Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year - except if you own a Mac Mini.

(posted by Leon)

Happy '08 everyone.

Except if you buy a (Apple) Mac Mini.

As it's been a while since my last geek/tech blog, I thought I'd kick the year off with a review of sorts. More of a moan than a review though.

Mac Minis are terrible. Don't buy one. Ever. Even if forced to at gunpoint (i.e. rather choose death). And if you're given one as a gift, break all contact with that "friend", as they obviously hate you.

I bought one 2 weeks ago. I took it back a week ago.

My gripes:
1. It came pre-installed with Tiger (i.e. Apple's OLDER operating system). With a DVD containing Leopard (the new O/S). They expect you to upgrade it yourself. Not a good start. (Please keep in your mind's eye the Mac ads where they hammer into everyone that it just works out the box).
2. It's touted as a BringYourOwnKeyboardDisplayMouse device. Well, guess what, neither Tiger nor Leopard have a keymapping for a standard UK keyboard. Only Mac keyboards. The one I had (a PC keyboard) worked, but some keys were wrong. Internet workarounds fixed most, but not all, of the problems with it. (What if I was a granny?? Internet workarounds? Keymappings? Huh? No, sonny-boy, give me back my PC!).
3. After the upgrade to Leopard, DIFFERENT keys were mapped incorrectly. They're not even consistent in their errors.
4. After the upgrade to Leopard, iMovie and FrontRow kept crashing. Great. (A system update later, and they worked again -- I'm a techie, but what about Granny??).
5. It couldn't play my AVI files. (Tech reason: divx codecs, etc, which I loaded. But... Granny???)
6. Last, but certainly not least, the built-in wireless was... well.... terrible. Down 50% of the time (even right next to my accesspoint!). Internet Forums confirmed many people had issues with it. Seems prone to interference. My other wireless devices work fine in my house.

So, you may have other experiences with it. You may not. Internet Forums suggest some people love it, other hate it. I'll let you guess in which camp I am.

Happy Mini-less '08.


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