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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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  • Old News? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kristeh1337 ( 759934 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:02AM (#11347318)
    I know of at least 3 people who've already ordered theirs, how is this still news? Get with the program!
  • No PS/2? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by O-SUSHi ( 820452 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:04AM (#11347333)
    If they're going to make it BYODKM (or whatever it is), they could've at least included PS/2 ports...
  • g4? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TouchOfRed ( 785130 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:06AM (#11347359)
    then why the g5 icon? yes yes picky picky :P
  • by gray code ( 323372 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:09AM (#11347381)
    come ON, for a PC user with a little bit of extra money sitting around who's interested in a Mac, this is a great deal. They've already got all the stuff they need to run it, it's small, unobtrusive, powerful enough to do the things Macs do (ie, get your everyday work done), and is still pretty sexy.

    Yes there are cheaper alternatives, but they're not THAT much cheaper. Paying $200 more for a Mac (using your math from above) is demonstrably better than paying $500+ more for a Mac, and the user experience is going to be pretty much the same for the buyer in either case.
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:11AM (#11347400) Homepage
    That's without a DVD-ROM or any Software except XP Home (the Mac comes with the full version of OSX not a cut down version).

    So you've got to add:
    XP-Pro (at least)
    Quicken 2005
    Video editing suite

    *then* start comparing prices.
  • This isn't "isn't" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Himring ( 646324 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:12AM (#11347412) Homepage Journal
    This is so much not news, that all the redundant posts saying this isn't news isn't news, and even this post isn't a post. As a matter of fact, I'm questioning "isn't" right now, cuz it just "isn't" ... is it?
  • by CommandNotFound ( 571326 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:12AM (#11347416)
    This $500 Apple is still insanely overpriced.

    True, but when my retired mother wants a new PC and also wants to get one of those digital cameras everyone is buying, guess which one I'm going to suggest? I'm going to suggest the $600 box that won't require me to sit in front of it removing spyware and viruses for an hour every time I visit (which I do now for my in-laws, which has decreased since I put Mozilla on that machine). I look at the mac as a Linux for the rest of them, and if it costs a few hundred more up front, so be it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:14AM (#11347427)
    of course this is assuming buyers have no interest in the tiny box (which they will..) if you price a pc with a mini-case it works out around the same price as the mini and a similar spec sorry i don't have the link but i did read this somewhere honest.
  • by magicsloth ( 73914 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:21AM (#11347496)
    I love all the posts saying "This isn't a good deal." or "Dell did this last year." etc. That is missing the point. I think the Mac mini is kinda a crappy machine for a few reasons, but I also think that it will sell like hotcakes to the iPod users and people new to digital photography/video that Apple is targeting. From the website [] it seems obvious to me that they are targeting PC users who just got an iPod from a few things.

    1) From the first paragraph on that page:
    And yes, Mac mini will take advantage of your two-button USB mouse with scroll-wheel and your favorite USB keyboard. Just plug them in.

    2) From the second paragraph:
    Manage your music for iPod or organize and share your digital pictures with ease.

    For the average /. reader these things probably aren't that nice (especially since they probably won't be easily user serviceable). To your 50 year old father who wants to edit some pictures he takes with iPhoto and listen to Jimmy Buffet on his iPod (maybe this is just my dad) this might be a nice machine.
  • by ParVox ( 737536 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:23AM (#11347511)
    I am a VAR in the PC world and see this kind Dell pricing every day. The Mac mini is the first Apple product that I personally have ever wanted as it is in the same pricing arena at the PC products. This is about getting away from the 'Windows" world and it's viruses, and its spyware, and it's glitches. This Mac may do that. The PC pricing is well and good but don't forget to add a modem, antivirus etc. Otherwise you are toast. I make a good living fixing Microsoft issues that don't have to be there. The intended customers for that PC are home users. The kind of users that don't understand viruses and spyware. The new Mac may be the perfect computer for the home users that aren't geeks. If Apple is trying to increase market share this is a great way to do it. I put my money were my mouth is. My MiniMac (pinkie in the air) ships the 22th. Time to learn if this is the Mac to recommend to the question, "What home computer should I buy?"
  • by 01dbs ( 696498 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:23AM (#11347512)
    And isn't the target market for this computer people who already own a Windows machine and would like to switch over? If you already own monitor, keyboard, etc., maybe $500 isn't all that much to make a switch you've been contemplating but didn't want to spend $1500 to do.
  • by DrWhizBang ( 5333 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:24AM (#11347522) Homepage Journal
    This $500 Apple is still insanely overpriced.

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

    This is not really a reasonable comparison. This Mac Mini is a super small form-factor PC. Try this:
    Mini-itx system with Morex case []

    After I added the optical drive, upgraded to the 1200 processor/motherboard, upgraded hard disk to match apple, etc, I came in around $730. And that's for a PC with shared video (unichrome) that is still over twice the size of the Mac Mini, running WinXP, and looking about as attractive as a big warm turd. The Cappuccinopc [] web site has some PCs that may be a closer comparison, but they are also more expensive and include Intel Extreme video.

    If someone out there made a 6.5 by 6.5 by 2 PC with a real video card and slot-loading dvd drive for 499, I would be all over it.
  • Re:Dupe... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:25AM (#11347537) Homepage Journal
    Not only is it a dupe, but the announcement was so widely anticipated and so widely reported that you'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard about it! Way to stay on top of timely news, samzen.
  • by baronworm ( 13948 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:29AM (#11347567)
    Let's not go overboard.

    You offer a comparison system that's only 10% cheaper, and depending on the details might not even be as well-equipped as the mini. (svideo out? equivalent out-of-the box software bundle that includes being impervious [for now, at least] to viruses and spy-/ad-ware?)

    Feel free to question or mock the zealotry that many of us Mac users exhibit now and then, but give Apple their due on this one: they have, for once, offered a system that is NOT insanely overpriced compared to the competition.
  • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:30AM (#11347577) Homepage Journal
    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.

    I won't tell you which system is the better value for you, but let's for the pure fun of things look at that Mac Mini's software, and then figure out from there what you're paying for the naked hardware, okay?

    Let's see -- the Mac Mini comes with (with prices listed at Apple's Online Store [] in brackets (using all USD prices):

    • Mac OS X v10.3 ($129)
    • iLife 05 ($79)
    • AppleWorks ($79)
    • Quicken 2005 ($69.95)
    • Nanosaur 2 ($24.95 [])
    • Marrble Blast Gold ($19.95 [])

    For a grand total of $401.85 if you were to just buy the software alone, leaving the hardware portion costing you only $97.15 . When you factor in the fact you don't need to outfit the system with firewall or anti-virus software, it looks like one damn fine deal to me.


  • by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:30AM (#11347579)
    1. It does not run MacOS-X.
    2. It's not tiny.
    3. It's not fanless.
    4. It does not run MacOS-X.

    Crap. Order Mac mini w/ 512 megs of RAM and you have _fully_blown_ modern computer that everyone can use and that you can carry in your pocket (I'm sure it would fit in my coat's).
  • by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:34AM (#11347617)
    Still, the mini looks cool, I hope to buy one (used in the far future from ebay for hopefully about $20). 300MHz G3 B&W Powermacs are still going for $150-$200 and they're ancient. Expect to wait around 10-15 years for your $20 Mac Mini. Macs seem to hold their value really well so I don't feel bad about spending extra on it. My PC on the other hand is obsolete and loses 90% of it's value the first 6 months.
  • by bhima ( 46039 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:44AM (#11347718) Journal
    All of those people who read their e-mail, surf the web, and send pictures of their kids (or grandkids) to friends and family, and play solitaire and other low power games. Or more specifically people that don't read /. and they make up the majority of the online population. This thing has more computing power than, I'd bet, 80% of the users in the world need. I would expect less than 3% MiniMac sales will be to people intending to use it for PVR apps or hack it in some way.

    Add to this that Apple's target market already owns a malware infested wintel box and subscribe to AOL. So they use their iPod to save their data (check out Apple's switch page) unplug their old wintel crap, put this little box on the desk and in a less than an hour Windows is out of their life.

    If my Mum & Sister didn't already have iMacs I'd get them this.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:46AM (#11347747) Homepage Journal
    Build it yourself, choosing each component for yourself.

    There are kit cars too. Most people would rather buy a Toyota.
  • by justins ( 80659 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:46AM (#11347750) Homepage Journal
    But, most importantly, what tasks can you, as a user, do with a $500 PC that you can't with the $500 Mac?

    Expand the pathetic base 256MB of RAM without voiding the warranty, for starters.
  • I think a lot of slashdotters will buy it, honestly. I know I will.

    Why? Because I've wanted a Mac for a while now, but havent been willing to part with the cash for one. Now there's a nice one in my price range. Will it be top of the line? No. But that's not the point. It will be good enough for me to get the Mac experience, and maybe from there I'll decide that a real high-end mac is worth it.
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:52AM (#11347802) Homepage Journal
    'PC' means "Personal Computer".

    Ironically enough, a phrase coined by Apple.

    Before that they were "microcomputers".
  • by dirty ( 13560 ) <dirtymatt@g m a i l .com> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:58AM (#11347862)
    And then a good number of applications just don't work. I forget the link, but Microsoft themselves found that about 50% of all Windows software would not work out of the box unless you're an admin. I used to setup computer machines, and the amount of permissions I had to change was insane. You'd be amazed at how many programs want to write to c:\program files\... .
  • by mausmalone ( 594185 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:05AM (#11347921) Homepage Journal
    But, most importantly, what tasks can you, as a user, do with a $500 PC that you can't with the $500 Mac?
    Given that the $500 mac doesn't come with a monitor, keyboard, or mouse, I can do a lot of things with a $500 PC (like this one []) that I can't do with a $500 mac, such as "using it", "seeing stuff", "typing stuff", and "clicking on things."
  • by Jahz ( 831343 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:21AM (#11348065) Homepage Journal
    Half Life 2. True. This pisses me off. Alot of great games are ported to Mac, like the Unreal series and many many more.
    Verdict: true


    100% INCORRECT. OSX supports right-click right out of the box. Its just that Apple mice dont have two-buttons. Actually, you can hit the option key and click with an apple mouse to get the right-click functionality. But note that the mini mac DOES NOT SHIP with an apple mouse. So go out and get a MS optical wheel mouse or use your current usb/ps2 mouse and you will have right-click. Verdict: false

    Start-R For Run.

    Your joking, right?
    You shouldnt even need to do that. In OSX I can start any OSX App using only the keyboard in 3-5 keystrokes. Do this COMMAND+Shift+A (open apps folder) then type the first letter of the App, OSX highlights it, now COMMAND+Down (or +O) to run it. You may need the second letter of the name too is many apps are similiarly named. Naturally, you can also use the Terminal to open unix apps as fast or faster than Start-R.
    Verdict: True, but Mac's can accomplish the same goal quicker

    Upgrade. The above were attacks on Mac's. This is about the Mini Mac and iMac's. The MiniMac's have memory upgrade ability only. This machine is geared at people as a "My first Mac." If you like, it Apple hopes you will by an iMac (that would be your upgrade).

    Things you cant do on a Wintel PC:
    - See all you app windows with a single-keypress (expose)
    - Flurry screensaver :-)
    - Open .doc files right out of the box (aka no Word needed)
    - Run X app's natively.
    - Terminal. enough said.
    - Turn on fully configured FTP, HTTP, SSH and file sharing servers by simply checking a check-box.
    - Setup virtually any bluetooth device in 4 or fewer click's
    - Once click internet connection sharing between wireless and wired lan that doesnt involve complex bridging and an hour of clicking.
    - Tons of well-made and stable productivity applications bundles
    and finally, - type ls
  • by RJabelman ( 550626 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:38AM (#11348214) Homepage
    If you get a Mac Mini, you're realistically going to have to get a Mac keyboard, as they have buttons that PC keyboards don't have. (The Command key for starters, although this probably translates to something else on the PC board. Plus, the power switch on the Mini is on the back. Much nicer to have one of the apple keyboards with the power key.) As for the mouse: I can't remember the last time I saw a (reasonably new) PC without a USB mouse.
  • Re:Mod up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zemrec ( 158984 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:44AM (#11348267)
    I believe I heard once that Apple uses Micron memory. is a Micron reseller I believe. 512 MB PC2700 Non-ECC is $80.99, $5.99 more than the $75 Apple wants for the upgrade to 512 MB (although I wonder why they just don't subtract the cost of the 256MB that it came with originally?)

    And 1 GB stick is $299.99, which admittedly is a lot less than the $400 something Apple wants. But realistically, why would you need 1 GB in a low-end machine? Sure, you [i]could[/i] do Photoshop or Final Cut Pro or (insert professional app here), but the other (more expensive) Macs are better suited to those tasks.
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:54AM (#11348359) Homepage
    Not so obvious...

    I'm sitting here on a laptop - non-upgradable (I hear they're selling quite well nowadays...). All my PC boxes are being migrated to shuttles (which aren't very upgradable, TBH, but I don't care).

    *most* people don't keep the same box going for 5 years. They upgrade. Slashdotters are more likely to do it bit by bit, but I bet the average slashdotter has spent a lot more than $1000 on hardware in the last 12 months.

    The things that I upgrade most (memory, hard drive) are still upgradable on the mini, albeit with a little work... but you get that with laptops too.

    99.99% of the 'real world' never upgrade. Heck, they never even run Windows Update let alone upgrade their hardware. This is the market these boxes will fly off the shelves in.
  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:02PM (#11348670)
    Since this machine is a luggable and uses Laptop components. I thought I would compare a low end laptop.

    I configured a low end dell laptop with 40G drive/ CD-RW/DVD combo drive/256 MB ram/Celeron 2.6./90 day warranty (7.5 lbs) Price $852

    I configure the mac Mini with standard 1.25 G4/ 40G drive/ cd-RW/DVD combo/ 256ram/ 90 day warranty. 2.9lbs mac mouse and keyboard combo. Price $552
    CMV 15" LCD Monitor 5.3 lbs $179 newegg.
    Total Price: $731

    So one is luggable on the other true portable. But you have similar power and price/size/mass. Upgrade capability and pricing also similar.

    Those comparing the price performance to a off the shelf standard PC are out to lunch. This is not a power users box. It is not the best price peforming box on the planet.

    What it is is a very small cool, REASONABLY priced mac.

    I never used a mac before but I could see KVM'ing one of these into my current setup. I could meet 90% of my computing needs in blisfully quiet operation, keeping the PC for powerhouse/legacy tasks the other 10% of the time.

    I think they are going to sell all they can build. I would have ordered one already if it came with digital audio outputs.

    While not everything to everyone, this machine has an interesting niche to occupy and represents one of the few chances to get an Apple without paying a significant premium IMO. I wish them well. Hopefully they will be successful and release a mini2 that is more suitable for media center usage.

  • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:34PM (#11349093)
    Some of these options must be installed by Apple at the factory; the rest can be added in-store at an Apple Store or an Apple authorized reseller.

    can != must

    Nothing in the blurb you quoted about voiding warrenties.
  • by blackmonday ( 607916 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:35PM (#11349099) Homepage
    You say the Mac mini is "kinda a crappy machine" but you give no reasons for it, so I'm gonna help you out. I currently have a Powerbook 867 with a 40 GB hard drive. I use the powerbook to edit video, record multitrack audio, make DVDs with DVD Studio Pro, etc.

    Now, this Mac mini has a processor almost twice as fast, double the hard disk space, and DDR memory (my laptop uses SDRAM)... for 500 bucks. I would hardly call it a crappy machine. Your post makes no sense to me, but obviously a few people find you insightful.

  • by Electric Eye ( 5518 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:45PM (#11349210)
    I submit a story of newsworthiness and get rejected. you guys pick up a story from two DAYS ago after the entire world has already heard about it and post it? You guys suck.
  • Re:not just 499 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:14PM (#11349546) Homepage Journal
    1)Usually it is only new computers that will have a usb keyboard and mouse. If I already have a new computer why buy another?

    USB-PS2 adapter, Fry's, something like $2. Seriously. Basic USB keyboards/mice aren't much more if you feel like an upgrade.

    2)If I had an old computer I would have to by all new input and output devices to hook up to this thing because older computers are less likely to have usb mouse keyboards and VGA/DVI monitors.

    It comes with a VGA-DVI adapter in the box. Moot point - oh, and RTFA.

    3)I went to the apple site to "buy" one and I don't even see monitor as an option to add to this computer. Sure I can buy a 20inch LCD from apple but then its not "just" $499 anymore is it?

    If you add extra parts it gets more expensive? Er, yeah, you're right there - although I don't really see what your surprised about. If you want a monitor, add one to your cart. If you don't, don't. If you want the whole package, spend more and get an eMac or an iMac. Or don't. Is this really rocket science?
  • by Leo McGarry ( 843676 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:47PM (#11349962)
    OOo = Open

    Do you mean to suggest that Open Office (which I'm guess is what you're saying should be downloaded from is comparable to Office? Golly. Remember that "you're comparing a first-class ticket to" analogy? We're back in that territory again.

    AppleWorks is fairly shoddy software by 21st-century standards, but at least it supports new, cutting-edge technologies like "cut" and "paste."

    You're either a jackass, you've missed the whole OSS movement, or you haven't been on /. for very long.

    If OSS means Office of Strategic Services, then just one out of three. If it means anything else, then I guess it's two out of three.


    Your guess is as good as mine here.

    It seems as though you misunderstood the meaning of HEAVY VIDEO EDITING.

    It seems as though you misunderstood the definition of iMovie. It is, in fact, capable of moderately sophisticated, multi-track, non-linear video editing in either standard or high definition. And it's bundled with the Mac mini.

    your DV cam (which probably COMES with the software to do so now)

    Software that (1) has to be installed, (2) has to be learned and (3) doesn't work with anything else on your computer. Sounds like a poor substitute for iMovie.

    burning them to a dvd (DVD burner probably comes with software to create videos as well)

    Software that (1) has to be installed, (2) has to be learned and (3) doesn't work with anything else on your computer. Sounds like a poor substitute for iDVD.

    Otherwise you can use movie maker or some other little bullshit program that just gets the job done.

    Software that (1) has to be installed, (2) has to be learned, (3) doesn't work with anything else on your computer and (4) is a "bullshit program." Sounds like a poor substitute for iMovie and iDVD.

    No, every parent in america DOES NOT have a mini dv camcorder.

    Literally? No. It's a figure of speech. Mini-DV cameras are ubiquitous.

    every parent in america does not want to use Photoshop (an image editing suite) to edit pictures

    Which is why Apple bundles iPhoto. We keep coming back to the main point here, don't we? Which is that the software bundled with the Mac mini makes your life easier instead of harder, and that no comparable software is available for the PC at any price.

    By the way, there is maybe 1 family out of 10 who actually does record all of little timmy's events with a dv cam and tries to back them up on DVDs.

    Let's say it were one family out of ten. That would still be 10 million families in the United States alone. Nice market.

    Of course, it's not one out of ten. It's much, much higher.

    Everyone else is content with video tapes or just hooking the fucking camera up to the A/V inputs on the TV and going with it.

    Oh, I see. Because that's the way we did it in 1989, that's how we should do it today. Got it. Great plan you've got there.

    In case you're wondering, this is why Apple's profits for the quarter ending 12/25 quadrupled over the previous year's. This is why they're growing like a house on fire: because they don't say, "You should be satisfied with doing it the old, clumsy, hard way."

    Your philosophy is, "It should be hard," so you're okay with things that are hard. Apple's philosophy is, "It should easy." So they make it easy.
  • by TerryMathews ( 57165 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:49PM (#11349992)
    You don't need anything from Apple. The Magnum-Moss warranty act says that for Apple to void the warranty on the basis of non-approved parts, Apple has to prove that the parts used directly contributed to the failure.

    Magnum-Moss was designed for cars, but as I understand it, it is not limited to cars.
  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:57PM (#11350117) Homepage Journal
    We're posting on /., aren't we?
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @02:07PM (#11350255) Homepage
    It IS easy - tell them where not to go, tell them to watch what they do, and above all stay on top of updates.

    Maybe you're a troll, or maybe you just aren't quite catching the sarcasm here, but let me say it flat out. Supporting your brother, father, and grandfather is not the same as working a helpdesk professionally. I understand you think it is. I did too, when I was 17 and had never worked professionally as a tech.

    The first mistake you're making is that you cannot rely on your users to have the common sense or the will-power of a lemur. You don't want your users to do something, you pretty much have to make it impossible, and even then, some exec who could fire you on a whim may very likely disapprove of the fact that his favorite joke sites are blocked.

    Does user education help? Sure. Will it actually stop spyware infestation? No. Does any of this excuse MS from making the monumentally bone-headed decision of giving their web-browser the ability to install random apps without asking? No.

  • by keytoe ( 91531 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @03:32PM (#11351459) Homepage
    Exactly - Mac OS X isn't picky about any particular brand, it's just picky about shitty RAM.

    I think I prefer my system to actually check (you know, in that POST portion of boot where it's supposed to check the RAM) that the RAM is at least reasonably sound and bail immediately than to just merrily chug along with a bad stick and bomb out later at a random time.
  • by tricorn ( 199664 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @04:16PM (#11352042) Journal

    It "keeping its value" means you can re-sell it, making your replacement less expensive. With a PC, you have to pay someone to recycle it.

  • by garagekubrick ( 121058 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @04:42PM (#11352421) Homepage
    Nearly every complaint about the Mac Mini can be explained away by the general modularity of Macs which tend to be far more external than PCs. On my desk I have a Dell Winbox and a G5. I've had the G5 for a year now. Not one OS crash or failure or reboot. And now the only reason I run the PC is for soulseek. I will never go back to Windows, ever.

    1) 2 USB ports. What do you do after mouse / keyboard and you want to plug in a printer?

    A USB HUB. I can't believe people on /. have complained about this. Also, the standard Mac keyboard has two USB plugs.

    2) No Audio In - external firewire devices, which have been mentioned in many other posts with links, are readily available. If you're serious about gargeband you won't want a crappy minijack audio in anyway. You'll want a breakout box with a 1/4 or optical line in.

    3) No Optical Audio out - again the reverse of the above.

    4) Harddrive space, not enough for today's digital media. Same as an Ipod.

    Again, external firewire drives, which are very important to the Mac in general. I use my G5 primarily for heavy duty HD editing. Guess what I use for storage? No SCSI or Raid array - an off the shelf LaCie Terabyte external Firewire 800 drive. I took it out of the box, plugged it in, copied files over from the SATA drive that came with the system, and within 15 minutes my setup was complete with now a terabyte to work with. Hell, you could plug one of them into a Mac Mini if you had that much porn to archive and were going to hack the thing to be a video server.

    5) What hardware you're getting for that price.

    You're also getting OSX and iLife '05. I skipped iLife 04, but I am rushing out the day '05 hits, because it is just incredible what you're getting for 79$. That cost is part of the Mini Mac.

    Ultimately it's not even about the hardware. Granted I'm spoiled with a dual G5 processor, but when push comes to shove what made me fall in love with my Mac wasn't the sheer power of my system - it was the OS environment, the software, the interface, the stability, the lack of virus and spyware and adware and malware.

    That to me is easily worth $500, which is why this is a product that should be for two ends of the market. Clueless newbies who expect - rightly so - that things should work, and hardcore techies who can now afford to keep a second box. What I think you'll find is that under Jobs' second tenure the Mac has become a device for your life, and it's all to do with the exceptional software made for it.

    Most of us here shell out at least 1000 for a good PC system even if we build from scratch cause that's often the price for the best thing out there. Wouldn't you gladly pay $500 extra if you knew that WinXP would never crash, never present .DLL nightmares, pick up viruses in everything from cursor settings to email, et. al... For a base $500 you can have a computer that does that and so much more.

    6) No DVD Burner. Not enough RAM.

    You can add Ram without violating the warranty yourself. Apple is charging way too much for it. And you can add a Superdrive for about $100 if I recall right. Giving you the option to burn DVDs. This I believe is a cost everyone should upgrade to, especially once they see the ease of iMovie and iDVD.

    7) No VGA / S VIdeo out

    Well it comes with a DVI to VGA adapater - if you're hooking up to an HDTV then use DVI for the love of god. And you can get a SVIdeo out for 19$

    Did you also remember this is fanless and whisper quiet and smaller than a lunchbox? That they've liberated you from having to pair up with their overpriced (but absolutely phenonmenal) displays?

    Every bit of commentary I've seen about this computer has completely missed the point or just been rife with ignorance. Every single major gripe is addressable, and the price point is absoutely amazing, again, for the software. Most of the readers here do get it - they can afford to have one to play with, and I wouldn't be surpri
  • Re:Dupe... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slantyyz ( 196624 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @06:29PM (#11353245)
    It seems like a lot of people are missing the point by saying "Dude, go get a Dell."

    The bottom line - the Mini Mac isn't for people looking for an affordable PC, it's for people looking for an affordable Mac.

    The distinction is bigger than it sounds.
  • by damiam ( 409504 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @07:31PM (#11353926)
    $210 [].
  • by dublin ( 31215 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @07:53PM (#11354149) Homepage
    Lack of GigE was the first thing that brought me back to reality - it doesn't mean I still won't buy one (or more) but I put my Visa back in the wallet for now.

    For heaven's sake, why? Just a couple of years ago, I was designing cutting edge storage over IP systems. I'm telling you, a gigabit is really, really, fast. There are *very* few computers with i/o architectures and protocol stacks that can even begin to approach gigabit speeds.

    Don't fall for the marktdroid hype - GigE on a MiniMac will never be missed - even the big Macs and Powerbooks that come with GigE have no prayer of actually being able to use it. It's a bit like a nice Pontiac V-6 (the rest of the computer) powering a Ferrari look-alike (the GigE NIC)- it's just not going to be able to live up to the promise - don't be fooled, it's still a Fiero GT under the skin.

    In real life, unless you're building a storage backbone in a data center, or are doing *serious* workstation-type work on huge datasets (like terabyte CFD simulations or siesmic processing), you will NOT be able to use much more than 100 Mbps anyway, since the bottlenecks will be in your i/o paths and disk controllers. You need *very* serious RAID controllers to keep a gigabit wire full. I know: The system we built was 3x faster than IBM's high-end Shark storage server, and it took a year of hard work optimizing, tuning, and even waiting for Syskonnect to build a GigE card that could really deliver gigabit performance before we could fill that pipe. There are many more bottlenecks there than you would expect.

    Granted, hardware has gotten faster in the last two years, but unless you're doing the sort of stuff mentioned above (and are using high-$$$ network controllers, RAID adapters, etc.), you'll never miss it if you don't have gigabit.
  • by tricorn ( 199664 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:39PM (#11355211) Journal

    Isn't it amazing? People have been complaining forever that Apple only has a 1-button mouse, why can't they sell a Mac with the option of not buying their mouse so you can use your own 2- or 3-button mouse. Apple does so, and now those same people complain that Apple isn't selling them a mouse!

    One big point of this machine is that many, many people have a perfectly good USB keyboard and/or mouse sitting around, along with a display. Apple is finally giving people the choice of not buying any of those. When you buy one of those RealCheap Dell machines, do you get the option of not getting a keyboard and mouse? I didn't think so. You get a $45 credit for not getting a display (from Dell, anyway)...but you do get WordPerfect included!

    So the memory upgrade option is slightly more expensive - to go cheaper, you have to find a way to sell the one that comes with it, and even then you're only saving a little bit.

    Also, note that Apple has free shipping on it (at least, right now)!

    After looking around at Dell and Gateway, this thing is a good deal. Not stunningly great, but good enough that people who can afford an iMac G5 or a PowerMac G5 are still going to have good reasons to get one of those instead. But good enough that they might even get one in addition. Can you build-your-own for less? Of course you can. Can most people build-their-own for any amount? Do most people want to buy a no-name box built by Joe Random at the local computer shop? No, and no.

    If you really want to go cheap, Sam's Club has a $157 box with no hard drive, no monitor and it comes with a Linux install CD. Still has a keyboard and mouse, though.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.