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Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: GeneL
Date: July 25, 2014 03:44AM
Poll
Okay! Which one?
Only registered users are allowed to vote for this poll.
18 votes were received.
MacBookAir 11" 2
 
11%
MacBook Air 13" 10
 
56%
Mini Server (for speed and upgradeability) 5
 
28%
Other… 1
 
5%



I say all this because, when I walked into the showroom, all I saw was a sea of small flat devices lining tables in the center of the showroom and along the wall. BIg and little, they were all the same thing. Just a lot of them.

Years ago, as a young teenager, I met a sculptor who made these huge monumental statues. We got into discussing current architecture in New York. His comment was that they built the UN and then everything was a taller UN or a wider Un and so on. This was in the '50s. Not completely true, but in the same way, the various products on display in the Apple store made me think of that comment. Ho hum…

You may have seen, in my recent posts, that I've been looking for a replacement for my aging 2006 Mac Pro 1,1.

Too much heat, too slow, not OS upgradeable anymore… I'm just ready, okay!

First off, money is extremely tight, so I'm going to have to sell things to make this happen, (Are we starting a "sub-forum?")

If I could have exactly what I'd like in a device, it would be something small and light enough to be portable, but with enough computing "power to be at least the equivelant of the top of the line Mini. I'd want to be able to used it "docked" at home with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Of course the new MacBook Airs come to mind, but…

…I'd like it to have both touchscreen capability and phone capability.

I've seen a number of PC desktops that have what seem to be a combination of a standard mouse and keyboard plus a touchscreen monitor. This appeals to me, although I've never had a chance to test it out.

Let me say that I have had many consumer design ideas of mine see some success in the market, so I don't think that it's far fetched to imagine features like these becoming widely available.

As many of you may know, against the majority thinking here, I was really hot for a cellphone with a "large" screen. It seemed that Apple was not going to bring out a large screen phone, so I ended up buying a Samsung Note 3 and I do love the size.

Now, it seems that finally, Apple is going to offer a larger phone, but the picture I have is that since Steve Jobs "departure" Apple has lost its creative edge and is now following rather than leading in device development (excitement). It seems that the "bean counters" have taken over. The "Tim" is certainly one, don't you think? There are concepts out there (3D!) that do seem really exciting, but Apple is pursuing watches and headphones???

Now I'm not wise enough to be able to critique Apple's software development, but I sure can criticize the limited thinking that I see in products at this time. Where's the excitement about Apple's next "reveal?"



Anyway, I had been thinking Mini Server with their fastest processor, two SSD drives and maxed out RAM.

Talking with Justin, the Apple rep, I widened my thinking to consider a MacBook Air 11 or 13 inch.

Although, it can only have one internal drive, I was told that working with an external drive might be only a hair slower than the internal. For my present needs, that would be fine, wouldn't it? If it's true?

Apparently, my desire for phone communication on this type of computer is around the corner as a feature of the next Apple operating system, although I was told that it would require using an iPhone. If there's a large screen iPhone, that could work for me.

All said, I have a couple of issues. For one, I don't much like the MacBook Air's aspect ratio. It seems too pinched for me. How would the MacBook Air's ratio appear on my 16x9 monitor and 60" TV?

The other BIG issue is… the cost!

Well, the challenge will be to sell, sell, sell everything I can in order to move forward with a new computer.

Since, the new stuff that will make everything come together, won't be available until the fall (new chip, new OS, new iPhone, etc.) I plan to follow my forum friends' sage advice and save for an SSD to put into my Mac Pro. Who knows, that may take the edge of my drive to get a whole new set up???

As always, thanks for your thoughts.

Oh yes, I almost forgot…

… in using the MacBook Air to go to the forum, without thinking, I twice touched the screen! I'm so "conditioned!" damn you smiley



gl @ Dana Point, CA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2014 03:54AM by GeneL.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 25, 2014 05:46AM
At your age I'm surprised your eyes don't go for a big display (attached to a small computer.) I'm old enough (~64) to want a big display over a faster computer any day.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: Go To Top
Date: July 25, 2014 06:17AM
Gene, I am much older than you.

How many Mac Forums are you on?
Just bought a new MBPro 13
To use with a 22 monitor....old one.
Best choice 4me.
From B&H no tax. Discounted.

Do you find these folks hyper critical?
Do you have a cat?



A man who is of "sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
(Paul Valery)
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: GeneL
Date: July 25, 2014 06:22AM
Quote
Speedy
At your age I'm surprised your eyes don't go for a big display (attached to a small computer.) I'm old enough (~64) to want a big display over a faster computer any day.

I have the big display. I'd be using my LG IPS monitor at home or my 60" Panasonic plasma TV. Should be great with the HDMI connection, no?

I figure that having most of what I expected in the Mini, but trading off for portability could be worth it??? Your thoughts?



gl @ Dana Point, CA
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 25, 2014 07:02AM
Yes, portability is worth a lot. And the Mini is a 2012.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 25, 2014 07:07AM
The main advantages the mini has over the MBA are, it has two more USB 3 ports and you can get into it easier to upgrade the RAM or the hard drive (I expect Apple to have all soldered RAM in the next mini). You can't upgrade RAM on a MBA, and most people will never open one to upgrade the SSD. The MBA has a better GPU but is missing an Ethernet port.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: July 25, 2014 08:40AM
Gene-

If you're Mac-handy, you can upgrade that Mac Pro to run Mavericks, and to be speedier:

Make it 64 bit bootable:

[superuser.com]

Upgrade CPUs
[discussions.apple.com]



and of course, an SSD.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: davemchine
Date: July 25, 2014 09:21AM
Your wish list looks like mine. It want it all and I want it now! haha. Given your desire for portability and power I would recommend a MacBookAir. The one I purchased for my daughter is very fast, light, has a long battery life, and the screen size is adequate for portable use. When you are at home you can plug in a larger monitor.

Nothing in Apple's lineup offers touch screen except the IOS devices and it sounds like you need a real computer more than you need an IOS device.

Good luck with your decision and keep us posted.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 25, 2014 09:54AM
A Mac Pro is kind of a waste of power if a mini would work.

cough-pizzabox-cough



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: July 25, 2014 11:25AM
How about a MacBook Pro? The older-style, non-Retina 13" is not too expensive (relatively), has an optical drive, and is upgradable. It's quite portable, and can drive a large monitor or two.

The Airs are quite handy for traveling, but very limited in terms of ports and expandability. They don't even have Ethernet ports (nor do the MBP-Retinas!).

[www.apple.com]

/Mr Lynn



"Hillbilly at Harvard"
Honky-tonk Country and Bluegrass
Founded in 1948 by Pappy Ben Minnich
Saturdays 9am - 1pm Eastern
WHRB-FM, Cambridge, MA
Streaming at [www.WHRB.org]
Be there!

The HAH weblog: [hillbillyatharvard.wordpress.com]

Topical weblog: [walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com]

On the river in Saxonville.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: Black
Date: July 25, 2014 11:38AM
I don't get it.... why the need to spend money that's allegedly "tight" on a new mac if the old one is more powerful than you need?




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: eustacetilley
Date: July 25, 2014 12:27PM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
A Mac Pro is kind of a waste of power if a mini would work.

cough-pizzabox-cough

I wish to point out the expectoration above.
Very much Pizza Box. But not one of those wimpy Mac LC types.
I'm talking about something in the SparcStation range.
19" wide, 1U height, with attachable ears for those fond of Racks.

There would be room for two Minis, an optical drive, a couple of video/whatever cards, Thunderbolt, a powered USB hub, Ethernet, Firewire, AppleTalk, and whatever else can be Wooted.
19"/1U is just the right size and shape, and it's not some ugly tower that just won't fit on a desk, no matter the size of the tower, no matter the size of the desk.
It goes under the (main) monitor, and well, everything is right there in front of you.
This wouldn't be a Hackintosh, because the one or two Minis would remain as stock as possible. It would be a Rackintosh.
Sonnet, among others, are dimly working towards that actually very simple goal:

But $1300 for this empty Pizza Box???.

Eustace
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 25, 2014 12:31PM
Quote
Black
I don't get it.... why the need to spend money that's allegedly "tight" on a new mac if the old one is more powerful than you need?

I agree?

IMHO you are waaaaaay over thinking it. And have some misconceptions about some things -- like the capabilities of a modern Macbook, or the fact that they can run external screens at 2580 x 1600, more than the resolution of any HD TV (1920 x 1080, fyi)

Im not sure what your "needs" are but Im guessing they are pretty limited, no idea why you *think* you need a mini server with max ram and dual SSDs. Overkill.

I probably do 10 times what you do and Im on a 4 year old iMac and it handles it all with ease.

We already kind of answered this in a previous post -- keep your note and get a MBA or MBP.

13" MBA $979: [store.apple.com]

13" MBPr $1269 (better screen, faster CPU & GPU): [store.apple.com]



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: GeneL
Date: July 25, 2014 12:46PM
No ethernet!!! I didn't catch that one. How do you connect to your router?

I really hate to say this, but my biggest reason for this is the heat that the Mac Pro puts out. My room gets the afternoon sun and between ambient temperature, having my 60" plasma TV on and the Mac Pro's heat output, room temperature can hit 90° when it's only in the 70s outside. This has been a big issue for years.

For most things, the Mac Pro is fine. I know that I can speed it up with an SSD, but I was loving the idea of downsizing. to a Mini.

The main reason that I started thinking MacBook Air, is that it seemed to be a good way to make up for not having the use of my HP TouchPad, anymore. I loved using that. I rarely needed the MacPro when it was working.

I do enjoy my Note 3, but miss the size of the tablet. I can't afford another tablet and replacing the Mac Pro, so thinking MacBook Air seemed to make sense. The limitations that have been been pointed out, for both the current laptops, make them seem less desirable solutions.

Back to square one!

Get rid of the Mac Pro because of the heat and because I want future upgrade ability. But my desire for a 10" tablet size device is strong. I cannot afford all the options that I'd like to have.

Back to thinking Mini?

No easy upgrades for the new Mac laptops and probably not on a new Mini model kind of makes them seem less desirable. Buying a less loaded version model and switching out RAM and hard drives has been my way to extend the usefulness of my Macs. It's a shame to loose that ability. Another reason that I'm disappointed in Apple.

I'm still waiting to see my best solution, but until I do, I'll focus on adding the SSD to my Mac Pro.

My brain is marshmallow. Smoke is coming from my ears.

Please keep your suggestions coming and thanks!



gl @ Dana Point, CA
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: sekker
Date: July 25, 2014 01:16PM
Gene,

I truly think that a MBP 13" with an SSD is the way to to for you. Great machine, workhorse. The SSD swap is easy.

When you want it to be a desktop, plug it into your current monitor, keyboard Ethernet, time machine backup drive and mouse. Think mini but wider and shorter.

When you want to go mobile, unplug it and connect via wifi. Use it on the couch.

All other solutions are a big jump - adding an external optical drive to a MBA.

I think the MBA is likely less useful as the screen text size is smaller than the MBP.

And the MBPR is far more expensive and has other upgrade issues.

Besides, if you are going to use the MBP like a mini on your desktop monitor much of the time, why spend the money on the high res screen?
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 25, 2014 02:12PM
Quote
GeneL
No ethernet!!! I didn't catch that one. How do you connect to your router?

No easy upgrades for the new Mac laptops and probably not on a new Mini model kind of makes them seem less desirable. Buying a less loaded version model and switching out RAM and hard drives has been my way to extend the usefulness of my Macs. It's a shame to loose that ability. Another reason that I'm disappointed in Apple.

Sorry, but these are the kinds of issues Im talking about. Sadly, your lack of knowledge on these things limits your ability to make an informed decision.

Like If I went to buy a new bike today. The last bike I bought -- $1000 in 1989, a ton of cash back then -- had crappy components, heavy wheels, cheap grips, uncomfy saddle and POS pedals. That was the norm. You would instantly update it with lighter wheels, better saddle, lighter chain, etc, etc. So if I went bike shopping today I might expect that same thing. But truth is, you dont really need to do that anymore. Bikes are speced awesome these days -- disc brakes, 29" (!) wheels, clipless pedals, etc, etc.

Your instinct to "buy the lowest model" and upgrade is just not the norm anymore.

Ethernet? pfft. How does your Note work (and the other 200 million tablets/smart phones in the world) when none of them have an ethernet port?

Your needs are small. Modern CPUs, GPUs and SSDs have made current computers so fast that the need to "upgrade" has become less of an issue.

My previous post still stands. Over complicating things by a factor of 10.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: July 25, 2014 03:30PM
Best Buy has the i7 2.3 Mini on sale today for $700 ($100 off). They also have some other Macs on sale as part of their Black Friday in July.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: July 25, 2014 05:53PM
Quote
anonymouse1
Gene-

If you're Mac-handy, you can upgrade that Mac Pro to run Mavericks, and to be speedier:

Make it 64 bit bootable:

[superuser.com]

Upgrade CPUs
[discussions.apple.com]



and of course, an SSD.


I remember years of issues reported here by Gene, some of which were almost certainly PEBKAC situations: I don't think this would be a good suggestion for him at all. Just more torture.
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: GeneL
Date: July 25, 2014 06:44PM
No! I am not going to build a computer.

In the past, upgrading has been easy, so I did what I could and "mostly" enjoyed the results.

Part of this quest is driven by the "fun" that I've always had with my past Macs. I've had quite a few since the early '90s. The ease of upgrading (for a non-techie) was what made me love my Macs. I'm really disappointed with Apple's new "strategy."

I continue to appreciate all of your input. My old friends taking care of me. old fogey smiley



gl @ Dana Point, CA
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Re: Went to the Apple Store this afternoon to rethink… It seemed that the place was blah! (yawn!)
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: July 25, 2014 09:04PM
Quote
GeneL
No ethernet!!! I didn't catch that one. How do you connect to your router?

Wirelessly, of course.

Unless you're a dinosaur like me, who still likes to have stuff wired up (house upstairs prewired, first floor is just a large-bit drill to the basement where the router is). And I still leave my MBP untethered, so I can carry it around; the wireless works fine.

I think JDC is right; your needs don't sound large. If the Pro is too hot (and you can't move it to another room and connect it with long cables), then find a used MacBook Pro non-retina or basic Mini for maybe $400 and sell the Pro.

Our sponsors at OWC have used Macs for sale. No point in heading for the pawn shop just for a computer.

/Mr Lynn
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