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Apple's HD future, the mini-mac, the big change - Page 3

post #81 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Rhumgod
Mac mini misconceptions:

2. The Mac Mini was designed as a home theater solution.

Wrong again. It was a way to get people clammoring for cheaper macs exactly what they wanted.



I don't think anyone is saying that it was designed to be a home theater solution but more that it easily COULD be one and that people want it and this machine is the closest thing to being one and could be one with a few changes.
post #82 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by PeePeeSee
I still don't get this iPod like stuff - just seems like some poectic waxing type stuff but whatever - ok fine apple had this mantra/philosophy about the iPod and this computer whatever ok - All I am asking for is an extra inch to use a standard hard drive in the thing if I want to - you don't have to do a damn thing - I mean is that really THAT much to ask for?

IMHO, the size has to do with Apple targeting the mini at the auto manufacturers. If Apple negotiated deals with BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, and I don't know who else to put iPod hookups in their cars, I can't imagine the talks were limited to iPod hookups. All those manufacturers have fancy in-dash navigation systems. I think Apple is aiming at that market.

I could be wrong, but it is the only thing that makes sense to me as to why the mini is the specific size it is.

- Jasen.
post #83 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by PeePeeSee
... And actually - YOU ARE WRONG - most people WANT to upgrade their stuff - they don't want to spend lots of money on another machine. ...

Actually, YOU are wrong. Of the hundreds of people I know with computers, only a couple of them have ever opened the box to change anything. And the people I know are mostly PC users. True, they don't want to spend lots of money on another machine either, but when there is a compelling (to them) reason to upgrade, by that time their old machine usually couldn't be upgraded anyway. Besides, survey after survey has shown very few computers are ever upgraded in any way. Where do you people get this idea that your feelings are those of the majority?

As for defending Apple's decisions, why not? What computer company do YOU like? Tell me, so I can criticize the crap THEY produce. I build my own PCs, and FTM, I think those PCs are crap too. Every design is a trade-off.
post #84 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by jasenj1
IMHO, the size has to do with Apple targeting the mini at the auto manufacturers. If Apple negotiated deals with BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, and I don't know who else to put iPod hookups in their cars, I can't imagine the talks were limited to iPod hookups. All those manufacturers have fancy in-dash navigation systems. I think Apple is aiming at that market.

I could be wrong, but it is the only thing that makes sense to me as to why the mini is the specific size it is.

- Jasen.

To throw some fuel on your fire...

Steve Jobs touched on the expanded capabiliies of Mac OS X in regards to voice recognition & voice control of the OS during the recent keynote...
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post #85 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by cubist
Actually, YOU are wrong. Of the hundreds of people I know with computers, only a couple of them have ever opened the box to change anything. And the people I know are mostly PC users. True, they don't want to spend lots of money on another machine either, but when there is a compelling (to them) reason to upgrade, by that time their old machine usually couldn't be upgraded anyway. Besides, survey after survey has shown very few computers are ever upgraded in any way. Where do you people get this idea that your feelings are those of the majority?

As for defending Apple's decisions, why not? What computer company do YOU like? Tell me, so I can criticize the crap THEY produce. I build my own PCs, and FTM, I think those PCs are crap too. Every design is a trade-off.

I said most people want to - Not everyone does. There are many people who do open up their machines and put in larger hard drives - you don't think so? I wonder who buys all those hard drives from all the electronics stores around the country and internet websites like newegg/whatever.

I think it's stupid to defend their decisions when it is obvious they didn't do it because of design reasons or even that they could have made it capable for people to upgrade them if they wanted to with little to no effort.

I don't follow companies like a little cheer leader so I don't know what to tell you.
post #86 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by jasenj1
I could be wrong, but it is the only thing that makes sense to me as to why the mini is the specific size it is.

Yeah, that its the size of a head unit is pretty much a total coincidence.
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post #87 of 163
I have the mac mini and a SONY LCD WEGA (26") display.
After a ton of research, visits to the store and conversations with MAC people (this is my first apple product) I was convinced it would work.


Got the box, plugged it in and the resolution is funky.

The TV resolution is 1280 by 768 but when selected in the display options, all four sides are cut off. I can't even see the menu options from the desktop. I know they are there b/c I can select them but I can not view them.

People talk about switchresx and displayconfigx but neither really seem to work. Any tips?

Josh
post #88 of 163
I have successfully created a resolution in DisplayConfigX that overcomes overscan (the problem with most tv's is that they are made to intentionally cut off the image, because a tv signal carries ugly 'noise' which is actually the signal for closed-captioning etc. in that space)...

I don't recall my exact settings, but I believe it was 1168 x 682 or something. Try DisplayConfigX and with some patient tweaking you'll be able to fit the image correctly.
post #89 of 163
Apple's HD future, the Mini mac, the big change

I'll repeat my first post from page one to carry on from there:

Quote:
I think it's clear that the Mac mini is never going to be the complete answer for viewing TV in any form on it's own.

Add on's will be needed to make the Mac mini your TV tuner, PVR, or Home Theater System.

These add on's are already on the way, you can bet that El Gato, La Cie and others are already addressing the form factor and will be releasing very complimentary, if not identical, form factor "Slices" to sit under the Mac mini.

I think that Firewire will be the transport mechanism for beaming the TV signal between devices. Where is development of wireless Firewire? Is progress being made towards that as an accepted standard? In combination with H.264 this could be the software "glue" that puts it all together.

NAB 2005 in April should be very important to Apple's plans in this area. I am really hoping that "Asteroid" will turn out to be some Mac mini "Slice" from Apple to address TV & HDTV for the platform they unveiled at Mac World, as opposed to a simple "breakout box" for Garageband.

My points above are still valid, and I do hope that "Asteroid" turns out to be the TiVo on steroids it could be to compliment the Mac mini.

As to the tempest in this teapot that the use of a 2.5" drive has caused, Apple has very good reasons for this move:

1) form factor - the PC clone factories will be hard pressed to duplicate this form factor anytime soon because of it's size constraints.

2) lower OEM prices across the board - the shear volume of 2.5" drives is probably doubled with this move. This means lower prices and larger margins for ALL Apple computers that use 2.5" drives.

3) NO YUO! - This is targeted at a completely different market than the iMac. The single RAM slot and 2.5" drive assures Apple that the iMac is not cannibalized by the Mac mini.

I myself have just bought a second Cube for more than I could have purchased a Mac mini. Those of you outraged by the mini should just do the same. Upgradability is more important to me than 99% of the Mac mini's target audience. The bottom line here is that Apple will sell all the Mac mini's they can make for the next year. If it's not for you, just get something that is.

Asteroid

What is Apple protecting with all the iSuits? Was it the Mac mini? I doubt it, for a product to be released in a week, all the rumors and speculation only added to it's splash on introduction. The same for the Shuffle.

Asteroid? BINGO! There is a product that, if it is what I hope it, is will need to be kept under wraps until it's release. With all the jockeying for control of the future of TV, Apple can not afford to tip it's hand until it delivers.

I believe the reason for the iSuits is to kill the release of any further Asteroid information. Although the Mac mini and the Shuttle are a big change in Apple's direction, a HD streaming IPTV device would be a major blow to Microsoft's efforts to create a Media Center to dominate this market with it's own proprietary "solution".

If Asteroid turns out to be the device that frees us from the grips of the three monopolies that are seeking to control our TV viewing, (Microsoft, Cable, and Satellite), then Apple will want complete secrecy until it can unveil this product.
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post #90 of 163
I agree with your reasoning and hope beyond hope that Asteroid is the solution you imagine, but all reports indicate that it is a specific compliment to Garage Band.

It makes sense for Apple to finally release a hardware compliment that 'realises' the potentional of GarageBand.

Perhaps there is another code-name floating around which might represent the thing we all crave: A MAC MEDIA CENTER.
post #91 of 163
Originally posted by Aphelion
[B]Apple's HD future, the Mini mac, the big change

...As to the tempest in this teapot that the use of a 2.5" drive has caused, Apple has very good reasons for this move:

1) form factor - the PC clone factories will be hard pressed to duplicate this form factor anytime soon because of it's size constraints.

Who cares - it's still smaller than any comparable pc. It's not even close so it doesn't matter that it's more smaller - but that it is always smaller.



2) lower OEM prices across the board - the shear volume of 2.5" drives is probably doubled with this move. This means lower prices and larger margins for ALL Apple computers that use 2.5" drives.


Could have been the same for bigger hard drives the only difference is that they chose the smaller ones.


3) NO YUO! - This is targeted at a completely different market than the iMac. The single RAM slot and 2.5" drive assures Apple that the iMac is not cannibalized by the Mac mini.


Exactly.


I myself have just bought a second Cube for more than I could have purchased a Mac mini. Those of you outraged by the mini should just do the same. Upgradability is more important to me than 99% of the Mac mini's target audience. The bottom line here is that Apple will sell all the Mac mini's they can make for the next year. If it's not for you, just get something that is.



Yes I should change that I want to buy a cheap computer and instead spend way way more then I ever intended to on the computer itself alone.

How about they just give me another inch and another ram slot and I'll shut up?
post #92 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by PeePeeSee
How about they just give me another inch and another ram slot and I'll shut up?

*giggles* tee hee hee that sounds very naughty
post #93 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Sport73
I agree with your reasoning and hope beyond hope that Asteroid is the solution you imagine, but all reports indicate that it is a specific compliment to Garage Band.

It makes sense for Apple to finally release a hardware compliment that 'realises' the potentional of GarageBand.

Perhaps there is another code-name floating around which might represent the thing we all crave: A MAC MEDIA CENTER.

mac media center is definitely deep in apple skunkworks, codename asteroid or whatever... if and when mac media center will see the light of day is another question entirely, for which speculation will run deep for quite a while
post #94 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Sport73
... all reports indicate that it is a specific compliment to Garage Band...

Somehow I think "Asteroid" is more than a dongle.

Think about it, if the analogy has been drawn with "tiny mammals" scurrying about the feet of the "dinosaurs", as between the Macintosh platform and the Windows behemoth, then "Asteroid" could be considered analogous to the heavenly body that toppled the dinosaurs. ~ a true digital hub that has all it's spokes. A "Media Center" without the Pee Cee.

Oh well, one can hope Apple will do the right thing, and turn on a dime with regard to video in the home. It won't be the first time in recent history they have reversed their own statements about directions and plans.

If the Mac mini and iPod Shuttle turn out to be "the bomb" when it comes to the consumer mass market, then a TiVo on steroids with cablecard and IPTV capabilities, coupled with an iMovie Store to sell content, would be "The Asteroid" to the Media Center PC.

Apple putting the (soon to be former) President of Sony up on stage at MacWorld, like a trophy taken in battle, and their firm intent to join Sony in the BlueRay consortium may be a significant peek up their sleeves.
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post #95 of 163
As much as I'd like to believe that 'Asteroid' is a TV/PVR device I think the real reason for the recent lawsuits are that the rumour sites (powerpage in particular) completely nailed the specs and the design of the thing. Of course we won't know this until it is actually released (if it is released).
post #96 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by PeePeeSee
Who cares - it's still smaller than any comparable pc. It's not even close so it doesn't matter that it's more smaller - but that it is always smaller.

Actually, if it were only a little bit bigger, it would be the size of micro-ITX, and then the PC companies could field answers to the mini with a more-or-less standard architecture.

The way it is, the mini is smaller than everything except other custom boxes that cost much more, and anyone who wants to answer it has to do their own engineering and hit that price point. This is why, when Intel held up the HTPC they wanted everyone to build, that looked curiously like a Mac mini, it was an empty plastic box.

At the mini's scale, an inch or so is a lot. Apple is not only going for maximum sex appeal, they're also going to make any would-be competitors work. This only makes sense: Since they're set up to engineer machines from scratch anyway, they might as well turn that into an advantage by releasing machines that the commodity-PC vendors have no ready answer for.

Quote:
How about they just give me another inch and another ram slot and I'll shut up?

Sucks to not be in the target market, eh? What would you do with >1GB RAM anyway, in a machine that isn't designed for absolute performance? Expansion for its own sake is worthless.
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post #97 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
At the mini's scale, an inch or so is a lot.

And nobody would be able to fit it in their car's dashboard if it were any bigger.

I don't think Asteroid will be the Media Center hub, but I do think they're cooking up something good for us in Cupertino, to be released after Tiger and Quicktime 7 start shipping.
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post #98 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Aphelion
Somehow I think "Asteroid" is more than a dongle.

Think about it, if the analogy has been drawn with "tiny mammals" scurrying about the feet of the "dinosaurs", as between the Macintosh platform and the Windows behemoth, then "Asteroid" could be considered analogous to the heavenly body that toppled the dinosaurs. ~ a true digital hub that has all it's spokes. A "Media Center" without the Pee Cee.

Oh well, one can hope Apple will do the right thing, and turn on a dime with regard to video in the home. It won't be the first time in recent history they have reversed their own statements about directions and plans.

If the Mac mini and iPod Shuttle turn out to be "the bomb" when it comes to the consumer mass market, then a TiVo on steroids with cablecard and IPTV capabilities, coupled with an iMovie Store to sell content, would be "The Asteroid" to the Media Center PC.

Apple putting the (soon to be former) President of Sony up on stage at MacWorld, like a trophy taken in battle, and their firm intent to join Sony in the BlueRay consortium may be a significant peek up their sleeves.

i like the metaphors/ analogies... a few movies come to mind...

dinosaurs getting wiped out ... the 'extinction-level-event' in Armageddon, Deep Impact, wiping out Windows and Microsoft Media Center

apple holding up the sony president as a 'trophy'... like Predators holding the skulls of their prey ala Predator1,2, and Alien vs Predator
post #99 of 163
Here's another idea on why the Mini sucks so hard. It has nothing to do with packaging and shipping complications from a half inch longer Mini, and everything to do with profitability.

Apple faces a problem with their towers: Nobody wants them. Sales are very depressed, and never really picked up with the introduction of the G5. So no matter what, Apple cannot afford to cannibalize their high-margin towers.

The iMacs sell better than the towers, but again, Apple is afraid of a low-end, low-margin Mac Mini eating into the sales of their cash-cow AIO.

Thus Apple had to make the Mini absolutely unpalatable to prospective tower buyers, and they also had to make it perform worse than the iMac. This means zero expandability, sloth-like performance, and virtually no growth potential. As soon as a Mini owner begins to use their Mini to edit video or collect mp3s, Apple wants them to run into a wall - at which point they either buy a PC, or consider a more expensive Mac.

So first Apple neutered the Mini with a G4 and a shitty video chipset. They gave it a narrow array of ports. Most importantly, Apple put a ridiculously slow and tiny HD in the Mini, so when new Apple users try to edit video, they're cramped and forced to buy external drives or directly upgrade to an iMac/tower. The single RAM slot adroitly frustrates Mini users, since they cannot add more than one stick of RAM, and even adding that stick is a major undertaking.

This is the objective of the Mac Mini: Tantalize "switchers" with how great OS X can be, but keep them on a choke-chain so they won't be satiated by their single Mac purchase. Apple is hoping that with an initial outlay of $600, these switchers won't blame Apple for the Mini's sucking-potential, but will instead shrug it off as the normal limitation of such a cheap computer.

At only a slightly higher price point, Apple could easily have used a larger, faster HD, added another RAM slot, and improved the video chipset, but then iMac and Powermac buyers start buying Minis instead, and Apple's profits suffer.

What Apple really needs is a "mini-tower", but then the same issue of cannibalizing Powermac sales arises. Apple are trapped by their current profitability at one end, and their low volume/marketshare on the other. Rock the boat too much with the product grid, and risk putting the company into the red.
post #100 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
At the mini's scale, an inch or so is a lot. Apple is not only going for maximum sex appeal, they're also going to make any would-be competitors work. This only makes sense: Since they're set up to engineer machines from scratch anyway, they might as well turn that into an advantage by releasing machines that the commodity-PC vendors have no ready answer for.

Thank God somebody actually understands what the Mac mini is all about.

Good job, Amorph.
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post #101 of 163
junkyard dawg, why would this strategy make you so upset?? the mac mini is the most affordable and strongest value offering from apple to date, and one that is designed to integrate with existing peripherals (monitors, keyboards) normally designed for shitty wintels...

it's capabilities are very clear, and the form factor actually offers portability without having to invest in a laptop

all this while apple tries to maintain its profit and revenues and like you rightly pointed out, not cannibalise their higher-end machines

mac mini is about iLife and the digital hub, easy, hassle-free and secure internet access.

you want games and more power? that's the iMac g5... the most affordable G5 to date.

you a serious pro in to video, design, etc? well the tower's for you. you want portability? get a powerbook. or, if you wanna push the value angle, load up your iBook 14" G4 1.33ghz with some RAM and an external display...

the pros will always be able to assess what they need... the 'consumers' i think have it great with the iBook, Mac mini, and iMac g5 on the higher end

personally, i feel the Mac mini has already started to reduce a lot of stress and headaches in people that would have saved a few hundred at most getting some shitty wintel piece of rubbish... which would also be a bit bigger, bulkier and less portable...
post #102 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Actually, if it were only a little bit bigger, it would be the size of micro-ITX, and then the PC companies could field answers to the mini with a more-or-less standard architecture.

The way it is, the mini is smaller than everything except other custom boxes that cost much more, and anyone who wants to answer it has to do their own engineering and hit that price point. This is why, when Intel held up the HTPC they wanted everyone to build, that looked curiously like a Mac mini, it was an empty plastic box.

At the mini's scale, an inch or so is a lot. Apple is not only going for maximum sex appeal, they're also going to make any would-be competitors work. This only makes sense: Since they're set up to engineer machines from scratch anyway, they might as well turn that into an advantage by releasing machines that the commodity-PC vendors have no ready answer for.



Sucks to not be in the target market, eh? What would you do with >1GB RAM anyway, in a machine that isn't designed for absolute performance? Expansion for its own sake is worthless.

What does that even mean - field answers from the micro-itx field? Nothing the size of the mini - one inch or even two or three more in any directly can compete with it. Also - like I really care? What is it with this constant "OMG WWAD (what would apple do)" attitude?

About Intel - why would they "hold up a box for everyone to build" if they couldn't make parts for it? That just doesn't make sense. I think it's more likely that was just one of the many futuristic/developer/prototype things that huge tech companies like Intel often do.

Yes I suppose at the mini's scale an inch is technically a lot but so what? That has nothing to do with sex appeal - one inch wouldn't make a difference at all. I mean do you understand what an inch is?

No it doesn't suck to not be the target market I enjoy not being the typical moron who can't figure out why internet explorer has seventeen search bars and why my computer runs slow.

Just because the machine isn't designed for absolute performance doesn't mean it perfectly works for many tasks. What do I care what it is designed for? This machine is easily capable of doing all the things I want and it's cheap as hell.
post #103 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver
Thank God somebody actually understands what the Mac mini is all about.

Good job, Amorph.


I don't know if anyone told you yet but it's just a computer - not a religion.

But hey if the kool aid tastes good keep drinking it!
post #104 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg
Here's another idea on why the Mini sucks so hard. It has nothing to do with packaging and shipping complications from a half inch longer Mini, and everything to do with profitability.

Apple faces a problem with their towers: Nobody wants them. Sales are very depressed, and never really picked up with the introduction of the G5. So no matter what, Apple cannot afford to cannibalize their high-margin towers.

The iMacs sell better than the towers, but again, Apple is afraid of a low-end, low-margin Mac Mini eating into the sales of their cash-cow AIO.

Thus Apple had to make the Mini absolutely unpalatable to prospective tower buyers, and they also had to make it perform worse than the iMac. This means zero expandability, sloth-like performance, and virtually no growth potential. As soon as a Mini owner begins to use their Mini to edit video or collect mp3s, Apple wants them to run into a wall - at which point they either buy a PC, or consider a more expensive Mac.

So first Apple neutered the Mini with a G4 and a shitty video chipset. They gave it a narrow array of ports. Most importantly, Apple put a ridiculously slow and tiny HD in the Mini, so when new Apple users try to edit video, they're cramped and forced to buy external drives or directly upgrade to an iMac/tower. The single RAM slot adroitly frustrates Mini users, since they cannot add more than one stick of RAM, and even adding that stick is a major undertaking.

This is the objective of the Mac Mini: Tantalize "switchers" with how great OS X can be, but keep them on a choke-chain so they won't be satiated by their single Mac purchase. Apple is hoping that with an initial outlay of $600, these switchers won't blame Apple for the Mini's sucking-potential, but will instead shrug it off as the normal limitation of such a cheap computer.

At only a slightly higher price point, Apple could easily have used a larger, faster HD, added another RAM slot, and improved the video chipset, but then iMac and Powermac buyers start buying Minis instead, and Apple's profits suffer.

What Apple really needs is a "mini-tower", but then the same issue of cannibalizing Powermac sales arises. Apple are trapped by their current profitability at one end, and their low volume/marketshare on the other. Rock the boat too much with the product grid, and risk putting the company into the red.

I remember you posting here a long time ago when I came around here and I enjoyed reading your posts and I can still say the same thing - you nailed it exactly.
post #105 of 163
Yawn.

This is sooo typical of the "new" Mac user. He/she will whine and whine about headless Macs.

Then when Apple delivers they move on to the next thing to whine about. "Pitiful RAM, no expansion"

Gahh. I swear it was much cooler to be a Mac user back in the 90s. No, scratch that...this is just endemic of the internet where people love to turn threads into complaint central.

The mini is what it is. A $500 Mac that almost anyone can afford that comes with software that is worth a third of the total machine. Don't be swayed by "the glass is half empty" people. Everyday I sell to people with Powermacs that have under a gigartz processors. They maintain their living with these computers.

If you're complaining..you're not getting anything done people. Shift your center and try to look beyond your own particular target as Amorph alludes to.
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post #106 of 163
You seem to have confused reason with zealotry.

Quote:
Originally posted by PeePeeSee
What does that even mean - field answers from the micro-itx field? Nothing the size of the mini - one inch or even two or three more in any directly can compete with it. Also - like I really care? What is it with this constant "OMG WWAD (what would apple do)" attitude?

Now you're being obtuse.

I'm talking in absolutely concrete terms: There is an emerging standard called micro-ITX. If the mini were just a bit larger per side, it would be the size of micro-ITX, and any box builder could compete with it using commodity parts. This puts Apple at a relative disadvantage, so they probably don't want to do it.

The mini is as small as it is in part so that there's no way to compete with it using off-the-shelf parts only. It forces anyone who wants to compete with it to do custom engineering, which means they're fighting on Apple's turf. It also means that it'll be a while before they can engineer a competing product.

It's not rocket science.

Quote:
About Intel - why would they "hold up a box for everyone to build" if they couldn't make parts for it? That just doesn't make sense.

The point is not that they can't make parts for it. The point is that there are no standard parts—you know, the engine of the PC industry?—available now. Someone has to sit down and engineer them. Intel could certainly do it. But Apple has a head start, and they can sell minis hand over fist while Intel works on a competitor.

Welcome to the marketplace.

Quote:
Yes I suppose at the mini's scale an inch is technically a lot but so what? That has nothing to do with sex appeal - one inch wouldn't make a difference at all. I mean do you understand what an inch is?



I understand that a difference of an inch, or even a fraction of an inch, can sell a laptop. I understand that fractions of an inch can make an iPod mini desirable over an iPod. I understand that millimeters can make a difference with cell phones.

Don't just take my word for it. Look at all the reviews outside the Mac world marvelling at the size of the mini.

At the mini's size, half an inch matters. It's flatly obvious and trivial to verify.
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post #107 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg

This is the objective of the Mac Mini: Tantalize "switchers" with how great OS X can be, but keep them on a choke-chain so they won't be satiated by their single Mac purchase. Apple is hoping that with an initial outlay of $600, these switchers won't blame Apple for the Mini's sucking-potential, but will instead shrug it off as the normal limitation of such a cheap computer.

1) If it's so obvious that it sucks so hard, why is it selling so well? Why are PC enthusiast sites so excited about it? Most of them are more enthusiastic about the mini than I am.

2) Yes, people are used to the fact that cheap PCs are functionally limited and frequently crippled in hardware and software, because people are used to getting what they pay for. This is true despite the fact that almost all cheap PCs are minitowers. I will concede that shipping the mini with 256MB RAM was dumb, since the iLife apps really could use twice that, but otherwise I don't get it.

I also don't see how adding one more minitower to a sea of minitowers would have any effect at all, except maybe to generate speculation that Ive is burned out and Apple has run out of ideas. The mini is the first Mac I've seen to generate serious interest from the PC users I know. That includes several highly technical, build-your-own-box types. I can't claim to understand its appeal entirely myself, but it's certainly got appeal. And it's appealing to people who would have bought PCs otherwise.
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post #108 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg

. . . Thus Apple had to make the Mini absolutely unpalatable to prospective tower buyers, and they also had to make it perform worse than the iMac. This means zero expandability, sloth-like performance, and virtually no growth potential. As soon as a Mini owner begins to use their Mini to edit video or collect mp3s, Apple wants them to run into a wall - at which point they either buy a PC, or consider a more expensive Mac.

So first Apple neutered the Mini with a G4 and a shitty video chipset. They gave it a narrow array of ports. Most importantly, Apple put a ridiculously slow and tiny HD in the Mini, so when new Apple users try to edit video, they're cramped and forced to buy external drives or directly upgrade to an iMac/tower. The single RAM slot adroitly frustrates Mini users, since they cannot add more than one stick of RAM, and even adding that stick is a major undertaking.

This is the objective of the Mac Mini: Tantalize "switchers" with how great OS X can be, but keep them on a choke-chain so they won't be satiated by their single Mac purchase. Apple is hoping that with an initial outlay of $600, these switchers won't blame Apple for the Mini's sucking-potential, but will instead shrug it off as the normal limitation of such a cheap computer. . .



You have a way of describing things that make it sound malicious and Machiavellian. Apple made a very compact, inexpensive, lower performance Mac by using less costly or smaller parts. Good show. It's about time. Anyone interested in higher performance shouldn't buy it. Regarding MP3 files, there is nothing stopping someone from hooking up a 250 GB FireWire drive to it.

I'm sitting here at a 300 MHz beige G3 with a two port USB card added, and I'm getting along fine surfing the web, doing email and word processing. The Mac Mini will put me light-years ahead in performance and allow me to use iWorks. Waiting for Tiger is all that's holding back my order.

Yes, at a little higher price Apple could have given us a small, faster, consumer tower. But many folks don't need or want a small tower, and would object to paying a few hundred dollars more. Let's face it. Apple can't offer the variety that's available from all the Wintel vendors. In the future maybe Apple will expand their product line. For now, Apple saw fit to put a stake in the ground at the low end that will be very difficult to match for some time.
post #109 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
1) If it's so obvious that it sucks so hard, why is it selling so well? Why are PC enthusiast sites so excited about it? Most of them are more enthusiastic about the mini than I am.

I should clarify "sucks so hard".

I certainly believe the Mini has enough performance to handle just about anything a casual computer user would throw at it. It is a capable machine and will perform adequately for now. The problem is that Apple has built a quickly approaching obsolescence into each and every Mini. The single RAM slot, the laptop HD, the old-generation CPU; this component set is built to age, and age fast.

Apple has a reputation for building machines that last, in terms of both reliability and usability. My Sawtooth Powermac is still going strong, because Apple made it to last. Many G3 iMacs can still run OS X well enough for casual users. But this Mini isn't going to last, it will be totally obsolete in 3 years.

What I find so annoying about this is that with a few slightly different design trade-offs, Apple could have made the Mini to last. I understand their reasons to build in obsolescence, as I described above, but that doesn't make the Mini any less annoying. I mean, with just a little change here and there, the Mini could be a totally bitchin' computer! Add another RAM slot, and use a desktop hard drive, and suddenly the Mini has many more years built into it.

How much would a larger HD and one extra RAM slot have cost Apple? Maybe they'd be selling the Mini for $609.99? And so what if it's one inch longer, or half an inch in two dimensions? Why does this matter at all? It still fits on a desk, it's still smaller than a cube, and...what else? A computer can be sexy regardless of size, it's all about how the size is used! Please note that you don't hold a computer in your hand while using it, you put it on your desk and it becomes hidden by stacks of papers and CDs.

As is too often the case, Apple made another computer that is only just shy of great. The Mini is close enough to perfect that we can all see the design decisions that should have been made. That's what's so annoying - if the Mini were just garbage, nobody would care.
post #110 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg
... As is too often the case, Apple made another computer that is only just shy of great. ...

Every successful design is "just shy of great". You have just discerned one of the great principles of engineering.
post #111 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg
I should clarify "sucks so hard".

. . . I mean, with just a little change here and there, the Mini could be a totally bitchin' computer! Add another RAM slot, and use a desktop hard drive, and suddenly the Mini has many more years built into it. . .



I know how you feel on this one. I was pretty grumpy for a few days after Mini's announcement. I just wanted a low cost, headless Mac and resented the RAM and hard drive limitations. It took several days to reconcile with Mac Mini and accept Apple's decision to make it tiny. It gives the Mini more marketing appeal. Of the two limitations, I regret not having a common 3.5 inch hard drive the most. One RAM strip is just inconvenient. Before long there should be 2 GB strips. More USB ports would have been nice on a bigger box too.
post #112 of 163
But does anyone doubt that the mini is a first step by Apple to create a computer that sits in the living room and manages a person's entertainment choices? With a few tweaks or additions it could be a DVR, digital photo album (hooked to the TV so people could see them), music library (connected to the home stereo), DVD player, CD player, and more.

I think Apple needs to get a media center out there and whether they do it themselves (which they should) or allow a third party to do it for them - they should do it quickly.
post #113 of 163
I like the mini.

I had always laughed at the iLife and OSX Family Packs. I thought "who can afford 5 Macs and actually take advantage of these products. Well I got my answer with the mini. It's not a barn burner in speed but it's a computer that is affordable enough to put in every childs room in the house without going broke.

We are entering a new era in Macs. Affordable and powerful "enough" I'm excited for the future because of the mini. If Apple ships 800k+ of these calendar 2005 there is no doubt that will open eyes in the industry.

In a few years when my son is ready for his first computer I imagine the mini will have really improved and it'll be more than he needs quite honestly.
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post #114 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg
The problem is that Apple has built a quickly approaching obsolescence into each and every Mini. The single RAM slot, the laptop HD, the old-generation CPU; this component set is built to age, and age fast.

Apple has a reputation for building machines that last, in terms of both reliability and usability.

They also have a reputation for building machines that had damn well better last, for what you paid for them. Remember when every Mac user on the 'net had the ROI argument down pat?

No machine purchased for home use can be considered an investment in any sense. You're spending money on what is essentially a luxury item. Given that, is it better to spend $1500 on one machine that lasts 5 years, or $500 on a machine that lasts 2? $1500 / 5 is $300 / year. $500 / 2 is $250 a year.

So, for a less money than your Sawtooth probably cost new, you can buy a Mini, "upgrade" every single component every two years by replacing it outright, and get six years of use for your $1500. And the upgrade process is so trivial that your grandmother could do it, with a balanced, tested, well-integrated system as the result.

Relative to cheap PCs, those are hardly ever upgraded either. And unlike most of the real cheapies, you can just by the little mini, instead of replacing the whole system the way the PC vendors and retailers want you to do. And since the mini sips 20-28W of power vs. 300W or more for a minitower PC, it will save you a lot of money in electricity bills.

The long term reliability of the mini is unknown. But the fact that it runs cool is a good sign. The fact that it's a relatively sealed box also helps, actually. Generally, there's a tradeoff between securely fastening something in and making it easy to upgrade. Time will tell.

Quote:
My Sawtooth Powermac is still going strong, because Apple made it to last. Many G3 iMacs can still run OS X well enough for casual users. But this Mini isn't going to last, it will be totally obsolete in 3 years.

Based on what? The mini runs Panther well, and Tiger will run even better notwithstanding the GPU. So that accounts for about 2 of your 3 years. Since most people don't upgrade their operating systems, it accounts for all three.

At that point, why would the mini be any more obsolete than a G3 iMac is now? The mini is just an eMac in a smaller box, and the eMac is just a G4 iMac.

Quote:
What I find so annoying about this is that with a few slightly different design trade-offs, Apple could have made the Mini to last. I understand their reasons to build in obsolescence, as I described above, but that doesn't make the Mini any less annoying. I mean, with just a little change here and there, the Mini could be a totally bitchin' computer! Add another RAM slot, and use a desktop hard drive, and suddenly the Mini has many more years built into it.

Not really. By the time you need more than 1GB of RAM, everything else will probably be hopelessly out of date, and the RAM will be dated and expensive. Given that hard drives have been getting smaller and smaller over time (when's the last time you saw a 5" HDD?), the choice of a 2.5" hard drive is probably forward looking, although I doubt Apple thought in those terms. There will be many more choices of 2.5" HDD in a few years, with much higher capacities. That's been the trend. It might not be more than a few years before 3.5"s become as quaint as 5"s are now.

At that point, you can just buy another mini, and bitch about how it comes with a 1.5" drive instead of the standard desktop 2.5".

Quote:
How much would a larger HD and one extra RAM slot have cost Apple?

Not much, but that's not the point. I've beaten that argument into the ground elsewhere, but suffice it to say that there are plenty of other reasons to get the size down, and one obvious reason not to offer much for internal upgradability: putty knives?!
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post #115 of 163
Whew. Thanks for carrying the torch of reason Amorph.

As I age, it seems that certain personality traits of youth become more apparent to my aged and hopefully experienced perspective. One such behavior is not only more common in the naivety of youth, but also more common on forums like AI.

The behavior I'm speaking of is the tendency to project one's own wants and preferences upon the rest of humanity.

Specifically, with our geeky subculture here, it is common for people to forget how computers are used by the rest of society. Ironically, this lack of perspective is not usually counteracted by higher education. Academia is filled with people of relatively high intelligence, similar ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. A decade in the workforce and one gains a whole hell of a lot of perspective; perspective on joe-six-pack; perspective on hourly employees; and most importantly, perspective generational differences.

New users come here and rant about how the mini doesnt fit typical needs, all the while not realizing that they have an extremely skewed perception of typical.

Apple is selling minis as fast as they can produce them. The reason? They didnt listen to an insular bunch of techno-weenies. Instead, they released a product that meets the demands of the masses, not just us AIers.

Sure, the mini is slow. But for most people, the minis price and size make it the most attractive Mac in a long time.

</high horse>
post #116 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg
....... My Sawtooth Powermac is still going strong, because Apple made it to last. Many G3 iMacs can still run OS X well enough for casual users. But this Mini isn't going to last, it will be totally obsolete in 3 years.....

dude, i have enjoyed the debate on this thread.

but with that point above, you totally just pulled it out of your ass.

many people thought the g3 imac was going to be absolutely worthless by now, but yes, it still can run OS X what evidence or reasoning do you have that the Mini isn't going to last? i think it can make it easily to the 3 year mark despite tech advances going much much faster than during the G3 iMac's days.. more memory? wireless? more storage? different display? different keyboard mice? by all accounts the DVI, firewire, usb2.0, not having a built in display or being supplied with keyboard and mice make the Mac mini much more flexible and can last a whole lot longer than a g3 imac

you CAN'T compare the Mac mini to your Sawtooth Powermac... Sawtooth was top-of-the-line pro machine in 1999/2000... You need to compare it to a 2004/2005 PowerMac G5 dual 2.5ghz.... if you want to argue about 'longevity of modern apple machines'... as long as people like Sonnet and GigaDesigns still exist, the PowerMac G5 will live long and prosper till the end of the decade, just as your poor little ol' Sawtooth is still humming along five years down the line
post #117 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by dfiler
Whew. Thanks for carrying the torch of reason Amorph.

As I age, it seems that certain personality traits of youth become more apparent to my aged and hopefully experienced perspective. One such behavior is not only more common in the naivety of youth, but also more common on forums like AI.

The behavior I'm speaking of is the tendency to project one's own wants and preferences upon the rest of humanity.

Specifically, with our geeky subculture here, it is common for people to forget how computers are used by the rest of society. Ironically, this lack of perspective is not usually counteracted by higher education. Academia is filled with people of relatively high intelligence, similar ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. A decade in the workforce and one gains a whole hell of a lot of perspective; perspective on joe-six-pack; perspective on hourly employees; and most importantly, perspective generational differences.

New users come here and rant about how the mini doesnt fit typical needs, all the while not realizing that they have an extremely skewed perception of typical.

Apple is selling minis as fast as they can produce them. The reason? They didnt listen to an insular bunch of techno-weenies. Instead, they released a product that meets the demands of the masses, not just us AIers.

Sure, the mini is slow. But for most people, the minis price and size make it the most attractive Mac in a long time.

</high horse>

It's pretty clear you were talking about me in your post so I will respond.

Please tell me what is oh so terrible about me wanting something and a company making it as such? Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? And no I didn't forget how the rest of society uses computer or more specifically the mini. The "deal" with that is I don't care about how someone else uses it - that has no effect on me at all - I care nothing what someone else does with it. They would hang it on the wall and never use it and just use it as art they could use it to dry their feet off when they get out of the bathtub they could use it to run a beastiality porno website - I DONT CARE! All have nothing to do with what I want.

New users come here to rant about how the mini doesn't fit typical needs? Who the hell said that? I have often - here and otherwise - stated that the mini is perfect for typical tasks - sorry but you are waaaay off base there. I've been using macs for over 5 years now just so you know.

I don't care about the typical persons needs - I am not the typical person I suppose - this machine could as junkyard dawg said earlier be just shy of great with a few very very very minor tweaks. If you enjoy buying a machine engineered by Apple to as was stated earlier to be obsolete in 3 years then fine do that and be happy with your purchase, I suppose you are the kind of person who enjoys making sure Apple hits their projected earnings instead of doing what you want in life with the means you have.

Yes it is the most attractive mac in a long time and I am not going to sit here and be thankful that Apple finally broke down and listened to their customers - OMG who ever would have thought to do that!? Maybe all those people should have stopped whining and changed the things that they wanted in life and just saved up three thousand dollars for a decent computer?
post #118 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Here is what I want it to do:

- DVD player

Already covered

- DirectTv Tivo

I want a whole house Tivo for directTv.
Right now I have a single tivo, and I am going
to add a second one. Every time I want to
record something, I am going to have to program
it into both tivos (because I won't know where
I will want to watch it). A whole house tivo
would be able to record 3 or 4 things at once,
and play them in any room (possibly at the same
time).

- Video scaler

The box just needs a bunch of video inputs and it
will be able to scale them to display on the
output device (tv, projector, etc).

I would use this for sharing a projector
between my playstation, computer, etc.

- Music server

Already covered with iTunes and airTunes.
The box just needs to be able to serve to different
zones at the same time (playing different playlists,
or the same).

- Touchscreen remote controllable

I want a number of touchscreens throughout the house
so I can controll the video/audio playback

Non-entertainment extras:

- security system tie in

I want the touch screen to show a layout of my house,
with the rooms that have motion in them being different
colors.

During a fire, I want to be able to see which rooms
are very hot.

- thermostat

I want to be able to see the temparature of each room
in the house.

Turn off the heat in rooms that have windows open.

Turn off the AC in rooms that have the fireplace in use.

wow! you want a lot of stuff.
I hope you'll wait sitting in a couch, because everything you want will take long time to happen, if ever happen.

I see some of your requests probably happening(DVR) but others will never happen (thermostat, security, etc.) You must be joking, I hope.
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post #119 of 163
Quote:
Originally posted by gugy
wow! you want a lot of stuff.
I hope you'll wait sitting in a couch, because everything you want will take long time to happen, if ever happen.

I see some of your requests probably happening(DVR) but others will never happen (thermostat, security, etc.) You must be joking, I hope.

Nope, not joking. I don't really see what is that hard with any of it, except for the whole house tivo - and whole house tivo is already in the works.

If nobody else does it, I may form a company and do it myself - there is no new technology required for most of the stuff.
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post #120 of 163
I don't mean to be cruel once again, but selling it to car manufactures was NOT a factor in the size. Super small size isn't a factor for cars. I mean rip the screen off the top of the iPod, that's a small size already. If a computer goes in the car (a mac mini or any type) it shouldn't be seen anywhere. There's no reason for this. Put it in the trunk (i don't think you should use the dvd player, except to load the movies to rip or whatever. I don't understand people who are putting the mini in the dash or visible in there car. The screen is the interface. Just hide the rest away. There also isn't any good navigation software for the mac. So hopefully somebody will come up with something.


Quote:
Originally posted by jasenj1
IMHO, the size has to do with Apple targeting the mini at the auto manufacturers. If Apple negotiated deals with BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, and I don't know who else to put iPod hookups in their cars, I can't imagine the talks were limited to iPod hookups. All those manufacturers have fancy in-dash navigation systems. I think Apple is aiming at that market.

I could be wrong, but it is the only thing that makes sense to me as to why the mini is the specific size it is.

- Jasen.
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