Why Save the Mac Mini

Peter Alcibiades palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Jul 15 14:40:00 CDT 2007


Oh dear, I have been biting my tongue for days on this one.  And if only the 
thread would stop, I'd have succeeded in keeping quiet!

Look, here is what I don't get:  the combination of poor organizations, 
running Rev, and Minis.  In fact, it seems positively grotesque.

If what you want is to run Rev cheaply, as my poor charitable organization 
needs to, an old PIII Compaq runs it very snappily.  We paid probably 5% of 
what a Mini would cost, and we spend the rest on the objectives of the 
organization, a stance I have great respect for.  Its a critical application 
by the way, its just not spending any more than we have to on computing.

If what you want is performance at a price, as we once did for our office 
machine, where we needed an Office application, you buy a whitebox Intel at a 
quarter the price of an equipped Mini, and put Linux on it.  And you spend 
the money you saved on your clients.

Now, if what you want is an elegant box you can put in your handbag or jacket 
pocket, and run MS Office on, fine.  The Mini is for you.  And if you have 
the money.

But for poor educational or charitable sector organizations to buy Minis just 
seems to me a totally disordered sense of priorities.  Still more if a prime 
purpose is to run Rev, which is (one of its pleasures) so remarkably 
forgiving of low end hardware.  I have had absolutely no, zero, complaints 
about responsiveness on our 500Mhz machine running the Rev app.  Its instant.  
If we were teaching programming on it, using Rev, I think it would be 
perfectly fine and at least as responsive as a Mini.  The graphics are of the 
same generation anyway.

So at least for the charitable sector, if it goes, it really looks like no 
loss at all.  In fact, a boon, if it stops them wasting their money.

I am not criticizing anyone who spends their own money on the thing.  There is 
no accounting for tastes.  If however its money that is devoted to a purpose 
that is being spent, and one is administering the funds, buying Minis strikes 
me as fiscally irresponsible to the point of immorality.

Well, got it off my chest at last!

Peter



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