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Desktops (Apple) Hardware

Will Mac mini Lead the Charge to Smaller Desktops? 1084

elecngnr writes "Maybe size doesn't matter. ZDNet has a story about how the Mac mini may shift consumers away from the larger tower style desktops to smaller ones. Other computer makers, such as HP, have so far been unsuccessful in marketing small computers to consumers. However, Apple does have a history of leading the charge in paradigm shifts in certain aspects of consumer products (e.g. GUI's, color changes, the iPod, and the list goes on). It is also important to recognize that they have been wrong at times too (e.g. the Cube, the Newton, and the one button mouse). Time will tell which list the Mini will belong to."
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Will Mac mini Lead the Charge to Smaller Desktops?

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  • by elrick_the_brave ( 160509 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @11:56AM (#11492603)
    I must say that in my old age.. (32 years and counting - over half of it in computers).. I am finding I prefer simpler.. I want to separate my gaming machine from my e-mail, communicationsm, and entertainment... I have an ipod... perhaps I want someone to make it simple.. and I'll pay.

    Yes.. I'll pay.. I'll pay until I am blue in the face for a great product, great service, and great support. Something missing from most offerings and businesses these days.

    WHOA.. stop there.. that's innovation.. getting something you would like for a reasonable cost. You should be milked for all your money instead of getting what you want.
  • I think (Score:4, Interesting)

    by computerme ( 655703 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @11:56AM (#11492605)
    I think its important to point out that size is lower on the list of reasons why the mini has been selling like hot cakes to all users (mac and pc)

    For the simple fact that had the mini been 6x6 inches or 66x66 inches, the mini does not get infected with ad-ware spyware etc...

    I think we are at a point in history, when a large number of people are finnaly just "getting sick" of dealing with windows... its almost that some have forgotten that they bought a computer to DO stuff with it NOT maintain it....

    currently, support of windows is spiraling out of control..hatred of its inefficiencies is at an all time high.

    people (especially that have bought ipods) are now realizing there is a better way. a way that simply let's them DO the things they really want to do with a computer...
  • by NatteringNabob ( 829042 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @11:56AM (#11492618)
    When it came out, the only thing that was keeping me from buying one is that Apple was gouging for upgrades that would make the system minimally usable and that it isn't dual head. Since Apple has rethought their upgrade pricing, it is only the lack of dual head support. That said, I'd be happy to buy a mobile AMD64/Linux box in the similar form factor, so I hope Shuttle and some of the other micro PC vendors are paying attention. You would certainly need a fan for the AMD, but I could live with that is it was quite enough.
  • you void your warranty

    No, you don't. Or at least that was the predominant interpretation last time I looked. Got any reference to back that up?
  • by daBass ( 56811 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:04PM (#11492737)
    I can just imagine it, another small fanless box with 250GB to 1TB in disks and just enough CPU power to serve it up to the network and play internet gateway, maybe even run some print queues.

    This time not only no monitor, but not even a video out; Rendezous makes it easily available to all computers in the house.

    Add "iVision", a dumb MPEG4 playback box for next to your television (plays just audio too!), the HDTV downloads predicted by Robert X. Cringely and you have the home multimedia promise delivered.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:06PM (#11492770)
    A. For, I don't know, the 10,000th time, it doesn't void the warranty. B. For an extra $100, you can get a 4x superdrive. I don't think people who are going to buy a mac mini are going to go and buy external dvd drives. I don't think thats the kind of peripherals the poster was referring to.
  • by Lycestra ( 16353 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:09PM (#11492806)
    I still think the 1-button is a good idea, as long as users have options (i like my scroll wheel, dammit). But I recall someone had the point that the 1-button forces developers to get away from all this right-click or control-click nonsense, and actually design a good interface where things are intuitively found. Contextual menus are a good idea, but they aren't meant to supplant good interface design.

    But in general, open source software is was could be called "Usability agnostic", so this might not be the safest place for me to bring up just how horrid right-click can make things. Just compare the difference between Office on PC and Mac, and you'll see what 1 button can mean.

    GUI != Ghastly Unixy Intuitiveness (leave that to the shell, which i like too. and Quicksilver is kinda a bridge between them. good stuff)

    I design for 1 button, live with the 5-button (2+scroll).
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:13PM (#11492866) Homepage
    Steve Jobs obviously has good taste in sensing trends and managing to bring them to market just a little more quickly than others. You could make a list of things that were more or less in the air, that the Mac wasn't first to offer, but successfully offered on a large scale six to twelve months ahead of the PC world.

    All of these points can of course be debated depending on how you count "introduced on a large scale" and "when," but...

    --Introducing the Sony 3.5" floppy in the first place
    --Screens with black text on a white background
    --Easy-to-use workgroup-strength plug-and-play networking
    --Laser printers
    --SCSI interface
    --DROPPING floppies as standard equipment
    --USB ports (!)
    --Optical mice as standard equipment

    Of course, the standard PC answer is to any Mac innovation is "Who cares? If it's of any real importance PCs will have it in a year anyway. And it will be cheaper." To which the Mac answer is, "Yeah, and it won't work as well."

  • Apple's failures? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TangoCharlie ( 113383 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:13PM (#11492874) Homepage Journal
    Apples failure with the Newton, Cube etc. haven't been because the innovation was wrong... The Newton concept lead to Palm and then to PocketPC. The Cube beat Shuttle to the SFF. Apple's failures in these cases were due mainly to a lack of conviction... (and possibly money)... and maybe coming to market too early. Have they learned thier lesson? They got the iPod spot on... they didn't invent MP3 players... but they pitched thier product at eactly the right time to capture the imagination. I'm sure the Mac mini will do well... for a start it's soo much cheaper than the other Macs... and sooo small. I'm buying one for my mother-in-law...
    I always laugh at HP's moto... HP invent. Do they? Naa...
    I hope the Mac mini will encourage people to think small.
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:15PM (#11492892)
    God will you people PLEASE come up with something more original to pick at Apple with than the One Button Mouse. They obviously weren't THAT wrong about the one button mouse, they still use them. And they like it!

    And they still suck!

    My girlfriend loves her powerbook 17" and frequently expresses her delight in no longer having to touch Microsoft products (except Microsoft office, which she frequently curses but still maintains a love-hate relationship with).

    The one button mouse, or rather glidepoint, drives her nuts. Not the glidepoint itself (she loves that), but the single button that forces her to memorize somekey+mouseclick to do basic things the rest of us do with the right mouse button and, in the case of us Linux/*BSD folks, the middle mouse button.

    She could get any USB mouse and connect it to her laptop, but that would mean Yet Another Dongle to carry around, and the risk of carporal tunnel ... she finds the glidepoint comfortable to use all day, and reguluar mice/trackballs physically uncomfortable to use.

    So yes, it is a FLAW, a big, huge, honking flaw the designers and their apologists steadfastly refuse to admit, probably for reasons of pride and irrational fandom. It is a testament to the quality of the rest of the system (an excellent OS, excellent apps, wonderful hardware design, etc), that people like my girlfreind love their macs DESPITE the rediculous one-button mouse.

    Everyone I know who has an Apple (a fair number, most of them because I suggested it as an alternative to Windows) loves it, without exception. And everyone I know who has a mac absolutely hates the one-button mouse, again without exception
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:19PM (#11492946)
    Research has indicated that a huge portion of any family's time is spent in the kitchen. At least one member of the family is usually hungry or thirsty at any one time, and so family members who are conversing will drift along to the kitchen while the hungry one prepares a snack or meal.

    It's classic ape behaviour. Apes like to hang out near food, just in case they happen to want some.

    For this reason, it's very useful to have a TV computer there for the kids to fiddle with while they talk to you. It keeps them from hovering around your feet in the range of hot oil.

    The tendency of peope to hang out in the kitchen increased sharply in the 90s with the growing popularity of "islands" in the kitchen. A row of bar stools along one side allow people to socialize in range of food. And beer.

    Households that don't have their kitchens set up for socialzing tend to have much messier living rooms with dirtier carpets from all the food that's been brought in.

    It's not universal, naturally. Maybe you don't often have enough people in your house for this behaviour to set in. Maybe, as you say, you're always cooking when in the kitchen, so you don't really notice the people hovering around you as you do. Don't know.

    As for putting a G5 mac in the kitchen, you have to hollow a much larger space out of the wall if you want to seal it away behind plexiglass. I'd really recommend the mini and a small screen. Possibly a cheaper projector aimed at the counter.
  • by copponex ( 13876 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:21PM (#11492982) Homepage
    I think one new thing with computers getting so cheap will be the distribution of machines with software. When per-seat costs are $1500 and up, machines like the Mini Mac start to look very affordable, considering the cost of supporting unknown hardware.

    People said Bill Gates was crazy when he said hardware will be free, but I can see it happening now.
  • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:25PM (#11493037) Journal
    >Would you prefer that they be in the lower right quadrant?

    If you were left-handed, HELL YES.
  • by badmammajamma ( 171260 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:28PM (#11493074)
    "and they're bundling video and sound chipsets that don't suck"

    Not being able to upgrade the video is a big deal to me. The radeon 9200 chip they have is ok for playing basic mpg's or tetris but that's about it. And, of course, Apple doesn't believe anyone could want better sound than what they have built in so *no* mac's have upgradable sound. wtf is that about?

    "Someone needs to just say it: Apple got it really really really right this time."

    In my book they did a good job. However, they could definitely do better. So, I wouldn't say they got it "really really really" right. I think one "really" would be on the mark.
  • It's the OS stupid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jsares ( 14664 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:34PM (#11493173) Homepage
    A lot of the excitement for the mini is because it's not a Windows PC. People really want to try something different. And the mini fits that bill nicely. I'm sure tons of Windows copycats will be out in six months or less but I don't think they'll capture people interest the way the mini has.
  • Re:eh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prockcore ( 543967 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:37PM (#11493218)
    Now I agree with the argument that maybe Apple should offer a better mouse out of the box, but, well, mice are pretty cheap.

    That still doesn't fix the problem of the trackpads on ibooks and powerbooks.

    Oh how I wish I could get a powerbook with a larger trackpad that has a scroll-area on it, like the PCs do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:42PM (#11493278)
    What's the point in having a nice compact sleek box, when you have to hook up a pile of peripherals to it and find some place to store them and their cables?
  • by Magius_AR ( 198796 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:48PM (#11493358)
    Mini-PCs have been around for sometime now...just because Apple invented one that was more stylish than the ones on the market now doesn't mean they're "leading" any initiative.

    I mean, even Dell offers the 4700C desktop, which is 60% smaller than their normal desktop, very slim and slightly more stylish. We've had them at work for nearly a year now. They even came with some sort of docking station that let you bolt the computer to the underside of a desk. Personally, I hated um and stuck with my old computer that I could rest my feet on and upgrade easily at will.

    Mini-PCs are nothing new, Apple wasn't first. Get off the high horse. It's a market that has existed before now and never caught on because it's not what people have wanted (especially since it normally meant paying more for the smaller design)

    I don't see this Mini-PC really taking off. I mean, it has substandard parts in it in the first place....GeForce 9200 integrated?!? Man, that's like beyond obsolete these days. Why not just sell the box?

  • Dont' mock the Mouse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nullhero ( 2983 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:51PM (#11493418) Journal
    I hate one-button mice - their terriable and disgusting. But my Mom bought her iMac three years ago and guess what she loves the one-button mouse compared to my Dad's three button mouse on her PC. In fact so does my Dad because he was conned into buying the PC (I told him to buy an iMac but he was told that Mac's were harder to learn and run?!?!?) with the three button and he hasn't used his Dell in 3 years - a waste of $599. Of course he likes my Mom's iMac with it's one button mouse even thought she paid $1199. And he liked that everything he needs is in the dock - now they fight over using the iMac - and he wonders why I never told him to buy an iMac.

    My point is that the Mac mini - which he has already ordered since his Dell monitor will work with it - is not for the poweruser but for the everyday consumer who knows nothing about computers, and doesn't want to, but just wants it to work and use it and not feel like the first computer was a total waste of their time. He's already auctioned it off on eBay (the CPU and mouse) and I got him a one-button mouse like Mom's!
  • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Steve525 ( 236741 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:54PM (#11493457)
    As you said, if the Mac Mini is successful, its success will be, to a large extent, due to its price. To add to this, one quote in the article says a lot...

    HP found that pricing its small PCs even as little as $50 more than standard machines turned buyers off, Anderson said.

    To some extent this is why cool looking/small PC's fail. If a PC looks good but costs more than a similar PC, most people will just skip it. However, Apple's only competition comes from PC's which are a somewhat different product. Apple doesn't have to worry about someone buying off-the-shelf pieces and putting together a cheaper low end Apple which doesn't look as nice.
  • by hitmark ( 640295 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:56PM (#11493481) Journal
    are a system where the users files, applications and settings are stored in in a hdd thats independent of the base system. like say i can remove it from the desktop at home, plug it into the laptop and bring it to work, remove it from the laptop and plug it into the desktop at work and so on. the os however would follow the terminal, not the users storage device. this to handle drivers and so on.

    it can in theory be done allready but the desktop guis needs to support it so that one can locate the apps and present them in the menu for the user and so on. it would in many ways change the idea of licences as then the licence can follow the user, not the system its installed on.
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @01:07PM (#11493588)
    Let me get this straight. She's unwilling/unable to memorize how to use one key, which is the same key on all Macs, in all applications, at all times? The key which has been used for this purpose since the beginning of Mac history?

    Your girlfriend has a serious learning disability.

    Bullshit. MS Office uses all kinds of key combinations with mouse clicks, simply because it was written assuming 2 button mice and had to be mapped to a single-button environment.

    Blender requires 3 buttons to be happy, and requires contortions for similiar functionality on a one-button system.

    Finally, it isn't about ability to memorize. It is about USABILITY and comfort, particularly when doing repetative tasks. KEY+MOUSE requires two hands, slowing down a typist significantly, while RIGHT/MIDDLE CLICK requires only 1 hand, leaving the other where it belongs, ready to type.

    Can it be done? Yes. Do those born and bred in a mac environment probably do it? Sure. But is it a good design, when better ones have been shown to exist (3-button mice, or for those in a crippled windows environment, 2-button mice)? Fuck no.

    The only learning disability around here is the inability of Apple engineers to learn from and correct their mistakes when it comes to their idiotic mouse design. It wouldn't be so bad, except the damn glidepoints built in to their laptops have only 1 button, forcing people to add a dongle to their portable system. Even Wintel boxes generally have 3-button mice built in by default, despite the fact that most windows users only use 2 buttons. Why? Because the laptop owner might be a CAD user, a Blender user, a Linux user, or someone else who needs that third button, and making them carry around an additional device is a good way to send your customers to the competition that doesn't force them to do so.

    Unfortunately, in the mac world, there are no competing laptop manufacturers, so people like myself and my girlfriend are stuck with Apple's terrible design decision, a FLAW they won't even admit, much less ever fix.
  • Yes, and the stupid, flimsy plastic clips may break even if you are careful, which will void your warranty. Woops! I bet even people at apple break them on occasion. What jackholes. It IS possible to make small computers that are easy to open without breaking them, just add a couple more screws. An even better way to go would be to provide laptop-style upgrades; Lay simm/dimm sockets flat against the bottom of the board, and put a door on the bottom so they are easy to get to. It doesn't have to look pretty (it's on the bottom) and makes it so that you will probably never need to open the case. However, that makes too much sense.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday January 27, 2005 @01:16PM (#11493696) Homepage Journal
    An iopener is the best solution for this, really. You can get a distribution with a browser on it, or you can tweak it to use XDMCP and voila, it's an X terminal. Butm best of all, you can get them for a hundred bucks or so, add a $20 usb nic, a $10 optical mouse, and a $10 folding keyboard, and have a system with durable input devices that won't make you cry if you spill something all over it.
  • Support (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Enrique1218 ( 603187 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @01:30PM (#11493880) Journal

    I just read another article [] (reg. required) that describes how Apple with their Genius Bars give person to person tech support for free. With this computer being so light weight, it is convenient just to carry it over to an Apple store when there is a problem. That is much better than Dell's approach which relies on wasting time having an automated system diagnose your problem before a technician will talk to you.

    Also, I don't think the cube was such a failure in light of the Mac Mini. I am sure whatever Apple learned from designing the Cube was apply to designing the Mini. The first thing I thought when the Mini was introduced was that it is the Cube was reborn. Also, one button mouse is debateable. Apple still ships computers with them. Moreover, I have never really needed a second button.

  • by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {srevart.sirhc}> on Thursday January 27, 2005 @01:31PM (#11493890) Homepage Journal
    My business does a fair bit of on-site support for small businesses running consumer-grade PC's.

    One of the major issues with the smaller systems (and why I steer my customers away from them) is heat dissipation. This was especially bad with the HP Pavillions. Basically, all those cables get in the way of airflow and it becomes easier for the processor to overheat. The fact that the case is smaller also makes for smaller air intake areas which get clogged by dust more easily, etc.

    Now, Mac has had small form-factor systems in the past that were very reliable hardware-wise. So they might be able to do it again. But as chips get hotter, it becomes harder.
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @01:38PM (#11493968)
    And the fact that you can do that 99% of the time with zero hassle from drivers

    Funny you should mention that. I've shifted Macs lately, and the d@mn new one doesn't handle it correctly. I plug in the 3-button scroll-wheel mouse, the latest MouseWare driver loads (I know it's the latest, I've checked their update site - v5.2.1) and it refuses to let me set the middle button as Middle Button. The option doesn't allow itself to be changed in Preferences. And this is a major navigation tool in Maya. Some identical (as identical as our Sys Admin can make them) Macs next to mine work fine, but some others don't in this regard. SA still doesn't know what the problem is.

    So don't tell me how hassle free this is compared to a PC. Chances are good if I was running Windows Maya with a stardard scroll-wheel mouse permanently installed and used for all Windows work including Maya, I wouldn't be having this problem.

    The real truth in Windows vs Mac is: Once you're inside the application, be it Maya, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, or anything else that runs similar versions on both platforms, it's all the same because the application's interface is the one you're using.

  • Re:Form factor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davecb ( 6526 ) * <> on Thursday January 27, 2005 @01:55PM (#11494185) Homepage Journal
    Say to yourself "component stereo".
    (Idea courtesy Drew Sullivan)


  • Re:Wrong? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Steve Cowan ( 525271 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @02:03PM (#11494302) Journal
    I would like to see a hardware hack involving a two-button upgrade for Apple laptops, but it should come from the bitch'n'moan crowd, not from Apple.
    I'm not going to debate about 1-button vs. 2-button mice. But, if you would like a 2-button trackpad "upgrade", consider SideTrack [], 1 $15 software package which is actually replacement trackpad driver software. It lets you map trackpad taps to right-clicks. It also lets you map regions of the trackpad for scrolling.

    I personally couldn't imagine ever using it, but it's there!
  • by pmonje ( 588285 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @02:26PM (#11494576)
    Full disassembly instructions are included in the mac mini manual, including what tools are needed to open it. They recommend either purchasing a thin putty knife or buying one from apple (part number 922-6749). The manual states that opening your mac mini won't void the warranty as long as you don't break anything.
  • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @02:30PM (#11494619)
    Not being able to upgrade the video is a big deal to me. The radeon 9200 chip they have is ok for playing basic mpg's or tetris but that's about it.

    Okay, I'm sick of this. You're a gamer, plain and simple. You have to play the latest games when they come out. You upgrade your video card every six months to a year (and it costs over half of a Mac Mini). How do I know this?

    Because the built-in graphics on the Mini can handle anything but that particular subset, as can any damn video card today. You can playback any video format you want (especially since I can with an 800Mhz G3 and Radeon 7500) - they tend to be CPU bound these days, as the graphics cards are all insanely powerful. You can play any games up to a couple years ago just fine. If you're getting a Mac in the first place, you're not getting it as a gaming platform, so I see this as moot.

    For example, it performs damn well in Quake 3 Arena [], a standard for quick benchmarking. 96FPS at highest settings, on a budget $600 computer. Kick. Ass.

    And, of course, Apple doesn't believe anyone could want better sound than what they have built in so *no* mac's have upgradable sound. wtf is that about?

    Because Apple has always had integrated sound. How long did it take PC's to get beyond a simple startup beep? No, you can't buy a sound card for a Mac - Creative made a half-assed effort several years ago, but since we all already have sound, nobody bought them (that, and the drivers were some of the worst written - ATI worthy). On the other hand, since the G5's (and hopefully others with time) support fibre optic audio out, and OS X supports surround sound, what's the big deal? What would a new sound card add? You're already surround and pure digital - am I missing something?
  • by edsarkiss ( 755418 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @02:39PM (#11494760)
    I waited in line for an hour Saturday morning to be one of the first to get the Mini.

    Why was I so excited about it?
    - unix kernel and shell
    - all the apps I use come run natively in OSX (Ableton Live, Propellerheads Reason, PhaseOne CaptureOne, Adobe Photoshop, etc...)
    - i could replace the WinXP machine hooked up to my 37" LCD TV _and_ the FreeBSD server (apache, mysql, php, slimserver) in my office with this slick little box for $600.

    So far, I'm VERY impressed. Never before have I set up a machine that worked so well out of the box, and continued to work well after installing all the apps. The developer tools that come with OS 10.3 are FANTASTIC -- you get gcc3 and a bunch of example programs to get started building apps.

    This _IS_ the best of both worlds -- a good desktop environment that runs all my apps, and a solid UNIX foundation that lets me geek out on the command line.

    This $600 machine (1.42GHz/80GB) has given me a taste of what my uber-nerd friends have been talking about for years, and now I want more!

    To all you folks who think you can pass judgement on OSX without owning a mac, you're blowing hot air. You have to own one to really know what it's all about.

    If you do some searching on Yahoo! or Google for "nobot mini", you may find some photos and a writeup of my Mini experience. No way I'm putting the URL here ;-) If you find it, the site you land on is served from the Mini.


    ps ... I upgraded the RAM in the Mini an hour after powering it up. Putty knife operation is not scary. Interestingly, I had a more difficult time _closing_ the case than opening it. But all in all an easy job and I didn't damage a thing.

    Also, as far as upgrading the system, I pulled an 80GB drive from my FreeBSD machine to serve as a nightly backup. Need more storage, get another firewire enclosure and a big drive. Done and done. OSX will see the new drive immediately and "do the right thing".
  • by jurv!s ( 688306 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @04:13PM (#11495790) Journal
    Your comment doesn't make much sense in light of the fact that I admit I have a Kensington 2 button optical scroll wheel mouse for my PowerMac and that I still end up using those other clicks about as often as I would a control click. In short- I save little time by having a right click. Furthermore, I explicitly state that I think my PB is the best set up since I can /any/ click with one hand and use SideTrack as my scroll wheel.

    What I really can't understand is why anti-Apple zealots insist on program interfaces that bury functionality under a right-click. I *hate* taking my hands off the keyboard. I only use the scroll wheel on my desktop if my hand is already on the mouse. Otherwise my pinky will be headed for the page down key or even better, my thumb to the space bar if a text field doesn't have focus. The consistency of the keystrokes across Mac apps saves so much more time than some silly second button and I wish you all would wake up, but IHBT. HAND

  • Da Cube (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ppp ( 218671 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @04:16PM (#11495828) Homepage
    The appearance of the Cube was also diminished by the wire-connected peripherals - it would actually be much cooler looking now with Bluetooth and WiFi.
  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @06:08PM (#11497308) Homepage Journal
    My mouse has 18 buttons, and I couldn't possibly do without any of them.

    Yeah; my wife used to work with CAD systems, and still complains about not having a 16-button mouse. With a reticle, of course; how do you live without that?

    A one-button mouse is sorta like having all your fingers except the middle one amputated.

  • by SEE ( 7681 ) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @07:23PM (#11498205) Homepage
    One button is defensible, but a mouse without a scroll wheel (even an unclickable one) in 2005 is inexcusable.

    The scroll wheel is the greatest advance in human-computer input devices since the mouse itself; that Apple is still shipping mice without scroll wheels with Macs by default nine years after Microsoft's Intellimouse shows that NIH trumps HCI at Apple.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"