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Buying A Mac!


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#26 OFFLINE   RichNRockville

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 06:18 AM

I guess I am a glutton for punishment,  B) I went out and picked  up the virtual pc for the mac.My 1gig ram helped and I installed windows xp home on the Mac and it works fine, a bit slower than my p4 3.0gig but still acceptable.I installed MS office on it and all seems well.I plan on doing more as I am really getting to like the Mac, it seems pretty intuitive and easy to use.  I am planning on getting a wireless keyboard and mouse so that I can put it in my tv stand and hook it up to my lcd tv.  Scot, if you lived near me, you could have had your mac-mini a long time ago and had the pleasure of messing with it.  My local dealer has them in stock and seems to support them pretty well.  Although I feel sometimes that I am over on the dark side, I am still reaching back into my warm fuzzy side to do some things.Still trying to figure out a few things but most are intuitive..

#27 OFFLINE   Arena2045

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 10:00 AM

RichNRockville, on Feb 18 2005, 03:18 AM, said:

Still trying to figure out a few things but most are intuitive..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Feel free to ask questions, here in All Things Mac. B)

#28 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 07:11 PM

RichNRockville, on Feb 18 2005, 05:18 AM, said:

Scot, if you lived near me, you could have had your mac-mini a long time ago and had the pleasure of messing with it. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, Rich. The Mac Mini is available pretty widely at retail, but I pretty much by nothing in stores anymore. I do everything online. Also, I wanted to configure it exactly the way I wanted it. And I wanted the Apple buying experience. But I appreciate the thought!-- Scot
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#29 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 07:26 PM

Can't wait to hear how you like it Scot!I would love to have one one day too! But hearing about other's fun with them will have to do for now.  :)
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#30 OFFLINE   RichNRockville

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 07:09 AM

Scot, on Feb 18 2005, 06:11 PM, said:

Hey, Rich. The Mac Mini is available pretty widely at retail, but I pretty much by nothing in stores anymore. I do everything online. Also, I wanted to configure it exactly the way I wanted it. And I wanted the Apple buying experience. But I appreciate the thought!-- Scot

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, it looks like you are receiving the "apple buying experience" OK  :lol:  :P I had a pretty good experience with my local mac shop, they were very helpful to any questions that I had and were glad to upgrade the unit. I have now gotten almost all the options that are possible. :o  One thing they did confirm is that if I messed up the mini-mac too much, I could always restore it to the original state by using the recovery disk which in my normal state is a good thing :)I also buy a lot on-line but sometimes I like the plate glass option when I buy a larger ticket item.**(Plate glass option= As a last resort you can always experience the ultimate return policy by returning the item thru their plate glass window)   :lol:  :)  :D

Edited by RichNRockville, 19 February 2005 - 07:10 AM.


#31 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 08:03 PM

RichNRockville, on Feb 19 2005, 06:09 AM, said:

*(Plate glass option= As a last resort you can always experience the ultimate return policy by returning the item thru their plate glass window)   :D  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, let's hope you don't have to do that.Well, I'm posting from my Mac Mini.Everyone should know that if it weren't for Arena, I probably wouldn't be the proud owner of a dyed-in-the-wool UNIX-driven Macintosh. One of the first things I did was open a terminal window to stare at the underpinnings that bear a much closer resemblance to Linux than they do Windows. Way cool.I wound up buying the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. I got one that was Open Box at my local CompUSA store (see, I do buy in bricks and mortar stores, but only when I have to have it today!). The keyboard works great, but I'm so addicted to split keyboards that I feel like my arms are "knock kneed" while I type this. Perhaps I'll get used to it though.The reason I had to buy a Mac keyboard was that my PS/2-to-USB adapter, which works fine with Windows machines, wouldn't work with the Mac. All my keyboards are Microsoft Keyboard Elites, which come with PS/2, of course. Why? I do not know. Perhaps they offer USB now. It's silly because all Microsoft mice come with USB, and a PS/2 adaper. That's how their keyboards should come too.So, what do I think of the Mac? I like it a lot. I'm really, though, already looking forward to Tiger, the next version of the OS. There are some very cool features in it.The only aspect I have quibbles with is "the Dock." It's OK, but it's not as elegant, IMO, as the Windows taskbar. Apple should have ripped Microsoft off more there. Lord knows, they had every right to. Yes, the Dock scales, but I prefer the very low profile taskbar.The only other thing I find extremely annoying is the fact that -- and I'd forgotten this -- you can't reposition the sides of windows by dragging their edges. You have to go to that lower right corner.Perhaps someone can set me straight on networking. While my Mac Mini connected wirelessly to my Windows peer network better than most Windows computers, wireless internet connection is dog slow. Not suitable for downloads. And when you consider my service is 4Mbps, that's pretty bad. I suspect something about the wireless internet protcols is amiss. When I plugged in an Ethernet cable to my router, presto, perfect connection and wicked fast. But wirelessly, it's dog slow.Any and all suggestions on the wireless stuff appreciated!Other than that, I'm very, very impressed. A friend told me about a program called Quicksilver that I love. Keyboard launching. I installed Firefox, and except for the toolbars, which seem a bit messed up, it's great. I'm happily installing most of  my usual batch of extensions.I'm looking for software suggestions. Also, does anyone know where I can get a good honest deal on Microsoft Office 2004? I'd like to play with Entourage, but I don't think I'm going to be able to afford it. I think I'll have to stick with the Standard eddition.Enuff for now. L8r.  :thumbsup: -- ScotP.S. Arena, now that I have a Mac keyboard, methinks that Apple hasn't changed this Delete-left and Delete-right key thing. I think the original Mac only had the Delete-left key. I think they added the Delete-right key in about 1990 or something and it's been that way ever since. Sorry! I was very confused.
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#32 OFFLINE   Arena2045

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 08:31 PM

My list of my fav mac apps:http://www.codename-.../index.php?p=30

#33 OFFLINE   RichNRockville

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Posted 26 February 2005 - 08:08 AM

Arena2045, on Feb 25 2005, 07:31 PM, said:

Great collection of mac programs.  I bookmarked that one.If you really want to see a great picture, connect the dvi output of the mac-minito a sony lcd tv.  Great picture with only one problem. the top menu bar is almost off the screen and I can't figure out how to bring it down but it works. dvd movies play great and browsing looks great.All in all, now that I went out an bought a Kensington wireless keyboard and mouse that has the option keys. I am going to permantly put the mini next to my sony lcd tv.  this way when the tv programs are no good, I can at least browse the web and such.

#34 OFFLINE   fhaber

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 11:13 AM

So, Scot, you managed to create a $1050 computer out of a $499 one (g)....If you're not out in Redmond at the moment, how about something on the speed and crispness of the interface?  My experience with the original Imac and the first version of X was, shall we say, not good (as in buggy, balky and slow).I gather you're a graphical kinda guy, and while I value your writing, I'm not sure you're the guy to make this comparison.  After all, you were at one time a victim of the Kawasaki Cult, no?  What I'm worried about is how the icons and windows whip around the screen, when the GUI is set to full-minimalist.  Or is that necessary these days?  Can you set OSX to (what did they used to call it) show-rects (outline dragging)?  You can totally eliminate the dock, right, or make it text-only?  Can that minimal-Radeon mush around 1280x1024 in 2D 24-bit, fast?  That's a given now with even bottom-feeder video, right?  And is there a different feeling to the way the screen draws under that semi-vector, PostScript-based, PDF-native descendant of MacDraw?And since you have the restore disk, I trust you'll be messing up the opsys and taking us through the gory details of a restore, noting the current versions of sadMac, gong, ROM monitor errmsgs, and all that stuff Jobs tries so hard to hide from us?(Seriously, and beyond the above ribbing.....  I agree that OSX is far and away the most elegant of the xxNIX desktops - no contest, and more thougtfully designed for use than NT.  It just has the feel of a product coming from real design and loving use, rather than from a couple of talented artists working under the iron rule of focus groups.)-Frank

#35 OFFLINE   Arena2045

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 11:26 AM

Wow, that was a boring rant full of bias. Moving on...

#36 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 11:44 AM

fhaber, on Mar 1 2005, 11:13 AM, said:

So, Scot, you managed to create a $1050 computer out of a $499 one (g)....
Frank, you're posting in the All Things Mac forum, and people consider comments like this here to be something of a flame.One comment in response. Have you tried OS X 10.3? It took Apple until this iteration to get things right in OS X. Take a look again. This is a much better OS than you're giving it credit for.Look, I'm not dropping my Windows PCs out the window. But I can appreciate a great OS when I see one.-- Scot
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#37 OFFLINE   eksimba

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 11:56 AM

You guys are making me want to get a mini... If I do so it'll be the first time I've used a Mac since the mid-80's. Scot, I liked your latest newsletter's article. Between you guys here and an acquaintance I have who just launched his modmini website, I'll probably be buying one soon and hooking it up via KVM. Does anybody have any suggestions for a good (and hopefully inexpensive) KVM to use for that purpose?

#38 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 12:33 PM

IOGEAR makes some good quality KVM switches and they also bundle them witht the cables. The 4-port versions are well-priced, but the 2-ports are cheaper.

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#39 OFFLINE   eksimba

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 12:45 PM

Peachy, on Mar 1 2005, 09:33 AM, said:

IOGEAR makes some good quality KVM switches and they also bundle them witht the cables. The 4-port versions are well-priced, but the 2-ports are cheaper.

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Thanks, Peachy! I would only need the 2-port version. Very nice.

#40 OFFLINE   fhaber

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 12:58 PM

Scot, on Mar 1 2005, 10:44 AM, said:

... people consider comments like this here to be something of a flame.-- Scot

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, I thought I threw the fanatics a bone in my last paragraph.  I haven't tried a recent OSX, no.  I was asking for info from you, and the assembled company, to determine whether that would be worth my time.What's boring and dismaying to me is the kneejerk zealot reaction.  I didn't expect that in this place.So, is the mini snappy with 1G RAM and a few programs open?  Anyone care to respond to my points with substance?(My political position, if you demand one?  I like the Mac's handholding, except when I don't.  Now that there's Terminal, I suspect I'd no longer get blue in the face about any terminal cuteness I see.  That good enough?)

#41 OFFLINE   nlinecomputers

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 01:14 PM

Quote

What's boring and dismaying to me is the kneejerk zealot reaction. I didn't expect that in this place.
Say what?  Forgive me but the only one exhibting that is you.  If you don't like the Mac that is fine but I didn't see any thing in your post that really made any constructive critism.  You used the term  Kawasaki Cult first.  Methinks you call the kettle black with your kneejerk zealot comments.  I guess we here at the SFNL have had it too good for to long.  Looks like we have our first real troll to show up in some time.  Guess we are making the big time again.*plonk*

Edited by nlinecomputers, 01 March 2005 - 01:19 PM.

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#42 OFFLINE   fhaber

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 01:37 PM

Now that we've established your sense of humor, might I quietly ask again for substantive comments?

#43 OFFLINE   RichNRockville

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 07:17 AM

nlinecomputers, on Mar 1 2005, 01:14 PM, said:

.....
Sensitive sensitive..  As a person who started out with IBM-PC's back in 82 and has tried more versions of Linux than I care to talk about. I also used to teach the really old macintosh where I worked. I feel that too many people are much too sensitive to anyone saying bad things about their chosen os.I feel that some take their os as a religion and like some of the religious zelots who believe that anyone who does not believe like them is going to that place down south that is real hot.  And also plain wrong.Maybe that is the difference between hobby'sts and those who use computers to make money.  Maybe so..

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 09:05 AM

Rich it wasn't the flame on Mac OSX that ticked me off.  Don't slam the boss and Mac users in general and then expect us to give you a discussion on the matter.  Maybe he was intending humor.  It didn't read that way to me.  It came off as rude and condescending.
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#45 OFFLINE   teacher

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 09:39 AM

fhaber, on Mar 1 2005, 11:13 AM, said:

What I'm worried about is how the icons and windows whip around the screen, when the GUI is set to full-minimalist.  Or is that necessary these days?  Can you set OSX to (what did they used to call it) show-rects (outline dragging)?  You can totally eliminate the dock, right, or make it text-only?  Can that minimal-Radeon mush around 1280x1024 in 2D 24-bit, fast?  That's a given now with even bottom-feeder video, right?  And is there a different feeling to the way the screen draws under that semi-vector, PostScript-based, PDF-native descendant of MacDraw?And since you have the restore disk, I trust you'll be messing up the opsys and taking us through the gory details of a restore, noting the current versions of sadMac, gong, ROM monitor errmsgs, and all that stuff Jobs tries so hard to hide from us?-Frank

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm trying to get a handle on what your questions are so you can get a valid response.  Do your questions boil down to this?1.  Is it necessarily to have the scren at full-minimalist to have a screen without things happening?2.  Can it now be set to outline dragging?3.  Does a setting of 1280x1024 in 2D 24-bit have decent speed or is it slow?4.  Does MacDraw handle differently now than it used to?5.  Are you going to show us how to dig underneath and fine tune our systems rather than leaving them as they arrived?Is that what you are trying to ask?  If so, maybe you can get some answers now. :lol:
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#46 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 09:46 AM

teacher, on Mar 2 2005, 08:39 AM, said:

4.  Does MacDraw handle differently now than it used to?
Julia,It's not called MacDraw anymore, but Quartz Extreme!

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#47 OFFLINE   fhaber

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 01:33 PM

Thanks, Teacher and Minimalist.  That's a good precis of what I was asking.  Permit me a couple of emendations, would you?1.  Is it necessarily to have the screen at full-minimalist to get really snappy response on this computer?  Could you detail the complexity of the process necessary to do this? (In WinXP it's needlessly scattered, and requires a tip file to find all the settings.)2.  Can the desktop still be set to outline dragging?3.  Does a setting of 1280x1024 in 2D 24-bit have decent speed? (Yes, but on rereading I find that Scot has treated himself to a brace of magnificent 21" flat screens.  He'll be running at 1600x1200 native, doubtless.  I'll get my answer in spades.  "Millions" will be pushing it for a 32MB graphics card, no?  On the other hand, it's hard to find a lame graphics chipset for 2D these days, and a low-end Radeon is certainly more than lame.)4.  Does MacDraw... than it used to? (And more technically, will the user notice any visual difference in how a complex app window or a major desktop change redraws, vs. the bitblt-ing of the PC?  How about this "native-PDF" stuff?  How does that impact a PC user?  How about a user who wants a simple bitmap for a screen capture, for instance?  Can you still get TIFF?  Is PICT dead?4a. Tell us something about the Mac's superiority in screen-font sizing, especially at high resolutions, and especially for system text (toolbars, menus, etc.).  The Win PC is showing signs of a major design mistake here - you can choose Large Fonts, and let the pulldowns in some apps overflow their boxes, or squint.  How does Mac do it better.5.  Are you going to show us how to dig underneath and fine tune our systems rather than leaving them as they arrived?  (Yes, exactly, and you put in more nicely than I did.  Pointers to tip sites, etc.  I hope Scot has time for this.)Thanks very much for the reply.  My excuse?  I'm from New York.  I hope this exchange has given Scot some fodder for his next Mac item.-Frank (misspelling edited)

Edited by fhaber, 03 March 2005 - 10:53 AM.


#48 OFFLINE   Arena2045

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 03:17 PM

fhaber:I'll answer one part of your list.  About the video quality.  The attitude you are portraying is very negative to the video in the Mac mini.  There is nothing wrong with the video card that they choose for the Mac mini.  You can drag files on the desktop, drag windows, make transparent windows, watch movies, make large 128x128 desktop icons, etc etc etc.  The Quartz Extreme engine is very versatile.OS X 10.3 is a thousand times better than 10 and 10.1... and you cant even compare it to OS 9 or earlier.I have both a PowerMac G5 and a iBook 1Ghz G4... and I have no issues with video quality on the iBook... which would stand to reason that the Mac mini with some higher specs would do just as well or better with video.I often run using windows with transparency activated (accomplished by a third party app) and have no issues:My iBook Desktop:Click thumbnail to view:Posted ImageNo, there is no need for a "minimalist" approach for a desktop, and there is literally no need for outline only dragging... and the default color setting for OS X is in millions of colors...You are taking the role of an anti-Mac-ignoramus too seriously and not giving the hardware/OS enough credit, which is typical of such an attitude (the mac mini has low what ever thus it must suffer).If you want a semi-non-biased comparison between OS X and Windoze XP visit: http://www.xvsxp.com/ where you can have a look at a lot of different comparison categories and see which OS does better at some things.

#49 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 02:36 PM

Running the Mini ...  with "millions" selected in the System Preferences > Displays control panel, and, yes, with 1600 x 1200 resolution on the Samsung, both the display quality and video performance are flawless for everyday computing tasks. There is no sense of something lost or corners being cut. In fact, from a visual perspective, OS X Panther and the Mac Mini represent a clear notch above Windows. (Perhaps the only gripe I have is font  anti-aliasing, and that may be my due to my own lack of experience.) The ATI Radeon 9200 (4x AGP) w/32MB of vram is fine at this level. I think there would be a problem if I went up a notch. I don't buy any Windows PC these days with less than 64MB of vram, because I do have larger, higher-res displays than the 213T.One thing I would say, I haven't pushed the video around much. This ain't no high-end graphics machine. It's not  what you would buy for heavy duty graphics-intensive tasks. This is a rank-and-file everyday home Mac for the average user. And of course, home computers are expected to handle basic photo manipulation. The onboard video is fine, especially for the price. For more oomph, and the ability to upgrade, the PowerMac would be the way to go.-- Scot
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#50 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 02:55 PM

Harking back to an earlier comment I made in this  thread, my wireless Internet connection on the Mac Mini is working fine these days. I had said earlier that it was very slow. And it was. But that appears to have been a brief aberration. Just checked it and it's working as fast as any of my wirelessly connected Windows machines.Anyone know what "Use Interference Robustness" setting means?-- Scot
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