composing this post, Internet Explorer froze, and required a Ctrl-Alt-Delete to shut down the blank, locked-up browser.

Ah, the irony....





[Edited 2005-10-09 22:01:29]


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13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1660 times:
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I've never used anything but Apple. I'm taking a look at the Mac Mini and it looks like it's really worth it. And plus, if you want to switch to Apple and realize you still want some Windows software (i.e. Google Earth which they don't have for MAC) then you can get Virtual PC, which I did, and it puts the Windows XP on your computer so you can run both at the same time. It's a very useful thing. The only problem w/ the Mac Mini is transportability, if you travel a lot you won't have a computer with you. That's why I might stick with my iBook, for college, but I don't know yet, we'll see. I say go for it though, it's a great machine.

TIS



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User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1660 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
If there any seasoned Mac users out there who can offer some tips or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

First, I would go to: http://www.apple.com/switch/

It's loaded with advice on how to move documents, photos, etc. from Windows to the Mac platform.

I have to say I've been using Macs since the 80's, and while I have a Dell sitting next to me, it was added mainly to learn how to network between platforms. Other than donating its CPU power to the FightAIDS@Home project recently, the Dell has been a doorstop, it just can't compare side-by-side.

Safari is my browser of choice, and while not perfect, it has built-in pop-up blocking. The one downside is while that's active, you can't receive a.net PM's, so I keep a copy of Firefox open simultaneously.

Apple keeps coming up with so many incredibly useful things with OS X, it's hard to keep track of them all. One day I hooked up my digital camera, and the CF card was recognized as a hard drive that could be browsed remotely using ImageCapture if I so choosed.

The G4 I'm typing on right now (one of 3 Macs I own), I bought in early 2000 for $1700. I could still sell it for around $300 or so on eBay, or upgrade the CPU for a nominal price. A similarly equipped PC of the same vintage wouldn't even be worth carting out to the trash heap.

If the Mac Mini fits what you want it to do, I'd order it in a heartbeat. Just my unbiased opinion, of course.  Wink



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineQuestAir From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 367 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1634 times:

2H4,

Congratulations on getting a Mac. They're a lot better than PCs. Bill Gates spends all of his time copying Apple rather than improving his own stuff...

But anyways, if you have a PC already, the Mac Mini can use your PC monitor and keyboard.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
The only problem w/ the Mac Mini is transportability, if you travel a lot you won't have a computer with you.

Not necessarily. The Mac Mini is small (I just saw it a while ago - I was just a the Apple Store a few hours ago) enough to fit in a bag, and if you go somewhere else where there's a PC, you can just plug the monitor/keyboard into the PC and you're set to go.

Regards,
QuestAir



'Do we carry rich people on our flights? Yes, I flew on one this morning and I�m very rich.' - Michael O'Leary
User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1614 times:

I am running a mac-mini with a 17inch samsung analog LCD display. Its a great combo ($499 for the comp and $210 for the LCD)
hit up www.newegg.com for a great deal on an LCD. You can get great 19" LCDs in the mid $200's these days.


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 1608 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR




Thanks for the advice, everyone. I definitely appreciate it.





Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
if you want to switch to Apple and realize you still want some Windows software (i.e. Google Earth which they don't have for MAC) then you can get Virtual PC, which I did, and it puts the Windows XP on your computer so you can run both at the same time. It's a very useful thing.



Does this mean I could run MS Flight Simulator? If so, how smoothly do you think it would run?




2H4





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User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 1603 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Thread starter):
- Although it lacks HD space, I can get a 160GB drive for $99 in the future, if I decide I need the space.

Make sure... it takes laptop drives.  Smile

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
Does this mean I could run MS Flight Simulator? If so, how smoothly do you think it would run?

It won't. A single processor G4 with laptop components just isn't the perfect environment for Flight Sim.

Try Xplane!

N


User currently offlineRedDragon From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 1135 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 1584 times:

As someone who deliberated over a mini for months after getting fed up with Windows/PCs, and then went out and bought an iMac instead (being lucky enough to be able to afford it, and feeling the iMac would last longer before becoming obsolete), the first thing that comes to mind is:

Get more RAM!

When they say that 512MB is a minimum, they mean it! If you can afford to splash out on a gig, then all the better.

Rich


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

Quoting RedDragon (Reply 7):
When they say that 512MB is a minimum, they mean it! If you can afford to splash out on a gig, then all the better.

That's absolutely right and excellent advice. There was a marked difference for me when I bumped up to a gig to run OS X, and the effect seemed to top out around a 1.25 to 1.5 gigs.

How that all works is a mystery to me, because my active RAM monitor is telling me that 298MB is currently being used with 982MB free, of 1.25GB that's in this G4 right now, and I rarely go over 50% of the RAM used.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21388 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

Since all the evangelization has already been taken care of apparently
, just a few additional points:

• All Macs have digital video outputs as well as analog ones, so I'd recommend an LCD with a DVI input (in many cases monitors have both DVI and VGA, so you remain flexible that way). Driving a digital display from a digital computer through an analog connection is an Official Abomination.

• I'd wait for a few days. Apple has announced a major presentation event for this wednesday. It may be possible that they'll present something that might interest you.

• The Mac mini is currently just within a "silent upgrade" phase: Apple has upped the specs on several features without officially announcing it (or without changiong the price); As long as they've still got some of the older minis left, you might get one of those instead of the newer, improved models. At this point the difference isn't even printed on the box, so you'd have to connect it and check the specs with the System Profiler application. I would expect that they'll make the improved specs "official" on wednesday as well, so you could be certain that yours will be a new model. Right now, it's the luck of the draw. The difference is not exactly huge, but not insignificant either.

• More RAM is always a good idea. While MacOS X still remains responsive even under load, a Gigabyte of RAM would still keep it "snappier" when you're running multiple applications. And if you've got the choice, you might want to get the memory somewhere else (with warranty, of course!): Apple's RAM prices are in fact insane!  crazy 

MS Flight Simulator under Virtual PC? I don't think that'll fly. Pun inevitable. There is X-Plane as a native alternative. It's said to be better than MSFS regarding the airplane behaviour, but MSFS is supposed to have more eye candy.

• Yes, I'm pretty sure you're making a good decision. Have fun!  bigthumbsup 


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21388 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1505 times:

Although Apple did indeed roll out their new video infrastructure today, the status of the Mac mini has not changed yet.

I'd still wait a few more days until they have made the newer specs official (that is unless you know a friendly dealer who lets you take a peek into the box to find out which version you'd get. ).


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1502 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Thanks for the info, Klaus.

You're right...no official upgrades on the Mini, but I did happen to notice that, in the past couple of days, the price to upgrade from 512MB of RAM to 1 gig dropped substantially. The upgrade used to cost $175, and is now $100.




2H4





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User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21388 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1498 times:

Ah, that does indeed sound a lot more reasonable.

User currently offlineCPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1479 times:

If you are really that tired of Windows XP, go for the minimac. It's a great (say cheap) approach into the world of macs, but you should cinsider what you are going to use it for.

No doubt that MacOS X is a great system, but if you are an experienced Windows user that uses lots of apps, I think you well get annoyed by running half of your applications in Virtual PC. Can you exchange your applications with Mac apps, go for it. It sure is a nice intuitive platform.

Windows XP can absolutely be a very efficient and stable system, without all the popus, freezes and reboots you mention. I have been managing Windows networks for years, so I know what I talk about. However, it is my experience that it can be hard to keep Windows XP free of junk that decreases performance, unless you know something about the OS.



Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
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