This post is the first from my new Mac mini. I went to the Apple Store yesterday morning, and picked one up, the 1.42 GHz version. I was very busy with other things yesterday, but set it up in my home office this morning. Everything was pretty seamless, with the set-up wizard copying my documents, settings, and applications over from my Powerbook, which has been my only Mac OS X machine for quite a while. (My last desktop machine from Apple was a Blue and White tower.) The Mini has a nice footprint on my desk, and has all the horsepower I need to do the various things I will do on it. I have it hooked up to an Apple 20″ Cinema Display, a Microsoft Natural Keyboard, and the Microsoft Intellimouse that is by far my favorite mouse of them all. All of these items were already on my desk, and I used to hook them up to the Powerbook every night, now I will leave them hooked to the Mini.
Since purchasing the new camera in December, I had been planning on buying another machine to house the many photos I was taking with it and to use as my Photoshop workstation. On my trip to Maui alone, I took over 2700 pictures. It was clear to me after that trip, and the holidays, that another machine with a big firewire drive hooked up to it would make the most sense for attempting to manage things.
I was actually the first person in line at the Atlanta Apple Store. By the time the store opened at 9 a.m., there were about 40 of us in line. Unfortunately, the Apple Store was not selling the iPod Shuffle and Mac mini on a first come, first served basis, and I know that this was a huge dissapointment for some of the people in line. They had no iPod Shuffles to sell to folks who were there, as all of them were allocated to people who signed up for a waiting list, which no one had told yours truly about when I stopped by the previous weekend. The folks at the Apple Store were very helpful though, and went out of their way to make sure that I got the RAM upgrade I wanted. The Lenox store here in Atlanta was more busy than I had ever seen it. If you want an Airport Extreme or Bluetooth enabled Mac Mini, you will have to order it through the online Apple Store, as those upgrades are not available at the retail locations. Personally, I think that is a big oversight considering how most people plan on using their Mini’s.
The Mac Mini is impressively small and well designed. The footprint is slightly larger than a standard CD case, and it’s as tall as a stack of five CD’s. The ports in the back are laid out well, although I wonder why they bothered to include the modem in the device at all. As far as performance goes, all I have are my anecdotal observations, but it seems slightly faster than my 1.25 GHz Aluminum Powerbook. The transfer of my 57 Gb of data from my Powerbook using target disk mode took less than an hour. Overall, I’m quite happy with the purchase.