Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cute Computer Shopping: Mini

Recently, my eMac's power supply gave up the ghost. Since then, my non-middle school hours have been dominated by the search for a way to replace that key member of my elderly home computer network. Instead of interesting lists of links, I've been compiling collections of online retailers, comparative prices for computer components, and product reviews.

I decided I'd like to keep a proprietary operating system in the house, for those peripherals that don't have Linux drivers, so I finally bought a low-end Mac Mini. For those who are interested Mac Rumors, my buying a piece of hardware of any sort is a sign that it is about to be discontinued, as surely as the Four Horsemen foretell the Apocalypse.

I wasted quite a bit of time trying to determine whether the Mac Mini would work with the monitors I have on hand. Many people reported problems with older non-Apple monitors. Here's my own data point: I plugged my 10-year old Gateway CRT monitor into the Mini, using the VGA/DVI adapter, and it worked like a charm--I was amazed at how good the old CRT looked.

Here's my Product Review: The Mac Mini does what I need it to do, and was easy to set up. I look forward to playing with it's cute Mac features someday when I have a little more time. It is white and tiny, as advertised. However, I was surprised to find, in the little Mac Mini box (which reminds me of Barbie's Wardrobe carrying cases from the 1960's), an external power supply, also white and shiny, but similar in size and weight to a brick. If you buy the Mac Mini for its appearance, and for its small "form factor," this will throw a monkey wrench in your desktop real estate plans. No pictures of the Mini set up and running include a view of the power supply.


fred said...

'course you could be saddled withe suitcase that sits under my desk. I WILL leave home without it. Some day when my ThinkPad bites the dust, I'll go portable MAC--and I'll definitely be checking out the bricks that power them! Thanks for the pointer.

Rick Lee said...

Uhhh... you ok? Where'd you go?

Rebecca Clayton said...

Fred, I think you'll like the Mac's, and if we wait long enough, Mac may be an OS we can buy and install on any old machine we like.

Hi, Rick, thanks for checking on me. I've been teaching middle school and catching every virus that has run through the school this winter. (Except chickenpox, knock on wood!) Not much time or daylight for pictures, but that's changing!