Fed up with pop-up windows, viruses, spyware, adware, trojans, and running (over and over again) the programs to remove them? Has your PC slowed to a crawl, flopping over like a mackerel in a hot frying pan on a regular basis? Are you thinking about buying a two-story house just so you can chuck your PC out the window onto the sidewalk?
Chances are, however, none of your computer frustration comes from your PC’s display, or USB keyboard and mouse. They work just fine. What if you could, for a great price, replace just your PC and its bedeviling operating system, and start afresh?
Well, now you can. Last week Apple unveiled the “Mac mini”. It’s a BYODKM computer. That’s right. Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse. The Mac mini is a full-featured Mac computer, housed in a tiny box measuring 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches by 2 inches it’s about the size of a stack of five or six CD cases. The Mac mini houses either a 1.25 or 1.42GHz G4 processor, 40 or 80GB hard drive, and a slot-loading (like your car stereo) CD-burner/DVD-watcher “combo” optical drive (an optional DVD/CD burner SuperDrive is available). It uses an ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with 32MB of dedicated RAM, and it supports up to 1GB of RAM (it comes with 256MB, you’ll want to upgrade it to at least 512MB).
On the back of the mini you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, an audio out jack for headphones or external speakers, and a DVI/VGA port for your computer monitor or TV. To keep you connected, there’s a built-in 56K modem and Ethernet port. It’s ready for optional Airport Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth for wireless keyboards and mice as well.
The “base” Mac mini with the 1.25GHz processor, combo drive, and 40GB hard drive will set you back $499. The 1.42 GHz model with combo drive and 80GB hard drive lists for $599. Best of all, especially for the prospective “switcher”, the Mac mini runs Mac OS X, and comes with the powerful new iLife ’05 digital lifestyle suite installed, as well as other applications like AppleWorks and Quicken 2005. From that standpoint, think of it as $499 of great, relatively trouble-free software enclosed in a free computer. Sounds like a great deal to me.
© 2005 Peter F. Zimowski