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Scot

Buying A Mac!

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Just wanted to give everyone in ATM a heads up about what will be announced in the next issue of the newsletter: I'm breaking down and buying a Mac Mini to play around with. No, I'm not giving up Windows just yet. But you can expect a little Mac coverage in the newsletter -- and who knows, maybe I'll eventually be re-converted. This will be my third Mac fling. The first one came in 1986, when I was one of the original Mac heads. I think that's a little known fact -- given that I'm known by some for being a Windows maven.When Windows first came out, I was working the reviews editor for PC/Computing magazine. All this PC software companies would come to me to demonstrate their new Windows apps. With all my Mac experience, I would suggest ideas to them or criticize the way their graphical interfaces worked. A lot of these companies never even bothered to look at the Mac to see how it might be done -- right. I spent much of 1990-1992 chortling up my shirt sleeve at some of these newfound Windows companies. Of course, some of them wound up laughing all the way to the bank -- in spite of themselves. Microsoft, to its credit, learned pretty fast. After all, they were for many years the largest software supplier to the Mac world.But, anyway, thought you'd appreciate hearing this news first.Also, you should know that ATM's creator, Forums Admin Arena2045, was instrumental in prodding ... I mean helping ... me make this decision. B) -- Scot

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Scott, I just picked up a mini-mac and am using it as I type. Great little machine but I am glad that I got 512Meg ram and the 80 gig hd with the super drive. I connected the dvd output to my symcmaster 213T and it works great.I use Eudora on my pc's and now eudora on the mac looks very similar.If it used 12volts instead of 18 for the power, I could get it to work on an electric wheechair for a friend.. the power block from 110 to 18 is about as big as some laptops..I am having problems getting my favorites from my pc world into the browser but luckly I was able to get in here.. B)

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Rich,I purchased the uplevel Mac Mini with the 80GB hard drive (as you did). For options, I got Bluetooth+AirPort and 1GB of RAM. Interestingly, I will also be connecting it to a Samsung 213T. (But then, I guess I am a professed fan of that LCD display.) Curious, what did you go with for keyboard and mouse? I'm just planning to hook up PC-oriented USB input devices to start with, but I wondered what your experience was.Interesting about the power situation. The size of this thing does make it portable (if not conveniently portable). That was one of my considerations in opting for this model. The nearest PowerBook that meets my video needs is $2,000, too rich for my blood.My biggest concern is that the video isn't upgradeable. I'm a high-end video junkie, and the base level vram is only just acceptable to me. At least it comes with a DVI adapter. If Apple hadn't done that, I wouldn't have bought this thing.I still have to wait 3-4 weeks to get mine. I only just ordered it on Friday.-- Scot

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Scot-I am very interested in your experience with the Mac Mini..... I have been drooll..... I mean carefully considering getting one for "professional education."

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Yep,I think there are a number of wet, slimy keyboards, out there in PC land. I almost placed an order the day it was announced. I'm now figuring out a way to convince higher ups at work that we need at least one Mac in-house. B)

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Yes, one arriving here too later this year (hoping the price will come down a bit so I can get more RAM for it). Should look quite nice sitting next to my SE30.

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Rich,I purchased the uplevel Mac Mini with the 80GB hard drive (as you did). For options, I got Bluetooth+AirPort and 1GB of RAM. Interestingly, I will also be connecting it to a Samsung 213T.  (But then, I guess I am a professed fan of that LCD display.) Curious, what did you go with for keyboard and mouse? I'm just planning to hook up PC-oriented USB input devices to start with, but I wondered what your experience was.My biggest concern is that the video isn't upgradeable. I'm a high-end video junkie, and the base level vram is only just acceptable to me. At least it comes with a DVI adapter. If Apple hadn't done that, I woudn't have bought this thing.I still have to wait 3-4 weeks to get mine. I only just ordered it on Friday.-- Scot
My local Mac place had them in stock and I decided on Saturday morning to try one. so I went there and the only thing I had to do was to ask for a ram upgrade to 512Meg. And of course give them my American Express card <_< I picked up a notebook optical usb mouse and a Logitec cheapie keyboard which worked great. I liked that the Mac recognized my right mouse button to replace the option+ keys..The keyboard even has a key labeled option as I guess then expect the keyboad will be used on a mac.But, I am going to pick up a apple keyboard as they have extra usb ports on the keyboard. The Mini-Mac only has 2 usb slots and with the mouse and kb they end up full. As you say, the DVI output works great on the 213T digital input. What a sweet picture.. I am still screwing around trying to figure out extreme differences in the mac and windows icon behavior.I live in rockville MD and as I said the local mac store had about 10 of them in stock with different configurations. Of course none in the cheap version.I could not get the wireless option so I ended up connecting to my windows 2003 server network. The Mac even was able to map a drive to my server.I was able to connect my network print servers (Linksys pps's) to the MiniMac..All in all, I think that the MiniMac was a good investment. And as you said, if the graphics was a bit more powerful it would be even more valuable.Rich

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Yes, one arriving here too later this year (hoping the price will come down a bit so I can get more RAM for it).  Should look quite nice sitting next to my SE30.
Greenie,Did you notice that the price just did come down on RAM? That's why I waited too. They dropped the price in the U.S. last week. Also on some of the other options too. It saved me over $100 on the configuration I ordered.By the way, I owned an SE30 ... although I sold it eight years ago.-- Scot

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But, I am going to pick up a apple keyboard as they have extra usb ports on the keyboard. The Mini-Mac only has 2 usb slots and with the mouse and kb they end up full.
Rich,As Arena2045 made a point of reminding about this, I'll remind you: Apple keyboards ton't have a Backspace key. I'd forgotten about that, but for -- as a longtime touch typist -- that's extremely annoying.Understood about getting the extra USB ports though. Perhaps somebody has them. Since I got bluetooth, I'm eager to try something that uses that technology. Might be kind of fun. Just have to find someone who has a recommendation about which hardware to try there.-- Scot

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Sorry Scott; must have been a conversation with another individual, it was not me.The Mac has a backspace key, but it's labeled "delete". The delete key (to PC users) is labeled "del".For non Apple keyboards, to eject a CD or DVD press and hold the F12 key.

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The first Mac mini accessories are appearing.Via MacMinute

The Plasticsmith today announced a line of products for Apple's new Mac mini. The mini Grand Stand (US$34.95), available in clear acrylic or steel, gives the mini a protective covering while supporting an LCD or CRT monitor. The mini Tower ($39.95) is a custom made, flame-polished acrylic enclosure that turns the mini on its side for "a more dramatic presentation." The mini Skirt ($19.95) is a 3/4-inch thick acrylic pedestal the size of the mini that gives the low-cost Mac "an even classier look."
I think the Tower looks cool... but I have to wonder: while the Apple site says that the mini can be placed on its side, it also mentions not to place anything on top of it (don't stack minis)... the tower case looks to cover the top; possibly restricting heat dissipation.

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After fiddling with a standard keyboard and with both usb ports in use. I went out and for $28 bought a standard apple keyboard with the delete/backspace key :) the only problem is that I am a touch typist and keep hitting the F13 key. I am able to transfer files with a small 1gig lexar jumpdrive but the mac sure adds a lot of files to the device when accessed. I guess it has to add a resource fork to all the files.Now I need to go out and get a copy of ms office for the mac. MS offered me a copy about 5 years ago and I turned them down. now I kick myself. Maybe I could beg one..I take the Action Pack Sub from MS but there isn't any office for the mac in it. :w00t: :)Still not sure what all the keys on this apple keyboard are for but I gues it won't hurt to experiment as the Mini-Mac comes with a restore disk, or at least it looks like it.. It is listed on the cdrom as mac os x install disk 1 but the other disk says os9, which leads me to believe that some people might have to back up to os9 to get some programs to run.Arena ?? any ideas on what they are?Sure is a long way from the original mac that Andrew Fluegelman brought to my house about 3 months before it was officially announced.See, I am old... in body only though :D

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The Mac has a backspace key, but it's labeled "delete".  The delete key (to PC users) is labeled "del".
Arena,Sorry, you're right, it might have been someone else. But ... I beg to differ with you about the Delete key. The Mac Delete key deletes to the right. The Backspace key deletes to the left.I believe that I'm at least correct that the Mac doesn't have a Backspace key, or a key that deletes to the left!-- Scot

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Arena,Sorry, you're right, it might have been someone else. But ... I beg to differ with you about the Delete key. The Mac Delete key deletes to the right. The Backspace key deletes to the left.I believe that I'm at least correct that the Mac doesn't have a Backspace key, or a key that deletes to the left!-- Scot
Sorry Scot: you are wrong. I am using a Mac!The Apple keyboard has two delete buttons:1 - rectangle shaped labeled "delete," that moves the text cursor TO THE LEFT (<<<), aka backspacing.and 2 - square shaped (in the same place as the DEL key for PCs) labeled "delete" with a little arrow pointing to the right, that moves the text curser TO THE RIGHT (>>>), aka deletes the word to the right of the cursor. :)

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Ok, Arena. This was not always the case -- that any of the buttons provided a backspace function. In fact, it was long a criticism of the Mac. But let me ask you, since I'm a touch typist, when I go for the Backspace button on a Mac keyboard ... the the right of the = sign and above the \ symbol, what am I going to get? I bet it isn't a backspace, is it ... ?-- Scot

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Scot: When you go for the button on a Mac keyboard... the one to the right of the "=" sign and above the "\" symbol.... you are going to get a backspace... the cursor moves to the left to remove the word you just typed.Why they call it delete who knows.... why do they still sell a freaking one button mouse?

Edited by Arena2045

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Ok, well this is very good news! Apple finally figured it out!This is what happens when you haven't touched a Mac in 8 years. Everything seems new to you.-- Scot

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Scot,One nice thing you'll find is you won't need to be spending lots of time with anti virus, anti trojan, and anti spyware programs. Quoting from your newsletter earlier this week:"The spyware, and anti-spyware, landscape has changed significantlysince I wrote reviews of Ad-Aware and SpyBot back in February 2003 andAugust 2003, respectively. For one thing, spyware has gone from being anuisance that occasionally bit some people hard to being a threat thatcan bite just about anyone hard, every day of the week. Spyware is amuch bigger deal than it used to be. Many of us have learned to ourchagrin that a firewall and antivirus program aren't enough to protectus from everything nasty. That's one of the things I've really enjoyed since switching to a Mac for almost everything; I don't have those worries any more. :thumbsup: Then again, I did just buy a new Windows system last night for those few items I need to keep running on Windows, so I'm not completely removed from those nasties. Since I do very little web browsing from my Windows system, and then only to trusted sites like my bank and ISP, the spyware issue isn't that big of a deal for me.Bruce

Edited by bjf123

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Scot, I bought an iMac 2 years ago for $1,800 b/c my neighbor had been working on me for the previous 2 years bending my ear to buy one. I finally did it and haven't regretted it. What you are getting for $500/$600 is a steal. Had I just waited I could have saved $1,200. Of course I got the neat 17" widescreen flatscreen attached. I just love the iLife software of iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, & iMovie. I love Mac OS X Panther and Tiger is coming out this summer. The features that Windows is just dreaming about are already in Panther. Apple is so far ahead of Windows it serves Bill right for stealing the source code for it's original O/S to create Windows. Apple is doing right by its customers and the updates to both the O/S and the software turns heads like no other O/S. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Apple's innovative ideas. I can hardly until you review the Mac Mini. :( I was tempted to buy a 2nd Mac when I saw the price. Good luck and hope the Apple users grow in number because of this latest new product. It will help the Apple company develop more new products and more innovative software. People always ask me "What can you do on your Apple that you can't do on a PC?" And do you know what I tell them? I don't reboot as often or have as many lockups so I'm more productive on it. I can create stuff on my Apple that I can't do on a PC for a fraction of the cost of PC software that does the same exact thing. All their software works together seamlessly (iTunes with iMovie or iDVD or iPhoto). What more can a person ask for in computing? Hardware, O/S, and software all work together, what a concept... :thumbsup: Do I sound like a Machead? I still have 2 PC's in my house but after being behind one all day I don't need the pain at home too so I try not to use them. My wife doesn't like the Apple user interface because she's used to PC's so to each his/her own on that one. So, I still support the PC's at home because my wife and son still need tech support when their PC is hung-up somehow. We always reboot first, isn't that the first rule of tech support when dealing with Windows issues?

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I went back and got the wireless card for my mini-mac (mac-mini) and sprang for the 1gig ram chip. not that much more expensive. but it seems to work fine.I had picked up the iSight camera and the resolution is really great.All in all, I am very pleased with the mini. great little machine and getting easier to use all the time.

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Guest PrivateDancer

Nice ‘new toy’ (opinion) & makes cool little media center BUT best of all is selling it after exploring & playing for 2 weeks especially with current US$/Euro conversionbluetooth is smooth interface I admit.Here is link if anyone not aware regarding hacks released soon after promotion week: mini mac exploration & hacks EDIT: Free iPod/Mac mini scam links removed.

Edited by Arena2045

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Congrats Scots. I think you'll find the mac experience much better than in the past. OS X is really impressive.No worries about the keyboard either. I'm typing on one right now and it's the same as my PC one, 'cept that it has volume buttons, and a cd eject button. I can't wait 'till you get it! hehe, congrats again :o

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Hey, you and me both. I think it's been over 3 weeks now. But I just checked, and Apple still hasn't charged my credit card, so it's not even on the way yet. Sigh.-- Scot

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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..

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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. 

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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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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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

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

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