BusinessWeek: Apple’s Mac mini comes with elegant, stable Mac OS X and very good software

“By far the world’s most popular design for a personal computer is a box for the processing unit with a separate monitor and keyboard. Strangely enough, it has been seven long years since Apple Computer offered such a computer aimed at consumer and educational markets. But having finally done so, Apple has come up with a product worth the wait,” Stephen H. Wildstrom writes for BusinessWeek.

“The new Mac Mini, starting at an impressively low $499, brings Apple into the consumer mainstream. As you would expect for a product from Steven Jobs’s Apple, it is utterly unlike anything else on the market. Most desktops, even high-end ones, are metal boxes with the style and grace of a gym locker. The Mini is a square box, 6 1/2 inches on a side and 2 inches high, with brushed aluminum sides and a white plastic top… The PowerPC G4 processor is a lot slower than the G5 in current Power Macs and iMacs, but it’s speedy enough for most typical uses,’ Wildstrom writes.

“I used the new Mac with Microsoft and Logitech keyboards and mice with no problems; the alt key corresponds to the Mac’s ‘option’ key and the Windows key to Mac’s ‘command.’ Mice, including wheel mice, work without additional software,” Wildstrom writes. “Lovely as the Mini is, software is the more compelling reason to buy it. Mac OS X offers the best combination of elegance and stability of any operating system. And Apple bundles some very good software, including the iPhoto picture-management program, iMovie video editing, and GarageBand music-creation software… I don’t know if the Mini will increase Apple’s market share, but it should. It is all the computer most homes, schools, and small businesses need in a tiny, elegant package. The only wonder is that it took so long.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One of the best articles you’ll ever read describing Apple’s Mac mini, Wildstrom even gets Mac OS X’s inherent security advantage over Windows pretty much dead on in the full article. This is definitely one to send to Windows users who are wavering.

26 Comments

  1. I have some sympathy for Wildstrom, innundated as he is with so many products that he can barely keep up with, let-alone organize and run the products that he does. It’s so tempting to write a quick study and move on to the next thing, incurring the wrath of those devoted to the reviewed item. Then there is the editorial tint. How can you rubbish a big advertiser?

    I’ll have more respect for him when he acknowledges the problems I see in my friends’ Wintels. Fact is: you can buy and pay for things online in a Mac without sans paranoia. You can’t in the Windows world. Are you going to push the Submit button in a secure page just after your antivirus program pops up a couple of warnings? Should you? Wait: What’s this popup now ….

    Oh no … the MAWPUP

  2. I see none of these MAWPUPs. I, too, have Safari with “Block Pop-Up Windows” turned on.

    I never realized that MDN had so many automated replies that they had to implement this Magic Word nonsense.

    I would think that the large number of complaints they are receiving from their readers far outweighs any random automated postings they may get. But, I may be wrong and the infinitely wise MDN staff may have a sound reason to piss-off their readers.

  3. MAgic Word Pop UPs

    The behavior in some browsers is that some close tag seems to be broken and “Remember my personal information” all the way down to the [Submit] button becomes a link [underlined] such as that just clicking in the Magic Word field to type something triggers the link to the 1×1 adserver gif as a popup. You can’t post as you can’t enter the stupid M.W. in the first place.

  4. Speaking of the security issue, I have been wondering about this quotation I see a lot (and has become a pet peeve of mine):

    “Windows comes with all of its dangerous ports open to the world. OS X comes with all of these ports closed and locked.”

    I can understand what it means for a port to be closed, but “locked”? What does that mean? Is there some kind of port-locking mechanism I am not aware of? If not, can we just say OS X comes with those ports closed unless the user expressly chooses to open them? That seems like a strong enough point without using misleading language.

  5. Using Safari with “Block Popups” turned on.. and ..This little ditty, insures you never see a pop-up, just about anywhere !

    But, if you are forced to use something as bogus as IE… quit complaining…. its the nature of the beast !! …. Get a REAL .. browser !!

  6. “…..Windows comes with all of its dangerous ports open to the world. OS X comes with all of these ports closed and locked…..”

    Even more puzzling… is what I read in an article recently ..(wish I had the link handy)….
    It read something to the effect that, M$ announced that they wouldnt be able to close these ‘ports’ until the next update of WinDoze…

    I wonder when this “port problem” was discovered ? … in WinBlows 95 ?? … or even earlier ??….. and, if so…. why didn’t they do something before now ?

    Magic word=”help” …. How fitting !

  7. Microsoft can’t close them all now because they would have no way to reopen them to check your HD for pirated Microsoft software.

    At the next update they will have the ability to remotely reopen ports that are closed for security.

    Won’t you Windows owners feel much more secure then?

  8. I think the article is quite reasonable except for one thing:

    The price of the Dell Dimension 2400 is stated to be $319. This fails to include security software, which, well, let me put it this way: Microsoft left this part out of the o/s, so you have to buy it yourself, separately (I’m being VERY nice to M$ here; they should be sued for creating such a grossly deficient product – the add-on bandaid doesn’t close the cap, but I digress).

    The machine is NOT complete without this, and that adds $62.

    I see that Dell dropped their sneaky, $100 shipping charge for all orders < 599 that you didn’t find out until after you put the machine in the cart (Apple has always offer the Mac Mini with free shipping) – Dell just chopped $100 off to compete.

    Oh, and don’t forget to add energy consumption costs. And you have to give something for iLife.

    You also have to add a CD-RW, upgrade the warranty (Dell only comes with 90 days for the el-cheapo price), add firewire etc.

    Point is: compare a comparably equiped Dell 2400 to the Mac Mini, or at least mention what you’re missing.

    That is implied in the Mercedes vs. Ford comparison, but that’s a little too subtle for my liking. And the ‘Mercedes’ computer doesn’t come at a Mercedes price.

    I’m seeing too many commentators glossing over/missing this – c’omon MDN – don’t let this slip by.

    More details at

    http://www.systemshootouts.org/shootouts/desktop/2005/0122_dt0500.html

    MDN magic word: main – this is a MAIN point ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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