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Apple says 17-inch iMac still available; more hardware tidbits

post #1 of 50
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Apple Inc. this week confirmed a stay of execution for its previous-generation 17-iMac all-in-one desktop, which will remain available for order and purchase by educational institutions. Meanwhile, several other tidbits regarding the company's latest hardware introductions have surfaced.

17-inch iMac left to linger for EDU

In a note to channel partners this week, Apple said that its late-2006 17-inch iMac will remain available for educational institutions indefinitely, confirming earlier speculation on the matter.

Only authorized schools and universities may purchase the $899 white-clad systems, however, meaning that students will remain restricted in their purchase options to the firm's latest 20- and 24-inch aluminum models (with educational discounts).

The 17-inch educational iMac remains unchanged from last year and will continue pack a 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2MB shared L2 cache, 512MB memory, 160GB Serial ATA hard drive, 24x Combo drive, and an Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 memory.

Mighty Mouse gets its tail trimmed

Meanwhile, Apple also confirmed that it is shipping a slightly modified Mighty Mouse alongside its new aluminum iMacs. Although the mouse appears visually the same, its side buttons are colored white and its cord is significantly shorter than previous versions.

In order to reduce desktop clutter, the new iMacs ship with a Mighty Mouse whose cord has been trimmed from 30 inches down to 18.5 inches, Apple said. At this time, it appears that the only way to obtain the revised mouse is by purchasing one of the new iMacs. The retail version of the Mighty Mouse maintains the longer cord.

iMac retail configs with wireless package

Apple in recent days has also informed members of its retail team that it will soon begin offering special iMac retail configurations that will be available with wireless versions of the Apple Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

These retail-only configurations will be available exclusively from Apple stores once the company starts manufacturing its new wireless keyboard. Although announced along side the new iMacs earlier this month, the wireless keyboard has yet to ship. Checks with the Apple online store continue to reflect lead times of 4- 6 weeks for the peripheral, which should be available for the holiday rush.

Existing iMac retail configurations ship with wired versions of the Apple Mighty Mouse and Keyboard.

Mac mini

Separately, Apple this week also informed channel partners that its latest 'refresh' to the Mac mini includes more memory, larger hard drives and Core 2 Duo processors, but otherwise saw no developmental changes from the models introduced a year ago.

The mini, which is believed to be ailing, saw no changes to its Intel GMA 950 graphics controller and AirPort Extreme 802.11 wireless support, which remains limited to just 802.11g.

"Apple does not provide a solution for upgrading the Mac mini to 802.11n," the company said in a separate note to partners.
post #2 of 50
I wish they would hurry up and release a NEW mouse because the current offering is quite unsatisfactory.

Primarily my complaint is, the scroll ball is always getting clogged up with dust and there is no suitable way to clean it other than turning it upside down and violently scratching across a clean cloth surface such as your jeans. It is worse than the old days of track ball mice.

Secondly, the side buttons are constantly triggering when least expected - right when I'm concentrating on cutting a path around an image in Photoshop. An actual right button not withstanding, the whole thing is quite inferior to even Microsoft's mouse.

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post #3 of 50
Huh? I was pretty sure Mighty Mouse tail was really short already? Certainly less than 30 inches...
post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The mini, which is believed to be ailing...

I cannot understand why anyone would want to cancel the Mac mini.

The iMac is nice and all, but face it: it forces you to throw away your beautiful display when you scrap your computer. Or worse, if your display goes bad, your computer is junk.

For home buyers, the iMac makes a nice package, but for business buyers who don't need the stunning overkill horsepower of the Mac Pro, the Mac mini is an ideal computer.

It fits wonderfully in the smallest cubicle, it has an attractive pricepoint, it is feature-rich (making the lack of expansion slots irrelevant), it is quiet, it is easily transported, and it drives both DVI and VGA.

I buy nothing but Mac minis for my company's desktop computers. If Apple were to discontinue the mini, they would be scrapping any chance they have of getting a better foothold in any market other than home, graphics, and audio. And if they discontinued it... I would keep buying them from second-hand channels.

I read the whole AI article on why Apple would want to discontinue the mini, and it is not at all compelling. Just because they don't hype their low-end, low-margin, low-wow-factor machine doesn't mean that they intend to kill it. Will they also kill the iPod Shuffle then?
post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe View Post

I cannot understand why anyone would want to cancel the Mac mini.

We don't know that anyone does, but we do know that AppleInsider is trying to save face since he was completely wrong about the Mini's demise.
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

Huh? I was pretty sure Mighty Mouse tail was really short already? Certainly less than 30 inches...

Yes--but apple's mighty mouse has quite a longer tail than the cartoon
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Originally Posted by addabox

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post #7 of 50
Take that Edukaten



post #8 of 50
All the iMacs, even the new ones, are lousy for labs in schools. Why?

It's a pain in the ass to replace the hard drive.

You have to do a MAJOR disassembly of the machine to change the disk. The disk is the PRIMARY component to fail in labs, simply because the raw number of systems knocks the MTBF way down. Disks in lab machines need to be easy to replace. Companies like Dell understand this. Apple does not.

On average here we replace a hard drive every couple of months. Having to do a major disassembly every few months to change a borked drive is NOT pretty. This will keep us from adopting the iMac in our labs, other than a token few to appease the Mac users.

They made memory easy to upgrade, but how often do you do that, compared to changing failed disks in a lab environment?

Apple really needs to make their systems easier to service if they expect to catch on in open lab settings. For a home user it's no problem; I don't mind doing that disassembly maybe once or twice in the life of a machine. But for a school? Sorry, Apple fails.

Fix this. Please. I had hopes for the new iMacs but Apple failed us again.
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

Take that Edukaten





Pleeze lurn how two spel!

Its apozed ta bee EDJUMACASHUN!
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

Having to do a major disassembly every few months to change a borked drive is NOT pretty.

'Borking' of drives on a regular basis? Those drives are supposed to have 100k-300k hour mean time to failure rating. What are you doing to them to cause them to fail so quickly?

m

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post #11 of 50
So the lack of "n" upgrades suggests that Apple does not intend this computer to be formidable in the future.

This is the first bit of evidence I'll take that suggests the mini really is headed towards EOL status.

I wish it were smaller :/.

-=|Mgkwho
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

All the iMacs, even the new ones, are lousy for labs in schools. Why?

It's a pain in the ass to replace the hard drive.

You have to do a MAJOR disassembly of the machine to change the disk. The disk is the PRIMARY component to fail in labs, simply because the raw number of systems knocks the MTBF way down. Disks in lab machines need to be easy to replace. Companies like Dell understand this. Apple does not.

On average here we replace a hard drive every couple of months. Having to do a major disassembly every few months to change a borked drive is NOT pretty. This will keep us from adopting the iMac in our labs, other than a token few to appease the Mac users.

They made memory easy to upgrade, but how often do you do that, compared to changing failed disks in a lab environment?

Apple really needs to make their systems easier to service if they expect to catch on in open lab settings. For a home user it's no problem; I don't mind doing that disassembly maybe once or twice in the life of a machine. But for a school? Sorry, Apple fails.

Fix this. Please. I had hopes for the new iMacs but Apple failed us again.

They are clearly not fit for the purpose that you have. Don't buy them.

Next...
post #13 of 50
I have owned 2 Macs over the past 12 years and have owned at least 20 Hard drives. I have 3 external now and four inside the PowerMacG4. I have never had anyone of them fail on me. Modern hard drives are pretty reliable when used with macs. I have seen many of my friends' HDs fail regularly on Windows.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

'Borking' of drives on a regular basis? Those drives are supposed to have 100k-300k hour mean time to failure rating. What are you doing to them to cause them to fail so quickly?

m

Ditto! Every couple of months replace a hard drive??? No way, except maybe in one random case but not as a whole... anyway, if you also have the Applecare warranty, which every school should have (and is very inexpensive on the iMac), a service technician will come to you next day and do the repair/replace the drive. But something is really wrong if your drives are going that fast.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumashow View Post

Ditto! Every couple of months replace a hard drive??? No way, except maybe in one random case but not as a whole... anyway, if you also have the Applecare warranty, which every school should have (and is very inexpensive on the iMac), a service technician will come to you next day and do the repair/replace the drive. But something is really wrong if your drives are going that fast.

Depends. If they have a thousand Macs, then that's not a bad replace rate. I'd say for every hundred Macs, you're going to need to replace 1-3 drives per year.

As for Applecare, it isn't necessarily a good deal, especially for a large quantity. Computers are cheap enough that AC often doesn't make economic sense in an institutional setting. And AC only lasts 3 years. In a school, you may be forced to use computers for 5 years or more.

All of that said... the original poster should get Mac minis. They're not as cool as iMacs or as nice in a lab, but they are perfectly acceptable. To replace the drive, all you need is a filed down putty knife and a little practice.
post #16 of 50
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post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bommai View Post

I have owned 2 Macs over the past 12 years and have owned at least 20 Hard drives. I have 3 external now and four inside the PowerMacG4. I have never had anyone of them fail on me. Modern hard drives are pretty reliable when used with macs. I have seen many of my friends' HDs fail regularly on Windows.

I suppose it's possible that OS X uses a drive in a different way that makes it less likely to fail, but it's doubtful.

Apple, Dell, Gateway, etc. all use the same hard drives. There's nothing "special" about the drive in a Mac other than Apple putting a logo on the OEM sticker. If we have several thousand Dells, each with one hard drive, I expect the failure rate to be about the same as if we have several thousand iMacs, each with one hard drive.

Unless someone shows me hard evidence that drives fail less often on Macs, I won't believe it though. Much as I like Apple, when it comes to hard drives everyone drinks from the same wells.
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkwho View Post

So the lack of "n" upgrades suggests that Apple does not intend this computer to be formidable in the future.

This is the first bit of evidence I'll take that suggests the mini really is headed towards EOL status.

I wish it were smaller :/.

-=|Mgkwho

The lack of "n" upgrades indicates to me that they don't want people to buy Mini's to replace or complement the Apple TV. Product differentiation.
post #19 of 50
Why do Americans call 'titbits' 'tidbits'?

It just doesn't make sense!
post #20 of 50
Apple, pleeease put GMA X3100, 800FSB, 'rosa boards in the MacBooks and Minis (or at least a bottom-rung ATI) !!!!!
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post #21 of 50
Just because AppleInsider believes the mini is on it's way out doesn't mean Apple does. Sounds to me like it isn't. It got a nice little refresh.

Oh and what is a "titbit"?
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePi View Post

Just because AppleInsider believes the mini is on it's way out doesn't mean Apple does. Sounds to me like it isn't. It got a nice little refresh.

Oh and what is a "titbit"?

If you're using a Mac in English, there's little excuse to ask.

The Apple dictionary (from OED):

tidbit |ˈtidˌbit| (also chiefly Brit. titbit |ˈtit-|)
noun
a small piece of tasty food.
• a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information.

It's probably a typo that happened to hit the British spelling, so it didn't show up as a spelling error.
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Checks with the Apple online store continue to reflect lead times of 4- 6 weeks for the peripheral, which should be available for the holiday rush.

GOOD! 'Cause I just know the new tiny Apple keyboard will be this year's Tickle Me Elmo or Cabbage Patch Kid.

Let me know if anybody loses an eye clamoring for these things.

(see signature)
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post #24 of 50
The short tail is a big improvement in my book! Get an extension cable if you need it, but otherwise I'd rather do without the tangle!

Is the new mouse laser, like the wireless one always has been? (As opposed to just optical?)
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePi View Post

Just because AppleInsider believes the mini is on it's way out doesn't mean Apple does. Sounds to me like it isn't. It got a nice little refresh.

Oh and what is a "titbit"?

Did you bother looking at the update? All they did was swap out a processor. Oh, and and add more RAM, I think. That's it. No 'n' networking. No improved graphics. No faster hard drives. Nothing else. It would've been a nice refresh 6-9 months ago, but its more of a sign now that Apple doesn't consider the computer that important.
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

I suppose it's possible that OS X uses a drive in a different way that makes it less likely to fail, but it's doubtful.

Apple, Dell, Gateway, etc. all use the same hard drives. There's nothing "special" about the drive in a Mac other than Apple putting a logo on the OEM sticker. If we have several thousand Dells, each with one hard drive, I expect the failure rate to be about the same as if we have several thousand iMacs, each with one hard drive.

Unless someone shows me hard evidence that drives fail less often on Macs, I won't believe it though. Much as I like Apple, when it comes to hard drives everyone drinks from the same wells.

I really don't think that there's a major difference either. However, My Windows machines seem to hit the system drive once every two seconds, whether or not it's doing any thing obvious. It drove me nuts because I have some old 15kRPM SCSI drives which I only hear the click when it seeks. click click click click click click It gets old. My Macs do hit the drive periodically, but not as often.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

The short tail is a big improvement in my book! Get an extension cable if you need it, but otherwise I'd rather do without the tangle!

If you really are interested in doing without the "tangle" (which has never arose in my experience), you can go wireless. Your suggestion of an extension cable seems to suggest you've really never used one, it's not a very good way to go, I have a few and they don't work that well. One could use Apple's extension cord, those might be better, but oops, they designed it to work only with their keyboard and nothing else.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

GOOD! 'Cause I just know the new tiny Apple keyboard will be this year's Tickle Me Elmo or Cabbage Patch Kid.

Let me know if anybody loses an eye clamoring for these things.

I don't think that was the point. Apple usually gets a good number of sales during the holiday season, and they've never been implicated in a violent ruckus.

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post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Mighty Mouse gets its tail trimmed

...

In order to reduce desktop clutter, the new iMacs ship with a Mighty Mouse whose cord has been trimmed from 30 inches down to 18.5 inches...

Surely that can't be in INCHES!!! Is the cord really two and a half feet long??
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe View Post

Depends. If they have a thousand Macs, then that's not a bad replace rate. I'd say for every hundred Macs, you're going to need to replace 1-3 drives per year.

In a school, you may be forced to use computers for 5 years or more.\\.

Ok, good point, however the drive should last more than 5 years unless it is overheated.

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post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

All the iMacs, even the new ones, are lousy for labs in schools. Why? It's a pain in the ass to replace the hard drive.

On average here we replace a hard drive every couple of months.

Wow, you have to open up a computer once every couple of months!?!?!?!

How can you take that pressure?!?!?!?!

Okay, I understand and yes, it would be nice if there were a simple opening system 'a la Mac Pro that could give you access and even perhaps give you a chance to replace the screen.* A real education product would do that. However having seen iMacs used along side Dells, I really didn't notice the Macs being much of a pain in the museum lab situation.

It would appear the old white iMac LCD is today's iMac CRT reborn. Inexpensive AIO with lots of capability and the students like using them.

* I think if LCD or LED screens are such commodities, there should be an easy way to replace them - thus eliminating one of the biggest problems with an AIO.
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post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

All the iMacs, even the new ones, are lousy for labs in schools. Why?


Because all the kid just sit there and bang on their computer wondering where the hell their precious start menu has gone off to.







post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wish they would hurry up and release a NEW mouse because the current offering is quite unsatisfactory.

Primarily my complaint is, the scroll ball is always getting clogged up with dust and there is no suitable way to clean it other than turning it upside down and violently scratching across a clean cloth surface such as your jeans. It is worse than the old days of track ball mice.

Seriously, has anyone else encountered this? Or not encountered this? We have a G5 iMac with mighty mouse that's in use a few hours every day by 2 people, and we've NEVER had to clean the scroll ball even once! I think you need to wash your hands occasionally, or something in your environment is really nasty. ??

Quote:
Secondly, the side buttons are constantly triggering when least expected - right when I'm concentrating on cutting a path around an image in Photoshop. An actual right button not withstanding, the whole thing is quite inferior to even Microsoft's mouse.

Can't speak to this one. I don't have that problem, but I could see someone with a different grip having issues....
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post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I really don't think that there's a major difference either. However, My Windows machines seem to hit the system drive once every two seconds, whether or not it's doing any thing obvious. It drove me nuts because I have some old 15kRPM SCSI drives which I only hear the click when it seeks. click click click click click click It gets old. My Macs do hit the drive periodically, but not as often.

In the past 2 years or so with PC, Mac hard disks, etc, I have not noticed clicking anymore for 5400rpm or 7200rpm drives. Nowadays they have "quietstep", "softsonic", etc. etc. Yeah, maybe 5 years ago for PC you had the ugly red light and clicking noise, though perversely reassuring knowing that the computer *is* actually doing something while you are twiddling your thumbs waiting for something to actually get done. I think even the latest SATA2 10k drives have much reduced noise levels.

In the past 2 years for my WinXP2Pro PC I disconnected the red light thingy, and given the fan noise (not too loud, but significant as per any PC tower) I can't hear the hard disk at all. On Mac side, I would say for about 3 years now I don't hear any hard disk clicking, only if there is the "click of death" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_of_death) and even with the click of death usually I have to put my ear closer to the hard disk to actually hear it.
post #35 of 50
That said, have you seen Windows Vista on a "mid-range" Dell or HP or Acer or Gateway? Once the "latest" antivirus anti-everything is installed (usually factory installed), I swear HD, RAM, CPU usage, about at least 30% is constantly being sucked away for so-called "security". It is pretty tragic.
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

...but I could see someone with a different grip having issues.... (with the Mighty Mouse)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Secondly, the side buttons are constantly triggering when least expected - right when I'm concentrating on cutting a path around an image in Photoshop..

You should turn off the side buttons in SystemPreferences... Or otherwise just go Logitech all the way. Logitech is awesome. I dropped my wireless mouse like 15 feet onto a hard floor (accidentally) and no scratch, no "shaky loose bits" noises, everything working well still. Unbelievable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post

Why do Americans call 'titbits' 'tidbits'?
It just doesn't make sense!

Those British are so rude. Tsk tsk. Here in the colonies, I have only known it as "tidbits" especially when referring to little tasty snacks. Though now, admittedly, "titbits" is also perfectly apt when referring to little tasty snacks of the naughty kind.
post #37 of 50
With the Mac Mini upgrade Apple's entire line of computers are 64-bit. With Leopard, Apple will be the first OEM to be shipping a complete line of 64-bit systems from the H/W to the S/W. An industry first?
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post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I think even the latest SATA2 10k drives have much reduced noise levels.

I'm pretty sensitive about noise. I do agree that 7200RPM drives are generally very quiet. The Seagates don't bother me at all, I never really hear them, they've been fine for me for several years. I do have a couple WD 7.2k units from last year that occasionally bug me.

I bought a 150GB Raptor for kicks and I thought it was pretty loud on the clicks, and not to mention a negligible performance boost and much less storage over my previous drive arrangement. I returned it. I haven't found any SATA2 10k drives, WD is still on plain SATA for those, according to their site.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I'm pretty sensitive about noise. I do agree that 7200RPM drives are generally very quiet. The Seagates don't bother me at all, I never really hear them, they've been fine for me for several years. I do have a couple WD 7.2k units from last year that occasionally bug me.

I bought a 150GB Raptor for kicks and I thought it was pretty loud on the clicks, and not to mention a negligible performance boost over my previous drive arrangement. I returned it. I haven't found any SATA2 10k drives, WD is still on plain SATA for those, according to their site.

Interesting... Have you investigated Hitachi 10ks ? I am curious about the 10k hard disk scene. I would like to set up a dual 10k RAID 0 thingy some time.
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post

Why do Americans call 'titbits' 'tidbits'?

It just doesn't make sense!

The Brits are the ones who fudged the correct spelling.
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