Mac Mini

Broken Mac mini

My Mac mini died last night. Started out with finding it off and cold in the late afternoon.

Turned it back on and a few hours later got a message saying that a USB device wanted more power than it should and that the USB devices were shut off. Pulled all of them and it still wouldn't work. Powered it off by pulling the plug and got the message again with only keyboard and mouse.

Now it won't power on. Have it in the truck and hoping to take it back after the agility trial.

Love mail2web (

In my efforts to make my Mac Mini useful, I have been trying out Entourage --> I have an exchange account for my personal email which I love.  I've actually purchased Office 2008 for the Mac and I am waiting for it to arrive.

My exchange server actually stopped working in Entourage, so I did my normal fix which is to delete and reset up the account on my machine.  Still didn't work.  It took about four email messages, but they figure out that I didn't have to have "DAV" required anymore.  Not sure what happened, don't care, as it works now.

Also still loving Contribute as a blogging tool, and it is also ordered and on it's way.

I use JourneyEd and buy educational pricing as much as possible.  If I could afford the Mac version of the Adobe products I use most, I would but they are very pricy.

Mac Mini

Yes, I kept the MAC mini and I have even bought software for it but the software has not arrived.

I am running a trial version Office 2008 and I have ordered it from Journey Ed and it is on it's way.  I think I am supposed to get the Office 2011 upgrade.  I don't like the Mac version as well as I like the Windows version, but that's usually the way it goes.  I've found through the years that the Mac versions of Office are a bit behind.

I am also running a trial version of contribute.  Though blogging with the web version of Typepad isn't bad, I prefer using an offline editor.  My favorite is Windows Live Writer, but Contribute isn't bad, and I am using the Mac version of Contribute now.  Again, I have it on order and it should arrive this week. 

Haven't had much of a chance to use the Mac-Mini, with school starting and physical therapy going on, but then I don't have much of time to do PC stuff unless it is in my classroom.  Hope to get the video camera downstairs and start getting some videos made.


So far, the only thing that really stands out to me as being different is Garage Band.  However, there aren't enough hours in my day right now and I really don't have time for music.

Especially with the price point.  Interesting machine, still.  Love the form Factor.

Price Comparisons

One of the reasons I am not sold on the Mac Mini is the price.  Right at $800 after VGA cable and Apple Care.  Okay, I rarely buy extended warranties so that might not be fair.  I need to see what I get with it.

Recently have been playing with a Lenovo Laptop which was priced right at $450.  For my $450, I got 4 meg of memory, a 64 bit operating system, 260 hard drive, a keyboard AND a display.  A wide screen display, but yeah, I can't use that display for anything else.

It came with some software not a lot.

However, the MacMini comes with:

  • iTunes -- whole business model I dislike
  • iPhoto (most cameras these days do that)
  • iMovie (which is above the equivalent of the various versions of Movie Maker
  • Garage Band
  • Time Machine
  • Front Row (which I think plays trailers)
  • iDVD
  • chess

Everything else is pretty comparable between the two.

By the way, as an internet device, the Mac Mini works very well, but the old Mac Mini's still do that too.




VGA Annoyances

To get the Mac Mini to work in VGA mode, you have to have only the VGA cable plugged in and your monitor in VGA mode (this is a Not a monitor but a TV).  Samsung, small LCD screen that does HDTV, HDMI and other fun stuff), worked great out of the box in HDMI mode, but then have to replug cables, never my favorite.

It gave me horrible default resolution but after tweaking a bit I got it to work.

Have to try it with a projector next, since that would be the main reason for keeping it.


Email, calendar, etc was a no brainer, opened up the post card thing, entered my email address and password and within moments had my email, calendar, tasks, etc. on the machine.

Still like Outlook 2010 better.