With tax-free day in Massachussetts, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up a Mac Mini for er, my son. That’s actually him holding it. Despite being asked if I wanted applecare about 30 times, the experience in buying it was pleasant. It was my first real purchase from an Apple store and I have to say that they were friendly and knowledgable. I guess I may be a different kind of customer, since when I go to make a purchase, I know exactly what I want. A lot of times I think they feel the need to educate if not sell to their customers. Of course if I had the time, I could educate them in more than a few things, but enough with my geek ego.
So anyway, one sanfu. The first one I got was a lemon. It had all sorts of hardware errors, random restarts, the works. So I brought it back expecting a fist fight and instead found myself walking out with a new one within 5 minutes. Good enough for me.
Right out of the box, the little guy is money. It came with iLife06 and the Front Row app, and while it’s understated compared to what I’m used to, XBox Media Center, it holds up pretty well as a media center portal. The fluidity and intuitiveness of the UI is top-notch. And as far as everyday tasks, the performance is far better than average, even with the Core Solo 1.5ghz processor. Of course I’ll be cracking it open to upgrade the ram (which I’m told is harrowing), and seeing what the machine looks like nakie soon. I’ll share some pics.
One thing that really hits home though with the Intel processor is backwards compatability. It reminds me of the Macworld I worked at in the early 90’s when they released the PowerPC based Power Mac’s. Back then, you slowly started seeing apps originally built at 68k to support the old 040 architechture start to offer new native binaries for the new hardware as well. Of course back then we didn’t have Rosetta, which allows for G4-G5 apps to work with the new Intel macs.
In loading up a couple non-Intel compiled apps, I definitely see a performance hit. Especially with anything that relies on hardware, like games and such. But the good news is like the 68k conversion, we’ll soon have native binaries for everything we need within a year or two to reap all the benefits of these newer, faster chips.
Haven’t PC’d it yet with Boot Camp, but I already went through the process on my brother-in-laws Black Macbook, and like everything else Apple, it was easy. I’ll be doing this to the Mini when my son finishes his webpage using iWeb. Even a six-year-old wants his own webpage these days.