Here’s a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly on the mac mini I just purchased.
Before I even plugged in the box, there were a few things that cought my eye. The power adaptor plugs into the brick part and seems to form a perfect edge with it. Also, the power adaptor’s connection to the mini is symetrical, but unlike usb, it can be plugged in either way. I really like the size of the machine. It it roughly 1/6 the size of the shuttle PC that it is replacing. The power button is in the back. I don’t have to hit it ever so that doesn’t bother me. It’s only got 2 usb 2.0 ports. I’m most likely going to have to buy a hub in the future.
The machine isn’t as quiet as I’d like, but I’m a prick with noise. When the cpu is really working, the tiny fan is clearly audible. Durring idle times, the computer is roughly the same loudness as a shuttle pc.
Initial setup was the nicest of any OS I’ve played with so far. My wireless network was configured and added without a hitch. I was alarmed at the amount of personal information that was asked of me. It was mandatory too. Of course, I lied on the forms.
The os itself is quite pretty. Aqua really makes a difference. The drop shadow effect and minimization effect are awesome. I’ve always been a fan of the dock. The best part about it is how it is dynamic. Things can be added or removed easily, running programs have a indicator under them.
It’s obvious that Apple is pushing some of their other products. Dot mac is the most obvious of these. The other thing that they are pushing is their media formats. It seems that the only media that the mac plays out of the box is quicktime and mp3. Linux twamps OSX in stock media formats. I had to install Mplayer and VLC to supplement this flaw.
It takes a little getting used to the commands all using the windows key instead of the ctrl key, but it’s something that I can live with. The terminal emulation isn’t quite right. I’m going to have to work on that too. I see where ubuntu got their sudo and root setup from now. For a while, I though that was original. BTW that’s how OS X is configured by default.
Getting media to stream to the mac was a pain. The default NFS settings are quite broken. I had to down the wsize and rsize to get a decent transfer rate. Even then, it doesn’t work the way I’d like it too. Using the connect to server option in finder will use the default connection settings and bomb out.
Wireless was set up correctly the first time durring startup, but now I have to manually reattach it every time I reboot. When I click on my home’s wireless network, the connection will not work. When I use the other… option and manually type everything in, it works. Definitely a flaw on the OS side.
Startup notification is frustrating. Often, things are going on that the user is not notified about. The only sign that something is going on is how slow the computer is running.
I really like the no-braner approach to sharing files. It’s quite easy to configure the machine to share one’s personal files. I found a similar app on Fedora that, no doubt, rips off the idea. The files are shared via webdav, which is a strange option. If someone knows why that is so, please leave me a comment.
It’s funny to see where Linux took things from OSX. I applaud them for being innovators in most of their designs.