Linked by John Yanosko on Wed 26th Jan 2005 21:24 UTC
Apple The following is the experience of a user of Linux for the desktop who got a Mac Mini. Is he making the switch?
Order by: Score:
well i'll be...
by captain america on Wed 26th Jan 2005 21:35 UTC

an article that doesn't bash anyone and still tells an insightful story! well done!

GarageBand 2
by Brian on Wed 26th Jan 2005 21:41 UTC

GarageBand 2, which is on the iLife '05 DVD in the box, does have notational display and editing. Did you forget to install this?

I liked the review but I have one nitpick
by Anonymous on Wed 26th Jan 2005 21:50 UTC

It is has taken me years of using windows and Linux for find all the neat little applications I use with them today. In many cases I have tested 7 or 8 applications that did mostly the same over periods of time before deciding which ones I liked best. In other cases it is a very little known application with a very specific function that was difficult to find.

I have a feeling that my experience would mostly mirror Mr. Yanosko's, but I think the expectation that I would be able to just jump right in and find replacements for all the applications it has taken me years to find would be unrealistic.

He bases his assumption that there is as much Linux software on his relatively short time using and finding software on OSX.

X over ssh slugish?
by nxt on Wed 26th Jan 2005 21:57 UTC

not much on a 100mbit switched network.
anyway, ssh -X -C black should help

Cool monitor
by Rude Turnip on Wed 26th Jan 2005 21:59 UTC

I like how the author's monitor has been modded to look like a picture frame...pretty cool!

dock
by me on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:00 UTC

The problem with reviews like this is that it is all about first assumptions, which in almost all cases is always wrong.

Take the moan about the dock, doesn't quite work how he likes, doesn't stretch to either end of the screen, hhhmmmm ttry changing its preferences so that it does that

Re: Usenet News Reader
by druja on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:02 UTC

I've found that Unison is a great OSX usenet news reader.

*dreams*
by broken windows on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:02 UTC

well i almost went an ordered one after reading this. i jus cant bring myself to do it though. i cant justify adding another computer to a house that has 2.5 of them for every person living in it already... i guess i will jus hafta live with x86 debian.

v typo alert :)
by helf on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:04 UTC
xdarwin
by omnivector on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:05 UTC

why are you using xdarwin? just use apple's X11 server. it's free, and actually integrates nicely with os x unlike xdarwin. you can minimize x11 apps to the dock. copy/past between x11/aqua apps, and even use expose with x11 apps. just google "apple x11 download"

Good Review
by convulsion on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:14 UTC

Even though I come from a Windows background I found many similarities with the author when I purchased my G4 iBook a year ago. I think the author makes many good points and seems to provide a viewpoint that is more intellectually honest and less ideological than many opinions out there.

Dock placement
by jopo on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:14 UTC

There are a couple of free multiple desktop additions to OS X for example DesktopManager http://wsmanager.sourceforge.net/

You can also place the Dock an the right or left side of the screen. You don't loose that much screen real estate that way.

As a Newsreader I use the free Halime.

To find OS X apps I always make a first search at sourceforge and then at versiontracker.com or http://osx.hyperjeff.net/Apps/ .

Re: Usenet News Reader
by Erik on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:16 UTC

Another vote for Unison.

X over ssh shouldn't be sluggish on a lan...
by Chris on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:23 UTC

I don't find it sluggish sshing between buildings! And the network to one side is 10Mb, yes it's noticeably slower but not usably slower.
Everytime I start to like Mac again, I help a friend with their airport and I hate Mac again. It's not an airport thing, but soho routers don't work on huge networks; they bomb out thanks to all the broadcasts hitting them (or that's my guess for why they bomb out). But the utilities to setup their airports are more obnoxious than nice, it should be a webmin.... But I guess they needed to insure that no non-Apple Computer user would ever use the airports?
Anyway, wireless networking is always a pain anyway. The mini looks very cool; but as a linux user (and I'm not a free software zealout, although I think it is morally better and economically better - but I still enjoy some good closed games) I don't think I'd be very happy on OS X... Half the time I'm actually working, I live in a terminal (I know OS X has shell).
But anyway, good article. I would like to point out that you can run a linux machine with very little administration effort. A lot of people choose to make life hard by living on the bleeding edge, but it is possible to avoid that... I have a couple machines that the only administration I've done since setup has been to upgrade software which I wanted upgraded... And my desktop is almost always magically fixed with a pacman -Syu, or it's more broken by it heh. Just wanted to point that out ;) .

Like, which?
by dpi on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:25 UTC

The Mini is quieter than many so-called 'silent PCs.'

Examples please. Why can't we just make some measure, like e.g. 20 dB from 1 meter. One man's definition of 'quiet' is another man's definition of acceptable 'speed', or even 'fast'. That said, i know 'silent PCs' which truely are silent according to my definition.

Overall, though, the desktop is beautiful, fast and very smooth. It's more responsive than a Gnome or even a KDE desktop on a much faster machine.

It seems it feels like that to you. What it really is, is always supported with benchmarks. How do X11 applications on MacOSX relate to X11 applications on e.g. Linux, performance-wise? I mean, if there's no Cocao port. And why was ssh -X slow?

re: Druja
by jeremy on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:47 UTC

druja, I agree. Unison is the best I have used for usenet binaries. I was a die hard pan user until I bought Unison. Of course pan was free and unison was $25.

Parts is parts. Well there are quality parts and such, but the article I thought was good except for the last comment. Mac people are so arrogant (most of the ones I have run into) I have seen them with all kinds of issues and when later asked about it they sluff off any kind of admitting about how angry they were at the time.
Dude, Not only that, but Apples honoring of warranty issues are very discouraging. I have heard from several people who could not get taken care of with Apple and now are PC users. The fact is that Apple has techs who they employ to fix issues just like any other PC maker.
So your problems will not end there…

dpi
by modman on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:49 UTC

dude... why can't you accept this for what it is? he has been a Linux user for longer than most of the people on this board and he finds that OS X's GUI operates smoother than Gnome or KDE on his "faster" machine that he sent to the server room.

Most people are capable of measuring speed differences of a gui, and I will take the word of a person who has used Linux since before it had a GUI worth speaking of.

RE: Chris
by mburns on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:49 UTC

"Everytime I start to like Mac again, I help a friend with their airport and I hate Mac again. It's not an airport thing, but soho routers don't work on huge networks; they bomb out thanks to all the broadcasts hitting them (or that's my guess for why they bomb out). But the utilities to setup their airports are more obnoxious than nice, it should be a webmin.... But I guess they needed to insure that no non-Apple Computer user would ever use the airports? "

There is a windows version of the Airport utility.

@dpi
by BigZaphod on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:50 UTC

From the Anand review posted earlier on OSNews:

"The Mac mini is basically the quietest desktop computer that you can get with a fan.  Unless you put your ear next to the unit, you cannot hear it.  There have been reports that the 1.42GHz models are louder, but we haven't been able to confirm first hand.  From our experience, the 1.25GHz Mac mini is as close to silent as you can get with a hard drive and a fan.  We'd love to post audio clips or SPL readings, but we don't have equipment that can register something that quiet."

@ Linux Hawk
by modman on Wed 26th Jan 2005 22:53 UTC

most likely those people were trying to make a claim that they had no right to make (they broke something, out of coverage, etc) there is a reason that apple has the highest user satisfaction in the industry as far as warranty and Tech support issues go.

Unplug his printer?
by James A. Hillyerd on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:06 UTC

Hasn't this guy heard of a USB hub?

My Dell has USB ports all over the place, but I still prefer using a hub. Really the only thing that ought to be plugged directly into the machine is the keyboard if you use it to wake-up the machine.

All these articles about the Mac really make me want to give it a spin, but like a lot of other geeks, I think I'll wait for Tiger.

I have this "either/or" garbage. You can have both and more. I've got several "PCs" at home. I don't run Windows but I do have PCs with Linux, OS/2, BeOS, and Mac G4 Lamp. Notice no Windows.

Each is good for different things. I learn a lot more about each one because I have something to compare each of them too. Most of the people making comments at this site have only used one OS (maybe multiple versions) and they think they know what's going on. How can they? They don't have a clue.

Note I didn't say which I liked best. The answer for that depends on what I'm doing. All I know is that Windows never was in the top three for anything so I dumped it a year after I got XP. I was wasting a perfectly good computer.

GUI Mac = GUI KDE or Gnome?
by tijs on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:20 UTC

"The gui differences between OS X and the Gnome and KDE desktops I'm used to are not overly significant."

This intrigues me, as one thing that stops me using Linux on a permanent basis is the GUI, in particular the way fonts are rendered. Yes, I know you can install Windows fonts and can fiddle with bytecode interpreters. Tried all that, but not a single Linux distro I tried (ten or so) can match the fonts in Apple or Windows computers (though MEPIS is not too bad). I know a GUI is more than fonts but this is a really big drawback for me, and I don't really understand why so few people complain about it and that no real work seems to be done improving this. Transparency, funky widgets? I don't give a damn, fonts are way more important if you don't want to hurt your eyes.

Mac bad usability
by Anonymous on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:24 UTC

"
This ruins any chance of using motor memory to launch apps with the Dock. You have to look for and interpret icons every time. What are we supposed to do with that empty screen area on either side of the dock anyway?
"

Exactly!!! Thank you. The dock is completely annoying when I use the mac at work; its only saving grace is its application of infinite height/fitts law. How come people always seem to bring up the "start" button of windows and no one has a problem with as big an issue as this? ;)

Unfortunately SkyOS also inherited this problem.

Fonts
by Anonymous on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:29 UTC

"
This intrigues me, as one thing that stops me using Linux on a permanent basis is the GUI, in particular the way fonts are rendered. Yes, I know you can install Windows fonts and can fiddle with bytecode interpreters. Tried all that, but not a single Linux distro I tried (ten or so) can match the fonts in Apple or Windows computers (though MEPIS is not too bad). I know a GUI is more than fonts but this is a really big drawback for me, and I don't really understand why so few people complain about it and that no real work seems to be done improving this. Transparency, funky widgets? I don't give a damn, fonts are way more important if you don't want to hurt your eyes.
"

Add this to ~/.fonts.conf (~=/home/$username)

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
<dir>~/.fonts</dir>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="hinting" >
<bool>true</bool>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >
<const>hintmedium</const>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font">
<edit name="autohint" mode="assign">
<bool>true</bool>
</edit>
</match>
</fontconfig>

Want the reason it's not on by default? Look no further than the US Patent Office.

http://www.munjoylinux.org/source/munjoyfonts.tar.gz <--some nice fonts based on bitstream

Correction re:Fonts
by Anonymous on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:30 UTC

I apologize "add" should be "replace your .fonts.conf with.."

Re: GUI Mac = GUI KDE or Gnome?
by J. Andersen on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:33 UTC

What are you talking about?? Fonts are way better on this box than on Windows or Mac, and have been for at least a couple of years - at least if you use KDE or Gnome you dont need to fiddle with fonts. I find fonts on Mac or Windows look unsharp and blurry compared to Linux. I'm using Ubuntu but had the same good experience with Mandrake, and I dont use MSfonts.

switch
by gary on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:36 UTC

The concept of 'switch' is highly overrated. If I want to be on the cutting edge, x86 platforms and likely MS Windows (and Linux) will continue to be a part of my life. I may buy a Mac one day, but I've paid too much for the platform that I have including the software (Photoshop, etc) to simply 'switch'.

@Linux_Hawk
by bogey on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:41 UTC

Actually, I think you're high. Because you thought he was referring to hardware. I think he was referring to all the viruses and adware he's had to help his ms friends with.

-b

@ modman
by dpi on Wed 26th Jan 2005 23:56 UTC

why can't you accept this for what it is?

Because it says nothing at all? Its in no way a representative benchmark whereas the speed of KDE or GNOME depends on soft- (X version, prelinking, KDE/GNOME version, what version of which kernel -- to name a few) and hardware (harddisk, RAM, processor -- to name a few) situation

he has been a Linux user for longer than most of the people on this board and he finds that OS X's GUI operates smoother than Gnome or KDE on his "faster" machine that he sent to the server room.

Most people are capable of measuring speed differences of a gui, and I will take the word of a person who has used Linux since before it had a GUI worth speaking of.


Sorry, most people are not able to do that. Even long time computer users fail to be able to do that because they don't correctly apply the scientific method while conducting their research.

If he did wrote his measures down he surely can publish his research. Right now we only have a conclusion which by itself is irrelevant. But i already know how it is: it wasn't a research at all. As for 'faster', how do you measure his server is 'faster' anyway? MHz? You really don't know the slightest about the machine; how do you know he did a correct compare here?

@ BigZaphod thanks, thats at least informative. Now i'm wondering how it compares to Openbrick :-)

The Mac has lots of keyboard shortcuts. So far there is no known data base for all of them. App switching is way easy. It's the Apple (command) key and tab key. Up pops a dock looking panel. Hit the tab key to choice which to switch to or use Apple & Q keys to close highlighted app.
Hogwasher I've tried many times. Never able to get used to nor would I want to use even if it was free rather then $49.00. Some people clearly like it as it's been around for sometime. "Unison" is a much more Mac like and easy to use newsreader. 'Thoth" once the King of news readers on the Mac still works great if you can find a copy. The very moody writter has removed it from the market.

RE: dpi
by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:00 UTC

Oh dpi, when are you going to learn... ;)

We've had this silly discussion before, and before... This guy is performing a review. This means, he expresses his thought and feelings of a product. He finds the GUI faster and more responsive. It's an opinion, and therefore he is always right. You might not agree with it, but that's a whole different ballgame.

pan
by theorz on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:10 UTC

Cool, this person sounds like they had around the same experience I did. I will have to try Unison, as Pan is one of the apps I have missed.

I agree that going from apt to apple's way of installing was weird. The first time I used my mac I spent close to an hour going through the preferences trying to find out how to tell osx to get me some software. The installation once you figure it out makes sense and is way better then installing software on windows, but I wish it was possible to have osx maintain all of my software for me the way apt does. Manually downloading upgrades for programs is a pain.

The main applications I missed were Gaim, Pan and Totem.

I have been using Fire to replace Gaim, but I find that it is not as good. I like the large icon mode in gaim, Fire's tiny icons don't cut it. I can never tell people's status at a glance.

I haven't found anything for Pan yet, I will have to try some of the suggestions mentioned here.

I also have not found a good Totem replacement yet. I want a video player that conforms to my desktop's hig, plays pretty much anything I throw at it, has a nice way of controlling it when fullscreened, and has simple playlist support. I have tried quicktime, mplayer, videolan, windows media player, and realone. None of them totally satisfy what I want in a media player the way Totem does. I do recognize that I am picky in video players so I do not hold this against the mac. In fact Totem is the only player that I have found that is good enough on any platform. They eigther can't play much or have some horrible skinnable gui.

Oh, and I wish idvd would work with my mpeg2 videos from my windows days. I can use quicktime to repackage them as qt. idvd shows them in its tray, idvd plays them in its tray, but idvd says unsupported format when I try to add it. Everything I have read says I have to transcode the mpeg2 to quicktime (sorenson?) for idvd to use it. Then idvd will transcode it again to mpeg2 to put it on the dvd. LAME If quicktime can play it idvd should be able to read it. I have not tried idvd5 yet so I an hoping they have fixed this as part of adding mpeg4 support.

fink
by theorz on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:13 UTC

Oh and I have tried using fink, but none of the apps are native. It is like running windows apps on linux, sure it can be done but the user experience is so much better on the system the apps were designed for.

RE: Like, which?
by ryanpg on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:13 UTC

I use OS X and linux daily at work and home.

I agree with the original speed comparison made regarding gnome/X and Aqua. My subjective judgement is; on my powerbook OS X draws/redraws and resizes windows about the same speed if not a little quicker than my gnome gentoo machine... my powerbook running panther is a g3 400 and my gentoo box is a p4 2.4 (same amount of ram on both, linux box with a faster HD).

Re: GUI Mac = GUI KDE or Gnome?
by tijs on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:19 UTC

By J. Andersen (IP: ---.arcnxx19.adsl.tele.dk) - Posted on 2005-01-26 23:33:14
What are you talking about?? Fonts are way better on this box than on Windows or Mac, and have been for at least a couple of years - at least if you use KDE or Gnome you dont need to fiddle with fonts.


Glad it works for you but I just don't believe it, sorry (there was a discussion on this site on this half a year ago I think, and screenshots clearly proved this). I tried Mandrake, SuSE, MEPIS, Lindows, Xandros, Knoppix, Ubuntu. After quite some tweaking I can get my fonts more or less allright in KOffice, but never in OpenOffice. True, this seems to be an OpenOffice issue, but take browsing the web. Firefox looks so much better in Windows than in Linux (even the menus, using the similar fonts and size). Crispier, and smaller.

@ Anonymous (IP: ---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com): thanks, I'll try that. I already tried with some PLF font package for Mandrake using the patented technology, but still my "GUI experience" was worse than in Windows.
I don't say this as a Windows boy, on the contrary. It's just such a hassle and for me personally the single reason not to switch to Linux ;)

(sorry if this is too much off-topic)

mac mini article
by John Yanosko on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:23 UTC

Hello, thank you all for reading my article. There sure are a lot of Mac Mini articles out there these days, so if you found my little one worth your time then cool.

Let me respond to some of your comments ;)

Take the moan about the dock, doesn't quite work how he likes, doesn't stretch to either end of the screen, hhhmmmm ttry changing its preferences so that it does that

I don't see this preference. If it's there, please help me find it!

I've found that Unison is a great OSX usenet news reader.

Thanks! I'll try it.

It seems it feels like that [Gui is smoother on Mac] to you. What it really is, is always supported with benchmarks.

Well, it feels that way to me because of the slow screen redraw of my Gnome desktops compared to hardware-accellerated screen redraw on the Mac. I still like Gnome though.

Hasn't this guy heard of a USB hub?

Well, yes ;) I suppose I need to get one....

I think he was referring to all the viruses and adware he's had to help his ms friends with.

Yes! Just got another one today. It's "working way slow." sigh.


GUI Mac = GUI KDE or Gnome?
by JK on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:25 UTC

The GUI is the main problem I have with using Linux as a day to day OS too. The fonts don't bother me too much, but the inconsistency between apps (such as unpredictable cut/copy/paste) is a real pain. I'm happy enough with the speed and stability of Windows and Mac OS, so annoying Linux GUI problems are the deciding factor.

uhh
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:34 UTC

"
The GUI is the main problem I have with using Linux as a day to day OS too. The fonts don't bother me too much, but the inconsistency between apps (such as unpredictable cut/copy/paste) is a real pain. I'm happy enough with the speed and stability of Windows and Mac OS, so annoying Linux GUI problems are the deciding factor.
"

Is this 2005? The last problems I hear about this were in like 2000....

"but never in OpenOffice. "
Oh sorry then, my OPenoffice also looks crappy. I just use Abiword + MS plugins instead, I think KWord isn't ready yet...

Fink...
by itinerant on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:36 UTC

I've never had much joy with Fink, check out Gentoo (as in ports system not distro) and/or DarwinPorts - The combination of these has helped make OS X function like mac+windows+unix+linux and shored up any holes for me, since the public beta.

Mac Mini
by Tyrone Miles on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:40 UTC

I got a bottom of the line Mac Mini. Learned how to open it using a putty knife and put in 512 MB of ram from my Linux PC.

I really love it. Even though it has a slow hard drive I can still connect it to my cable box using fire wire and I can download shows and movies and also record in HD.

I love the DVI port. I can plug it right into my Big Screen TV, surf the web, chat, watch a DVD and record TV all at the same time! Not bad for a baby computer!

It's not the best price but the difference is that it just works. And works well! And you must admit that it's soooooo cool!

@ Thom Holwerda
by dpi on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:41 UTC

We've had this silly discussion before, and before... This guy is performing a review. This means, he expresses his thought and feelings of a product. He finds the GUI faster and more responsive. It's an opinion, and therefore he is always right. You might not agree with it, but that's a whole different ballgame.

Keep on repeating that BS Thom. When are you going to learn that people's opinions and feelings are subjective, wrong and that proof is necessary for sceptic people? Haven't you already learned that in psychology class?

First of all, the statement he made is very global. From that, its really not known to what he's exactly comparing. Second, a benchmark cannot be 'wrong' in the sense of numbers itself given numbers are numbers. What one may disagree with is how the benchmark was done (the circumstances). When the very same benchmark were to be done on a similar system, the very same numbers (give it a rounding error, or not) come out of it. Thus, when one doesn't provide numbers or the circumstances in which the benchmarked was conducted others are unable to reproduce thus nobody can check wether its true or false. That's how the situation is right now: those benchmarks are yet to be shown. Nobody has made and published these benchmarks.

Meanwhile, while there are no such benchmarks, all kind of 'professional users' claim otherwise. I'm not gonna waste time w/you though, because you're one of those very persons who claims 'X is slow' without any benchmarks as well. Nothing to back it up! Probably also the 'enlightened, experienced user' *cough*. And sadly, the above has to be said because of a lack of data...

Oh
by Tyrone Miles on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:46 UTC

And you can get Office 2004 for $150 (Student rate) You can order it from Apple's website and they don't even ask questions.

Even when you go to Apple stores they try to sell you on the lower cost version.

http://www.neooffice.org/ Is a good Open Office version for OSX

Just have a problem with his last few paragraphs
by brando on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:52 UTC

You can use an Eyetv and have it turned into a Tivo, or the line out, is also a line in. He might not have known that.

Maybe a silly question ...
by Kanwar on Thu 27th Jan 2005 00:54 UTC

... but does this work with a standard (read non-apple) monitor and keyboard / mouse combo? Or do I have to buy the Apple branded ones?

RE: pan
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Jan 2005 01:00 UTC

Try Adium as a replacement for Gaim. A very pretty app.

Also, I prefer DarwinPorts to Fink--I think there are more apps in the repository, including native Aqua ones--you should try that out as well.

RE: Apple MPEG-2 Comment (was: pan)
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Jan 2005 01:25 UTC

"
Oh, and I wish idvd would work with my mpeg2 videos from my windows days. I can use quicktime to repackage them as qt. idvd shows them in its tray, idvd plays them in its tray, but idvd says unsupported format when I try to add it. Everything I have read says I have to transcode the mpeg2 to quicktime (sorenson?) for idvd to use it. Then idvd will transcode it again to mpeg2 to put it on the dvd. LAME If quicktime can play it idvd should be able to read it. I have not tried idvd5 yet so I an hoping they have fixed this as part of adding mpeg4 support.
"

Not sure if this will help or not, but at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/products/mpeg2playback/ they offer a plug-in for playing and importing MPEG-2 formatted clips. It's apparently patent protected by someone other than Apple, so they don't add it to the cost of the machine for everyone, just those who need it. I believe it costs around $20. It's only for import, not for export.

RE: Kanwar
by Abri on Thu 27th Jan 2005 01:31 UTC

Yes, it works with any standard VGA/DVI monitors. It will also work with any USB keyboard and mouse. If you have a PS/2 mouse/keyboard you could just get one of those small PS/2 > USB converters.

re: Fonts
by enloop on Thu 27th Jan 2005 01:49 UTC

How is a dozen or so lines of XML going to run afoul of the patent office? That XML is meaningless unless freetype is compiled appropriately.

Blame for all this should not point to the patent office, but to open source developers who choose, for purely ideological reasons, to pretend they're right and everyone else is wrong, while not producing an equivalent alternative to the patented code. The truth is fonts on Linux machines are better than they were but still not good enough.

Darwin Ports
by NeoWolf on Thu 27th Jan 2005 02:17 UTC

Another vote for Darwin ports! It's what I use unless I want to keep my own custom build like with NetHack and DOSBox.

Freetype
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Jan 2005 02:26 UTC
This is a little off-topic...
by Tuishimi on Thu 27th Jan 2005 02:31 UTC

...but Apple is sort of shooting themselves in the foot with this one. :/ First they apparently did not anticipate the demand and now Target has stopped selling them until some future date, and then they made a "typo" about the 8X superdrive which really is a 4X. :/ There are going to be some peeved people out there.

And I can't say that I am pleased to have to wait an entire month to get my mini just because I ordered airport/bluetooth option. *sigh* But I still love Apple and I went to the Apple store to play with a mini and loved it.

Mike

Re: Just have a problem with his last few paragraphs
by Seth on Thu 27th Jan 2005 02:32 UTC

brando wrote "the line out, is also a line in."

Are you sure about this? Nothing in the machine's specs inicates this. I have seen it written in one report, but most others talk about the need to purchase a USB or FW adapter for line-in.

Target
by PantherPPC on Thu 27th Jan 2005 03:33 UTC

"First they apparently did not anticipate the demand and now Target has stopped selling them until some future date"

Target stopped selling them because of a storewide coupon that allowed people to purchase them for less than what Target gets them for and then blamed it on supply issues.

Hello
by Rene on Thu 27th Jan 2005 03:37 UTC

It's good for a newbie review. Keep using it and you'll understand what all us Mac Addicts are talking about. Just look at Anandtech.com arstechnica.com site for more reviews.

A mini-guide to Mac OS X for new Mini owners
http://arstechnica.com/guides/tweaks/miniguide.ars

Re: Mike
by Rene on Thu 27th Jan 2005 03:47 UTC

Apple is sort of shooting themselves in the foot with this one. :/ First they apparently did not anticipate the demand

Trust me they know exactly what they're doing.


And now Target has stopped selling them until some future date.

The reason was that customers were using coupon codes and getting them for $450

http://appleinsider.com/article.php?id=856



and then they made a "typo" about the 8X superdrive which really is a 4X. :/ There are going to be some peeved people out there.

Apple will honor these sales.
http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/01/26/macminisuperdrive/index.php


And I can't say that I am pleased to have to wait an entire month to get my mini just because I ordered airport/bluetooth option. *sigh* But I still love Apple and I went to the Apple store to play with a mini and loved it.

Mike

*-)

Good article
by risc on Thu 27th Jan 2005 03:48 UTC

It's a good article but it would of been a lot more informative if the guy had of given himself time to learn how to use OS X, rather than just assuming because he hasn't figured it out yet it doesn't work. Also the comment about Fink being Debian PPC is a bit weird, it's a port/package system for OS X that just happens to use dpkg/apt, personally I prefer OpenDarwins DarwinPorts to fink. Also the comment about there being more apps for Linux is flawed at best, just because you don't know where to get them doesn't mean they don't exist. Check out http://versiontracker.com/ or even places you may be familiar with from your time with Linux like http://freshmeat.net/ etc.

Anyway hopefully in a month or 2 the guy will write a follow up when he has more clues about OS X.

Re: modman
by Celerate on Thu 27th Jan 2005 04:04 UTC

"he has been a Linux user for longer than most of the people on this board"

Assuming you are referring to people who read OSNews as "this board" that is a very outrageous claim. How would you know how long every last one of us has been using Linux? For that matter how long a person uses an OS doesn't have to have any effect on how much they know about it.

I can appreciate that you are defending Apple and Mac OS X but please don't lie.

Err KDE faster than gnome?
by Tard on Thu 27th Jan 2005 04:09 UTC

The author implies that KDE is faster than Gnome. Wahahahahaha. Nice.

Re: Err KDE faster than gnome?
by Kabal on Thu 27th Jan 2005 04:14 UTC

Are you saying that you don't think KDE is faster than gnome?

Weird.

The Dock
by crystalattice on Thu 27th Jan 2005 04:16 UTC

The Dock can be changed, along w/ most of the other GUI features, by choosing Preferences under the blue Apple icon on the upper menu bar, or going into the System Preferences (Control Panel) and messing w/ the Display settings.

Nice Review!
by Bill Bacalada on Thu 27th Jan 2005 04:19 UTC

My mini is very quiet. I cannot even hear it unless I focus on it. Garageband and iDvd are a little slow but overall the performance is better than I expected. Nice Review!

Other Mac Mini Communities and User sites.
http://www.123macmini.com
http://www.macminiforums.com

The Dock and apps
by Jon on Thu 27th Jan 2005 04:57 UTC

Control-click or right click in the "Dock" on the clear vertical dividing line.

Presto! A contextual menu appears...

Just clicking and dragging up and down scales the size of the dock.

---------

And now a little link to lots of free and open source apps
http://osx.hyperjeff.net/Apps/

@dpi
by Vincent on Thu 27th Jan 2005 05:15 UTC

"Second, a benchmark cannot be 'wrong' in the sense of numbers itself given numbers are numbers. What one may disagree with is how the benchmark was done (the circumstances). When the very same benchmark were to be done on a similar system, the very same numbers (give it a rounding error, or not) come out of it."

So basically a benchmark is wonderful at telling you how well something rates in the metric you are arbitrarily testing. Where is your scientific data then that proves whatever metric you feel like using actually relates to overall system performance in any meaningful manner?

First rule of benchmarking is that the numbers are only honestly valid for the exact test you are running - an extrapolation is the same kind of hogwash you are condemning here in this review. Why not stop trolling and hiding behind a need for "scientific data" when someone else's opinion isn't egosyntonic to what you believe?

cluster
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Jan 2005 05:40 UTC

beuwolf of mac minis!

Great article
by spaceboy29 on Thu 27th Jan 2005 05:41 UTC

I can wait to start seeing Mini-Hacks, they are so small with little power consumption,,,hmmmm possiblities. Wonder how hard it would be to run one from a backpack with a battery.

silent PCs
by Anonymous on Thu 27th Jan 2005 09:45 UTC

Measuring in db doesn't tell you how loud/silent a PC is - you have to measure in Sone.

My Mac story
by Man-at-Arms on Thu 27th Jan 2005 11:37 UTC

Hey, my Mac story is quite the same. Only instead, I sold the Mac I got (a PowerMac G4) for not that far less than what I paid for. My biggest complaints were the sluginess of Aqua's interface and indeed the pay-for-it shareware apps (vs. free OSS).

Free software & Google
by Jon on Thu 27th Jan 2005 14:27 UTC

Has no-one here heard of www.google.com?

Try searching for "os x apps" and see what comes up....


I read this somewhere a while back...
"I couldn't see how to turn the computer on, so I sold it to a kid for $300"

Dur...
by Rene on Thu 27th Jan 2005 15:17 UTC

versiontracker.com

Re: spaceboy29 (IP: ---.ipt.aol.com)
by drsmithy on Thu 27th Jan 2005 22:09 UTC

I can wait to start seeing Mini-Hacks, they are so small with little power consumption,,,hmmmm possiblities. Wonder how hard it would be to run one from a backpack with a battery.

Personally I think the guts of a mini and a 10" LCD are a perfect project for the old Mac Classic I've got lying around. Indeed, I might even be able to get a decent 3.5" in hard disk into it - there's heaps of room in a Classic compared to a Mini.

Alternatively, I've got a few old LCs that would also make cool Mini conversions ;) .

Mini has hd video and audio!
by stingerman on Sat 29th Jan 2005 03:42 UTC

It's called firewire port. New HDTV's come with one and the Mini canact like a DVHS when connected to an HDTV. Apple released such a software tool as part of the FireWire SDK which is freely available and downloadable. And, there are plenty of devices, audio and video, that connect to the firewire port.

@ Vincent
by dpi on Sat 29th Jan 2005 05:29 UTC

So basically a benchmark is wonderful at telling you how well something rates in the metric you are arbitrarily testing. Where is your scientific data then that proves whatever metric you feel like using actually relates to overall system performance in any meaningful manner?

First rule of benchmarking is that the numbers are only honestly valid for the exact test you are running - an extrapolation is the same kind of hogwash you are condemning here in this review. Why not stop trolling and hiding behind a need for "scientific data" when someone else's opinion isn't egosyntonic to what you believe?


Sigh. The point is not that others need to adopt my definitions or metrics, the point is simply that they have to define what their definitions and metrics are. If those are off, then others and i are able to show that its correct (or not) anyway.

What i'm just saying here is: "This person is saying something, but doesn't have anything solid to back it up."

Re: dpi
by melgross on Sat 29th Jan 2005 06:18 UTC

It seems as though all reviews, whether for Macs or PC's are useless, according to you.

Since when has ANY reviewer had the equipment, or expertise, to measure these parameters? Every review that I've seen over the years has used the reviewers own sense of what is apparent, not some lab measurement.

That's impossible anyway. I was a partner in an audio manufacturing company for a number of years (Magnum Opus, later Peacetime Comm.), and have designed numerous pieces of equipment, from speakers to digital tuners. Lab tests of the type that you are talking about rarely translate to the field.

A measurement in place is a good step, but there are too many variables to account for in a home environment. If the product is very quiet, as Anand found, then the background noise has too much of an effect, and renders the measurement worthless.

Our ears are excellent for relative measurements. Not so good for absolute ones.

We also tend to tune out the usual noise and are more sensitive to anything new.

As every review so far has stated that this is an exceptionally quiet machine, you would do well to just sit back and accept his judgment that in his environment this machine is as quiet as he said it is.

Re: melgross
by dpi on Sun 30th Jan 2005 02:03 UTC

It seems as though all reviews, whether for Macs or PC's are useless, according to you.

Nowhere did i mentioned that.

Since when has ANY reviewer had the equipment, or expertise, to measure these parameters? Every review that I've seen over the years has used the reviewers own sense of what is apparent, not some lab measurement.

I was referring to the compare to GNOME/KDE/X since thats one which one can easily give details for or not make such compare or where people like me can state the obvious (ie. "where are the numbers?"). The tools to compare or to state the numbers are all free software (beer and most are FS/OSS as well).

Oh and, if i may say so, i actually know magazines which would argue that what you state is important to back up with hard numbers. I expect the C'T to back such up for example -- maybe they'll do so in the next march version. I agree that most won't care though or won't do it however as will soon become apparent this was NOT the issue being discussed.

[...] As every review so far has stated that this is an exceptionally quiet machine, you would do well to just sit back and accept his judgment that in his environment this machine is as quiet as he said it is.

What the heck??? Only 2 posts are dedicated to the noise of the machine: my first one (together with the GNOME/KDE/X compare) and a second one (a thank you for the information). Basically i acnowledge the information although i'm still wondering how it compares to e.g. Openbrick. The rest of the replies are, afaiac, about GNOME/KDE/X (both Thom and Viktor replied to that instead).

Fink = Debian for PPC
by Bice on Sun 30th Jan 2005 21:35 UTC

> Fink is an installation of Debian PPC.
That is so not true.

Pin the Dock
by Matt on Sun 30th Jan 2005 23:05 UTC

There is a way to make the Dock pin to one corner or the other. If you move the dock to either side of the screen it will still pin. But to do this you need to edit a .plist file (XML File - Similar to Win32 Registry Edit). If you have the developer tools installed, you can just navigate to ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist and it will open with the Plist editor.

The easiest way to do this is to enter the following in OSX Terminal.app

defaults write com.apple.dock pinning -string start

or

defaults write com.apple.dock pinning -string end

Then ps -auxc | grep Dock

and kill (# of Dock pid to restart the Dock)

Turn off magnification as it will slide the dock off the screen when magnified. The Dock will still grow to the right or left or up or down if you put the Dock on the side of the screen.