John Mitchell shared information about his new Mac Mini Desktop computer (which he has hooked up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse). Two models: a 1.25 GHz, 40 GB HD at $499; a 1.42 Ghz, 80 GB HD at $599. Both are Power PC G4, have a fast loading slot CD- RW/DVD-ROM Drive with a max of 1 GB of ram. The power supply is 1/4 the size of the Mini. It has a hokey speaker, however, one can plug in external speakers. The Mini can do wireless. And one can buy it with a superdrive. It is a quiet machine. It is a good deal when you have the monitor, keyboard, and mouse already. It is very good when you have a space crunch.
There was extensive discussion and comparison of and about the Mini vs iMac G5. Bob Shayler scrolled through comparison prices between the two machines (check out PriceGrabber.com.) When you add all you can to the Mini it is about as expensive as the iMac G5 (only $500 difference between the hi and low end iMac G5) with the iMac having better performance and higher speed. However, if your space is limited, the Mini is a worthwhile purchase.
The portion of the meeting was focused on Places to Go. Bob Shayler led us though the places to go on the computer. He first went to Mac OS X software/utilities and downloaded Meridian 2.0.1 (an All-purpose timepiece that features an improved Menu Bar Clock, Alarms, Time Zones, Timers, Stopwatches, and Chimes) and installed it and explored its features.
Version Tracker was next. VT has much more information about a product including background. It is important to open read me file before installing the software. VT updates information about software more often than does Apple.
There was a quick look at MacUpdate and download.com (c/net) where “chimoo Timer1.2” was found. Couldn’t find it on the Apple site.
Bob went to the Apple Support site. There one can go to the Mac Mini for extensive discussion on all aspects of the Mini as well as all other Macs. Check out the Apple Support site.
MacFixit is a better support site than Apple Support site … it is more up to date with more information about the software. And more software listed. On MF site one can find forums, reports, archives, musings, tutorials, and utilities. To access a number of these you need to subscribe to MacFixit Pro.
When you run Version Tracker Pro it looks at the software versions on your HD so that you can be up to date. We looked at MacFixit tutorials. Mactopia can be helpful (www.microsoft.com/mac) For reviews and price comparisons check out MacWorld.com and MacAddict.com. Another support site is MacCentral.com. Check out our club site for additional links.
To close out the evening John showed some great Blue Angel pictures, from a San Francisco performance, and the Red Arrows – Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team via a power point presentations. Wow.
Dayle Scott, Secretary