Mac Mini

Finally saw the Mac Mini in the flesh last night (cheers Graeme) and it was very impressive. The first thing that strikes you is the size – it really is small. Certainly a lot smaller than the standard Shuttle pc cases that have been doing the rounds for the last 18 months or so. When switching the Mini on you get a nasty sound playing (like a chime) which was slightly disappointing but then the second impressive feature hits home – it makes no noise. When up close you can hear a small noise and certainly when the superdrive is accessed it makes a din but in normal operation….silence.

The Mac OS itself looks jaw dropping. Through the 17inch TFT the OS looked amazing. It initially was quite confusing compared to the Windows OS but I’m sure after a few days it will feel normal. The speed was also impressive – the Safari web browser opening quickly and displaying web pages with ease. iTunes opened in a comparable time to my pc as did Photoshop – this really is a great machine for under £400.

After 40mins the third impressive feature hit home – the case of the Mini was still cool to touch. This was partly down to the aluminium case but is still tantamount to great design and the careful selection of components. The overall impression is of a good personal computer that will definitely meet anyone’s needs as long as they aren’t a gamer. I still maintain that this hooked up to a plasma/lcd tv would be a great way of browsing the net/checking e-mails from the sofa. If I had a plasma I would be buying one without hesitation – as I have a pc (and no plasma) I’ll be leaving it on the shelf but make envious glances from time to time.

Macworld 2005

Some nice new announcements from Apple. The most interesting for me is the Mac Mini. Looks just like an Apple product should, and would look great as a pc for the living room. However price is an issue as for the spec you get and by the time you add in decent ram and wireless options your looking at over £600. However it’s still very tempting if your looking for a second machine. And if you’ve got a pc and want to share your keyboard, mouse and monitor with your new mini, buy this.

The iPod Shuffle is Apple’s new flash player. The design is good, if a little long, and weighs less than an ounce (22.1 grams). Price also seems reasonable. However the market is flooded with flash players so it’ll be interesting to see long term how this performs. Pity we didn’t see anything in the way of a video playing iPod or even a wireless one. Maybe later in the year?

No doubt blogs and gadget sites will be going gaga over these products today and tomorrow. There’s a lot of Apple love out there. There’s also too many of these. Enjoy.

Apple…bad press?

Looks like for once Apple isn’t flavour of the month. Firstly their refusal to sell Do They Know It’s Christmas and then their inevitable climbdown. Now the EU & Which are after them for selling songs from it’s music store at a higher price in the UK than anywhere else. Overcharging in the UK is nothing new and as usual I can see no change being made to the pricing structure.

iPod Photo

ipod_photoNew iPod Photo announced. 40 & 60Gb versions and for not too shabby a price. Looks good and would be a definite buy if I didn’t have an iPod already. Main issue for me is that Apple’s support of existing users is pretty shabby. I love my iPod but some fairly basic updates wouldn’t have gone amiss – heck – I can’t even play back tracks without any gaps between them. These kind of features should be in as a basic minimum. Good to see battery life quoted at 15 hours though. Don’t know if I would get much mileage out of viewing photo’s on the screen…a more practical screen will probably be found in the next version due in March. I would however love to see the album art while my mp3’s are playing. Very cool. Still…won’t be upgrading. Also odd to see the new U2 special edition iPod more prominent on the Apple website over the new iPod Photo.

Finally, iTunes 4.7 is now available. Probably with updates for new iPods only….hey-ho.



The new iMac was announced today. Underwhelming is my initial reaction. Isn’t this a desktop laptop? In fact, isn’t this one of the tablet pc’s that have failed to take off? And whats with the nasty row of sockets at the back of the machine? That won’t look too tidy on a desk. But of course, order the wireless keyboard, mouse and bluetooth adaptor for £70 (got to love those optional extra’s) to get that wirefree look. Doh!

The design is also the least radical of the latest Apple products. In fact it looks fairly…tame. Still want an Apple laptop though. Maybe next year!