“A couple of weeks after its unveiling, the budget-priced Mac mini has begun shipping. Targeted at would-be switchers and ‘adders,’ the mini is easily the lowest-priced Mac desktop ever. There are always Mac owners who are looking to upgrade older equipment or looking to own a small form factor Mac. Many of those have snapped up Mac minis,” Eric Bangeman and Kurt Hutchinson write for Ars Technica. “However, some of the new Mac mini owners are Windows or Linux users who have always wanted to fool around with Mac OS X, but have been turned off by the Apple’s price structure… Now that Apple has a stripped-down Mac desktop available, the curious have finally begun taking the plunge.”

“As anyone who has ever switched platforms will attest, there is always a bit of a learning curve involved. Differences in how applications and the user interface behave can be great, and even when there is similarity across platforms, the small differences can be just as maddening,” Bangeman and Kurt Hutchinson write. “One thing the Mac mini does not have is a comprehensive ‘welcome to OS X’ guide. Printed documentation included with the mini is scanty — primarily EULA and warranty information, and Apple has never been one for flashy tutorials. That’s why we at Ars have pulled together a short list of things every newcomer to Mac OS X needs to know.”

Full article, which should be required reading for Windows users who’ve just brought home their first Mac, here.