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June 5th, 2005

The Coolest Thing About the Mac Mini

The other day I got a new Mac Mini the mail (thanks to!) and have been playing around with a bit this weekend. There’s one thing that really strikes me as cool about it. No, not the elegant simplicity of OS X. No, not engineering feat of fitting that much PC into that little space. No, not the attractiveness of the box itself.

It’s the little power light on the front.

When the Mini goes into sleep mode, the pinhole-sized white light goes from a steady-on, to a slow, smooth, pulsing. It feels spaceship futuristic. It’s mesmerizing.

So forget everything you’ve heard about the Mac: the pulsing light is its most important feature.

Posted in Technology

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday June 5, 2005 -- 10:59:16 am
Welcome to the Mac! :)

Yeah, this was one of the little gee whiz things I liked about the Cube. It's now an Apple thing to be sure, as most of their machines have this kind of pulsing coolness.

FROM: jk
DATE: Sunday June 5, 2005 -- 9:44:49 pm's part of their ultimate goal of brainwashing you!! Beware!!

he he he

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday June 6, 2005 -- 9:35:43 am
Did you have to buy a bunch of other crap to get this thing for free? I was going to get one of the "free film scanners," an Epson 3170, which sells new for about $180. But the site ran me through three pages from which I had to choose one of a number of offers, none of which I was interested in, so I gave up. I should have just gone to ebaY first, where the scanners are selling for about $30.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday June 6, 2005 -- 9:46:09 am
I had to complete one "trial offer" (which for me was trying out efax for a week and then cancelling it) and get ten friends to do the same. Sounds very schemey, I know, but this particular company's been doing it with various things (ipods, flat screens, etc.) for a few years now and has been featured on all sorts of news and tech shows describing how they work. It's not a pyramid/MLM-style scheme, just a combination of referrals and advertising.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday June 7, 2005 -- 5:15:49 pm
Good thing you got it for free. It would be a shame to waste paychecks on an apple product.

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Sunday June 19, 2005 -- 5:51:49 pm


jk: You broke my heart, you were doing so well! ;-) hehe

The real secret is though... don't look into Steve's eyes when he says "One more thing..." at a keynote. The RDF will steal your soul... ;-) Hell I had Paul as a classmate for one class in college after growing up 5 minutes from him, going to the same high school, and graduating from the same community college and never hanging out or really knowing him 'til senior year at Columbia College Chicago. The power of corruption from peers and Steve's RDF is not to be underestimated. ;-) Paul's on his second Mac and how many iPods now? :-D That's after having to deal with Columbia's Mac labs... :-S For Apple to convert Paul after that "experience" is no easy task, but then again most of their PC's on campus were almost just as bad. The Micron PIII NT4 box we had upstairs for running Solidworks and operating the 3-axis table mill was, to put it mildly, garbage. :-P Nothing like a blue screen on a fresh install to make 'ya smile with glee at the thought of another hour + of system reinstalling...

Ryan: Wow... I saw the post title and thought Paul was pinging. When I saw your mugshot up there I was a little lost. You on a Mac mini? Wow... you really can convert people to "try" a Mac from the darkest reaches of "The Force", huh? Sith Lord Gates and his apprentice Ballmer will be none too pleased for certain. :-D

Paul was more of an agnostic when I met him, but getting you to budge to look at Apple I always thought would be like raising the dead. I'm rather shocked honestly. ;-) Especially after the iLamp comments. LoL

I've got 2 of them (1 with a Superdrive, one without, both with 512mb of RAM; 40 gig drives, no BT or Airport), one for me and one I bought for my dad not long ago. Easily 2 of the best electronics purchases I've made in years, and you can ask Paul about my ringing endorsement for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10k with the Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 35-420mm lens and the Olympus Stylus 300 (first Olympus I've used that the interface doesn't suck, much at least, on. Couldn't beat the price though.) I bought my mom for her birthday (her first digital, she loves it). That says a lot right there as all of the above are very worthy purchases I'd heartily recommend to anyone.

Interesting on the Trial Offer deal too as I've seen them before but always thought it likely was some form of scam. Makes me almost want to partake in it on my PC and see 'bout snagging another Mac mini to use as a little mini file/web/print server or something.

BTW, the pulsing is very cool... but I still vote for Tiger + iLife '05 as being much cooler. iMovie + iDVD is just good fun. iPhoto is a bit of a let-down in some ways, as it really needs a better toolset to compete with something like Photoshop Elements. It's rather limited in it's scope and reach. The red eye tools are rather hit/miss unless they're an exacting red-eye. If you get a chromatic silver/white or even orange-colored eye from the flash, it's hopeless to fix it within iPhoto. Retouching has very little control as well. It's a nicely generated interface and what editing tools it has are good if not entirely great. It definitely needs a few more coats of paint and a nice clear coat before it's as solid as it needs to be to be a "can't miss". For free though, t'aint too shabby. At least it's not an ugly unintuitive mess like The Gimp, itself quite amazing but needing much more polish. :-D

iDVD can be unruly in some aspects until you fully get the hang of the application. I just wished that like Widgets, there was an easy tutorial on how to make your own iDVD themes, or some form of theme maker as part of the iLife suite. I do like being able to make a photo slideshow DVD and/or ripping movies from our camcorder to disc via Firewire (easy, and the controls in iMovie for the camcorder are sweet). The extended family and friends are dutifully impressed and have no idea how truly easy it really is. Even I was a skeptic 'til I produced one... the longest time taken in all of the process was taken by iDVD rendering the files to disc for burning, which on a 1.25 Ghz. G4, I didn't anticipate it to be as fast as it turned out to be. I can't imagine how fast it'd be on a G5. Truly impressive.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday June 19, 2005 -- 9:45:44 pm
Ryan: Wow... I saw the post title and thought Paul was pinging. When I saw your mugshot up there I was a little lost. You on a Mac mini? Wow... you really can convert people to "try" a Mac from the darkest reaches of "The Force", huh? Sith Lord Gates and his apprentice Ballmer will be none too pleased for certain. :-D

Heh -- not quite a "convert" yet... it's still a secondary computer until I figure out what its primary purpose will be (taking over my new PC's position as primary computer's not an option).

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Sunday June 26, 2005 -- 3:01:08 pm
I wasn't anticipating that you'd completely jumped ship Ryan, as noted I said 'convert to "try"' in my posting you quoted. The fact you even sought to obtain one struck me as incomprehensible of you from your own past commentaries on here. Even if it was free, there was obviously some hoops to jump through via the "free" method you sought. Anticipating the "bother" factor, I didn't suspect you to deem it even that worthwhile an effort to obtain one to "try". As has often been coined, "Time is money." I consider it a coup nonetheless, even if the potentials of you changing your position remain questionable. The fact that you could entertain the notion is hospitable to the idea that you're not alone. I'll accept that aspect, gladly. It, at least, means curiosity runs deep.

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