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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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  • samzenpus? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FrenZon ( 65408 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:06AM (#11347355) Homepage

    Anyone notice that all the stories on the front page are now listed as posted by 'samzenpus'? The fact that such a glaringly obvious dupe was posted kinda raised the 'this website has been hacked' alarm.

  • by idiot900 ( 166952 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:07AM (#11347363)
    Yes, the Mac is more expensive in terms of raw computing power. But, a lot of people consider Mac OS X to be worth a significant premium over Windows XP.

    But, most importantly, what tasks can you, as a user, do with a $500 PC that you can't with the $500 Mac?
  • by simon_hibbs2 ( 792812 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:13AM (#11347420)
    All the price comparisons I've seen, including the 'in-depth' analysis on CNet, talk purely about the value of the hardware. (BTW, theirs is bogus, because they compare to boxes with crappy integrated graphics and no DVD player). The attraction of the Mac is in the software, mainly iLife. This is why people buy computers - to do stuff. Of the news site anayses I've seen, most of them don't even mention the bundled iLife software at all, yet it's the core of the digital lifestyle that Apple are selling. This is why comparisons of Windows PCs and Macs are nearly uniformly missing the point. A Mac isn't realy in the same product category as a PC. It's more like the product category of digital cameras, synthesisers and DVD players. Simon Hibbs
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:14AM (#11347424) Homepage
    I bought one as soon as they were announced.

    I'm a PC person really but have been looking to do the mac-thing for a while... at this price it's definately a winner.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:14AM (#11347425)
    Who in their right mind buys memory from an OEM? Don't get on Apple's case about expensive memory, because it's true in the PC world too! Whether it's Dell, Sony, IBM, whoever - you're almost always better off dollarwise to buy your system with the least available memory, then buy the upgrade from someone else. With the exception of the occasional special deal, this has been true for as long as I can remember.

    Of course, this begs the question: does the mini allow user upgrades? Can't check because the Apple site isn't responding at the moment, but that little box looks to be shut tighter than a virgin's iPod.


    What I see more focus on hardware design, the exact opposite of the clone fiasco. They are getting, and supporting, higher margins on their hardware because of their design engineering. No other MP3 player looks or feels as good as the iPod. The Mini looks looks like another homerun, their first small form factor PC and its uniquely Apple and great looking.

    Apple's focus has shifted to perfecting the Human-Computer interface. This is what it was all about originally. They are focusing on the look and feel of products, both hardware and software.

    Get the details right, and they will come.


    The Mac Mini will be a perfect X-Terminal to use with a Linux box in another room. You'll have a silent and small box on your desk and the fat and loud server is down in the basement. Great.


    Another thing to note. A DIN slot (car radio standard size) is 2"x7", the mini mac is 2"x6.5".

    If it had a radio faceplate and a laptop drive, this would be the best car stereo ever.


    Say hello to *real* "Media Center" Machine

    (1) add a RAM stick BTO - cheapo
    (2) add bluetooth BTO - cheapo
    (3) add Wifi card BTO - cheapo
    (4) sit unobtrusively to my way-cool existing TV and hook up A/V - nothin'
    (5) hook to already existing wifi ADSL-powered network - nothin'
    (6) bring in my already existing Sony-Ericsson Z600 - nothin'
    (7) ...?
    (8) Profit!

    Lemme see what I get from this:

    (A) iTunes playback
    (B) VLC playback
    (C) DVD playback
    (D) UNIX development
    (E) Surf web
    (F) Check mail
    (7) Photo slideshow
    (8) Remote control via Z600 (see 2,6,A,B,C,E)
    All in the living room sitting comfortably on the sofa (see D)! Yay!


    1. Select proper post
    2. Copy and paste into the reply box
    3. Submit (no need for preview!)
    4. Profit

  • The news is (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ( 102718 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:15AM (#11347442) Homepage
    That the machine has sold very well, and that the shipping date for new orders are no longer Jan 22nd, but 3-4 weeks.

    Luckily, my order got through early, so mine is expected to ship Jan 28th or earlier. This is pretty good since official release in Denmark is 29th.
  • Re:samzenpus? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:17AM (#11347455) Homepage Journal
    Anyone notice that all the stories on the front page are now listed as posted by 'samzenpus'? The fact that such a glaringly obvious dupe was posted kinda raised the 'this website has been hacked' alarm.

    Yep. Also, MetaModeration is severely out of whack.
    [Yes, I do MetaModerate from time to time...]
  • by museumpeace ( 735109 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:20AM (#11347478) Journal
    From TFA:
    Perfect for Programmers Set a space-saving Mac mini atop your workstation PC and add a KVM switch to share keyboard, monitor and mouse. Mac OS X includes free developer tools for Mac, UNIX and Java. Test out a Mac version of your latest creation, instantly. Pretty soon you'll be using the Mac full-time, with that PC relegated to the testbed.

    I have always been a sucker for the coolness factor in Apple products [but I didn't buy a Lisa!] and this [] has me drooling.
  • by Mr. Cancelled ( 572486 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:23AM (#11347510)
    Of course, that's assuming that Amiga gets over their "Our OS can only be ran on our hardware" mentality.

    I've been a vocal critic of Amiga for going this route, ever since it was announced, but here's yet another example of why their plan is dumb: You can now buy a complete PPC machine (sans mouse, keyboard, and monitor) for less than you can buy an Amiga OS 4 board!

    Yes... They'd have to get their OS to boot on the machines, but as a growing number of Linux distributions prove, it's not too hard to do.

    I think, after seeing this machines price, and the price of the (yet unreleased, other than in alpha/beta form) Amiga board/CPU combo, that there must only be one or two nails left before the Amigas coffin is finally sealed shut.
  • by wild_berry ( 448019 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:27AM (#11347555) Journal
    This isn't intended to be flamebait or a troll (sorry if you thought so): I can't imagine this device finding a market niche as a personal computer. Here's why:

    I was thinking about buying myself a second hand G4 Cube from ebay, but thought better of it when I heard about this (because it's an up-to-date design that is comparable in size to the Cube).

    Then I realised that it's not a hugely powerful machine and is intended perhaps as a second-machine for the iPod users who are inerested in OS X. But it's not really got enough meat to it to compare with its PC contemporaries (and I wouldn't make the mistake of comparing its 1.42 and 1.25GHz G4 chips with a Pentium 4 at 2.8, 3.2, 3.4 etc. GHz), and its G4 chip already looks outdated next to its G5 PowerMac brothers. I understand that the PowerBooks and iBooks contain G4 chips at present, and it appears to me that this Mac mini might be a laptop-derived design. I think it may end up lumped in the 'great for e-mail and web' trough. I expect people will find ways to turn these pretty boxes into PVRs (hacking a video-in) or expensive STBs, silent home servers and the like, but will not use them for second computers.

    I don't want to spark a Mac-antiMac flame war, but do think that these questions remain outstanding. Please honour my non-troll intentions by replying...
  • Shipping date... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by seebs ( 15766 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:32AM (#11347602) Homepage
    When I first saw it, it said "Estimated arrival by January 22", now it says "3-4 weeks". I assume there was a rush early on.

    It'll be interesting seeing whether it can be easily set up for TV out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:38AM (#11347650)
    Firewire? USB HiSpeed? DVDROM? DVI?

    How about size? (The Dell is the size of 50 Mac mini's)? How about noise? My Dell Dimension at work is louder than the HVAC.

    And on the model with the free monitor you get less memory, slower memory bus, and smaller hard disk...

    And the "on site" warranty only applies to the one with the free 17 inch monitor - but not the other two (the other two are better computers but come with not as much stuff).

    Those aren't bad deals - but I think they are in an entirely different market or demographic...
  • by sita ( 71217 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:53AM (#11347814)
    It is kind of difficult to tell from the pictures. An external power supply (like laptops have) would make a lot of sense. Also it would make the following wishful thinking slightly more realistic:

    Imagine a mac mini. Add a battery pack. Add wireless option. Throw it in your backpack. Add wireless screen (sort of like a tablet PC but just enough computing power to be a remote desktop client...for the mac mini you have in your back ack). In your home office, add a dock, and a real screen, keyboard and mouse. And so on.

    In my dreams, at least.
  • by FlimFlamboyant ( 804293 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:01AM (#11347894) Homepage

    .... for a desktop, as they seem to be attempting to pass it off as. Sure, you could use it as one, but it would seem more appropriate to use it as a portable, in which case, why not just get a laptop?

    Where's the mic port? Is it just my ignorance of Apple hardware showing, or is there not one?

  • Re:*Gasp* (Score:2, Interesting)

    by godlikenerddotcom ( 839107 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:12AM (#11347984) Homepage
    Then we wouldn't be overpaying for Apple products, now would we?

    Right, because paying more for a color accurate LCD with built-in firewire and USB 2.0 hubs isn't worth it to some people.

  • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:19AM (#11348046) Journal
    I've been an Apple non-believer for most of my life. Since day one I considered the Apple IIe to be overrated (Commodores were better), Mac's lacked the flexibility and software that the IBM PC/AT/XT/386/486+ did. For the 1990s, Macs were overpriced and lacked software to compete realistically for an PC market share. And don't get me started on games.

    I also figured iPods would be doomed to failure. Why would people spend $400-600 on harddrive mp3 player, instead of say $150 on a flash mp3 player? How small could they get those disks anyways? As for Mac OS/X, come on...if someone could put an elegant GUI on a robust unix kernel don't you think Microsoft or IBM would have done it already??? And Apple was clearly doomed financially...has any company ever lasted long after a Microsoft payoff?

    Now, in 2005, 20 years after I gave up on Apple, everything is falling into place. They finally have production costs under control, and long term strategic chip partnership with IBM. iPods are more popular than Sony Walkman's in the day. Mac OS/X is perhaps the best operating system in the market.

    And now this. Although there's alot of Mini-ITX cases available for the PC (Apple appears to be copying the PC market), this one DOES IT RIGHT. OS is included; several very good tools and software are included. You won't be using this mini-Mac for gaming, but for internet/digital photos/word processing its an awesome setup.

    Kudos Mr Jobs. I finally consider Apple a true market player once again.

  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:23AM (#11348082) Journal
    Are you kidding, this is the best thing to ever happen to us techies! All I need to do is get my mom and my grandparents to replaces their piece of crap, cheap-ass gateways/dells; and all of a sudden, my family tech support responsibilities will drop by ridiculous amount.

    With all the new free time I'll have, I'll need a new hobby. Maybe I'll finally start drinking.
  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @10:27AM (#11348122) Homepage
    *Scratches head* I wouldn't agree with that at all. In my position "doing stuff" is compiling, email and web. In that case free apps are available on both platforms, and the tools I use (gcc) are also free.

    I have an iBook G4, and personally I've never found a need to use the iLife stuff outside iTunes. For example, what's the point of having iMovie on my machine (which they included) when it doesn't have a DVD writer? To make .mov files? Whatever.
  • by ahknight ( 128958 ) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:58AM (#11348617)
    Ohfortheloveofallthatissane.... you will NOT void the warranty on a Mac by opening it. Hell, the iMac G5 was just designed around the entire concept of the user replacing the freakin' MLB at home rather than getting it serviced.

    The Mac mini is completely user-serviceable. If you want to add your own RAM, do it.

    Freakin' paranoids.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:05PM (#11348702)
    Heard where?

    I have also heard this, many times (net forums, word of mouth and vendors).

    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.

    The difference lies in the latency. CAS 3 SDRAM which worked fine in OS9, prevents OSX from running. I don't know if this always happens, but that is apparently where the trend shows the difference. Supposedly, Apple only provided CAS 2 SDRAM (when SDRAM was the best they could offer).

    I saw posts in newsgroups and forums more than once about this.

    Whether this is a performance issue or detection issue, I don't know. But the specs of a RAM stick can certainly be read by the OS from the little serial EPROM which is typically found on SDRAM and DDR RAM.

    I always seek out high quality RAM and run a 24 hour burn in and I also always take great pains to seek out the lowest latency RAM for Macs because of this issue.

    I actually don't mind because it's good to get the lower latency RAM. A year or two ago, I found that PC100 CAS2 SDRAM was almost as fast (transfer rate) as PC133 CAS3 SDRAM. Making me want PC133 CAS2. ; )

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

    True, but in this case, it was a very black and white case of OS9 versus OSX cropping up suddenly when people started to upgrade to OSX.

    Open your mind. Just because you have a few little successes, does not mean that your experience reflects that of the norm.
  • by Dragoon412 ( 648209 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:10PM (#11348775)
    It's more than just your 50 year-old father.

    I'm a 24 year-old network admin that's tired of dealing with Windows falling apart, or having to beat my Linux box into submission to make it do what I want.

    I've used OSX before, briefly, before; the university was covered in iMacs. But only to print papers, or check a website. Then, just after Christmas, I was house sitting for my sister, a technophobe that manages to use an older G4 iMac. Having a week to sit down with the OS, my reaction now is this:

    I'm not running any sort of heavy duty server, so fucking forget dealing with Linux. And if I'm going to pay for an OS, OSX runs rings around the best things Microsoft could even conceive. Now, how can I justify buying a full-priced Mac when I already have a pretty uber gaming PC?

    This announcement couldn't have been more perfectly timed. I adore my iPod. I'm tired of PCs. And this thing's affordable and works with the pretty pricey monitor I've already got.

    If they had an option to upgrade the video card in this thing to something like a 9600/9800 Pro, I'd be absolutely sold, but as it is, I'll probably buy one, anyways.
  • by clontzman ( 325677 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:24PM (#11348973) Homepage
    It ain't paranoia, yo. From :

    Mac mini offers plenty of juice to power your digital life, but you can kick it into overdrive with extras. Add the SuperDrive option to burn DVDs of your home movies or to make a backup of the music or audiobooks you buy at the iTunes Music Store. You can minimize the desktop clutter of cables with wireless connections. Surf wirelessly with an AirPort Extreme Card installed in your Mac mini. Or configure your Mac mini with internal Bluetooth to use wireless keyboards and mice. You can also choose up to 1GB RAM and increase the 40GB hard drive to 80GB. 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:37PM (#11349117)
    > some of the most color accurate LCDs out there

    You need to do some more research! My salmon tinted Apple LCD disagrees with you. The color problems with the Apple displays are well-known.
  • by HeghmoH ( 13204 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:16PM (#11349569) Homepage Journal
    This is not Apple's traditional policy.

    To quote the Mac Mini tech specs page []:

    5. Memory upgrade must be performed by an Apple Authorized Service provider.

    You won't find this on other Mac models. The iMac, for example, explicitly marks various parts like the RAM and the hard drive as user-serviceable.

    "Easily accessible once you get the case open" is laughable. The original iBook's hard drive was "easily accessible" once you get the case sufficiently open, but getting to that point took an hour and a half, and putting the thing back together took another hour and a half. It's a meaningless statement, and I would like to know how hard it really is to upgrade the RAM.
  • by Alan Partridge ( 516639 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @01:35PM (#11349805) Journal
    What a load of guff.

    Apple THEMSELVES fit Crucial / Micron RAM, so why would fitting it yourself cause any problems? I've been fitting 3rd party RAM to Macs for over a decade now without ever experiencing problems.
  • by bwy ( 726112 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @02:18PM (#11350407)
    This is from a Crucial response on RAM differences between Apple specific RAM & normal, mainstream RAM:
    CT372707 is specifically for the Apple iBook (G4 1.2GHz) as standard
    parts CT6464X265 can sometimes be incompatible. This is due to a change
    in the JEDEC standards.

    Apples with standard memory will sometimes give the error "Bad memory"
    or "kernal panic". The memory however is not faulty.
    While that doesn't completely answer the question for me, it does give *some* insight.
  • by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @02:37PM (#11350678)
    Let's compare the two.

    First, let's update the Mac Mini; upgrading to 512 MB RAM and a 80 GB hard drive at the Apple store bumps the cost up to $625.

    Now let's update the Dell. Include Windows XP Pro (because the Mac does not ship with a crippled version of OS X), a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive (the Dell only has a CD-ROM), the cheap 56k modem, and we're up to $707.

    I can't seem to find any information about the Dell's video card, and there's no option to upgrade it, so it's probably a cheap integrated chipset. It's also pretty unlikely to have a DVI output or Firewire, but I can't find that information anywhere, either. On the other hand, the Dell's processor is probably slightly faster even when you take into account the MHz myth, so we'll call them even.

    So, the Dell is $82 more expensive with roughly the same specs. Supposedly there's a $100 mail-in rebate, but I have heard horror stories about how hard it is to get companies to honor those, so take it with a grain of salt. The Dell also doesn't have equivalents to the iLife suite or Quicken 2005, and it's probably about ten times as large. I fail to see how that's a better deal.
  • by throughthewire ( 675776 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @04:17PM (#11352062) Homepage
    The difference lies in the latency. CAS 3 SDRAM which worked fine in OS9, prevents OSX from running. I don't know if this always happens, but that is apparently where the trend shows the difference.

    Sure, and ArsSineArtificio [] has already pointed out [] that OS X increased the strigency of its memory checking. I didn't say that I doubted an OS could detect out-of-spec RAM; I said I doubted it could detect third party RAM. I still doubt it. You're not really disagreeing with me, anyway.

    Open your mind. Just because you have a few little successes, does not mean that your experience reflects that of the norm.

    Spare me. I've been supporting Macs since 1985. I bother to do things like check the specifications before I install memory. My experience simply doesn't reflect that of those who install any old RAM that fits in the slot, and then wonder why they experience mysterious problems.

    Open your mind to the idea that other people might be competent.

  • by starrsoft ( 745524 ) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @09:14PM (#11354963) Homepage
    How much software comes with the Dell?

    Hey now! Don't act as if Dells don't come with lots of software. They do come with lot's of software!

    1. AOL
    2. MSN Internet
    3. Branded version of Internet Explorer
    4. Branded version of MusicMatch Jukebox
    5. Non-updateable version of McAfee VirusScan (yay says home user! now I'm protected! don't have to do anything else!)
    6. Crippled version of PaintShop
    7. Lots of nice icons with Special Offers!
    8. A program that tells me about important computer stuff (Dell Support Alerts)
    9. Lots more I forgot to list

    Yeah, thought so...
    Humph! Well you thought wrong! Dell comes with lots of software! And think of it! All this stuff comes with a handy order form for the full version! How conveinient! How dare you say that Mac has a bunch of software and a Dell doesn't???!??!

    On a serious note: It take me at least an hour to uninstall all the crap that comes with each new Dell system I have to configure.

Happiness is twin floppies.