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And the HEADLESS Mac Mini is Here


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#41 Rook

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 09:13 PM

The iMac Man, on January 12th 2005, 03:04 AM, said:

I love how everyone is saying, "People will want this... not me, but someone will."  Who?  Who are these people that will want it?  I honestly don't see a target audience for this computer....

And, they CAN'T try their hand at DVD authoring, because the Mini only comes with a Combo drive...   ;)

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SuperDrive (or whatever Apple calls it these days) is an measly 100.00 option on the Mac Mini, so you see they CAN try their hand a DVD authoring.  Name another computer so equipped for 600.00.  My point is that allot of people don't need a 2ghz G5, and allot of people don't spend hours playing games on their computers like we might, and for them, this could be a very nice, very attractive option to a bulky eMac or fairly costly iMac G5.

#42 Lampeft

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 09:37 PM

Rook, on January 11th 2005, 08:13 PM, said:

SuperDrive (or whatever Apple calls it these days) is an measly 100.00 option on the Mac Mini, so you see they CAN try their hand a DVD authoring.  Name another computer so equipped for 600.00.  My point is that allot of people don't need a 2ghz G5, and allot of people don't spend hours playing games on their computers like we might, and for them, this could be a very nice, very attractive option to a bulky eMac or fairly costly iMac G5.

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Exactly.  I have a friend who wants to give OS X a try, but has been put off by the rather high price of Apple's hardware, even the iMacs and eMacs.  The Mac Mini presents him with a perfect opportunity to get his foot in the door with OS X.   Maybe from there he will move on to something more powerful.  But for the moment he's merely wanting to learn about the OS in general.  Not all who purchase computers are power-gamers with huge budgets.  This is the prefect Mac for those who are shy about dumping a lot of money into other Mac hardware, yet look on their friends' Macs with a bit of envy and a lot of curiosity.  This thing could really sell like hotcakes to the appropriate market, and I hope it does.

If this had been available when I bought my iMac, I probably would have opted for it.  Less financial pain and risk to give an Apple computer a try, etc.

#43 Mattg

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 09:59 PM

The iMac Man, on January 11th 2005, 08:04 PM, said:

Rook, on January 11th 2005, 08:58 PM, said:

I agree with a2daj.  I think there is definitely a market for this little machine.  Granted. I'm not in that market as I have only ever purchased their pro machines (Power Macs), but for allot of people this could be very attractive.  I think this would be perfect for my folks as well.  Obviously this is not intended for the serious gamer despite what Apple says concerning Halo.  Then again, neither the eMac or iMac are good choices for the serious gamer and any serious gamer should be intelligent or informed enough to know that.  I think that for people that want an inexpensive system to manage their iTunes, surf the net, email and take Apple's iApps for a spin this is a great option.  Heck, they can even try their hand in DV editing and DVD authoring for a mere 600.00.  How is this a bad thing?

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I love how everyone is saying, "People will want this... not me, but someone will."  Who?  Who are these people that will want it?  I honestly don't see a target audience for this computer....

And, they CAN'T try their hand at DVD authoring, because the Mini only comes with a Combo drive...   ;)

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I honestly think your point isn't well founded.

Imagine it's 1994 again and your sitting in front of a Mac running OS 7 and a PC running Windows 95. What would you choose? The Apple of course. Sure it's MUCH more expensive, but you can actually do stuff with it!

That's what we thought...

Well guess which one the majority of people on Earth went for : (
Even with it's inferior hardware and an inferior OS, the world consistently said "PC please". Why...PRICE.

My advice is get over your inferiority complex and realize the majority of users don't care about the bells and whistles, they just wanna be able to afford it.

If you have a better, yet still realistic way of grabbing more market share, by all means, spit it out.

#44 dimmer

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 10:19 PM

I'd think the biggest risk here is to cannibalization of the peripheral, eMac and iMac product lines --- it's faster (in the better config) than the eMac, I can choose the display I want in either case, I can choose my keyboard and mouse. I'm sure the Apple Retail Stores will do a wonderful up-sell on this "What type of monitor do you have? A 17" VGA? Yes, that'll work, but on the other hand if you upgraded to one of these beautiful LCD displays you'd save the cost in your energy bills in two years." "You have a Compaq keyboard? Is it USB? If it is, it'll work. But you won't have a Command key. The Command key lets you do all kind of interesting things quickly. No it's not like those two keys no-one uses on windows keyboards, it's actually useful! Oh, and look - this nice Apple keyboard is less than $50, less than $100 if you want the wireless one and mouse...".

#45 macgallant

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 10:21 PM

iMacman, Actually you could upgrade to a slotloading SuperDrive for and extra $100 at the AppleStore online and it is only $90 if you're a college student.

Right now I'm trying to decide if I should pick up a Mac mini for $479 (student discount) or get a Gigadesigns dual 1.4Ghz Dual G4 for $599 for my MDD Tower.
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#46 Homey

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 10:53 PM

I'm surprised by this.  It's pretty close to exactly what I want.  Since I already have a ballsy PC for gaming (A64/6800, yeah baby) but would never touch windows for anything else, a minimac is sweet.  Web browsing, email, writing, itunes, Graphic Converter, imovie, burning stuff... for well under a thou?  Awesome!

But here are my concerns.  32MB VRAM, even in a comp not meant for games, is terrible.  It'll severely hurt newer games like UT04, Halo, and WoW, and will even make simpler older games gimpy: CoD, JK:JA, etc.  Forget Doom3.  But hey, that's what your gaming PC is for!  Still, I think this hurts even the modest gamer, and Apple will lose a few sales because of it.  Not a tragedy, but a head-scratcher.

We've come to expect insufficient RAM offerings, but a $425 bump to 1GB has got to be a typo.  Even if there's only 1 slot, $425???  Man....  512MB for $75 is ok, but if the mem can be switched out (which it appears it can), then forget what Apple says, save yourself the dough and DIY.

Apple compares the minimac to bargain PCs with integrated graphics.  Sure, the mini will outperform those graphics, but that PC at that price also comes with an LCD, keyboard, mouse, much faster CPU, and usually more memory.  Not an overall fair comparison.  However, ye coolness factor (+OSX) goes to the mini.

So with my gaming needs tended to by an industry that actually understands the market and provides me the options I need at competitive prices, I turn to Apple for everything else, and this little bad boy has just about everything I want (for $775 with DVD burner and 512MB).  When my old G4 craps out, I won't even look at a G5 (heh, more money to upgrade the PC).

RE: the command key.  When using my Apple keyboard with the PC, the cmd key functions as the windows key (much to my chagrin).  So I would assume that a PC keyboard hooked up to the minimac would have its windows key function as the cmd key.

#47 Quacker

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 11:01 PM

I actually like the new mini mac.  It has a nice design and a good intention not to mention the size.  I think it is perfect for the adverage computer user who just wants to check email, surf the web and download songs and stuff.  Of course there are a lot of people here that are saying "O that little rinky dink thing could hardly handle UT2k3, and halo pfft common." but I dont think that is apples intention for making it.  I think their thing is that everybody is hitting them for their really expensive computers and they are just trying to show them that they can make an afordable computer with old hardware that would sell.  

I mean look at the iPod mini that sold like crazy but all it was was a smaller more casual version of the regular iPod.
I would buy it if I wasnt that into gaming becauause it seems like it can do everything that I would want it to do other then gaming.  And also who wants this big ugly CRT Emac sitting on your desk like a big blob of mac? Not me I would go for this over the Emac any day.

Not to mention but if you wanted to upgrade the processor in  an old mac its about 500$ anyway so this is deffinatly a good thing.

#48 Atticus

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 11:23 PM

...and don't underestimate what Mac Nerdz will be able to do with the Mini's stackable, shoveable, small form factor: living room media servers, inexpensive rendering farms, heck, you could even wedge it in a car dashboard or under a kitchen cabinet--voila!--wired kitchen.

I trust Mac geeks will be limited only by their imaginations, which has always been the Apple way.

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#49 GlendaAdams

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 11:30 PM

Aspyr Game Agent has the new Mac mini specs built in now, so if you run it you can see what games will run on the new Mac.  32mb of vram is the main limiting factor, it only stops a few current games though.

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#50 XxtraLarGe

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 11:30 PM

Sizzle, on January 11th 2005, 11:57 PM, said:

Does anyone else think it's a little weird that the 1Gb iPod Flash player costs $149 while to upgrade the Mini by 1Gb of Ram costs $425?  I know its different Ram and Apple has always overcharged for Ram, but that is such a huge markup.

It costs so much because there is only one RAM slot. Upgrading this machine from 256 MB to 512 MB isn't too bad, but going from 512 MB to 1 GB is like $350 extra, simply because a 1 GB DIMM is very expensive (but not THAT expensive). Also, they have to probably crack that sucker open now and remove the 256 MB RAM and replace it with the 1 GB, so it's labor intensive as well - at least this is what I'm guessing since you have to have an authorized dealer/repairman do it.

#51 XxtraLarGe

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 11:34 PM

The iMac Man, on January 12th 2005, 03:04 AM, said:

I love how everyone is saying, "People will want this... not me, but someone will."  Who?  Who are these people that will want it?  I honestly don't see a target audience for this computer....

And, they CAN'T try their hand at DVD authoring, because the Mini only comes with a Combo drive...   ;)

Wintel People who bought an iPod and have been curious about Macs but thought it was too expensive will buy this. I saw several Windows & Linux people on Slashdot who said they are going to buy one so they can get into Mac development. They already have the monitor, keyboard & mouse. A lot of people said that they were going to get a KVM switch and just put it on top of their current Windows/Linux machine.

#52 XxtraLarGe

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 12:06 AM

Something to consider:

Mac mini
• 1GB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive
• SuperDrive
• Wired Keyboard & Mouse Set
• 56K v.92 Modem
• Mac OS X - U.S. English
• 1.25GHz PowerPC G4

Subtotal $1,054.00

eMac
• 1GB SDRAM DDR333 - 2 DIMMs
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive
• Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
• 1.25GHz PowerPC G4
• SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)

Subtotal $1,101.00

So basically, the eMac—which includes a 17" monitor—is only $47 more than the Mac mini. Apple sells a 17" Mitusubishi Diamondtron for $175, so the eMac is a deal by comparison. One big difference tipping it in favor of the Mac mini though is the fact that you're getting the new & improved iLife apps.

According to MacOS Rumors (They made the call about the $499 "headless" iMac and the iPod flash model back in early December), eMacs were supposed to see an upgrade to the 1.6 GHz G5 back in November or December + a 64 MB VRAM card for the same price as the current models. The alleged reason why these were not updated is because they couldn't produce enough G5's to keep up with demand for the iMac G5.

I'm going to hold off a couple of months, wait to see if there is a G5 upgrade for the eMac, and if not, I'll go for this configuration:

Mac mini
• 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive
• SuperDrive
• 56K v.92 Modem
• Mac OS X - U.S. English
• 1.42GHz PowerPC G4

Subtotal $736.00

It will be a significant bump up from my current 400 MHz iMac G3, and I've got a ton games I want to play which will play on this system. And one thing you can bet on—when I receive my new Mac mini, they will announce a new G5 eMac ;-)

#53 zapranoth

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 12:23 AM

I agree that this machine will probably be a good thing.  I'm actually excited for Apple, and for all Mac users, seeing this machine.  It's cheap, finally!  So WHAT if it won't run Halo.  A fair number of the people who I'm hoping will buy this machine would never, ever, ever try to run Halo on it, because they

a)  have an Xbox,
B)  have a PC,
c)  have BOTH,
d)  don't care about games like the rest of us hypergeeks.

This is a resoundingly smart move from Apple.  

I wonder how the Shuffle will do.  I have a Rio Sport S30, which I  bought at Costco more than a year ago, and I stuffed a 512 meg SD card into it for something like $35 a while ago.  So it has 512 + 64 megs of RAM, it plays nicely with iTunes, and it has a screen and an FM tuner.  I've twitched and itched for an iPod at times, but I'm not sure how well this new machine will compete in the flash market.  I'm not saying it isn't competitive... just that the flash market is vicious, and I'm not sure the Shuffle will be quite the Godzilla in that market that the 'pod is in the hard drive MP3 market...

We shall see.

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#54 HeadWes

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 01:47 AM

The iMac Man, on January 11th 2005, 08:04 PM, said:

I love how everyone is saying, "People will want this... not me, but someone will."  Who?  Who are these people that will want it?  I honestly don't see a target audience for this computer....

And, they CAN'T try their hand at DVD authoring, because the Mini only comes with a Combo drive...   ;)

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People like me...

I'm a PC user, but I'm no Windows fanboy. Frankly, its the hardware--its cheap. My current setup is an IBM ThinkPad T41 (XP), a home-brew Athlon 1Ghz(XP), and an older Dell Opti-plex P2-400 (Redhat 8).

I've been wanting to give OSX a try for a long while, but I'm not about to pay for a G5 Tower--for that price I'd rather buy plane tickets to Loreto. The iBook is out--I don't need another laptop. That just leaves the eMac and iMac. Either of those would do as far as performance, but I'm not about to trade in my beast of a monitor (19" AG Samsung 900NF).

Now, the Athlon has been giving me trouble recently. The XP install is from '02, and its starting to decay. I've replaced the power supply twice in the past six months (from spare parts), and looking in the case, I see four HDs, but only two work--dunno which--probably not the Deathstars.

Anyway, for the most part, its a reliable machine, but its time for a major overhaul. I don't need a super powerful system--its mostly used for internet, word processing, and a little bit of photo editing (6MP). So, recently I've been weighing my options. Until the $500 headless Mac rumor hit the streets, I'd been plotting on a Shuttle XPC (Greg can confirm this).

After seeing Apple's new system, I've pretty much abandoned my XPC plans. My plan right now is to wait to see some reviews on the Mini. If they're positive, its likely in a month or two I'll have a Mini sitting on my desk next to my ThinkPad. It'll be my first Apple product since the IIGS.

I think the big issue will be whether or not average joe consumers are comfortable pairing the Mini with a non-Apple display. I know I am, but certainly you lose style points.
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#55 Rubel

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 01:59 AM

XxtraLarGe, on January 11th 2005, 10:30 PM, said:

Sizzle, on January 11th 2005, 11:57 PM, said:

Does anyone else think it's a little weird that the 1Gb iPod Flash player costs $149 while to upgrade the Mini by 1Gb of Ram costs $425?  I know its different Ram and Apple has always overcharged for Ram, but that is such a huge markup.

It costs so much because there is only one RAM slot. Upgrading this machine from 256 MB to 512 MB isn't too bad, but going from 512 MB to 1 GB is like $350 extra, simply because a 1 GB DIMM is very expensive (but not THAT expensive). Also, they have to probably crack that sucker open now and remove the 256 MB RAM and replace it with the 1 GB, so it's labor intensive as well - at least this is what I'm guessing since you have to have an authorized dealer/repairman do it.

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I wonder how user-servicable the RAM will be. OWC will sell you a 1 gig stick of 333mHz RAM for under $200. That's a lot of savings for my family members, if I can quickly do the upgrade myself.
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#56 HeadWes

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 02:04 AM

I notice the max res is 1920x1080, which is rather disappointing.

I run my 14" laptop screen at 1400x1050... I like to run my 19" CRT a bit higher.
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#57 nagromme

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 02:26 AM

Anyone disappointed that $499 ($479 edu) only gets you a super-compact, quiet G4 with an awesome software bundle--and not a high-end gaming machine--may be comforted by a visit to Dell.com to try to buy a $499 high-end gaming machine :)

Go to Dell and try to build something with the warranty, software bundle, connectivity (Firewire, DVI/VGA/TV-out, concealed wireless antennas), and optical drive of a Mac Mini. You may find higher Mhz in a bottom Dell, but you won't find dedicated VRAM and you won't be playing Halo. (And wow, Dell sure nickles and dimes you on the software options!)

You'll easily end up paying more than $600! Especially if you buy what you need to gain a little of the Mac's security from viruses/spyware. But if you want to match OS X, iLife '05, the portable size, the style, and the quiet... you can just give up :)

BTW, I run my entire business on a 1.25 GHz G4, including video and audio editing, 3D animation, and Photoshop. With more than 256 RAM, it handles it all just fine. It ALSO handles UT2004 very well--although I'm not familiar with the Radeon 9200.

So a 1.25 GHz G4 may be the low end on paper today, but in terms of what you can actually get done with it, it's no slouch.

Apple has really impressed me with this Mac Mini. Few of my PC-using friends would consider a computer for more than $750. And few of them care about Windows other than "it's what they know." They love my iLife apps, and they hate fighting viruses. I think when they come to replace those old PCs, they'll be VERY interested in a $499 Mac with Tiger!

#58 Stickboy

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 05:29 AM

The iMac Man, on January 12th 2005, 03:04 AM, said:

I love how everyone is saying, "People will want this... not me, but someone will."  Who?  Who are these people that will want it?  I honestly don't see a target audience for this computer....

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Non-tech savvy or non-tech enamoured people like my sister. Think if it as a console for iLife and iWork. All my sister needs to use a computer for is iTunes and iPhoto, e-mail, internet and word processing. The very basics. I would hazard a guess that, globally, these are the only functions the majority of all people use computers for.

I don't know about the States, but in Europe people still view all computers as complex, expensive machines The Mac mini could be set to change all that. Most people who use computers don't play games, they just want the same functionality my sister requires. The Mac mini provides all of this at a low cost, plus the added security features you get just by virtue of owning a Mac (no spyware or viruses to speak of). And it's an Apple product, which has been imbued with all the chic of Prada and Gucci since the release of the iPod.

It's small and looks sexy, and as somebody else said is basically the same price as an iPod. In fact, i wouldn't be surprised if a significant proportion of new buyers purchased one just so they can work an iPod or digital camera, much like people buy XBoxes just to play Halo.
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#59 skeptic

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 09:32 AM

I think the mini mac is great.  I hope to buy one soon.  I need to replace my aging G3 beige box.  

I think it is a better deal than any of the other offerings from apple.  And here is why.  I can spend $700 and have a mini with the 1.42ghz and 80meg drive(plus superdrive).  I will install the RAM my self.  Screw the warranty.  If it runs good for a week then the comp is good for the long run.  So that will be another what $180.  I need to buy a new keyboard b/c my old one is an ADB connection.  I will most likely get the apple keyboard.  $27 there.  so total so far is.... $907.  That's it.

I have a perfectly good 17" CRT monitor.  I have a USB mouse.  I can hook up my digital camera, I can hook up my printer.  I can hook into my router box.  

The best part is that in a year or 2 I can spend another $500 and get a new one that will be faster and have better everything.  I may need to buy new monitor some time.  But I can choose when to do that.  

The real value is that I can buy a new computer more frequently and reuse that stuff that doesn't get outdated.  If I buy an imac or the emac.  I have to purchase a new monitor(as nice as it maybe)every upgrade cycle.  That is a waste of my cash and not very good for the landfill in the long run.  I think this is a marvalous deal.  I can now be on the every 2 year upgrade cyle instead of the every 4-6 year upgrade cycle.

#60 fuzz_ball

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 11:14 AM

innuenstu, on January 11th 2005, 10:20 PM, said:

Thanks for your help. As for monitor not a problem, i would want more ram as expected. I just figured faster bus etc. would be nice, for me. Now on my 1ghz emac 7500 768 ram.<here is another question> If you please. Will maxing up to 1ghz of memory from my 768 help for   games<wow/EQ> or any app etc.? I have been told frames per second are not as important on rpg's as with games like halo etc. but if it helps in anyway that'd be nice and i can hold out on a new mac. or is it not worth the $100 for memory? i know the ati 7500 is killing me, but nothing i can do

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Once you hit the point where you have enough RAM for the OS and all open applications (and with respect to games, why would anyone have any other apps open at the same time?) then adding more RAM won't suddenly speed it up. 768 MB should be plenty, even 512 MB is likely enough.

Lot's of memory are for people who have many apps open at once, or they're one of those Photoshop/Maya/Final Cut creative types working with massive files :D