Apple's Mac Mini

Steve Jobs introduced the Mac Mini at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco the other day (I'm not sure of the exact day because I am not a religious follower of all things Apple).

The computer is getting discussion on two of the forums I visit and post at: OSMinistry Forums and Christian Web Masters Forums. I've posted some thoughts on the new Mac on these forums, but I wanted to consildate my thoughts here.

1. Why are there no front panel ports? Yes, the thing is stylish, but I have to turn it around to plug in my USB Flash Drive, my FireWire/IEEE 1394 device (of which I own none, but I know they are meant to be hot-swappable. Also, I have seen computers with front panel FireWire/IEEE 1394 ports), or my headphones. That just seems like a bad design move. I was at Roddenberry Memorial Library the other day, and it was very nice to plug my SanDisk 512MB Cruzer Micro into the front of the HP computers they had there. Why didn't Apple include that kind of convenience?

2. BYODKM: That looks like gibberish, but it's Apples Acronym for Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard, and Mouse. So I shell out $499 (or more) for this bright shiney new computer, which is supposed to be really cheap, right? Wrong. I currently have two keyboards, neither of which are USB. So that's another $10-$30. I currently have two mice, one of which is USB, but I am not taking from my wife: another $15-$30. Or you can go with the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse set (with the single mouse button) for another $99. Then I need a display, errr, a monitor. Now back when I last bought a computer, you bought a CRT. You know the type, big boxy job that shoots electrons at a screen causing little dots called pixels to fluoresce red, green, or blue. Much like your old school television. These days, it's an LCD, and knowing what I know, I am going to go 19 inch. Apple's 20 inch LCD display is $999. ViewSonic has a 20 inch display for $909. Suddenly, the old 15" CRT hooked up to my old computer starts sounding good. Luckily, Apple threw in a DVI to VGA converter. So without the monitor, we are looking at $499+$10+$15 to $499+$30+$30=$524 to $559. Throwing in one of the two aforementioned displays kicks it up to $1433 to $1558. Perhaps Apple will introduce a package that brings that down.

I didn't mean to be so long-winded (or long-fingered, since it is a blog), but my point is: I have no desire to buy the Mac Mini. However, a gift wouldn't be rejected as I've been curious about the UNIX based Mac OS X.