getting a Mac mini? the FAQ

macmini_dimensions.jpgThis article is based on an FAQ given to me by EZ Jim from Apple Discussions.

This article is to guide people if they should buy a new Mac mini computer announced by Apple on WWSF 2005. You can find more information about Mac mini from Apple's official Mac mini web pages. MacCentre701 has a report on Mac mini - Apple releases Mac mini, everybody can afford one.

The question is whether you should get one, or even more than one. Here are some of my thoughts about what you should consider before answering the question.

Can it replace an older PC?

If so, then you can use the PC's existing monitor and perhaps its mouse and keyboard as well, so your outlay beyond the US$499 or US$599 cost of the Mac mini should be minimal. If your parents complain about the postage stamp-size of the PC's video window when video conferencing with the grandchildren, then getting them a Mac mini will solve that problem as well as many others, including computer virus issues and the need for a DVD player. advertisement:

Can Mac mini replace an older Mac?

Older Macs (models earlier than G4) and all original iMacs (CRT models) and G4 Cube computers are obsolete, and they are prime candidates for replacement with a Mac mini. A Cube user already has a separate monitor than can be used with the mini, and a new CRT monitor for use with the mini can be had for as little as US$100. If you want to upgrade to an LCD display, they can be had for as little as US$200.

The Mac mini can also serve as a good interim solution if you need a new computer now but eventually want to get a more powerful G5 computer. When the time comes to get the G5, the Mac mini will still have value and can be used by someone else or for another purpose. The mini's small size and portability make it very flexible, and (unlike an iMac or an eMac) its headlessness assures a life beyond a display failure.

Do you need a modest home or office server for file sharing?

As a server, the Mac mini can be used with a KVM switch for sharing an existing keyboard, monitor, and mouse with another computer. In addition to file sharing, it also can be used as a print server hub to share several USB printers over the network. And in an emergency, it can serve as a backup computer for temporary replacement of a computer that needs to be repaired.

Is the bundled software of value to you?

In addition to the latest Mac OS X, the mini ships with iLife '05, AppleWorks, and other third-party software including Quicken 2005, Nanosaur 2, and Marble Blast Gold. The new iLife '05 software suite includes upgraded versions of iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand, and iTunes.

> Mac mini official page
> Mac mini specification
> Related MacCentre701 report - Apple releases Mac mini, everybody can afford one.
> Join our discussion at SillyDog701 Message Centre.

Posted by Antony at January 30, 2005 4:01 PM

>> more MacCentre701 January 2005 reports.