A couple months ago I bought a Mac Mini out of total frustration of the time it took to maintain, boot up, debug and protect my Windows machines. I thought it would be a steep learning curve and I could write a long blog on that frustrating process and some useful tips and tricks. Sadly, from the blog's perspective, and happily, from my personal perspective, that's simply not the case.
The Mac Mini is a little box, about the size of fat, small, square frisbee, makes no noise, is cold to the touch, boots in about one minute and has a small selection of ports to attach devices. In my case I have an HDMI-attached monitor and the keyboard and mouse are bluetooth. The mouse is a Magic Mouse, and that alone is worth the price of admission. I spend most of my time in a web browser and the Magic Mouse makes scrolling, zoom and previous page navigation so much easier.
The defining change in going Mac is the lack of interaction that Windows constantly presents. Applications install with one drag. System updates take one click, and so far have not required a re-boot and do not interfere with normal operation. Installing the printer took zero of anything. It takes a little getting used to. Actually, very little, after I realized that Apple takes a minimalistic approach to asking for anything. Quite the refreshing change.
I've loaded a few applications, my beloved Google Chrome browser, DVD converter and Skype being at the top of the list. Most everything else I use comes with it, such as iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie. Haven't felt the need for any anti-bad-guy stuff, although I'll be researching that in the coming months.
And perhaps best of all, no bloatware. No 30-day trials of anything. Annoying the customer doesn't appear to be in Apple's DNA.
Preaching to the choir. I have to be very careful when I talk about my purchase some years ago of a brand new ThinkPad that shipped with Windows Vista, lest I end up standing on the table, frothing at the mouth, and shouting about how terrible that experience was. I ended up replacing the ThinkPad with a MacBook Air. (I had a Mac Classic decades ago so this was no my first Apple product.) Now, not only is the Air is my principle laptop, but I replaced my Windows-based development desktop with a Mac Mini with a Cinema Display, a first generation iPad sits in the family room, and an iPod Nano accompanies me to the gym. I admit, I loaded Windows 7 on that ThinkPad, and on the ancient ThinkPad that was my old desktop, and on an HP netbook, and those systems are all fully functional now. But they are merely niche or special purpose machines. The Macs are what I use daily.
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