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why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: simonm
Date: November 15, 2008 08:08AM
What I've seen over the last few weeks are the new netbook derivative "desktops" (for want of a better word). Some are quite stylish. As "Hackintosh minis" they would be just fine. As Apple moves all it portables to glossy screen, they become increasingly indistinguishable from windows pcs so they will end up competing on price.

Apple is a superb marketing machine and the OS is definitely my own favourite. I see no portable that I really want in current Apple catalogue (yes, I hate glossy - happy with matt) but I will need to replace my current machine soon. However, I feel I am being coerced into going the hackintosh route. For the moment there are lots of willing customers to stand up and take my place (so Apple won't miss me) but I can't say how long that will last. I did my "Apple pilgrimage" this morning and in the particular store I was at there was nobody looking at the mac (big, well located) area while there were some people looking at the netbooks and the regular pc notebooks.

Without a mini replacement and with exclusively glossy screens on portables Apple is limiting itself to the middle class, middle of the road user. A good money making strategy no doubt but not without its dangers.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: sunfalcon
Date: November 15, 2008 08:39AM
Two weeks ago I purchased a very nice Dell Studio 15 laptop - came with a 2GHz Core 2, 3GB mem, 250GB HD, DVD Burner, backlit keyboard, and webcam for $628 shipped from Dell. Very sweet machine. However, I missed my mac laptop and so I have already sold this to a co-worker and purchased a core 2 macbook off of ebay.

It's hard to describe, yes the PC side is so much less expensive, but I just enjoy the ease of use with the mac.

If the PC laptop had 2 finger scrolling, I might have stayed. That's a feature I love on mac laptops.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: Doc
Date: November 15, 2008 08:42AM
'Just spent some time messing with a friend's hackintosh tower. He built it a few months ago for $6-700 with a Core2 at 3GHz and it benched faster than a comparable Mac Pro.

Apple is definitely screwing themselves by not releasing a low-end tower and an updated mini.

'Anybody remember that grid that Steve Jobs showed off at Macworld a few years back? It started out with 4 boxes, representing one consumer and one pro desktop and laptop. It's pretty distorted now. Add a column for the aluminum MacBooks and MacBook Airs as "vanity" items and the Mini and Apple TV go into an "experimental" column. With the extra liabilities (missing ports and extra adapters needed) added to the MacBook Pro, the only real "pro" Macs are the towers.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: chopper
Date: November 15, 2008 08:58AM
" hackintosh tower"

I'd love to see some detailed instructions on how to build something like this.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: rz
Date: November 15, 2008 09:02AM
Quote
Doc
'Just spent some time messing with a friend's hackintosh tower. He built it a few months ago for $6-700 with a Core2 at 3GHz and it benched faster than a comparable Mac Pro.

Apple is definitely screwing themselves by not releasing a low-end tower and an updated mini.

Amen to that. I am seriously considering building my own hackintosh tower. Been following this thread for a couple of weeks: [forums.anandtech.com]

Since I already have a few of the items needed (hard drives, a copy of Leopard, an ATX case), I could put together the base model for under $300. Even a quad-core model would run me around $500. I missed my chance yesterday at getting a 2.66GHz MacPro off of Craigslist for $1,500. If I didn't have plans for last night, the guy would have sold it to me. But apparently he was moving out of state today and needed it sold ASAP. But I keep thinking that I could save about $1,000 or more by building a compatible tower myself.

I got a catalog from Dell yesterday that has a small tower that has a quad-core Intel processor (Q6600), 4GB RAM, 750GB hard drive and a DL DVD burner for $599. I don't want a mini (not expandable enough) or an iMac (already have 2 monitors, can't add cards or extra internal hard drives). A MacPro is overkill for me. I just want a mid-range tower, kinda like the Dell above, for a decent price. It looks like, in order to get that, I have to build it myself.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: November 15, 2008 09:27AM
I would love a revised mac IIci-style minitower. Apple could keep the mini format, just make it a little taller by adding 3.5" hard drive.

That would be a great media center, and it would also be competitive in price and capabilities with these hackintoshes.

I am wondering if the issue of Blue Ray support is really the basis for holding up a mac mini refresh. After all, those are definitely preferred media center devices. Right now, I could justify an upgrade if it included blu ray media support. Without, not so much.

Would be better with built-in Netflix and other support (i.e. Apple TV), and a DVR, too.

But I fear until Apple has resolved Blu Ray, its partnerships with movie studios, and its own internal issues allowing internal recording of digital TV (Jobs has said publicly he does not want to support such activity by Apple users), I think we're going to be on our own.

Maybe the economic downturn will make them think different again.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: November 15, 2008 09:44AM
rz, thanks for that excellent hackintosh thread.

I figure I could order the hardware and do the total install in about 2 hours for a great media center upgrade, and using my 10.5 install DVD from my G4 mac mini it would run <$400.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: Lee3
Date: November 15, 2008 10:06AM
I am a bit afraid of what Apple will do to a mini update. As in, getting rid of firewire. I love my mini.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: Forrest
Date: November 15, 2008 10:59AM
Yesterday www.hackaday.com posted a link to someone who had resurrected a broken MacBook by installing it in a small Firewire case http://wolphbite.com/blog/?p=62

Considering the new MacBooks are now shipping with improved Nvidia integrated graphics - I'd like Apple to sell a headless version.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: hal
Date: November 15, 2008 11:53AM
"Apple is definitely screwing themselves by not releasing a low-end tower and an updated mini."

you haven't been seeing their earnings reports - they are doing just fine with their plan.

The people willing to put themselves through the hackintosh route are very few. Been to an apple store recently? Wall to wall people.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: Doc
Date: November 15, 2008 12:16PM
> you haven't been seeing their earnings reports -
> they are doing just fine with their plan.

"Just fine" now isn't doing much for their stock price.

...And I just read that sales of the white MacBooks are matching sales of the new ones. FireWire must mean something to a lot more people than expected.

Apple's been able to pull a lot of miracles out from their butts to keep profits rolling in, but they can't keep it up forever without a strong and diverse product line.
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: November 15, 2008 12:48PM
Stock price is down because the markets have tanked. Plus, with the economy tanking, investors don't think Apple can continue to bring in the margins that they have.

For those that don't like the glossy laptop screens, there are solutions. All one needs to do is a Google search:

[www.nushield.com]

[buyviewguard.com]
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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: AllGold
Date: November 15, 2008 03:05PM
Unfortunately, Apple sells what Steve wants to sell and to hell with anyone who wants something Steve doesn't want.

Financially, that has worked pretty well in the past, but I think they may have gotten a little too far away from some of their customers with their latest laptop update.



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Re: why Apple must update/renew the mini
Posted by: incognegro
Date: November 15, 2008 04:21PM
STF for hackintosh. i posted a link to another forum with instructions for building them at different price points.

$305 'recipe'

[forums.anandtech.com]

Hackintosh 101

[forums.anandtech.com]



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