Apple’s Mac mini: The Universal Network Appliance

“If you’ve been looking for a small, inexpensive, pre-configured Unix server to use as a workhorse for small network missions, look no futher than Apple Computer. That’s exactly what Apple has unwittingly delivered in its $499 Mac mini platform. Originally intended to woo Windows users to the Mac, the mini is a cunning combination of packaging and features made to order for networking chores. Whether it’s DHCP and DNS, e-mail, Web hosting, or intrusion detection, the mini will meet your utility server needs faster than you can call Steve Jobs to make a lunch appointment,” Mel Beckman writes for Dr. I. Doctor.

“Here’s what you get for $499: A svelte 6″ by 6″ by 2″ machine with 40GB disk, 512MB RAM, monitor, USB, FireWire and modem ports, all fully operational right out of the box. That alone is worth a lot, since installing your average Linux distribution and securely configuring it on the average generic CPU is easily a half-day project. Multiply your hourly value by four, and I’ll wager you come awfully close to the mini’s $500 cost, which means that Linux alternative costs twice the mini’s price, assuming you can find bare hardware that small and cheap (I couldn’t)… And the mini is secure out of the box,” Beckman writes.

Full article here.

Advertisement: The new Mac Mini. Still starting at $499. Free shipping from The Apple Store.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Mac mini robot uses Apple Mac mini for ‘brain’ and Apple iSight for ‘eyes’ – September 13, 2005
How to embed an Apple Mac mini into your kitchen wall – August 01, 2005
Apple enhances Mac mini with double the memory across the line – July 26, 2005
PC World: Apple Mac mini an ‘impressive small system could tempt you to become a Mac user’ – April 29, 2005
The Baltimore Sun: Apple’s Mac mini is ‘a little jewel of a computer’ – March 25, 2005
Apple Mac mini now available at 671 Best Buy retail stores – April 06, 2005
Apple Mac mini home theater dock concept and image posted online – February 16, 2005
Classic Restorations first to offer custom Apple Mac Mini auto installations – January 14, 2005
Apple introduces Mac mini, most affordable Mac ever starts at just $499 – January 11, 2005


  1. I’m currently using a keyboardless, mouseless, Mac mini to drive a Keynote 2.0 presentation which contains embedded QuickTime for an exhibition at a local theatre through a 42″ NEC plasma unit.

    The whole thing is being managed by a lady in her late fifties/early sixties who is no fan of technology: she gets into work in the morning, switches on the plasma, boots the mini – it logs into a secured account that can only run Keynote and goes directly into the presentation as a startup item. At night, she holds the power button down for 10 seconds, the Mac turns off and then she switches off the plasma.

    It’s been running since September 1st, and I’ve never heard from her, despite the fact that its joined to the theatre’s public Wi-Fi hotspot.

    I wouldn’t even try to do that with a WinXP box.

  2. why don’t you have the Mac mini automatically boot up and shutdown?

    Check Apple Menu -> System Prefs -> Energy Saver

    as in – save her some energy.

    (i’m doing the same thing at a private high school – it shuts down and boots up every day 8 to 5. 30″ Viewsonic screen does a save power mode when it senses no useage.

  3. the other…

    We tried it: but it didn’t seem to work.

    Let me ask you a question: is your config running Tiger or Panther?

    We’re Panther (10.3.9) and the system doesn’t seem to want to shut down on timed basis if Keynote is running as a presentation.

  4. Mark,

    They did not write it very clearly, but I think that they mean that you get a “monitor port”, “USB port”, “modem port”, etc. not a monitor. Clear communication is not always easy to find! I had the same reaction you did on first reading.

  5. I am very pleased with the Mac Mini and its performance. I am thinking about moving it as our main web server at work. Our current web server is a Windows 2000, extremely slow machine – and i would much rather be running Apache/PHP/MySQL on Unix than on Windows. Also, it just makes things sooo easy ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Actually, she’s the front of house manager so she’s not going to be out of a job and she’s got to walk a whole five yards from her seat in the reception area which I’m sure isn’t going to kill her.

    That said, she still has to get up to turn off the plasma screen properly so its all a bit academic.

    Thanks for the advice, especially the Pause thing – I’ll check it out for future use.

  7. Wow, thanks to the guy who suggested using Pause to shut the machine down each day – I actually wrote that app! Glad someone finds it useful other than me ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  8. I’m suprised there haven’t been more articles like this. The OS is really set up properly, right out of the box. It’s so easy folks just take it for granted. If more people really knew about these machines they’d be buying them way faster.

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