The Baltimore Sun: Apple’s Mac mini is ‘a little jewel of a computer’

“Over the years I’ve spent many hours tinkering with the little Windows network in our home, and each time I add a PC it gets a little easier,” Michael Himowitz writes for The Baltimore Sun. “But the other day was a first. I opened a new computer, hooked up a keyboard, monitor and mouse, and turned it on. After a few minutes answering simple on-screen questions, I was hooked up to our wireless network, browsing the Web and sharing files with our other computers. A few minutes later, the new computer was beaming images to the printer hooked to my computer in the next room.”

“I’ve never had a PC as easy to get running on a Windows network as this one. And the astounding thing: It’s a Mac. A new Mac mini, to be precise – a little jewel of a computer that Apple has priced low enough (starting at US$499 or about HK$3,890) to entice some of us old Windows heathens to try out the Macintosh operating system without breaking the bank. Once we’ve tried it, Apple figures, we may like it and decide to join the Mac cult – at least as an extracurricular activity,” Himowitz writes.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I pointed at a folder, clicked the right mouse button and saw a context-sensitive menu pop up,” Himowitz writes. “For years, the one-button mouse has been part of the Mac catechism – the original Mac designers thought two buttons would be too confusing, a proposition that 200 million Windows users would disagree with. Mac purists probably cringe at this heresy, but it’s heartening to see that the programmers of Panther (the latest version of Mac’s OS X) recognize the value of a feature that so many Windows users rely on. But the big question remains: Is the Mac operating system really that much slicker and easier to use than Windows? I’ll play with it for a while and let you know.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll keep an eye on Himowitz’s articles and let you know what he writes about Mac OS X.

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17 Comments

  1. Right, Tyk. I used a two button mouse a long time ago with the Classic Mac OS. Maybe Himowitz’s been too busy keeping his PC network functioning to notice what Apple had done. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. We need a new word for Mac mini. iPod has halo effect. Mac mini has effect no one expected. With lower cost of Mac mini “Tech Journalists” are actually getting their first hand look at the MacOS before they write about yet another article on incompatibility of Mac in Windows dominated world. Surprise! there are very little compatibility issues. In fact as Mr. Himowitz, Mac are more compatible with Windows network than Windows!

  3. if they gave a pop quiz to those 200 million windows users, i wonder how many of them would be able to say exactly what the two buttons were for. the fact that they are using windows in the first place is a good indication that maybe their “computer smarts” leave something to be desired. in fact, now that i think about it, this makes me wonder about two button mice mac users. (i keed, i keed!)

  4. Cool, Another Switcher! It will be great to hear what he thinks as he goes along but he is off to a good start.

    I think his comments about the one button mouse demonstrates the common misconception that Mac Users never complain about anything Apple does. I think that at least half and probably a good majority of Mac Users think Apple should make a two button mouse. That said, a lot of Mac Users like the one button mouse and I think it is good that it is offered for these people and perhaps neophytes who should have everything kept as simple as possible (like my 78 year old, Mac using mother).

    So I don’t think that they should do away with the one button mouse – if they did it would be straying from Apple’s main theme of keeping computers as easy to use as possbile. But I DO think that a two button mouse should be offered as an option for the large percentage of Mac Users who end up chucking the one button mouse in a shoebox.

  5. Right-click menus have been in Mac OS since at least OS 8 if not before. We’re talking years and years that Apple has fully supported 2-button mice.

  6. macnut222, I like that “iOpener”. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> I’ve been using a 2-button, scroll wheel mouse almost the entire time with OS X. It seems to surprise the PC-folks that Mac OS supports two-button mice.

  7. This multi-button issue with the Mac is one of the most effective FUD around the platform. It has kept at bay potential switchers since years and years, well before OS X was even on Apple radar.

    And it is still working. One of the hardest FUD to die, let me tell you.

  8. With regards to the FUD around two button mice, maybe Apple can take out an ad some magazines (and maybe subways) that go like this:

    Picture of Mac mini
    Price: starting at $499

    WORKS WITH YOUR TWO-BUTTON MOUSE!!!!

    That’ll kill that nonsense pretty quick

    Apple can even say they’re giving you more choice compared to the Windows platform (why does that sound familiar ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> ) you can choose between one, two and beyond with regards to the numbers of buttons you want on your mouse.

  9. Dear Brain Dead Mac Purists:

    1) Himowitz didn’t say that Mac did not support right click menu’s before Panther. What he said was “it’s heartening to see that the programmers of Panther (the latest version of Mac’s OS X) recognize the value of a feature that so many Windows users rely on”.

    2) Jobs is a genius, but stubborn as a mule on the issue of the one button mouse. I have a few of those useless pieces of crap that I’d like to sell to you die hard fans.

    3) Mac purists are the biggest obstacle to Windows people switching to Mac’s as they have a large tendancy to irritate the masses.

    The Mel

  10. The Mel,

    I try to be opened minded but I have to say that the statement does have an IMPLICATION that right click options did not exist before “programmers of Panther” recognized it’s value. I’m not sure what additional information was presented with his statement other than being misleading to the misinformed.

    By the way… how much do you want to sell your mice for, and how many do you have? I’m serious that I could find some buyers at the right price.

  11. [3) Mac purists are the biggest obstacle to Windows people switching to Mac’s]

    No. The biggest obstacle to Windows people switching to Mac’s is: Macs aren’t FREE, or don’t start at $139 for a complete system with display. Is free a good way for Apple to increase their ‘marketshare’?

    Windows people behave like packrats and are extremely UNWILLING to part with any of THEIR cash; any of their bootleg software; or any of their obsolete junkware ‘standards’. Hmmm, potty-training issues?

    Maybe ‘Mac Purists’ can ‘let go’ of their one-button mouse when PC people ‘let go’ of PS/2 connectors (not as good as USB1); USB2 (not as good as Firewire); Floppy disks (not as good as CDs or even Zip disks); shall I continue?

    [as they have a large tendancy (sic) to irritate the masses.]

    Ahh, the masses. The folks that demand Apple makes their ‘switch’ to the Mac painless for them by making the Mac exactly like Windows. Huh?!

    Here’s and idea. Swap a couple of Xeons into your G5; then install Windows on the HD; then plug in your 2-button mouse; fire up IE; and experience the thrill of SWITCHING.

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