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Mac Mini!

stinkyboy

Plastic Santa
Jan 6, 2005
15,192
0
¡Phoenix!


Picked up a 1.83 Mini to replace my tired G4 tower after deciding that a G5 tower was overkill at home. A 250 GB firewire external for music and videos and I'm set. Front Row is a bit clunky, but I highly recommend.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
Cool and congratds!! I was looking at macs about two weeks ago and ended up with a 20" imac. After almost 20 years on windows/dos I have to say I love the Imac.

You got any recommendations for not too terribly expensive photo manipulation software?
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
3,217
358
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
Reactor, how much manipulation do you want to do to the photos. Also it you have an intel Mac you can duelboot windows and run your old software untill Photoshop CS3 comes out and used copies of CS2 hit ebay for cheap.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
I was skeptical, but it's a bad little machine. You would prolly benefit from one. You can crank it up to 2 GB of RAM. 4USB and 1 Firewire port, burn CDs and DVDs. A no brainer.
I have that and I can do that.

Athlon 64 3200
2GB Corsair XMS
WD 120GB drive
nForce 430 mobo
On board Geforce 6150 graphics w/ 256mb shared mem
DVD RW drive
250GB external drive
Wireless LAN card
1 Firewire
6 USB
1 svideo
1 spdif
1 DVI vid out
1 VGA vid out
Hardware raid support
Hardware firewall

All in? About $700.(and this was the end of last year) I can squeeze it into a tiny case for around $50 more.


Glad your happy with it though. :cheers:
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Take the slow notebook HDD out and put a nice 2.5" 7200RPM in there. It will make a big difference.

I upgraded my mini G4 1.5 to 1GB Corsair and a 7200 RPM 2.5" enterprise blade drive (both from newegg) - it was a b#tch with getting the case off (two paint scrapers required), removing wifi/bt antennas, removing the optical drive, some fan, and tons of jeweler sized screws before I could change out the HDD and put it back together.

I'm not sure if its any easier now in the new minis, but there are third party companies that will do it for you instead.

Its not the cheapest or fastest small form factor PC, but its decent as the complete integrated bundle.

As far as cheap, fast, and high quality. I just setup a SFF Dell Optiplex(corporate line) workstation - gx620 refurb - dual core D820 2.8 GHz w/1GB ram, 80GB 7200RPM, DVDRW, ATI X600 PCIe 128MB video card, great case design, quiet, etc...at work. We paid $499 with full 3 year warranty with business support in the US, not India like in the consumer line that Max hates...free shipping too - can't beat that.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
I upgraded my mini G4 1.5 to 1GB Corsair and a 7200 RPM 2.5" enterprise blade drive (both from newegg) - it was a b#tch with getting the case off (two paint scrapers required), removing wifi/bt antennas, removing the optical drive, some fan, and tons of jeweler sized screws before I could change out the HDD and put it back together.
For someone who hates Macs you sure put alot of energy into them.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
I have that and I can do that.

Athlon 64 3200
2GB Corsair XMS
WD 120GB drive
nForce 430 mobo
On board Geforce 6150 graphics w/ 256mb shared mem
DVD RW drive
250GB external drive
Wireless LAN card
1 Firewire
6 USB
1 svideo
1 spdif
1 DVI vid out
1 VGA vid out
Hardware raid support
Hardware firewall

All in? About $700.(and this was the end of last year) I can squeeze it into a tiny case for around $50 more.


Glad your happy with it though. :cheers:

I didn't see an OS, dvd burning software, case, keyboard, mouse, gigabit network cad, bluetooth, and about a thousand other things the mac has. If you haven't added in their cost, What's the cost when you add them? XP home alone is about $199 for an new PC, which would make your machine a lot more costly.

As far as performance goes, a 1.83 core2duo is about twice the speed of a athalon 64 3200+. Heck my core2duo 2.1ghz Imac is 1.4 times than my 3.0 GHZ p4.

 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
Reactor, how much manipulation do you want to do to the photos. Also it you have an intel Mac you can duelboot windows and run your old software untill Photoshop CS3 comes out and used copies of CS2 hit ebay for cheap.
I can run PC apps on my PC, but moving large stuff back and forth is a bit of a pain. I'm going to editing and storing photos takes with my digital rebel (about 30 meg each raw). I'm also goign to do a lot more video stuff. I got a couple of 300 gb fire wire drives for storage and backup. I'd like to get CS3, but the prices are pretty hefty, and it's not out yet.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
I didn't see an OS, dvd burning software, case, keyboard, mouse, gigabit network cad, bluetooth, and about a thousand other things the mac has. If you haven't added in their cost, What's the cost when you add them? XP home alone is about $199 for an new PC, which would make your machine a lot more costly.
I can get a corporate Dell through small business (anyone can buy that channel) with a better warranty (3 years), better quality control, better environmental footprint, better support, and all those features (more expensive XP Pro even) for about $600 refurb ($100-150 more if you want brand new) - Dell always gives you a better price if you call on the phone compared to their website. You'll need to put Applecare in your price too - there is still a premium.

$589 online Dimension E520 Small Mini-Tower: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6300 (1.86GHz, 1066 FSB) with Windows XP Media Center 2005

Needed: Bluetooth Adapter $16

$669 online XPS 410 Mini-Tower: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6400 (2.13GHz, 1066 FSB) with Windows XP Media Center 2005

Needed: Bluetooth/Wifi Combo Adapter $59

If you call they have more complete inventory listing and give you better pricing and usually throw in free shipping. We buy most our systems via the refurb. division.

Our oldest refurbs are 36 GX150s - not one has had an issue in the six months I've been at the company and they are around 7 years old now.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
That's a great price on a refurb, and it looks like a great system. But it's not apples to apples so to speak.

I went to the regular dell home site and to get a intel core2duo based home pc was $ 1265 for an xps 210, with 1.8ghz processor, 1 gb ram, 250 gb hdd, no monitor, 3 year support plan, 90 day setup help, no firewire, but with roxio dvd/cd burning software.

A mini mac, same specs with 3 year applecare is $968, plus it has bluetooth, firewire, and a bunch of software. So then mini mac is a clear winner at almost $200 sheaper.

My imac was $1499 + 169 for applecare so $1668 The same spec'ed xps 210 with a 20 monitor, slower video card, no webcam, three year warranty but less support is $1881. So it's closer but the I mac still wins by over $200


By the way refurbished Mac mini is $649 when you can find them and $149 for apple care on the refurb, $798 for a system matches your first refurb. And those refurbs don't have a 3 year warranty, If we add 3year warranty to your refurb it's cost is $755 + you still need a firewire card. So the dell refurb is slightly cheaper than the apple refurb, but a little less fun-ctional.


Not to knock dell by the way, we've had good luck ordering from the over the last 12 years. They are one of the better PC manufacturers, and usually don't come loaded with all the crap HP and toshiba put on their PC.

By the way both HP and Dell have complained to Intel about Apple's pricing. It seems Intel is using Apple to foster a little competetion. They've been giving Apple sweetheart deals and as a result Apple is making a margin of 30% on new computer sales, where Dell and HP are getting about 10%.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
By the way refurbished Mac mini is $649 when you can find them and $149 for apple care on the refurb, $798 for a system matches your first refurb. And those refurbs don't have a 3 year warranty, If we add 3year warranty to your refurb it's cost is $755 + you still need a firewire card. So the dell refurb is slightly cheaper than the apple refurb, but a little less fun-ctional.


Not to knock dell by the way, we've had good luck ordering from the over the last 12 years. They are one of the better PC manufacturers, and usually don't come loaded with all the crap HP and toshiba put on their PC.

By the way both HP and Dell have complained to Intel about Apple's pricing. It seems Intel is using Apple to foster a little competetion. They've been giving Apple sweetheart deals and as a result Apple is making a margin of 30% on new computer sales, where Dell and HP are getting about 10%.
Refurb. systems come with 3 year warranty free of charge, that includes the $499 gx620 I setup at an executive's home today. As I said, new and refurb systems and accessories are cheaper if you order over the phone from Dell.

Specifically it was gx620 refurb - dual core D820 2.8 GHz w/1GB ram, 80GB 7200RPM, DVDRW, ATI X600 PCIe 128MB video card. We paid $499 with full 3 year warranty with business US support plus tax but free shipping. The rep said we could get a new one for $628 if we preferred. Its only missing the BT and Wifi which is less than $100 to add on (most people only use wifi if that on desktops and buy Logitech or MS wireless keyboards/mice most of which don't use BT). The Dell and Apple have Gigabit ethernet which is useless for consumers. Building it yourself or using a less known brand is even cheaper.

HP $819.99 A1640N - much cheaper than Dell or Apple has features a consumer can use like the flash memory reader, extra RAM stock, and easier to upgrade standard form factor.
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz / 2GB PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM / 250GB SATA HD / DVD MultiDrive / Memory Card Reader / Ethernet / Modem
Also Apples to Apples - the Mini has 32-bit Core Duo not 64-bit Pentium D or Core 2 Duo chips. Also you get the integrated graphics which aren't so great. The iMac is definately a better and more unique package than a mini.

Dell is selling AMD these days due Intel's deals with Apple. Intel cannot afford to cut deals forever with OEMs, so I don't think it will last too much longer - look at the thousands of workers they fired recently.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
When I added the refurb to my cart, one of the options was a three year warranty for an extra $150. Here is the actual text from dell's page:

Limited Warranty: Comes standard with a 1 year Limited Warranty5, On-Site6 Service and Hardware Warranty Support. For added peace of mind you can upgrade to a 1, 2 or 3 year term.
But you're right about the core duo vs. the core2duo on the mini macs, but dell doesn't offer the core duo on it's systems so the pricing was impossible, I was trying to get as close as possible (which isn't easy). Comparing discounted business refurbs to new is pattently unfair.

As for bluetooth, I do use it (PDA, headphones, BT keyboard and mouse). I also use the 802.11 for an inhouse network between my PC's and the gig ethernet for a connection to the switch my cablemodem is on. I use Firewire for two exterrnal drives a digital camera. I have a two USB 2.0 digital cameras, an IPOD, printer, and a HDD, and soon USB digital capture card.


I don't think apple isn't excessively priced when compared to quality PC's.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
5 minutes on Newegg, with a comparison in spec to a fully loaded Mac mini off the Apple store...


1 LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model
$29.99
(comes w/ Nero suite)

1 IN WIN IW-BT566T.240BFU2A Black Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 240W Power Supply - Retail
$44.99
(ok, this isn't as micro as the Mac mini, but it's all black, which makes it WAY FASTER)


1 Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$57.99
(faster)

1 OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2G8002GK - Retail
$229.99
(cheap, fast)

1 Intel BOXDG965SSCK Socket T (LGA 775) Intel G965 Express Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$106.99
(solid)

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor $220.00
(night night little Mac)

1 Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 w/SP2B - OEM
$109.99
(I still prefer XP Pro, or if you're brave, go Linux)

Microsoft Office Basic 2003 SP2 Single Pack - OEM
$169.99
(or use Open Office and Google to replace all these apps)

Microsoft 65X-00024 Black USB Standard Wireless Optical Desktop 700 Mouse Included - Retail
$26.99
(simple, and again - ALL BLACK)


$1,096.47 shipped to northern CA.




Mac Mini, fully loaded w/ similar spec:
$1,518.48

Mac mini, 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo
Part Number: Z0DN
Accessory kit
1.83GHz Intel Core Duo
Mac OS X - U.S. English
iWork '06 preinstalled
160GB Serial ATA drive
SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB

 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
BTW - I'm not slaggin on the Mac Mini, if you can afford it, it's a nice little box.

I like building my computers though, and you can get a close if not better overall spec for cheaper, with a little time and noodling. (I like to noodle...)

You get individual warranties on each part too.


I'd like to see Apple let Macs go into the same aftermarket arena as PC's, then it would get really interesting.

Hmm...
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
Well to be fair, don't buy ram at apple, save a hundred bucks. Does that pc box have BT and wifi?

As for the aftermarket, they did this about 5 years ago (mac clones). It was a huge disaster and it was canned.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
While I think the Mac Mini does attract more savvy users capable of DIY as a secondary computer, you'd have to consider the primary market - consumers.

IMHO, most consumers prefer notebooks. I think they would also rate the iMac over the mini too. As for the featureset - wifi is likely to be used by consumers, BT - maybe for wireless keyboard mouse and if they are slightly saavy, they'll use it with their cell phone but other than that its just spec on paper. Same with gigabit ethernet at home.

The pricing is more competitive these days as the hardware is much closer to commodity based but there still is a premium and Apple's products have big margins.

Also another thing the Mac Mini isn't so small if you include the huge powersupply you have to lay on the floor somewhere - its nearly as big as the mini itself (I haven't seen if the intel floor PSU unit is smaller?). With the iMac, its built in - one of the most space saving form factors.

According to Gartner, Apple should License Dell to sell OSX machines - doesn't seem too likely IMHO though.
 

Ridemonkey

This is not an active account
Sep 18, 2002
4,109
0
Toronto, Canada
The price/hardware battle could go on forever. The bottomline is no matter what you save putting a machine together yourself you can't run OSX. That's the deal breaker for me.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
5 minutes on Newegg, with a comparison in spec to a fully loaded Mac mini off the Apple store...


1 LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model
$29.99
(comes w/ Nero suite)

1 IN WIN IW-BT566T.240BFU2A Black Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 240W Power Supply - Retail
$44.99
(ok, this isn't as micro as the Mac mini, but it's all black, which makes it WAY FASTER)


1 Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$57.99
(faster)

1 OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2G8002GK - Retail
$229.99
(cheap, fast)

1 Intel BOXDG965SSCK Socket T (LGA 775) Intel G965 Express Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$106.99
(solid)

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor $220.00
(night night little Mac)

1 Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 w/SP2B - OEM
$109.99
(I still prefer XP Pro, or if you're brave, go Linux)

Microsoft Office Basic 2003 SP2 Single Pack - OEM
$169.99
(or use Open Office and Google to replace all these apps)

Microsoft 65X-00024 Black USB Standard Wireless Optical Desktop 700 Mouse Included - Retail
$26.99
(simple, and again - ALL BLACK)


$1,096.47 shipped to northern CA.




Mac Mini, fully loaded w/ similar spec:
$1,518.48

Mac mini, 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo
Part Number: Z0DN
Accessory kit
1.83GHz Intel Core Duo
Mac OS X - U.S. English
iWork '06 preinstalled
160GB Serial ATA drive
SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB

You can cut the price on the mini-mac quite a bit if you don't buy the memory from apple. For some reason (I can't figure out) they charge about 2-2.5 times what the free market price is. Do that and the prices are very close. Add a firewire card and the prices will be nearly the same. I also don't see a 802.11 or gigabit car in your PC, or are they in the mother board?




I bought the Imac(not the mini) because of the whole package, a beautiful 20 inch cinema display, the connectivity I needed (bt, firewire, usb, 802.11 and gigabit) and because they finally went to Unix as their base OS, with Aqua as the user interface. After 24 years of using Microsoft OS's and almost 20 on windows (including MCSE certs) I wanted to try something different. I'm extremely pleased with the Imac and love it.

I finally got my XP PC to work fairly well, but I had to take it up to a gig and a half of memory, before it became non-frustrating. I still like the Imac better.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
The price/hardware battle could go on forever. The bottomline is no matter what you save putting a machine together yourself you can't run OSX. That's the deal breaker for me.
People don't like change and it is the biggest deal breaker - see spincrazy's thread where all he is trying to do is get his girlfriend to change her free internet browser choice - she works in a scientific field, so its not like she isn't familiar with computers.

Consumers would have a better time with OSX if they were OK with change and as long as it doesn't become a big enough userbase to become attractive to the malware market - there have been dozens and dozens of exploits patched over the years on OSX, but nobody has ever really done anything with them due to small target size and less black hat developer base/tools. That won't change unless Apple becomes more than a small niche in the PC market.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
The price/hardware battle could go on forever. The bottomline is no matter what you save putting a machine together yourself you can't run OSX. That's the deal breaker for me.


The hardware question is especially pointless when you'll probably at least as much if more on software (OS games, productivity) over the life of a computer as you would buying the hardware. A cost difference of a couple of hundred bucks isn't really the most important issue.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
The hardware question is especially pointless when you'll probably at least as much if more on software (OS games, productivity) over the life of a computer as you would buying the hardware. A cost difference of a couple of hundred bucks isn't really the most important issue.
Consumers mostly use the computer for simple applications that are usually legally free on both platforms:

Internet Browser
Email
Multimedia player
Chat
News (weather/RSS apps)
Photos (iPhoto or Picasa)

In the consumer realm, pay applications are generally reserved for more advanced/special needs (work related productivity suites, personal finance/tax, prosumer video/photo editing, better burning software, etc).

Consumers are better served by specialized dedicated gaming platforms (Playstation/Xbox/whatever) unless they are hardcore gamers in which case they probably own both gaming platform(s) and a mid to high end PC.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
Consumers mostly use the computer for simple applications that are usually legally free on both platforms:

Internet Browser
Email
Multimedia player
Chat
News (weather/RSS apps)
Photos (iPhoto or Picasa)

In the consumer realm, pay applications are generally reserved for more advanced/special needs (work related productivity suites, personal finance/tax, prosumer video/photo editing, better burning software, etc).

Consumers are better served by specialized dedicated gaming platforms (Playstation/Xbox/whatever) unless they are hardcore gamers in which case they probably own both.


I'm not exactly talking about mom and pop here. They could buy the 599 I-mac, and a $150 monitor and be thrilled.

A power user stinky, ridemonkey and just about anyone else in this thread is probably going to buy quite a lot of software. Just buying OS, office software, and photoshop might cost more than most of the computers mentioned.

On my PC alone I have:

Delphi professional
MS office
MS visual studio 2005
shogun total war
medieval total war
farcry
DOOM III
Quake
unreal
ms web developer
SQL server express
Cyberlink power DVD
The sims two
age of mythology
Combat flight sim 3
norton internet suite
word perfect office 11
raven shield
rome total war
sonic dvd
topo fusion
national geographic maps
lock on
tropico
msdn library
microsoft expressions (beta)
several gigs of music in I-tunes
40+ gigs of movies
and about a lot more....
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
My business applications are free, work pays for them and my notebook too. Thats not unusual for professionals.

My home PC does not have any applications that cost money and all is legal and works great. If we are talking more saavy users, they'd probably know about and do the same:

Nero (normally free with DVDRW drives or a competitor's product - depending on drive)
Open Office (free)
ConTEXT Editor (free)
Gaim (free - I like it better than pay Trillian Pro)
Irfanview and Gimpshop (free)
Lame with EAC and foobar (all free)
There are others too, but they are all free.

Last game I bought and played stand alone (didn't come with hardware free): Half Life 2. I don't have enough time for more than free game demos and I'd rather be outside biking or otherwise.

So total money spent on software for current PC - WinXP Pro OEM - cost around $90-130 depending on when and where you buy it .

I generally try to keep the work at work too, so I've broken out the laptop to do work at home once in the past six months for a few minutes of work.

I'm not exactly talking about mom and pop here. They could buy the 599 I-mac, and a $150 monitor and be thrilled.
They'd probably throw a fit - change is often detested by novices and professionals alike (as I linked above). I bet tons of people will bitch when they change from IE6 to IE7 even...
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
Wow, I've never had an employeer pay for my home software. In private industry they were concerned about the cost and how to justify it. So, they just made me come into work.

Right now, I work for the gov. They will almost never pay for any software on your home computer, voters don't like hearing someone got $1500 of software, and managers are too afraid how they are going to maintain an audit/control of software. At my last job I had to have WP and Ms Office at home or I'd have sepnt a lot of time at the office on nights and weekends. Yes I know there are free products that can read those formats, but their filters usually aren't the best. So pretty much anything I need at home I have to buy, and a lot of people are in that position. Hell, that's why I'm keeping my wintel machine.

I haven't played games much the last year, because I don't have the time anymore. I had friday off and ended up working a half day anyway. I'm mostly listing them to show that a for some, if not most, people hardware cost is secondary to software cost.

As for the I mac being hard to use.....I'm 43 and it took me 5 minutes to setup, and connect to the internet, and another 10 to get comfortable. I'm pretty sure I could walk my mom through it about twice the same time, and a heck of a lot sooner than teaching her windows.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Wow, I've never had an employeer pay for my home software. In private industry they were concerned about the cost and how to justify it. So, they just made me come into work.
They didn't, I have a laptop from work with all my work software I need on it.

As for the I mac being hard to use.....I'm 43 and it took me 5 minutes to setup, and connect to the internet, and another 10 to get comfortable. I'm pretty sure I could walk my mom through it about twice the same time, and a heck of a lot sooner than teaching her windows.
You haven't dealt with too many novice users have you :brow:

We have a huge call center at our company...plenty of low-end users. They hate less significant changes like updated versions of the same application they've been using for years. Change isn't always good - at least initially with the learning curve for some.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
This is totally tangental but...

I work in a group of five people, we are the senior people in the IS department, I make more than most of the managers and support a couple of absolutely critical systems. Things like the 911 service, compputer aided dispach, the main IS system, the system that feeds mobile data terminals in patrol cars when they check on plates, licenses, wants & warrants. We also support all the interfaces between our agency and other agencies. It's entirely possible that someone could die if one of these systems are down, and actually someone did about six months ago.

My employeer is so concerned about cost that they make the senior staff share two laptops when they are on call. Two of us support each group of systems. They won't let you install VPN software on your home PC and connect, you have to use one of their laptops, because of security regulations that come from a national agency. There are four people who take call, two at a time(for difference systems), and we can't convince management to buy another two laptops so we have some redundancy.

If I want to do any work at home, I either have to have the on call laptop, or my own software.

P.S. I've delt with quite a few novice users, but not in the last ten years or so.
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
If it takes anyone more than 5 minutes to get their mac onto the internet, they need to go step in front of a truck on the highway. End of story. You unbox it, and plug it in. DONE.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
If it takes anyone more than 5 minutes to get their mac onto the internet, they need to go step in front of a truck on the highway. End of story. You unbox it, and plug it in. DONE.
I had to carry the parts upstairs, configure a mac address filter on a hardware firewall and enter a wep key, (which most people wouldn't need to do)

On the other hand it took about a day to get all the spyware, demoware and other wierd stuff off of my wife's new toshiba laptop.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
The hardware question is especially pointless when you'll probably at least as much if more on software (OS games, productivity) over the life of a computer as you would buying the hardware. A cost difference of a couple of hundred bucks isn't really the most important issue.
Uh, the above cost included XP Media addition and Office basic.

I use alot of GPL software which keeps costs down. (GIMP, PDFcreator, etc)

Games? PCs win hands down. (if you play them)


Wifi? Sorry, add $50 tops to the above. More like $20. Gigabit is included in the mobo.

Bluetooth? Eh. $20 if I ever wanted it.


The only thing I was trying to point out is that most of the things that come stock on a Mac are not exclusive to a Mac. You can add them (or leave them off) on a home built PC. It will be cheap, reliable and customized. And it's fun.

Enjoy your little cigar box.

:D
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
If it takes anyone more than 5 minutes to get their mac onto the internet, they need to go step in front of a truck on the highway. End of story. You unbox it, and plug it in. DONE.
Thats what I did with the gx620 yesterday. Unboxed, pulled old system out, plugged everything in - on the Internet (other than setting up his VPN connection and outlook which takes less than 5 minutes too). All for less than $500.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
I had to carry the parts upstairs, configure a mac address filter on a hardware firewall and enter a wep key, (which most people wouldn't need to do)
WEP is pretty useless and is easy to break with the right software. Most consumer routers support WPA-PSK if not WPA2-PSK (might need a firmware update) - mac filtering not needed (that can be easily faked anyways).
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
This is totally tangental but...

I work in a group of five people, we are the senior people in the IS department, I make more than most of the managers and support a couple of absolutely critical systems. Things like the 911 service, compputer aided dispach, the main IS system, the system that feeds mobile data terminals in patrol cars when they check on plates, licenses, wants & warrants. We also support all the interfaces between our agency and other agencies. It's entirely possible that someone could die if one of these systems are down, and actually someone did about six months ago.

My employeer is so concerned about cost that they make the senior staff share two laptops when they are on call. Two of us support each group of systems. They won't let you install VPN software on your home PC and connect, you have to use one of their laptops, because of security regulations that come from a national agency. There are four people who take call, two at a time(for difference systems), and we can't convince management to buy another two laptops so we have some redundancy.

If I want to do any work at home, I either have to have the on call laptop, or my own software.

P.S. I've delt with quite a few novice users, but not in the last ten years or so.
You could have just said "I work for the government" :biggrin:

For life and death applications or big money transactions I would go with a combination of embedded, big iron (sun), or at least clustered NT servers. Do they cut corners on that even :banghead:
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
You could have just said "I work for the government" :biggrin:

For life and death applications or big money transactions I would go with a combination of embedded, big iron (sun), or at least clustered NT servers. Do they cut corners on that even :banghead:
We have a unisys mainframe, three HP mpe machines, an HP SAN and HP blade servers (usually clustered Server 2003 ) A bunch of sql servers/standalone server and a micro software staff that's borderline incompetent. They can't correctly configure group policies, screwed up DNS/AD to the point they are un-installing all the DNS servers this weekend and installing them standalone, on windows again. If they've seen it in a white paper, it takes six months to two years to get them to something. If they haven't seen it in a white paper, forget it. And may the gods help you if they screw something up, because they can't fix it.

A few months ago, just after I started, MDT transactions were getting lost on Friday and Saturday nights, the busiest times. No one could figure out why and everyone was pointing fingers at each other. After looking at the symptons I thought it smelled like a bandwidth problem but checking the line during the day showed minimal traffic. I finally pestered the hardware manager to put that router on MRTG, and low and behold there was a huge amount of traffic starting at 8:oo pm on friday and running until about 4:00 am sunday.

It turns out the MS server people were actually doing full backups of servers across the T-1 line to the 911 center starting friday night and running all weekend, the busiest time for 911. It was a situation thet could potentially put peoples lives at risk. And the worst part is the MS senior person is a retired cop with enough MS certs to supply the department with toilet paper for a month.