My Averatec laptop is suffering the fate of many - most? - Averatec laptops: the power jack came loose from the motherboard just after the waranty came up, and I’m not savvy enough to break the thing open and solder it back together myself.
I’m having savvier friend look at it, but I’m tired of budget laptops and enamored of OS X, so I bought a budget Apple - a Mac Mini 1.4ghz, 1 gig of ram. I didn’t go for the superdrive because I figured an external burner, should I need one, would be cheaper and more versatile anyway. The tiny size appeals to me; I’m around spare displays pretty much all day long, so I can lug the mini around when I want to without losing a notebook’s portability advantage.
(I have a very nice campus job that requires me to do practically nothing. Except homework.)
My question is: Have I been too hasty, given Apple’s Intel transition? Should I have waited until the minis transfer over? Will performance be bearable, given that I won’t make high demands on it? Should I worry that Universal binaries will be eschewed, and that a year from now software will be unavailable?
I ask because it won’t ship until next week - I can still cancel it, if I want to. Advice is appreciated.
I work in IT and have to judge these things professionally. You will be fine. In computing, there is always the “next big thing” right around the corner. You should just buy what you need when you need it and ideally adopt new technology after the kinks are worked out. Those transitions take a while to stabilize anyway and support won’t go poof suddenly one day. There will still be many more people like you out there for a long while than people adopting new technologies.
As long as you don’t need to run some particular bit of software that is only available for Windows, you’ll be fine, I would think; there’ll be a bit of a learning curve because although MacOS and Windows are similar in some ways, they’re rather different in others. But you’ll be fine. Stop worrying.
Not an Apple fan, myself, but whatever floats your boat.
I would have probably gone for the iBook instead of the Mini, if I was really going to be carrying the thing back and forth to work all day. Or even once a month. It’s just that more flexible, and not a helluva lot more expensive.
If you want my honest opinion, though: go with a low-end Thinkpad R or Z series. Better hardware for basically the same price as the cheap Apple stuff.
That’s reassuring, thank you. Also oddly reassuring is that Adobe/Macromedia won’t be issuing Intel binaries until 2007 - at least somebody important thinks the PPC models will be relevant for a while.
Well, that’s not an issue, really; I’m quite familiar OS X. I’ve just never owned a Mac personally.
That’s a pretty good point, but cost really did enter into the equation. the mini cost $700 with the ram upgrade; an iBook with a gig of ram - and a slower processor, and a smaller hard drive by half - comes to $1100. Since I’m around displays and peripherals I can mooch off of all day (really) I’m not worried about portability too much.
I think it’ll be at least a year before the Intel Macs are truly at parity with the PPC models in terms of software availability. With millions of PPC Macs still in use, moreover, apps are going to remain PPC-compatible for a long time to come. You made a fine decision, I think.
Funny, that’s what my girlfriend said. I suppose the above was meant to take a swipe at Macs? If not, I’d be grateful for your advice; if so, I’ll alert you to the fact that there may be a very nice girl on the market soon, shamed by her former boyfriend’s love of OS X. If that’s your thing.
I don’t know what the love is with these new Intel Mac dual cores. I recently just bought an iBook, and I bought one after the macBooks came out. I don’t see the advantage of it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I used to hate apples, and laptops. But my fiancee loved them, so I bought him one for Christmas, and that changed my mind. Apple machines (and especially their portable devices) are awesome little things.
If a screen really isn’t a problem, get a mac mini, the dual core will be more expensive if/when it does come out, and the potential gains, IMHO, are just all sales hype.
I think it has mostly to do with the G5 chips being completely inappropriate for small, battery-powered devices, and IBM’s inability or reluctance to fix the situation. My understanding is that there is some performance gain from the Core Duo over the G5, but it’s mostly, as you say, marketing hype. It’s more the performance gain of the core duo over the G4 that worries me. But I suppose it won’t matter with the kinds of things I’ll be doing - web browsing, email, text adventures, playing around with Java/Ruby …
Is it sad that one of the primary reasons I originally became interested in OS X was due to the high-quality text adventure interpreters that are available for it? Probably.
The mini itself is a decent little computer, with the ram upgrade it should get fair performance. The mini-market is more geared towards itunes/browsing/watching movies though. In other words, don’t expect insane gaming performance (not that the mac has many games) or snappy performance in something like photoshop. Concerning the portability aspect of the mini, it’s not exactly “light” but it sounds like you’ve worked out that issue.
To somewhat mirror what you said yourself Randroid, Adobe/Macromedia isn’t making the move to a universal binary until their next software updates. From the reviews i’ve read, Rosetta is pretty decent at translating simple software for the intel macs, but high-end software (like adobe’s) runs pathetically slow. Not to mention Apple is somewhat gouging their customers on their own professional software, those universal binary updates won’t be free. In other words, your mini would be a good investment because the transition to intel is going to take quite some time, if it ever happens completely. Besides, if you ever ditch your mini, you could always use it in something like an entertainment center.
Was it really so hard? I found at least 2 actual lies* in that presentation which you wouldn’t pick unless you used a Mac. But hey, if you want to come into a thread asking advice about Macs and throw in some anti-Mac propaganda, go right ahead. But it’s really not nice, and that applies to you to, Eleusis.
It has plenty of games.
*They might’ve been true in earlier distributiions of the OS, but does anyone else remember Windows ME?
Games are a non-issue for me, anyway: I’ve never been able to afford a computer that could play recent games, usually at all. The Mac will actually be a bit of an upgrade in that respect for me - as I ran Linux on my notebook. Took me forever to get dri to work, only to tire of Tux Racer after about twenty minutes …
Thanks for most people in this thread: I am reassured. I won’t fear obsoletion. For now!