Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Finally, a solution for all those PC woes

by Suw on January 11, 2005

A while back I saw some statistic about how many millions of dollars of time had been spent by geeks troubleshooting relatives' PCs over Thanksgiving. I don't remember how much it was, but it was a lot.
If I were a computer-fixing geek, instead of a computer-drooling-over geek, I would by now have spent many hundreds of hours attempting to fix my Dad's PC, which he breaks with alarming regularity. But I'm not, so instead I just stand on the sidelines and make what I hope are sympathetic and comforting noises as he readies his sledgehammer for the next round of PC Wars.
Today, however, a certain Mr S Jobs, of a certain fruitily named company unveiled the answer to a million Mac geek prayers – the MiniMac, er, I mean, Mac mini. With prices starting at $499, the MiniMac is a real threat to the cheapo PC market. For PC who already have a monitor, keyboard and peripherals, the MiniMac is the perfect introduction to the Mac OS at a decent price.

The MiniMac crams in a 1.25 or 1.42GHz G4 processor, a 40 or 80GB hard drive, CD-R/DVD-ROM, a bunch of RAM and slots for all your cameras, iPod, printers, camcorders, keyboards and mouse. You can add in a DVD burner, wifi and Bluetooth as well, just to make it ubersexy. A fraction the size of a G5, and only a little heavier than a bag of sugar at 2.9 pounds, the MiniMac will fit on any desk.
Oh god, I'm starting to sound like a Mac marketeer. Eep!
Anyway, before you get too excited about this sexy beast, just remember the iPod availability problems. iPods were like gold dust for a while, and if all the Mac geeks who are fed up of troubleshooting Windows suddenly up and buy a MiniMac for their parents, they could be in for a wait.
Also, you're going to need to retrain yourself not to put coffee down on anything that's small, square and coaster-shaped.
The MiniMac was only one of the things unveiled in Jobs' keynote at MacWorld in San Francisco today. They also unveiled the new iPod Shuffle (which looks like a tongue depressor) and a bunch of new software and promised that Tiger, the next incarnation of the Mac OS, would be released sometime in the first half of this year. Not exactly a precise prediction, but I guess we'll live with it.
If you want, you can watch the keynote.

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