Mini observations

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Giles Turnbull

Giles Turnbull
Jun. 22, 2005 07:30 AM

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Like Scott McNulty, I've taken delivery of a shiny new Mac mini this week, and I'm also in the process of tweaking it to my liking, which means a lot of installing and messing about with bookmarks, web site login details, and preference panels.

Setting this machine up is more interesting, even more challenging, than I had expected. I deliberately did not use the Migration Assistant to import everything over from my old iBook, because I want to use this machine differently and organize the files on it in different ways.

Also, I want to try and keep it a 'clean' as possible; I've still got the iBook for messing around with. The Mac mini is going to be for long-term storage, music and photos, and other things best suited to a G4 processor. I intend to look after it.

What I've noticed over the last few hours of downloading and installing is how much I had become a creature of habit on my iBook. Having the new machine offers a chance to change my ways and break out from some routines.

Another noticeable thing: the Mac mini remains cool to touch after several hours of intensive disk-thrashing. A laptop would be burning up the table by now.

Finally, a story that demonstrates the power of the mini's cute size:

Around mid-afternoon, a neighbour called round to collect something I'd borrowed, and asked about the tiny cardboard box open on the kitchen worktop.

"Another one of your gadgets, Giles?" he asked.

"Yeah," I replied, "it's my new computer."

My neighbour's eyes boggled.

"You can get a whole computer in a box that small?" he asked.

"Come and see," I smirked, and showed him the new Mac mini in the next room. I pointed at the tiny box and said: "There. That's the computer."

I don't think my neighbour will mind me describing his expression at that moment as one of dumbfounded astonishment.

"But - but - my computer's only three months old and it's - it's much bigger than that. It comes up to here," he added, putting a flat hand against his knee.

I smirked again.

"Yes. Small, isn't it?"

Giles Turnbull is a freelance writer and editor. He has been writing on and about the Internet since 1997. He has a web site at