Monday, January 31, 2005

News: Apple Number 1 Brand

Apple beat out Google to be the number 1 brand according to Brand Channel. With that and 10 million iPods sold they should be able to get a few people to try a Mac mini. This reinforces my argument that mind share is just as important as market share.

Link: Nano ITX Too Big

Kevin Rose is a really cool guy. I loved The Broken. Enough with the gushing, let me get to this point of this post.

Kevin was able to get a Nano ITX board (I thought these things where vaporware) from VIA and tried to fit it in the mini case. Turns out even the Nano is too big and Kevin had to whip out the dremel to get it to fit. And even then he couldn't get the optical drive to fit.

AV: Sofa

I use Sofa to display album art on my desktop when I'm listening to music and have my Mac hooked up to the TV. I love the zoom out transition between album art. Here is a screen shot.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

AV: Salling Clicker

For my "Media Center" needs I use Salling Clicker with my Sony T610. It's one of the few pieces of shareware I've ever registered (the other being SideTrack) and I'm very happy with it. I use it to control iTunes and VLC. It gives me 90% of what I want.

For the other 10% you can add on scripts like Snarb's VLC Controller which works better than the one included with Clicker. I normally have iTunes running and when I want to start a movie I select the file right from my phone and Snarb's script pauses iTunes and sets my iChat status to away with the title of the movie! Then when the movie's done it unpauses iTunes and the song is right where I left off.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Switch: Video Players

If your like me you've got tons of videos encoded using god knows what. Unless you need QuickTime decoding (I'll cover why you might in the future) don't worry about codecs. Get a player that does the work for you.

The best are VLC and MPlayer OS X. I use MPlayer most of the time because I prefer it's keyboard shortcuts. You should have both just in case either one has a problem with a certain porn I mean comedy clip.

The only other one you should ever need is Windows Media Player which really sucks on OS X but gets the job done when the above two don't work on newer WMV vids. Microsoft should be embarrassed by WMP on the Mac and come out with a real application if and when they update it to version 10.

Link: Ars mini Guide to OS X

The fine fellows at ArsTechnica have put up a guide for "adders" to help you get used to OS X. I'm still trying to come up with a good term for people who plan on trying the Mac before switching and "adders" doesn't cut it. Any ideas?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Opinion: I Want Apple to Lose

In their lawsuits against several people. They are suing the blog ThinkSecret for well secrets and a couple kids for Tiger betas on BitTorrent.

Nicholas Ciarelli of ThinkSecret was a huge fan. I understand that if product secrets are released early it can hurt business. So can bullying your fan base. And in the end Nick was just acting as journalist. If Apple doesn't want it secrets shared then they need to do a better job of keeping their employees and partners quiet. Microsoft wishes they could generate this much excitement. Apple should drop the lawsuit and find a way to make use of it.

Now for the Tiger beta kids. Sure what they did was wrong. But has it really hurt Apple? This was an early beta and it's not like it would keep the people who downloaded it from buying the full version. Get them to commit to doing something good like teaching kids about the Mac.

I hope Apple reads what people are saying and changes their course. If not I'll continue to buy their products but I won't feel quite as good about it.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Link: HP Hearts mini

According to ZDNet HP loves the mini and hopes it opens up a market for small Windows PCs. Of course a lot of the excitement for the mini is because it's not a Windows PC. People really want to try something different. And the mini fits that bill nicely. I'm sure tons of Windows copycats will be out in six months or less but I don't think they'll capture peoples interest the way the mini has.

Opinon: Copying Apple

Here is a sneak peek at the new iBook. Or sorry I mean Asus. You'd think since Asus makes the iBooks they could just copy the molds. But I'm sure this will be a bad photocopy. It will have too many buttons, too many lights.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Deal: Three Different KVMs Starting at $20 Shipped

Plug in your PS2 keyboard, mouse, and VGA monitor to control your PC and mini: Trendware TK-206I $20 $24 Shipped

Plug in your USB keyboard, mouse, and VGA monitor to control your PC and mini: Zonet Technologies KVM3112 $29 $34 Shipped After Rebate

Plug in your USB keyboard, mouse, VGA monitor, to speakers and control your PC and mini: Belkin F1DL102U $46 $50 Shipped

Sorry for the price increases. Shipping was free when I first listed them.

Deal: PS2 to USB Adapter $9.50 Shipped

If you are planning to use a PS2 keyboard and mouse with your mini you will need this. It's the lowest price I could find with shipping.

Link: Smash Has Done It Again

I don't know how he does it but I'm just glad he does. He has a torrent up of a great PDF file for taking the mini apart.

Opinion: PC Held Back by Past

x86 Windows based systems are always being held back by the past. When the iMac was introduced people questioned it's lack of ports and floppy drive. They pointed out it didn't have serial, SCSI, and ADB ports. They said that because it didn't have a floppy there was no way to backup your data. But they were wrong.

I loved the fact that the iMac lacked all legacy ports and didn't have a near useless floppy drive. If Apple had worried about people's reactions the iMac would not have been as elegant as it was. And the mini could never exist.

And PCs still don't come close. Most PCs still come with parallel, serial, VGA, joystick/MIDI, and floppy drives that most people don't need any longer. No one makes any devices that still use these ports expect for VGA. And if PC manufactures had any balls they would switch to DVI and the monitor industry would follow suite. If you do still have legacy devices you can get adapters.

Windows is also held back by the past. A time when a PC was a stand alone system or connected to an internal network and not subject to the hostile environment of the Internet. It's the need for backwards compatibility that makes Windows so insecure and subject to attack.

Apple has been leading the industry. It's time everyone else caught up and let go of the past.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Link: Adam's in the Plain Dealer

Today will live in infamy as the day of links. But I had to put this one up. My friend Adam Critchfield was quoted in the local newspaper in a story about spyware. Now he knows what I've been saying about being misquoted. But they got the gist of it.

Link: AnandTech Love Fest

Continuing my love fest with all things Anand. I think he has just posted his best article ever! It's the best review yet of the mini and a good overview of iLife and iWork. What's great is Anand doesn't get bogged down in details like he often does, and best yet not one damn chart or graph! For those of you that like to read the last page of a book here's the end:

"To the rest of us, it’s a small, quiet, stylish looking box that finally breaks down the price barrier to Mac OS X.  As a second system for any PC user, the Mac mini can’t be beat."

I couldn't agree more.

Link: Anand Hearts Mac

Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech has a great second article about his experiences with switching to the Mac.

If you could say he liked the Mac in his first article you could say he loves the Mac in this article.

Some great quotes and my comments in italics:

"It took a lot of convincing (as well as some executive privilege) for the establishment of the Mac section, and then came the ... article "
Some of Anand's staff didn't want him to write about the Mac.

"Within the first three days of publication, that little Mac article skyrocketed to becoming one of the all-time most popular articles ever published on AnandTech."
Windows enthusiasts are dying for something new.

"One problem with these types of articles is that they inevitably take much longer to put together, simply because there are no structured tests to run and analyze."
That's why this article is so good."

"At the end of the first Mac article, I came to the realization that what attracted me most to OS X was the way everything just worked the way that you'd expect it to."
Welcome to the Mac, Anand.

I don't want to give away too much so go read the article and give the guy some credit in the comments section and send him some nice emails.

He just put up an article on the mini! I really think he gets it!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Humor: Morning After

Since the tradition in the US is to get totally drunk on your 21st birthday let's hope the Mac doesn't do something it will later regret.

News: Happy 21st Birthday Macintosh

21 years ago today, on January 24th 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh.

Here is a great german site with a lost video.

I've put a mirror up for the video.

If you want to link to the video please link to my post:

Link: AV Mac Sites

Here are two more great Mac AV Sites

HTmini is run by Clint Ecker a fellow Ohioan. Checkout this mockup of a potential media center front end:

Mac HTPC is run by by Brian Greenway who is new to Macs but an old hand with Home Theaters. I love this mockup of a mini add-on:

Check em out and let me know of any others.

Humor: Move to Iceland

Thanks to UberGeek for this funny switch bit.

News: 250,000 minis Sold

According to this site Apple sold 250,000 minis in 7 days! Breaking the record held by the original iMac.

New Format

I've written a ton of articles in less than two weeks and I've noticed it's hard to sort through them. So I'm going to add categories to the front of my posts. Here are the ones I'm planning to use:


If you have any questions or think of any others let me know.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Apple vs Sony vs Dell

People love the David and Goliath struggle of Apple vs Microsoft. In the past the two companies competed to build the first popular GUI desktop. Apple won that battle but lost the war. Today the two companies are very different and it's not really honest to compare Apple and Microsoft.

In the digital lifestyle war it's a competition between Apple, Sony, and the new five hundred pound gorilla Dell. Microsoft is in the background still trying to understand the market while Apple is making real money. It appears again that Apple has won the battle. But will they win the war?

Apple vs Sony
Sony has been one of the few computer companies to focus on style as much as Apple. Sony produced the first PowerBooks for Apple and I've often thought if Apple disappeared I'd by a Sony notebook. But they never had the elegance of Apple. They suffer from feature creep. Too many buttons, too many lights.

Sony has competing interests since they own a lot of music. They where afraid to come out with a mp3 player for fear of eating into their music sales. Now they are starting to admit this. They lost the first round to Apple.

Now it seems Apple and Sony might be teaming up again. To what end who knows but it will be interesting to watch.

Apple vs Dell
Dell is scared. Trust me. Smart companies with their heads on straight don't lash out at the competition. Smart companies say their product is nice but ours is better. Dell can't give away it's mp3 player. Why? I think Chris says it best, ugly, ugly, ugly.

The next battle is for the living room and Dell is trying to come out in front this time. But unless they take some good advice they will lose to Apple and Sony.

Dell is bound to corporate and small business sales. The digital lifestyle matters little to these companies and probably explains why Dell's media center is buried in their website. Plus Dell is stuck to Microsoft who seems to be focusing solely on passive TV style entertainment while Apple has been building great tools to make content.

Will the mini and some yet unknown product and service from the Apple Sony partnership bring the full promise of the digital lifestyle and win the war? I'm betting they will. Any takers?

Mac Users Computer Bilingual

On LinuxInsider Paul Murphy has an excellent commentary up. His main point is that most Mac and Linux advocates have used Windows and didn't enjoy it. While most Windows advocates have never seriously tried anything else and so have no basis for comparison. I couldn't agree more. When a Windows enthusiast really tries the Mac they seem to like it.

Another point he makes is that the reason Apple's market share is low is because Mac users don't upgrade as often. I know this is true. I see people using really old Macs all the time. When I ask them why they don't upgrade they say if it's not broke don't fix it.

I've been saying forever that it really isn't market share but mind share that matters. And given all the attention Apple's getting mind share is about 50/50.

Maybe the pitch shouldn't be to switch but just to give the Mac a chance. At least you'll learn to be bilingual. And everyone knows bilingual is sexy.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

How Easy It Is To Switch

Russel Beattie shows us how easy it is to switch. I'm guessing it took him less than 30 minutes.

Let's hope he documents the software side of the switch.

Thanks to Om Malik for the pointer to Russ' site.

Even Snow Storms Can't Keep Me From the mini

Your intrepid blogger wanted to be at the Apple store first thing this morning but mother nature had other ideas.

After digging my self out, the drive that normally takes a half hour took twice as long. But a little snow wasn't going to keep me away.

They had two minis on display and a few people where using them. I talked to the staff while I was waiting and they said there where six people waiting at 9AM when they opened and they all bought minis.

I asked them if I could upgrade to Airport (WiFi) and Bluetooth after buying the mini. They said yes but didn't have the upgrade modules yet. They also said they would recommend them installing the modules as it's very hard.

Then I asked about the high price for the 1GB module. They said Apple uses the highest quality RAM and was working on finding a cheaper supplier. In the meantime they said it would not void the warranty to upgrade it myself but they don't recommend it for most people.

Next I asked if they got special putty knives. Which made them chuckle and they said they had but they didn't have Apple logos on them or anything.

No one yet had complained about the lack of keyboard and mouse. Overall they where super nice and great guys.

Finally I got to use the 1.42 mini. I picked it up and couldn't believe how light and small it was. You really have to see this in person.

I started playing around with it. It was very snappy until I loaded four or five apps and maxed out the 256MB of RAM. I downloaded VLC and several high quality DivX files which of course it had no problems playing.

The internal speaker isn't very loud. I could hardly hear it in the store. So I plugged in my head phones and the sound quality was very good.

I ran through the iLife and iWork apps and as long as there was free memory things were smooth.

I even downloaded Xbench and ran it. Here is the results file if your interested in that kind of thing. To sum them up it compares very well to a G4 iMac Flat Panel.

It really is a great system for most people and I can't wait to get mine.

Getting the Big Picture On the mini

Many smart people think Apple has something up it's sleeve with the mini. Om Malik makes the case on his blog that the after market will come up with products to turn the mini into the ultimate HTPC. As this happens Apple and Sony will team together and offer movies online.

Will iTheater revolutionize the movie industry the same way iTunes has for music? I know I'd rather pay $10 for new movies than buy the DVD at Best Buy. Plus don't forget that a lot of iTunes business is in obscure titles. This could mean you'll soon be able to watch almost any film you can think of. And with cheap HD camcorders coming to market there will be a ton of new niche content. I can almost smell the popcorn now.

NBC Shows Off mini

Here's a video sneak peek at NBC News' coverage of Macworld Expo. Great coverage from a major network even if they do mispronounce Steve Jobs' name. This will help sell Windows users who are tired of dealing with Microsoft's problems.

mini FAQ

Check out MacWorld's mini FAQ. It helps answer questions on upgrading the RAM, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

#1 on Yahoo!

Thanks everyone for making this site the #1 result on Yahoo when you search for mac mini blog.

Plus you can add our Atom feed to your My Yahoo page and see when new articles are posted. This is a great new feature on Yahoo.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Taking Down the Poll

Sorry I had to take down the poll. Bravenet was putting popup ads on this site! I'll be writing them a nasty email. I'm look for another poll provider. Any suggestions?

Thanks to everyone who voted here are the results:

mini Dissected

Ai Mark 42 rocks us with a link to John Waller's great disassembly guide. Doesn't seem too hard and you can save a ton if you want 1GB of RAM.

Mac mini for $439 from Target

Big thanks to Ai Mark 42 who reached me on iChat about this great deal. Check out FatWallet for details. Also thanks to FatWallet for the link to me!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Cinema mini

Should Apple introduce a Cinema mini to go along with the Mac mini? And while they're at it how about a Keyboard mini as well?

Cinema mini


12-inch (viewable)
1280 x 800 optimal resolution
16.7 million colors
DVI Display Connector
2 port USB 2.0 Hub
2 FireWire 400 ports

VESA mount compatible

Windows mini Build Challenge Update

In my first Build Challenge I set forth a challenge to build a x86 PC to compete with the Mac mini. I didn't get any great systems listed but we did have a good laugh about how sexy Macs are.

I've posted on other sites including The Tech Report and most of the responses tried to compare full sized x86 PC to the mini. I've said how this is crazy. I just want to compare the mini with SFF x86 systems.

That begs the question just what is a SFF system? I can't find a good definition on the web so I'll set my own.

SFF acronym for Small Form Factor: Computer system that is smaller than 925 cubic inches.

SFF system range greatly in size from the Shuttle SB59P at 915 cubic inches to the Cappuccino EZ3 at 63 cubic inches. The Mac mini is on the smaller side at 84.5 cubic inches. The price range also varies greatly as do performance and style. Lets leave out performance since it isn't really an issue for most people in our post megahertz era.

To narrow the challenge follow these criteria:
Size: Must be under 925 cubic inches
Price: Must be under $1200
Style: Must not be ugly

I guess we could argue that last one but I'll accept anything that at least tries to be attractive. Also it has to be ordered built and tested with Windows. Most people don't want to build their own systems and since you can't with the Mac mini it wouldn't be fair to compare it to bare bones systems. Also the systems should match the mini's configuration: 256MB RAM/40GB Hard Drive/Combo Drive.

No single SFF x86 PC meets the mini on all the factors so I'll compare it to three:

Cappuccino EZ3
Size: 63 cubic inches
Price: $823
Style: 5 out 10

Even smaller than the mini. But more expensive and close to ugly.

Shuttle L 5600h
Size: 680 cubic inches
Price: $515
Style: 7 out of 10

Much bigger than the mini. But larger hard drive by default.

Hush Mini ITX
Size: 452 cubic inches
Price: $1159
Style: 9 out of 10

Great looks. But still bigger and way more expensive.

Compare these to the:

Mac mini
Size: 84.5 cubic inches
Price $499
Styles 9 out of 10

I hope you can see why the Mac mini is the best system overall and the only one that is more than the sum of it's parts. Now for some the fact that it doesn't run Windows means they would never choose it. For others the fact that these systems run Windows means they would never choose them. Let's not have any flame wars over the OS. And I'm leaving out the bundled software that comes with the mini as a factor in the price. But it is a nice plus that you get iLife, iWorks, and Appleworks.

Please post any systems that are better than the three I've listed that meet my criteria.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mac mini Rocks the House

New site to help you use the mini in your home theater. I plan on using mine for iTunes, DVD playback, DivX playback, and and Bluetooth remote/called ID.

I'm not sure if I'll add PVR or not.

Dell Slashes Prices to Compete

Thanks to gotamacmini for the lead. Looks like Dell is scared and slashing prices to keep people with them. They are offering a cheap system with 17" LCD for $399 after rebate.

I guess competition is good for everyone. Except Dell that is.

Worth the Wait

It looks like it might take 3-4 weeks to get your Mac mini if you haven't ordered it yet according to the Apple Store. You can't say I didn't warn you. I'll keep any eye out for any places that may still have stock.

It's the same with restaurants. The great ones always have a wait.

Best mini Bundle

ClubMac is offering a great deal on this bundle:

Mac mini 256/40/Combo $494.00
Gem 17" LCD $255.99
Epson Stylus $99.00
MacAlly Keyboard and Mouse $29.99

Total $878.98 and after rebates $670.00
Ground Shipping is up to $50.00 but free after rebate

I personally hate rebates and have had trouble in the past with receiving them. But if don't mind possibly having to bug a company to get your money this is a great deal.

Mac mini Internals

Video shows how easy it is to take the mini apart. The only tool you need is a putty knife. Just one more tool to add to your computer bag. Also great pics of the motherboard. Love the rounded corners, such an Apple touch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Mac mini Condo for $30

Mac mini colocation starting at $30.

In colocation size means everything. These guys used to rip iMacs apart for the rack. This is a great quote from the FAQ "The mini is the first product in a long time to make us really excited. The fun is back".

I estimate you can fit close to 126 Mac minis in a 42U rack as opposed to only 42 1U servers. It's closer to a blade sever.

Post Megahertz

The fact that most users don't need a faster processor surfaced around the days of the Pentium III. Before that upgrading to a faster processor yielded a noticeable increase in performance and allowed you to use more sophisticated applications and digital media. But for the most part any Pentium III/Athlon/G4 runs current desktop software well.

I've been surprised that the computer industry has been able to keep people upgrading in these post megahertz days. Of course some people will always need the fastest systems. Gamers form the largest part of this user base but there are also professionals, artists, and scientists. But for the rest of us upgrading just improves the "feel" of our systems. You would have a hard time even measuring the difference.

Apple was one of the first to introduce the idea of the megahertz myth. Then AMD came up with a new naming system using a PR or performance rating. Stating that their chips ran as fast as the equivalent Intel chip even though the clockspeed was much less. Intel has now acknowledged this by abandoning clockspeed in the naming of their processors.

The Mac mini makes perfect sense in this post megahertz world. More important now are factors such as cost, size, and heat. Apple has been the first major manufacturer to take advantage of this. I expect Sony and Dell will follow suite and introduce small cheap desktops using mobile Intel and AMD processors. But if history holds true they will just be a bad photocopy of the mini.

I first heard the term post megahertz today at Jon Fortt's blog Technofile.

Mac mini Now Comes With Keyboard and Mouse

When you purchase it from ClubMac or MacMall. You can also get free printers and headphones after rebate of course. Shipping is free and depending on what state you are in you can save on the sales tax.

Second Blogger mini Site

The say good ideas come in pairs. Take the time to check out Rob's site. Rob's focusing on getting the best deals to go with the mini.

Do you know of any other mini blogs?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Apple Sets Record Profits

Apple is doing very well. Christmas profits more than quadrupled due to incredible iPod sales and the highest number of Macs sold in four years. Should be interesting to see what the mini does in Christmas 2005.

From Reuters

Macs Are For Lefties. Windows Is For Righties

The division between Mac and Windows enthusiasts is sharp. Look at Comparisons, Comparisons at Ed states that the Macsters (his term) choose Macs to make a fashion statement and that they gives us orgasms. I don't know about orgasms but I think the difference is larger than fashion.

There are large differences between the enthusiasts on both sides. I'll list a few.

Right vs Left Brain
Artists in all forms have been the enthusiasts of the Mac user base. First it was publishers then photographers and now video and cinematographers. Windows' enthusiasts started off business users and now are strongly gamers.

Left brain people are random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing, subjective, and look at wholes.

Right brain people are logical, sequential, rational, analytical, objective, and looks at parts.

Mac enthusiasts want something that works together as a whole, that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Windows enthusiasts focus on the objective side and want the best performance from the individual parts.

Right vs Left Politics
I had a more moderate political view before George W. Bush. I even voted for him the first time because I didn't agree with the lying in the Clinton administration. I naively believed him when he said he would be a uniter not a divider. But after President Bush's first term I've become a strong liberal.

I don't have the statistics but I imagine that Mac enthusiasts skew liberal and Windows enthusiasts skew conservative.

Right vs Left Handed
Windows users often complain about the lack of a second button on the Mac mice. Even though you could get a second button mouse to work for years and the second button is well supported in OS X. That's why I'm happy Apple didn't include a mouse with the mini.

I always explain that the reason Apple choose a single button was that when they did the initial product testing left handed people had a very hard time using a two button mouse. And they still do. I know a lot of lefties that struggle with ergo mice designed for righties. Most Windows enthusiasts would say "Who cares, how many lefties are there?". The point was the majority is right handed and therefore the lefties can suffer.

This all helps explain why we have a hard time understanding each other and delight in arguing about it.

Please share any reasons you have.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Get the mini Now

Sorry Apple hasn't released the Mac mini early. But you can get this great icon set from Devix.

Thanks to Fernando Lucas Santos of Devix for lending me the Mac mini icon in the title of this blog.

Tipping Point

Great overview of the reason the Mac mini is so important. The sweet spot.


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Steve Jobs Has Balls

Jobs has his short comings but you have to give him credit. The guy has balls. Unlike Bill Gates who came from money, Jobs was an orphan who got lucky to be raised in California at the right time. Jobs is not a great coder or hardware engineer but he is a great designer and knows talent.

It took balls to startup one of the first personal computer companies when the only computers people knew of took up small rooms. He knew Steve Wozniak was a hardware genius. And even though I never really cared for the Apple II I have to admit the Apple IIc was a great design.

Jobs knew that the Apple II was just the beginning and that most people would never be comfortable with a command line based system. He saw the work at Xerox and knew that was the future. He needed to make it affordable. Pulling off the near impossible with the original Mac even while alienating everyone else at Apple in the process. Because of anger over his treatment of people during the Mac's development he was forced out of the company.

He then started NeXT. NeXT never had much of an impact on the world. But it was an incubator. And when Apple went through several CEOs and was in deep trouble Jobs was ready. He knew what to do. Design a new Mac. One that would get attention. It had to have sex appeal. He introduced the iMac and Apple was saved.

But he knew it wouldn't last long. Hardware had become much more powerful but the Mac OS had not kept up. OS 8 had a great interface but the plumbing was starting to show it's age. Jobs had the answer with NeXT. He sold the OS to Apple and combined it with UNIX. Apple had been working on a new OS unsuccessfully for years but Jobs was able to roll a lot of that work into OS X.

Becoming a personal electronics company and competing with Sony took big balls. But Jobs made the iPod the most important personal music device ever. Surpassing even the Walkman and insuring the future of the company. While at the same time legitimized legal music sales over the net.

Now Jobs has taken his design skill and his big, big balls and introduced the Mac mini. It totally changes the companies target market. And like the iPod it could be come one of the most important personal computers ever. And if you watched the Gates CES Keynote and Jobs Mac World Keynote you know who's going to win.


From Apple Haters

From Apple Fans

From Gizmodo

Winner for humor value: Apple fans of course. "You are Borg.", priceless.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Pimp Your Ride

Mobile mini

Friends don't let friends use Windows

My roommate Chris is a loyal Windows user. He think Windows XP is the cat's meow. But he's really jealous of the design of my PowerBook 17" compared to his huge HP (desktop replacement) 15" widescreen notebook. He isn't so sure about OS X. I've extolled the virtues of the superior interface and the Unix core but it he just doesn't get it.

His big concern is the total change of what he's used to. It's like Mother's Meatloaf. You may try other meatloafs but none of them will be better than your mom's.

Plus he's got a lot of hardware to try. Scanners, printers, etc. I'm hope 99% of it will work but only time will tell. He also runs a lot of strange software including a voicemail/fax over IP system. I've got my fingers crossed that all will go well cause I'm tried of being his 24/7 help desk.

So I'm going to put the Mac to the Pepsi challenge and have him use it exclusively for a week. That means no Windows at all. We're going to transfer all of his documents, email, etc. I'm going to have him do most of it with my help. And we'll blog the whole thing. It will start on Tuesday because I have a presentation to make on Monday.

If all goes well he's going to buy a Mac mini.

Any ideas you have would be great.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Apples to Apples

Lots of people are comparing the Mac mini to a cheap PC. They compare it to Dells, custom built PCs, and even used systems. This is craziness. The Mac mini is different. Sure it's just another computer. Sure it's just a cheap Mac. But there are differences.

It's sold without a keyboard and mouse. I love this. Input devices are very personal. Some people like two buttons, some like ten, I prefer a trackpad. Now you don't have to pay for stuff that you don't want and will just end up in a drawer.

You can put it anywhere and it doesn't sound like a 747. I've had a fetish for small computers for ever. The Cube was great. The iMac flat panels are great. SFF PCs are great. But you had to pay a premium over a big system. The mini is different. It's less than $100 more than any PC from a major manufacturer. You could point out that with a mid tower PC you get more expansion. But now a days most people NEVER upgrade. They do notice how loud their computers are.

This sounds crazy to PC enthusiasts. Trust me I used to be one. I would spend hours reading the latest reviews. I knew the difference between CPUs, fans, motherboards, video cards, chipsets, hard drivers, optical drivers, cases, power supplies, etc. Now I just don't care. I've lost my taste for first person shooters and games in general.

I still spend lots of time online, listening to music, watching TV shows and movies. And the Mac does this better. Now people don't have to pay a premium to experience computing without hassles.

Summing up what makes the Mac mini different. You can use whatever mouse you want. You don't need a computer desk. You don't have to turn up your speakers to block out the noise. You don't have to hassle with spyware, viruses, drivers, and keeping your system up to date. Now you don't have to pay more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Rant about Apple marketing

Check out my friends rant about iMarketing.


Windows mini Build Challenge

Remember that form factor is the feature.

Build an equivalent Windows PC. Here's the best I could do:

LOGIC Supply

Logic Supply 3688 mini-ITX System
- Power Supply Morex 60 Watt Power Supply
- Operating System Windows XP Home - English
- Motherboard EPIA MII 12000 1.2Ghz
- Memory 256MB PC2100/DDR266 RAM
- Hard Disk 2.5" 40GB Seagate 5400rpm
- Color Silver
- CD / DVD Drive Panasonic CW-8123-B Slotloading CD-RW / DVD
- Build and test this system

Total: $710

The Cupid 3688 is the closest I could come in price, size, and style. It's still bigger and slower than the Mac mini and is $210 more!

2005 Year of the Mac mini

As everyone has heard Apple did what people had been begging for and introduced a cheap Mac without a display.

I don't want to bore you with the specs.

It is:

Small and great looking, period.

Fast enough for most people, period.

Faster that any Windows PC not locked down like Fort Knox, period.

Cheaper than any equivalent Windows PC, period.

Back when the Mac was being developed Steve Jobs told the developers "Well you know how many millions of people are going to buy this machine - imagine that you can make it boot five seconds faster, well that's five seconds times a million every day that's fifty lifetimes, if you can shave five seconds off that you're saving fifty lives."

Millions of new Mac users are going to buy the mini. It will save them quite a bit more than five seconds a day. I want to help them save even more time and get right to the best of what the Mac and the Mac community can do.