Tag Archives: Mac Mini

It depends on what your definition of “Pro” is

For well over a year now the Apple nerdery have been rending their garments and gnashing their teeth over the lack of an updated Mac Pro. They blog it and podcast it till their fingers are numb and their listeners’ ears bleed. The story is that Apple no longer cares about Apple “Pro” users because they’re too busy with watches and iPhones and iPads. It hasn’t been updated since 2013! How are these pros to get anything done? Being forced to work on such old machines is practically like being forced to use a horse drawn carriage or a Mac Color Classic.

Pros need faster machines they repeat over and over and over. No, really. But then today I came across this image in a tweet by Federico Viticci about a new series of interviews being done for Club Mac Stories. Their first guest is developer Steve Troughton-Smith:

And something caught my eye. Steve Troughton-Smith, supposedly a professional who runs Xcode to develop apps is still using a 2012 iMac as his primary machine. 2012. iMac. Obviously somebody needs to talk to Steve. He is either a poser or terribly uninformed about the computer he should be using.

Now, I myself am not real professional either. I’m not a programmer or developer. I’ve not used Final Cut Pro since 2004. I don’t edit audio and didn’t do special effects in the last Star Wars film. My primary machine from 2011 to 2014 was a MacBook Air! Since then I’ve been using a 2012 Mac Mini. How do I get anything done without a Mac Pro updated within the past year? Funny thing, somehow I’ve been able to run everything from Adobe Illustrator to Indesign to Panic’s Coda to Affinity’s new Designer and Photos apps. I’ve done the layout for two community newspapers, ads, billboards, brochures, websites, signs, and product labels with those two non-pro machines.

Okay. Okay. Seriously though. I realize there are plenty of people that can use the power provided by monster machines with 65 GB of ram and the latest, greatest graphics cards. I get that the current Mac Pro IS long in the tooth. It is due for replacement. But folks, really, first world problems.

I’d bet my left testicle that there are many professional users, power users even, of Apple computers of mid-range power be they current or older iMacs, MacBook Airs, or Mac Minis. Get a grip on yourselves Apple nerds. Please.

The Mac Mini at 10 Years

Mac Mini

Original Mac Mini still being used by the kids for home school!

It’s been 10 years since the Mac Mini was released and Brian Stucki over at Mac Mini Colo has written up a great post/timeline to celebrate. It was released on January 11, 2005 and I remember being pretty excited. I’d recently purchased one of the new G5 iMacs but my sister was in need of a new Mac for her business and the new Mini was my suggestion. She bought one and I set it up with a custom FileMaker Pro database to track her customer billing and iCal for appointments. In the off hours the Mini was used for web browsing, iTunes and photo organizing via iPhoto.

A little over a year later I traded her my iMac for her Mini because she had need for more power (her husband was increasingly interested in using iMovie and iDVD) and I was mostly using my 12“ Powerbook. I wanted the Mini for a power sipping iTunes media server. Today, nearly 10 years later, that Mac Mini is upstairs still being used by the kids for their school work. I retired it from media server duties just a year ago when I moved that task over to my primary work machine, a new Mini (late 2012 model). The kids have used it ever since. Actually, until recently, the eldest, Farra, was using the above mentioned 2003 12” Powerbook (one of my all time favorite Macs!).

Upon seeing that first Mac Mini being presented by Steve I knew it would be a hit. How could it not? A $499 Mac in such a small form factor would, I thought, be what the higher priced G4 Cube (2000–2001) should have been: an affordable yet stylish introduction to the Mac for potential switchers. The Cube was a beautiful bit of design but at $1799
its high price made for an impractical purchase. The Mini did indeed succeed and is still in production. The original form factor was used until 2010 when a beautiful new, unibody aluminum enclosure was introduced. With it came a built in power supply, hdmi port and easy to upgrade memory via a twist off bottom cover. This new Mini was updated again in 2012 and as recently as October 2014 after a 2 year gap between updates.

A month ago a visiting friend had occassion to be in my office and observed the Mac Mini on my desk. He was surprised that I did all of my design work on something as lowly as a Mini which prompted a bit of a chuckle from me. Not only is the Mini my workhorse but this tiny machine generally handles my projects with plenty to spare. Only the largest Photoshop or Illustrator files ever require that the little beastie break a sweat. Exporting or converting movie files from iMovie or Handbreak also pushes the processor but that’s to be expected. The important measure with such work is of course the time it takes to complete the job and I’ve been nothing but pleased with the speed of the Mini in such tasks. All this with what many consider the bare minimum of memory in 2015, 4 GB.

It’s been a good 10 years.

The Mac Mini at 10 Years

Mac Mini

Original Mac Mini still being used by the kids for home school!

It’s been 10 years since the Mac Mini was released and Brian Stucki over at Mac Mini Colo has written up a great post/timeline to celebrate. It was released on January 11, 2005 and I remember being pretty excited. I’d recently purchased one of the new G5 iMacs but my sister was in need of a new Mac for her business and the new Mini was my suggestion. She bought one and I set it up with a custom FileMaker Pro database to track her customer billing and iCal for appointments. In the off hours the Mini was used for web browsing, iTunes and photo organizing via iPhoto.

A little over a year later I traded her my iMac for her Mini because she had need for more power (her husband was increasingly interested in using iMovie and iDVD) and I was mostly using my 12“ Powerbook. I wanted the Mini for a power sipping iTunes media server. Today, nearly 10 years later, that Mac Mini is upstairs still being used by the kids for their school work. I retired it from media server duties just a year ago when I moved that task over to my primary work machine, a new Mini (late 2012 model). The kids have used it ever since. Actually, until recently, the eldest, Farra, was using the above mentioned 2003 12” Powerbook (one of my all time favorite Macs!).

Upon seeing that first Mac Mini being presented by Steve I knew it would be a hit. How could it not? A $499 Mac in such a small form factor would, I thought, be what the higher priced G4 Cube (2000–2001) should have been: an affordable yet stylish introduction to the Mac for potential switchers. The Cube was a beautiful bit of design but at $1799
its high price made for an impractical purchase. The Mini did indeed succeed and is still in production. The original form factor was used until 2010 when a beautiful new, unibody aluminum enclosure was introduced. With it came a built in power supply, hdmi port and easy to upgrade memory via a twist off bottom cover. This new Mini was updated again in 2012 and as recently as October 2014 after a 2 year gap between updates.

A month ago a visiting friend had occassion to be in my office and observed the Mac Mini on my desk. He was surprised that I did all of my design work on something as lowly as a Mini which prompted a bit of a chuckle from me. Not only is the Mini my workhorse but this tiny machine generally handles my projects with plenty to spare. Only the largest Photoshop or Illustrator files ever require that the little beastie break a sweat. Exporting or converting movie files from iMovie or Handbreak also pushes the processor but that’s to be expected. The important measure with such work is of course the time it takes to complete the job and I’ve been nothing but pleased with the speed of the Mini in such tasks. All this with what many consider the bare minimum of memory in 2015, 4 GB.

It’s been a good 10 years.