Mac Mini and PCs That Don't Work

by Jonathan Gennick

I'm a big fan of Apple's new Mac Mini.
It looks great. It's elegantly small. And I can seriously recommend it to my
friends whose PCs are saddled with adware, spyware, and viruses, which pretty
much includes all my neighbors with Windows PCs (and me too, now). Chuck points
out that there are some, potentially
interesting uses for the Mac Mini
other than recruiting Windows users to
the Mac camp, but right now I want to focus on switching.

You see, it just seems to me that the time is right for Apple to make
a push into the mass-market. First, and bear with me a bit here, let me review
some common reasons to go Windows rather than Mac:

  1. Windows PCs can be had cheaply

  2. There's more software for Windows than for the Mac

  3. Some web sites seem to favor Windows Internet Explorer

  4. Buy Windows, and you fit in with the majority

I'm sure there's more reasons that I'm missing. But no matter. The Mac Mini
certainly answers objection #1. Not only can you get a Mac for $500, it'll look
a whole lot cooler than any Windows PC (that I've seen) for the same price.

But here's my real point: All the reasons to stay with Windows pale in the
light of one fact. And that fact is:

Your Windows PC won't work!

Ok, I'm perhaps pushing a point too far here, but let's consider my neighbors:

  • Neighbor #1 has two PCs. One is completely nonfunctional due to adware
    and spyware. He just shoves the box in a corner and doesn't use it. He manages
    to limp along with his other PC. Periodically I try and help him remove
    various malware. We never can get it all off, and his kids, whatever it
    is they do, seem to bring it all back again soon enough. I installed Firefox
    for him, which has been a great help, but still he has an infested and dysfunctional

  • Neighbor #2 also has two PCs. The parents recently told me that their daughter's
    PC had stopped working because of viruses and malware. They were planning
    to reload it. I don't know whether they have yet.

  • Neighbor #3 is a semi-pro musician (i.e. he actually makes a profit from
    his music). He has frequent trouble with malware. He manages to keep his machine
    running, but I don't think he's happy with the amount of effort it takes.
    When I show him this new Mac Mini, and mention that he can get Garage Band
    for it, well, he may leap.

Neither of neighbor #1 or #2 have a lot of money to spend on PCs, and I don't
think they are likely to spend $500 on a new Windows PC, which they'll perceive
as delivering more of the same problems they experience now. But a Mac, that's
different. This new machine will at least get their attention.

No doubt from being careful, I've mostly managed over the past several years
to avoid problems with malware and viruses. Lately though, I've been reminded
of just how fragile Windows can be. During the holidays, the neighbor kids came
over to my house wanting to use the Internet. I guess their PCs weren't working
too well. In a fit of insanity, I let them do something I never do, should never
have done: I let them use my office PCs. In less than an hour and a half of
just browsing, they managed to infest both with viruses and other malware. I
spent all the next day and evening recovering, and still I haven't quite gotten
all the cruft out.

Apparently, all it took to kill my two Windows boxes was two kids browsing
to the wrong websites. Wow! No wonder none of my friends can keep anything running.

In the process of fixing things, I installed Windows XP Service Pack 2. (OK,
I should have done that months ago.) That messed up Visio. My version of Visio,
which I bought just prior to Microsoft's acquisition of that company, used to
start up, display a dialog telling me it was incompatible with my version of
Windows, and then it'd run just fine. (Go figure). Now, it displays the dialog
and quits. I can't help but wonder if Microsoft hasn't coded in some sort of
artificial limitation. Maybe. Maybe not. But I do wonder.

Btw, Firefox has been
a great help to me. If you don't have it, if you are still using Internet Explorer
(IE), run, don't walk, but run to
and install Firefox. Just do it. Trust me. The one piece of adware I have yet
to clean out will pop up advertising windows almost constantly whenever I run
IE. That's what finally got me off the dime to install Firefox myself. I've
not only found Firefox easier to use than IE, but, heh, it doesn't seem to be
compatible with that one piece of adware.

To add more grief to my life, the old Windows box that my family uses just
up and died a few days ago. It begins to boot, displays a blue-screen telling
me that it cannot boot, and then, after a minute or so, it reboots. Trying the
"last known good configuration" did no good. Maybe it's a hardware
glitch of some sort, but with Windows I'm certainly not left in a good position
to fix anything. The only solution I can think of at the moment is to rebuild
the box from scratch, which is a long day's work and then some, and I've been
through it before and don't want to go there again..

I'm not even going try and fix the family PC. It's a six-year old budget-box
that I've long regretted buying, because it's got an Intel slow-video solution.
I was ignorant of that issue when I bought the box, but I soon learned, the
hard way, that you want a separate video card (or chip). No, I'm not going to
fix that box. I'm going to replace it, and with a Mac (maybe not
a Mini). It's down now to a question of which Mac to buy and how to reshuffle
my remaining, Windows PCs. (naturally, I wish I could replace both my office
and family PCs all at once, but that isn't going to happen.)

There's this concept of a tipping
where a seemingly small thing can initiate great changes, and I wonder
whether we aren't reaching something like that in the world of home computers.
All the time I read about viruses and malware and of successful attacks against
Windows systems. I see people who live with malware, because they don't know
they've got it, or, if they do know they've got it, they don't know how to get rid of it. I
see people who are so frustrated with their dysfunctional PCs that they just
shove them into a corner and forget about them. Windows PCs are just difficult for many to keep running. If Apple's going to try and
go after the masses, this would seem like an opportune time. I wish them success.

What about you? Will the Mac Mini get you thinking about switching? How much time do you spend fighting malware on Windows?


2005-01-12 09:00:40
If you do make a leap over to The Light Side (you know, as opposed to The Dark Side), you'll find OmniGraffle a welcome substitute for Visio. While I've always viewed Visio as a tortuous tool for creating ugly little diagrams, OmniGraffle is a pleasure to use and produces beautiful diagrams.

Since you're using an old version of Visio, you won't be able to import your existing documents into OmniGraffle. OmniGraffle Pro will import Visio 2003 documents saved in XML format, however.

If you ask me, OmniGraffle is such a pleasant tool it is itself a reason for switching. A $500 Mac just makes that easier.

2005-01-12 11:23:24
Garage Band
When you talk to Neighbor #3, don't forget, he doesn't have to "get" GarageBand for it. It comes with it! ;^)

-=- John

2005-01-12 11:23:34
Mac mini is loaded...
If you mention to your Neighbour#3 that Mac mini comes pre-loaded with iLife '05, which includes GarageBand 2, he'll definitely make the leap.

The whole idea of a $499 Mac is to offer a cheap opportunity for non-mac users to test the Mac OS X Panther experience: Unix goodness with user-friendly top notch digital media applications.

That covers the great applications that come with OS X (iCal, iChat AV, Mail, Sherlock, Preview, Address Book) along with bundled extras such as iLife (iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes and GarageBand) and Appleworks, for no extra charge.

Think of the Mac mini as a $499 software bundle with a free computer.

Jonathan Gennick
2005-01-12 12:42:22
Garage Band
I've already, just today in fact, sent him email pointing him the pages describing Garage Band and the Mini Mac.
Jonathan Gennick
2005-01-12 12:45:16
Thanks for the tip. I depend on Visio for the figures I draw in my books. I have no real need though, to convert files that I've already drawn, so it's reasonably fine that OmniGraffle doesn't convert older files. Would be nice if it did, but it's not a critical issue. It is nice to know that there's a drag-and-drop drawing tool for the Mac. I've tried some other drawing tools, Freehand for example, and I'm astounded at how difficult they make the task of drawing a simple, box diagram. Partly, I chalk that up to my ignorance of, in this case, Freehand, but still...
2005-01-12 14:27:02
Why buy a new computer...
Why spend $500 when you can bring that virus and malware computer back from the dead (for Neighors #1 and #2) with something like ubuntu linux?

I know you have tried linux and found it wanting for the general user, but you tried Sun's offering which isn't a genuine try in my book. I like Sun well enough, but they are not a Linux, much less an end-user, focused company. Ubuntu fits the bill and Nieghbors #1 and #2 don't have too specialized needs. If it is just office work, email, chat, web, and even some sound, Ubuntu can fill the bill.

Sure, there is a trade off. I will be the first to admit it. You can't buy software at the store. You will have problems with some modems (though DSL and Cable Modems work like a charm). Any incompatiblity headaches would, in my opinion, be offset with the fact that the computer just works and Internet browsing isn't frought with inumerable landmines of malware and virus infections just waiting to get you on Windows...

Plus, it didn't cost $500 dollars for the Mac hardware. There is an argument that the money spent of PC software will need to be reinvested, but Open Source alternatives for some of those applications exist for the Mac as well. Still... $500 bucks is a lot in my world.

My brother was able to acquire an old PC for next to nothing that he and his wife were going to use, but couldn't afford the cost of setting it up with new software and the stuff already on the drive was hosed. I put SuSE 9.1 with Firefox, Shockwave, Realplayer, XMMS, GAIM, Open Office, and Thunderbird, on the system and they are using it to get real work done. Neither of them is a Linux person, but they had used Open Office on Windows before.

He went from a malware and virus destroyed PC that was useless to a functioning workstation for $0 effectively. Your neighbors could do they same thing.

The funny thing is that they could "try before they decide." Just burn them a Knoppix Bootable Linux disc or an Ubuntu Live disc and let them use it for a while. If they need to save any work, they could just save it to a jump drive (if they have one) or floppies. If they decide that they can live with the system, it is a simple matter to install the OS.

Bootable Linux CDs would have helped you as well. Don't want the neighborhood kids destroying your Windows setup. Boot up Knoppix and let them browse the web with that. Reboot and you are back to your pristine windows.

2005-01-12 14:39:50
Visio alternative
One of my favorite drawing tools is Smart Draw. Much easier to use that Visio in my book. Check it out. I have used it for org charts and program logic diagrams. You have to try it to believe it. The free trial should give you an idea of its capabilities. I think it can import older versions of Visio files as well.

It only runs on a PC, though.

Jonathan Gennick
2005-01-12 15:43:00
Why buy a new computer...
I actually do more w/Linux than you might think. I've been running Linux on one of my office PCs for years (Red Hat 6, Suse 7 and 8). But I use that box as an Oracle server, not as a desktop.

Sun actually worked pretty well, except for the games my son wanted to play. My wife and I were perfectly satisfied w/it.

Re neighbors: Yes, I agree, try Linux. It's on my list to help neighbor #1 rebuild his dead box using some form of Linux. I'm thinking of Suse 9.1, largely because I'm most familiar w/Suse, and I want to upgrade from 8 to 9.1 myself. No time yet though.

Bootable Linux CDs for when the kids want to play. That's a good idea. I hadn't thought of it. Though if Windows is so flakey that I need to boot Linux whenever the kids come 'round, I probably should still think about moving away from it (Windows).

The one neighbor's PCs might be too old to boot from a CD. I'm honestly not sure right now.

I could run Linux too, for my office at least, but Apple is doing such cool things with their software that I really do want a Mac in the house. I can escape malware and get some cool software into the bargain, and I can afford to spend $500.

One scenario is that I buy the $500 Mac for the family and then convert another of my office PCs to Linux, leaving only my laptop running Windows. I'm still thinking through the scenarios, but I'm sure that I want to buy one Mac and reshuffle the rest of my PCs.

I, uh, do reserve the right to think for a long time. I don't get off the dime and buy a new box very often. I bought one laptop two years ago. All three of my desktops date back to 1998 and 99.

It's funny, when I was younger, I always wanted new this, bigger and faster that. Now I could care less. My PCs are old. My cars are old. My TV is old.

2005-01-12 21:36:37
It's pretty funny that you say that using Freehand is hard compared to Visio. I'm comfortable with using Illustrator, which is somewhat similar to Freehand, and I struggle with using Visio to create even the simplest drawing. I get annoyed that hardly anything has shortcuts(or at least they are not documented in the menus) and I find the line drawing tools really difficult. I've tried really hard to give Visio a chance but I still despise using it. Part of it could be my ignorance of visio but I know my way around quite a few drawing programs like Autocad and Illustrator. Both of those have fairly steep learning curves so I'm not convinced it's entirely me but I still don't rule it out. So I find it funny that someone has same problem just the application use difficulty is reversed.
2005-01-13 02:25:46
ah... More of the same
And once again the Macaddicts stream to the call of Steve to slag anything that's not Mac.

Steve still seems to think the only thing that matters is how cool something looks and you immediately copy his words as gospel.

In the meantime he's trying to sell a computer that can still not run the majority of software out there without any peripherals (which without doubt will need to be extra expensive Mac specific variants) with lower performance than the competition in the price range for a price that's higher than that same competition (for with the competition you do get all those peripherals like a screen, keyboard, etc.).

And your argument that every PC is riddled with spyware and virusses is completely bogus.
I've not had an infestation in over 10 years (and that was a minor bootsector virus and easily got rid of) and neither have my parents (who are archetypical non-technical users) and sister...
Like it or not, the only reason malware authors don't target the Mac is the simple fact that the Mac's not an economically attractive target due to the small userbase. If everyone dumps their PCs and starts using Macs you'll start seeing spyware and trojans aimed at it quickly enough, don't worry.

2005-01-13 08:15:07
Why buy a new computer...
Bootable Linux CDs for when the kids want to play. That's a good idea. I hadn't thought of it. Though if Windows is so flakey that I need to boot Linux whenever the kids come 'round, I probably should still think about moving away from it (Windows).

I agree, to an extent. But at the same time, I prefer that people don't mess with my stuff. The bootable CD is a nice compromise in my book .

I guess the other option is to create a separate locked down profile in Windows, but you're still vulnerable to malware and such that might be able to get around that.

2005-01-13 08:33:43
lay off the Mac pipe, please
Ad-Aware: free
a year of top-notch anti-virus: $40
hardware firewall/switch/router with SPI (one-time investment): $50

It's really, really not that hard. Sorry to hear about your neighbors.

2005-01-13 08:36:48
Visio alternative
SmartDraw is very good, yes. Blows you away with the thought that went into smoothing the user experience. Great for E-R diagrams. Free viewer, or you can export to .JPG
Jonathan Gennick
2005-01-13 09:25:39
lay off the Mac pipe, please
I have all those things. The router, the anti-virus, and still my PCs were infested. Annoyingly, Ad-Aware manages to detect a few things that it can't seem to get rid of. Likewise w/SpyBot. It is not so easy these days to maintain a malware free PC. And once you get hit, recovering is not so easy either.

So I disagree w/you.

It, uh, obviously does help though, to keep the kids away.

Jonathan Gennick
2005-01-13 09:30:14
I chalk my drawing difficulties w/Freehand up to ignorance. I'm sure Freehand is a good tool. I should not have singled it out in a negative way. The whole approach to using it though, differs from Visio, and so I'm used to one way and not the other. A couple of sit-down sessions with a Freehand user would probably clear a lot of things up for me.
2005-01-13 11:21:34
The application myth
Yes, while it may be true the Windoze has 50 different Word Processors and the Mac only was the end you will only use ONE.

Most things available on a PeeCee can be found for OS since OS X is UNIX based, it's easy to run UNIX apps--or even compile them from scratch.

In fact, some things are only avialble on the Mac and not the PeeCee, so that goes both ways.

I actually run Win 95 and NT on my Mac for those desperate moments when I need to use a PeeCee. My PeeCee laptop--despite all the best protections, is constantly infected. I stopped using it for online purchases a long time ago. I have heard of two people where i work that have had credit card info stolen from their PeeCees...and that was without looking people. I'm sure there are thousands....

2005-01-13 13:36:53
ah... More of the same
In the meantime he's trying to sell a computer that can still not run the majority of software out there without any peripherals (which without doubt will need to be extra expensive Mac specific variants) with lower performance than the competition in the price range for a price that's higher than that same competition (for with the competition you do get all those peripherals like a screen, keyboard, etc.).

And once again the trolls come out with the same old misinformation...

Since Macs use industry standards like USB and Firewire, most devices (printers, scanners, cameras, mp3 players, hard drives, etc) work automatically, sometimes even if they have no Mac drivers. These aren't pieces of hardware that are specifically made for Macs, these are the same peripherals you buy at CompUSA and Circuit City for the same price, and the same performace.

It's true that there is less software written for the Mac compared to the PC, but almost ever major application (Microsoft Office, Adobe CS, Macromedia Studio, etc.) has a Mac version that works as well better than its Windows counterpart.

The author isn't arguing that EVERY PC is riddled with spyware, just every one that he sees being used by normal people like his neighbors, which is specifically who the Mac Mini is being targeted to.

So your argument is just as biased as the "Macaddicts" you talk about.

I own both Macs and PCs, I share all of my peripherals between them, and I don't have spyware on either (although almost everyone I know with a PC does).

2005-01-14 00:22:43
Sincere suggestion
If you are having that much trouble with PCs you probably shouldn't be advising people on computers.

Very basic knowlege about computers is all that is needed to prevent malware from infesting any box, and said knowlege is more useful than the mindless calls to throw the baby out with the bath water.

"My car has this problem..."

"GET A NEW CAR!!!!!!! I saw others with that problem too!!!!!"

2005-01-14 00:31:39
I forgot....
To answer the question, I don't spend any time fighting malware on my own computers. Simple configurations are all I need to prevent malware on a pc.
2005-01-14 01:08:06
PC users that don't get it
OK, don't be offended by the title, but really, all you people shouting "My PC is fine, if only people would pay attention and take care"...

My father - while being one of the first to promote "one desk, one computer" - knows how to type an e-mail. That's what he knows. Don't ask him anything else. He's needed 6 years to figure out how the CD player worked. It had FIVE buttons. My father is an extremely intelligent man, and when he worked a highly successful individual, the kind of success most people dream about. Don't however ask him to do anything technical.

For a surprising amount of PC users this means he shouldn't even come near a computer. He is however capable of using e-mail... on a Mac. On any other system he's lost. Not that there's such a difference between e-mail clients. Those other systems need maintenance that goes beyond clicking a shiny button whenever Software Update has found something to update.

I've taken my father as an example, I know lots and lots of people like that, actually, my whole family.
- My sister's computer works about 3 days in 20 - after someone has come around to do something arcane to it. Since it's a home-made PC I don't touch it for fear of making it worse. - My stepmother doesn't use her home PC at all, because her kids have infested it with everything imaginable. It gathers dust. - My brother finally bought a Mac laptop, he now does all his photography (he's a professional photographer) on that thing. He doesn't understand the first thing about computers.
- my father in law is on his second mac, he's incapable of using PC's. His prior experience was a typewriter. The PC managed to eat up all his documents, and yes, it was his fault. Explain this however to a 70+ year old. He loves his new iMac, he's now doing DVD authoring.

Everybody I know who doesn't really like computers and went for windows doesn't use his/her computer anymore. That's a cool statistic, especially for someone who happens to favor macs.

So this is what I found out, and what the author talks about:
If you happen to LIKE computers for computers sake, you use everything you like or need. If you're indifferent to it, or worse, share about 90% of the people's incapability to cope with most systems maintenance demands, buy a mac. Not that it's trouble free, but it's the next best thing.

If you like to give free support, yeah, install linux or buy windows for your granny, why not? It's a cool passtime and you're helping people. If you don't have the time, skill or inclination, recommend macs.

If you don't agree, most likely that's because you're one of those people that "dig" working with PC's (any kind) and lack the empathy to see most people just don't. There are many worthwile things in this world apart from computers and we've managed for thousands of years without them (although don't ask me how, ye gods!)


2005-01-14 04:23:17
I'll second the OmniGraffle recommendation. It blows Visio away. Just yesterday I was giving a design review and one of my team members asked me what I used for my diagrams and I told them I used OmniGraffle on my Mac so I could de-uglify Visio's output. They were disappointed that it didn't run on Windows but were impressed with its quality.

It also easily exports to PDF and EPS vector images for inclusion in printed publications.

2005-01-14 05:02:58
By the way, I would recommend the Mac Mini to you for a couple of reasons. It's your first dip into the Mac OS X pool – do it cheaply. And you sound like you already have some spare (or soon to be) displays, keyboards, and mouses lying around the house.

When I was looking for something to flee to from Windows back in 2001, Apple had just switched to OS X. This was the only reason I considered a Mac. So, when I bought one, I bought their iBook because at the time it was the cheapest Macintosh they had. It's best to try it out with the cheapest one they have, just in case you don't like it. If so, you can always turn around and sell the Mac Mini for $400.

I bought my mother an iMac G5 to replace her beleaguered Windows computer that had various software and hardware issues (she had to turn an oscillating fan onto it to keep it from overheating) after letting her test out the Mac with an old PowerMac G3 that I bought used shortly after getting the iBook. I do not regret that I could have waited a few weeks and bought her a Mac Mini for less than half the price. The iMac is everything she needs in an almost zero footprint machine. She was delighted with her new computer and its crisp display, out-of-sight (literally and figuratively) speakers, and the fact that she was able to reclaim her desk from a multitude of PC components. Now she wants an iPod to go with it.

I think the iMac with its componentry will still be a useful computer 10 years down the road. But, she had already been exposed to the Macintosh experience and liked it. For others without that advantage, I'd recommend the Mini.

2005-01-14 05:12:15
Why buy a new computer...
I also installed ubuntu linux on a freinds PC that had not been working for months. I asked them what they were using it for. They told me Web browsing, Online banking, listening to MP3's and Word documents.

Showed them my Laptop with Ubuntu. Easy sale. Free software for life.

I also set up gnomemeeting and skype so they could talk to freinds in the Phillipines.

I set the computer up. Showed them how to run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. And chkrootkit and rkhunter once a week.

Strangely enough I never have calls from them about viruses or malware. Unlike my Windows using freinds.

They didn't care what system was on the computer as long as it worked.

2005-01-14 10:12:50
Error 18
Would I recommend the purchase of a Mac? Sure, why not. Simple and efficient.

Would I recommend the purchase of a PC? Sure, why not. Simple and efficient.

Same answer both ways. Why? Because, if the user does not know how to use a computer (be it Mac or PC) they will manage to screw things up anyway.

There lies the whole problem. It's not the tool that breaks but rather the one using the tool in a fashion that will break it. It's called 'Error 18' The error is situated 18 inches away from the computer. Learn how to use your computer correctly and all these 'viruses', 'spyware' and what-not will be a thing of the past.

I don't really care what computer I use for my work. BTW, Mac, PC, SGI are all on my work desk and, yes, I use them all for whatever job that needs it. I don't favor any of them. I favor the software that will give me the best results.

Just a thought.

2005-01-14 11:05:20
Well, you know...
I can build my own PCs, and I have built maybe 20 of them for friends and family over the years. Handbuilt PCs are among the cheapest you can get, especially if you just keep upgrading (my dad's went from a 486 all the way to Pentium 2 before the casing had to be replaced for the Pentium III). But I'm still going to go buy 2 Mac Minis for my apartment.

Money is not always the issue, especially in a society caught in the throes of a consumerist-materialist world. So please do try not to be so shallow with the cheap PC arguments: it's not all about sheer economics.

There's a reason why some people buy a Honda when they can easily afford a Kia. And a reason why some fork out for a Beemer when a Honda would do. After all, they are all cars, which do the same basic thing. So you have to ask why.

The answer is obvious: lust. I'll be buying the Mac Mini even though I am perfectly capable of building my own shoebox-sized PC because I covet it. Pure and simple.

2005-01-17 14:24:22
Mac IS better for the novice user -- and everyone else :)
Whether Windows is buggier then OSX isn't really the issue at hand, but the fact is if you place an OSX box and Windows box on the Internet with a novice user, even with a firewall, I'd put my money on the OSX box everytime. Give it 6 months of use by a novice, and I'd still say the OSX box would run just as well 6 months later -- the Windows box would be lucky if it even boots.

I also hear the stories daily of people with Windows boxes that either buy new computers because the 1 year old 1.4 Ghz box is too slow. No level of education will keep a novice user from hosing up a Windows box, but OSX -- that's different. I've seen novice users, both new to computers and experienced with Windows, jump and run on the Mac with no issues. The ideal that it takes lots of training to switch is crap.

As for the musician you mentioned, my roommate, who is also a musician, is probably spending her incometax return on the mini mac for her music. She uses a Tascam US-122 to record her music into Windows -- but even though I reinstalled Windows 2 months ago on her machine it's still too inundated with crap to be of much use. She can't even burn a CD without it being jumpy.

Unless a user has something that just won't run on OSX I seriously see zero reason why anyone would purchase a new Windows computer. I also bet if Apple would put their computers in Best Buy, Circuit City, and other computer chains it would take off now with the mini mac.

Just my two cents worth,


2005-01-22 20:58:00
So, does OmniGraffle (or any other mac application) convert Visio 2002 files (import and export)? I need to have a visio viewer application for a database class I'm using and I don't want to have to add Virtual PC just for the one viewer (I can create my documents in Word if I have to).

Big "T"
2006-02-12 21:19:42
I bought a mac on ebay to see the differance between mac and pc ( spent $500 bucks ). I had nothing but problems with my pc from day one. I know alot about working on pc's, but keeping up with adware, viruses, rebooting due to system errors I had enuff. Needless to say after spending 5 bills on an old mac a week later I bought a mac mini. The best thing I ever did. (wish I did it before buying on on ebay) I spend more time online then ever before. (wife don't like that) I even have macscan to clean out spyware and trojan horses but theres never any there. Any one like me and switched from pc to mac should get together, bring our old pc's, put them in a big pile and steemrole them. Remember once you go MAC you never go back!!!!
2006-03-07 00:33:23
you gotta love those mac mini graphics they got the new flux capacitor...
2006-03-07 00:48:58
wake me up when the g6 gets here....and tell sony to pull there ps3 out of there ass!!until then ill be on my pc and my xbox360...i guess it dosent even matter what you buy as long as you buy somthig...right you are a consumer right...or is it slave.. i wonder whats the difference?ya were all screwed...all they way until the day you died...till all the steve jobs and all the bill gates...sqweeze every last drop of blood from your being...till they put hard drives in our asses...witch i think they all ready do in germeny...i mean come on snap out of it...i think my 18 year old nieghbor has bluetooth nipple is this of course not..but what can i do about it nothing!except ,except my own step in the downward spiral...or is it?the reveloution will be televised and im gonna make dam sure its in hd...anonymous emcee...po box.77931 stockton ca.95267-1231
Alan Fraser
2006-03-22 18:35:07
Please don't over-sell the Mac Mini as a host for GarageBand. Sure, the software will run on that platform but it's a fairly CPU-intensive product and the user will want to upgrade to a faster machine in fairly short order. Everything else you've said is perfectly valid but this particular piece regarding Garageband may lead to problems in setting expectations that a smaller machine cannot deliver. Virtually any music production software requires substantial CPU cycles and GarageBand is no exception.
Jonathan Gennick
2006-03-28 05:36:32
Not to worry Alan. In the end, I only mentioned Garageband to my friend, and I left it at that. Computers cost a lot of money. I'm not going to push him one way or the other.

As it turns out, I didn't even replace the family PC with a Mac. I had thought to do so, but in the end I reshuffled an old PC from my office that I was no longer using, and put that in the family room. My son is the only one who uses it, and he has a stack of PC games he's quite attached to. My wife has her own laptop. I have my office machine.

2006-04-06 08:47:12
We have mission crital machines where I work -- they have to be pc's... but we also HAVE to get to the internet and we had so many problems with malware,et al that we had to cut off internet on some of these machines. Now this is the good part: we got a few mac minis and presto -- no more viris, malware, junk appears on the machines!