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Technology (Apple) Businesses Apple Technology

Apple Releases Mac Mini 1212

cranesan writes "The rumors of Apple releasing a small PC are confirmed. The Mac mini can be found at Apple's website. As expected, the box uses a G4 processor. You can order one today; estimate 3-4 weeks shipping date. Base unit starts at $499."
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Apple Releases Mac Mini

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  • Dupe... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Delphix ( 571159 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:01AM (#11347312)
    C'mon guys. This isn't news, especially since you reported it yourself here []. It's just a two day old dupe of old news.
  • by JohnPM ( 163131 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:02AM (#11347317) Homepage
    PC? It's not a PC it's a Mac! *fume*
  • by mr.henry ( 618818 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:02AM (#11347319) Journal
    This $500 Apple is still insanely overpriced.

    GotApex? [] has a "headless Dell" on their site for $449.

    Here are the specs:
    2.8Ghz P4 w/800Mhz bus
    256MB DDR2 SDRAM
    40GB S-ATA
    2 year on site warranty

    Of course, if I don't get modded to hell, there will be a dozen replys from the Apple "amen corner" telling me that the Apple is a better deal, etc.

    BTW, this P4 is not even a particularly hot deal. GotApex? had a Dell P4 with a 17" LCD last Sunday for $599 -- the same price as the "high end" Mac mini.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:07AM (#11347367) Homepage
    PC? It's not a PC it's a Mac! *fume*

    As much as 'PC' has come to define a machine derived from the original IBM PC, 'PC' means "Personal Computer".


  • by Lord Satri ( 609291 ) <alexandreleroux&gmail,com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:08AM (#11347372) Homepage Journal
    This was previously discussed on this Slashdot story []. Also of interest is this announcement :

    Apple announced their financial results for the fourth quarter today, reporting a profit of $295M, or $0.70 per share. They shipped 4.58M iPods, an increase of 525 % over the year ago quarter. But more surprisingly, Apple CPU sales were up 26% themselves over the year ago quarter. Over 1,046,000 Macs went found their way into customer's hands in the quarter.
    See .html []

    After reading comments from the other /. story discussing the Mac Mini, I believe this Mac Mini is doomed for a **huge** success. Good for competition. Good for everyone :-)
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:11AM (#11347403) Homepage
    yes Its more expensive and slower, except if you value some of the excellent software it comes with and the small form factor its worth it.

    imovie is an excellent video editor (enough better the compaq with various cheap editing packages)was abandoned...(Not to mention this apple machine comes with firewire, a requirement for getting video off the cam corder.)

    iphoto is excellent photo storage tool.

    OS X is pretty good to, but if you want a windows box go nuts..

  • by TheAcousticMotrbiker ( 313701 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:18AM (#11347465)
    play doom3
  • Re:Experiences? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:20AM (#11347486) Journal
    I've not used an eMac, but my last PowerBook had a similar spec to the Mac Mini. 256MB or RAM is not enough. I had 256MB for a while when one of my DIMMs died, and it was painful. At the same time, I was borrowing a 867MHz G4 tower which had 512MB and felt a whole lot faster. Switching between a running application and the debugger took a noticeable amount of time, as did switching to Safari to view documentation. With 512MB, these things happened almost instantly on both machines.

    I have done low-level C work and high-level Objective-C work on both machines, and found them to be perfectly acceptable in terms of performance. I haven't touched the abomination of a language known as C++ for some time, and hope never to have to again, so I can't really give you any advice there (other than to look at Objective-C). XCode is a really nice IDE to use, and code written using POSIX libraries and Cocoa can be ported to other *NIX platforms and GNUstep very easily.

  • Well... I'd say this would be one case where you'd buy the OEM RAM. The mini-mac's only got one DIMM. So, if you buy the 256MB, then run out and buy a 512MB stick from Crucial, say, you'd be throwing your money away on the 256MB that came with the unit.
  • by 0xdeaddead ( 797696 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:21AM (#11347495) Homepage Journal
    These people are insane. They are including VAT in their 'calculated' prices... Get with it.
  • Re:Experiences? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:22AM (#11347501)
    eMac is great for dev work, given enough RAM.
  • by sgant ( 178166 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:25AM (#11347532) Homepage Journal
    How is the Mini "insanely overpriced" compared to the computer you mentioned?

    CPU - OK, the "headless Dell" is faster.
    RAM - Both same amount of RAM
    HD - Both 40 gigs
    Warranty - the Dell is a year better..and is on-site.
    BOTH COST $499

    So, where is the "insanely overpriced" come in? If it were $699 then perhaps you would have a valid argument. But of course, you do not.

    Not to mention the fact you get a TON of software with the Mini and OSX. How much software comes with the Dell? Yeah, thought so...

    And here I'm not even using a Mac nor own a Mac and even I can see you're so full of shit it's not even funny. If you have a beef against Apple, then please, think a little harder next time to come up with something of substance.
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:27AM (#11347556) Homepage
    1. It's apparently the quietest mac ever made. That's pretty damned quiet. TBH It's so small I doubt you'd fit a fan into it! Of course nobody actually has one yet...

    2. The RAM looks like standard SDRAM (most sites say one slot only). The lid looks like a bugger to get off but give it a few days after release and there will be detailed instructions all over the web. No info on the bluetooth & airport - if they've used the same cards as on other macs then it should be easy.. if not, then you'll need to wait for availability.

    3. Compare with a similar speed powerbook.

    4. With a mini? No, because they're not available yet....
  • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:28AM (#11347561) Homepage
    The reason that you're going to get a dozen replys from the Apple "amen corner" is that you very clearly don't get it. If you could buy a Yugo for $5000 or a Honda for $5500, which one would you want? Sure, you could say that Dell is better than Yugo, but you'd still be missing the point.

    Apple's hardware is better than the bottom basement x86 crap. Dell is using the lowest bidder, and changing monthly. Apple is consistently using the same hardware. This is important for two reasons. First, Apple can make sure the drivers work well. In the x86 world, drivers are a mess, written by the company that made the hardware. You have no guarantee of quality, and that is partially what makes Windows unstable. Second, if the hardware sucks, Apple will drop them.

    More importantly, Apple's software is better. OS X is very pleasant to use. It's powerful for advanced users, and simple for novices. The bundled apps are easier to use. Plug and play works very well. Your mom's camera will just work without special drivers and special helper apps for downloading the images (yes, some digicams just work under Windows, but my Canon required a whole suite of applications to get the damn pictures from it).

    What you seem to not understand is that these things have a value. In fact, they are worth at least the $50 price difference to many people. The fact that people find value in this shouldn't bother you. You shouldn't feel some compelling need to point out that an apple and an orange have different prices. Many people want a Mac. You seem to think that people want a computer.
  • Re:No Mic?! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Danborg ( 62420 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:30AM (#11347583)
    USB microphones are available.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:31AM (#11347588) Journal
    When you start with the 1.42 GHz

    I haven't really noticed much speed difference between my current machine (1.5GHz G4) and my last one (1.25GHz G4), so I wouldn't bother with this. Even big compiles and video editing only gain a small amount.

    up it to a gig of RAM

    Never buy RAM from Apple. They charge 2-3 times the value of the RAM for installation.

    a superdrive

    If you really need to burn DVDs. I've got some use from my SuperDrive, but I wouldn't consider it essential. Waiting a year and adding a FireWire Blu-Ray / HD-DVD drive might be a better bet.


    You can get a USB bluetooth module on eBay for a quarter of what Apple charge for internal Bluetooth. And yes, OS X will almost certainly support it.

    wireless keyboard and mouse

    So get a wired one.

    and give it a 3 year warranty

    It comes with a 1 year warranty. Adding another two years for a third of the price of the machine doesn't sound like a great deal. I'd be more inclined to throw it out and replace it with a newer and faster one if it breaks after the first year.

    you don't have nifty Mac stuff like video-in

    My PowerBook has exactly the same video-in capabilities as the Mac Mini - a FireWire port. Neither machine has any analogue video input capability, and neither does any recent Mac I've seen without 3rd party hardware (and if you really need it, there are analogue -> FireWire boxes available).

    and you have a CPU that compares to what was out a few years ago.

    And is still used in the current PowerBook line, and is probably fast enough for most people.

    Is this really a good deal?

    If you insist on adding every possible customisation to it, then no. If the basic model (perhaps with the RAM upgraded to 512MB) is good enough for your needs, then yes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:34AM (#11347616)
    Err, you DO know that other companies besides Apple make displays, right?

    Those displays will work with the mini. So will pretty much any USB keyboard and mouse. And this machine is targeted rather specifically at people who already have a keyboard, mouse, and display.

    Some people will piss and moan about anything, I swear.
  • by Delphix ( 571159 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:36AM (#11347631)
    Nah, no one develops software for OS X. Oh... wait a minute! Yes they do!

    Check out VersionTracker []. I think you'll find more than you need or want. Considering the list of updated packages updated on any given day scrolls through several pages, I don't think you'll have to crack out gcc everytime you want some new softawre. ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:41AM (#11347692)
    XP-Pro (at least)
    OS X becomes outdated in a year. Punch down $129 more for a new version. Windows XP will probably have updates for at least another 5 years. If old versions of OS X will have updates remains to be seen. Versions from 2001 have glaring security holes still open.

    Valid. Add $20

    Quicken 2005
    Video editing suite

    And why exactly should you add in MS office for the price of the computer. Is MS office included in every mini sold, Is quicken included? Why not download openoffice instead? From what I heard there are some kind of video editing software included in windows if you need it.

    While we are at it why not add in some cash for at least a keyboard for that mac mini, or are you using telepathy?
  • Re:samzenpus? (Score:3, Informative)

    by fons ( 190526 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:44AM (#11347720) Homepage
    He does have UID 5, so it seems legit. Unless he hacked that uid too offcourse :-)
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:46AM (#11347739) Journal
    Apple keyboards contain a small USB hub, providing two additional ports. One is usually used for the mouse, and I've plugged a USB dongle into the other one in the past. If you use an Apple keyboard (which I would strongly recommend - trying to work out how windows and alt map to command and option can be a pain since it seems to vary between manufacturers) leaves you with 2 USB slots free.
  • by b-baggins ( 610215 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:47AM (#11347762) Journal
    No, PC means an IBM compatible computer. Aramaic is a dead language. So is Latin. English is not. The meaning of the word has changed. Get over it.
  • by Sefi915 ( 580027 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:52AM (#11347805)
    Never buy RAM from Apple. They charge 2-3 times the value of the RAM for installation

    It's either buy the RAM from Apple and have them install it pre-ship, or buy it from CompUSA/Apple Store, have them install it in-house.

    Because the MacMini is not user servicable, and if you're not ADT (Apple Desktop Technican Certified) *poof* your warranty will go up in smoke.

  • by koreaman ( 835838 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:56AM (#11347836)
    XP-Pro -- No just get Linux instead
    DVD-ROM-- Cheap
    Quicken 2k5 -- GNU Cash
    Office -- OOo
    Video editing suite -- If you need to do heavy video editing you shouldn't be buying a $500 computer anyway.
  • by godlikenerddotcom ( 839107 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:00AM (#11347882) Homepage
    > I can't plug in my microphone or stereo in the Mac since Apple decided to skip the line in... Get an iMic [] for the microphone. $30. There's a headphone hack, plug/adapt that into your stereo.
  • Probably external (Score:2, Informative)

    by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:01AM (#11347885) Homepage Journal
    Picture of Mini Mac's back [] shows a power plug that is clearly not a regular AC plug. I'm pretty sure it's got an external AC to DC adapter like laptops.

    Although your dream loses its point when you stop and consider that you could just get an iBook for that kind of money...

  • by WombatControl ( 74685 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:10AM (#11347963)

    Tiger's Core Image system is what provides that eye candy. Sadly, Core Image requires a much better GPU than the 9200.

    That isn't to say that Tiger won't run on a Mac mini or an iBook - it most certainly will. You just won't get all the nifty eye candy. And really, other than the temporary "wow" factor, you can do everything you need to do without a bunch of superfluous effects.

    Tiger will run an an iBook or a Mac mini, just without all the extra gewgaws. And believe me, with Dashboard, enhanced search, and the way Apple OS upgrades generally get faster with each release, even without CI it would probably be a worthwhile upgrade.

  • by CountBrass ( 590228 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:10AM (#11347968)
    There are *no* user servicable parts in a mini Mac: you want to open it up you have to bust the case and void your warranty.

    That includes switching in some more memory.

    Not that it stopped me buying one and speccing it with 512MB: it's not as if it's going to be doing a lot of memory intensive work for me: for that I use my DP G5 :-)

  • by CrackedButter ( 646746 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:26AM (#11348099) Homepage Journal
    Geh the cheap RAM off crucial (not kingston or any other) and take it to a apple authorised reseller. Have them crack open the case and you don't void the warranty and its still cheaper.
  • by ducman ( 107063 ) <slashdot&reality-based,com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:26AM (#11348108)
    That's meant to be humorous, right?


    Why not? Since the Mac OS 7.5 days you could replace the mouse that came with your machine and right-click. Now the Mac mini lets you chose your own first mouse, so just get one with two or more buttons.

    Start-R For Run.

    Are you suggesting you'd rather use Windows' limited little command line than a full Unix terminal? That you don't want the flexibility to choose your own shell (sh, csh, ksh, bash, etc.)? Or are you talking about the fact that you have to use Start-R because Windows puts all of your programs in the Start menu, so you can't find the one you want. Then my question becomes, would you rather have to know and type the name of the executable, rather than have the Dock, which only contains the applications you use often, and use a Command-A in the Finder and jump to the Applications folder for the rest of them?


    Upgrade what? What do you want to add that doesn't plug in to either the Firewire or USB2.0 ports? If there really is something, Apple has a whole line of machines with multiple PCI or faster slots.
  • by throughthewire ( 675776 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:27AM (#11348117) Homepage
    ...OSX is really picky about its RAM...sometimes it won't recognize non-Apple branded RAM very well, or so I've heard.

    Heard where?

    The RAM I've got in my old G4 began its life in a Dell server. It runs OS X just fine. It ran OS 9 and 8.6 just peachy, too. I have trouble believing that an OS could identify the difference between OEM and 3rd party RAM, or behave any differently.

    Cheap, flaky RAM, on the other hand, can hose a machine no matter what OS you're running.

  • by CaptDeuce ( 84529 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:35AM (#11348183) Journal
    There are *no* user servicable parts in a mini Mac: you want to open it up you have to bust the case and void your warranty. That includes switching in some more memory.

    This simply isn't true. I'll let Henry Norr, veteran Mac journalist at [], tell it like it is:

    Apple "does not recommend" that users upgrade the memory themselves - you're supposed to have a service provider do it if you want to add more after purchase - but doing it yourself does not void the warranty unless you damage something. A booth person told me the memory slot is easily accessible once you get the case open.

    This has been Apple's policy for donkey years.

  • by caddisfly ( 722422 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:41AM (#11348233)
    It appears that you are wrong - this is from Henry Norr reporting at
    I went back to the booth later and got a little more info on upgrading the Mac Mini.

    Apple "does not recommend" that users upgrade the memory themselves - you're supposed to have a service provider do it if you want to add more after purchase - but doing it yourself does not void the warranty unless you damage something. A booth person told me the memory slot is easily accessible once you get the case open.

    I doubt intel OEMs honor warranties if you end up "toasting" the machine
  • Re:Shipping date... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RaisinBread ( 315323 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:00AM (#11348420) Homepage
    TV out [] is easy, and for only about $20.

    What I'd like to see is a better audio out option. This thing could make a sweet HTPC. Or HTMac as it were.
  • by glennrrr ( 592457 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:06AM (#11348443)
    If you are buying a new USB keyboard, you should look into 3rd party Mac keyboards. While the Apple keyboard is quite nice, there are others; I have a Matias Tactile Pro on my desktop G5 at work which I like. It has a good feel, and should survive millions of presses.

    Here's a recent discussion about 3rd party keyboards:

    And it is true, keyboards are non-powered hubs and you can only rely on them for low-powered devices. For instance, half of USB thumb drives will work from a keyboard (more or less). I doubt if the iPod Shuffle will work very well out of a keyboard; probably won't charge, and won't get USB 2.0 speed transfers.
  • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:20PM (#11349626)
    I bought no-name RAM for my PowerBook G4. One DIMM worked, the other didn't. I did an RMA on the dead stick and got a new one in a couple of days that worked just fine. My algorithm for selecting a RAM vender was to pick the cheapest one on I have been doing this on Mac systems for years without any real problems (other than the occasional dead stick that has to be returned.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @04:19PM (#11352090)
    No, it only comes with C/C++/Objective C/Python/Ruby/etc. Fortran you have to install it separately: l []
  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @07:08PM (#11353642)
    iDVD now supports output to disk image files and third-party DVD burners.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine