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October 29, 2007

A mac owner again, 20 years later

Last week I gave into temptation.  I'm now the owner of a bottom-of-the-line Mac Mini - the 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model.  80 gig disk, 1 gig of RAM.

I couldn't stand the idea of paying Apple $150 for one more gig of memory, so instead I spent at least that much and time and energy by getting 2 gig of RAM from Fry's and installing it myself.  Jonathan Young supplied the putty knife and the company.

It's the second Apple device I bought in the last 2 months.   When I left EarthLink (company-wide layoff) in September, I needed a cell phone, and Apple was kind enough to cut the price by $200, so I bought a phone that day.

It's not the first Mac for me, though.   We bought a Mac SE in '86 or '87 for Jen to finish her PhD thesis.  I played with a first generation iMac when I was at CNN in about 2000, and I had a first generation Mac Mini on loan from EarthLink for a couple of months.  Both of those machines were just too underpowered compared to the PCs I was using.  My new Intel Mac is on the lowest rung of the Mac line, but hardware has improved enough that even the  Mini easily trumps my Intel 3.0Ghz P4 Windows system.    

I'm pleased.  The Mini is low end hardware - built in integrated graphics, 5400 RPM hard drive.  It comes with built-in Bluetooth (which cost extra on the original Mini), WiFi,  4 USB ports and a Fireware 400 port.   But especially with 2 gig of RAM, that's plenty to make a system that works very nicely indeed. 

Even better, I've been playing with a copy of VMWare Fusion, and it runs Windows XP well enough to handle the PC applications I'd like to run.

If this were my only system, I'd like something with more power.  But for everyday use, it's fast enough, and the polish of OS X makes it all the better.