by Giles Turnbull
Like Scott McNulty, I've taken delivery of a shiny new Mac mini this week, and I'm also in the process of tweaking it to my liking, which means a lot of installing and messing about with bookmarks, web site login details, and preference panels.
Setting this machine up is more interesting, even more challenging, than I had expected. I deliberately did not use the Migration Assistant to import everything over from my old iBook, because I want to use this machine differently and organize the files on it in different ways.
Also, I want to try and keep it a 'clean' as possible; I've still got the iBook for messing around with. The Mac mini is going to be for long-term storage, music and photos, and other things best suited to a G4 processor. I intend to look after it.
What I've noticed over the last few hours of downloading and installing is how much I had become a creature of habit on my iBook. Having the new machine offers a chance to change my ways and break out from some routines.
Another noticeable thing: the Mac mini remains cool to touch after several hours of intensive disk-thrashing. A laptop would be burning up the table by now.
Finally, a story that demonstrates the power of the mini's cute size:
Around mid-afternoon, a neighbour called round to collect something I'd borrowed, and asked about the tiny cardboard box open on the kitchen worktop.
"Another one of your gadgets, Giles?" he asked.
"Yeah," I replied, "it's my new computer."
My neighbour's eyes boggled.
"You can get a whole computer in a box that small?" he asked.
"Come and see," I smirked, and showed him the new Mac mini in the next room. I pointed at the tiny box and said: "There. That's the computer."
I don't think my neighbour will mind me describing his expression at that moment as one of dumbfounded astonishment.
"But - but - my computer's only three months old and it's - it's much bigger than that. It comes up to here," he added, putting a flat hand against his knee.
I smirked again.
"Yes. Small, isn't it?"
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
The Keep Factor
I've got a Mac mini to and it made me realize that there's a "keep factor" to computers. Most are too bulky to keep around when they're no longer your main computer. But I can easily imagine myself keeping that tiny Mac mini around as long as it's useful for something. I have a lot of FrameMaker files, for instance, and FM only runs under Classic. That Mac mini will let me get at them even when my primary Mac is an Intel box.