My New Mac

The Mac Mini 2.0GHz I ordered finally arrived today. I haven’t used it much yet, but it is a pleasure to use a computer that isn’t bogged down by either viruses or anti-virus and anti-spyware software. It is also a pleasure to buy a Mac that is functional, unlike the iBook I bought in China a little over 2 years ago. For that matter, it is nice I have a computer (Mac or Windows) that is fully functional. My Samsung laptop has been on the brink since January or February of this year.

I had the Mac Mini delivered to school, and that was the cause of a whole lot of confusion. The box the Mini comes in is far too small for the school staff to recognize it as a computer. I pointed to the package and said it was mine, but they didn’t believe me. I had to point to the label to get them to recognize that it was for me. At least the Mac Mini was inside of another, generic looking box. My monitor also arrived at school today. I was surprised by the weight – inside the box it felt like it was 25-30kg. I don’t have a scale, but I didn’t realise a 24" monitor could have so much mass.

The picture is clear and bright. I tried taking a picture, but it seems my camera tried to compensate for the lack of brightness on my Samsung laptop. The screen looks wonderful watching HD video. When I played the BBC CCTV 1080p video at Apple’s HD QuickTime site, the video played more smoothly than the current iMacs and their problematic ATI video chips. It also didn’t have double reflections from putting a glossy screen behind a plate of non-tempered glass. It was not as smooth as playing the same video on a PowerMac dual 2.5GHz G5 at home, though. 1080i video I have recorded from broadcast TV in Japan plays smoothly.

In case you wonder, the Mac Mini came with Mac OS 10.4.10, but included a Mac OS 10.5 "CPU Drop-in DVD" in the box. I wonder if the addition of that DVD is the reason the box was somewhat puffy in appearance.


My XBench score on 10.4.10 was 115.35. I only have 1GB of RAM, but I plan to upgrade as finances permit.

I am still waiting for 10.5 to install as I type this. The installer is kind of strange. While it checked the installation DVD, I could see the "Installing" text underneath the bar. The translucency made my beautiful new LCD look like it was a CRT that had experienced burn-in on the images. Despite having only a few things on the hard drive, the installation is supposed to take close to two-and-a-half hours to complete (including time to verify the installer DVD). I will thus have to give opinions about 10.5 some other time.


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