Not Cease from Exploration

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The circle is complete and I am moving to the dark side

It started with an iPhone.

Then I got an iPad.

Now it's going to be a Mac.

Yes, the circle is complete and I am now (almost) fully gone to the dark side.

Actually, and as with most things these days, the story is a bit more complex than I am making it.  We need a new downstairs computer for school work and the like, as the machine used by Ms Rivers' sons has been fully and completely jacked up full of all manner of badware.  If that computer were a person, it would look like the late Johnny Thunders after  trip to the "all you can inject heroin buffet".

(photo from THIS website)

So clearly, the youngsters need a computer and well I have a great one that just received a RAM upgrade (the computer in question is an Acer running at 1.65GHz, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive), so I say donate it to the cause.  This, of course, means that I have to get another desktop computer.  

What to do?  Well, I've been a Windows user since before there were Windows.  I also have some experience using Ubuntu, so it's pretty logical that in order to complete my operating system education I should get an Apple product.  Or that's the excuse I am giving myself.

Now I also have a pretty sweet set-up for my current desktop that includes a monitor stand that allows my to clear my desk surface when I need some extra room.  This means that while an enormous Apple Retina Display screen would look cool, it wouldn't be very practical.  Another consideration is the fact that I have a nice 21.5" HD display that I really would like to continue to use.  Lastly, I really don't want a laptop at the moment, has I have a nice (and small) Lenovo that is infinitely portable and works well.

The solution?  A Mac Mini.  With it I can keep my display unit and re-use my keyboard and mouse.  I can also get an up grade from my current machine.  The latest incarnation of the Mac Mini comes in three flavors, one of which is actually slower than my Acer, so that entry level machine is off the list.  The other two flavors have faster chipsets, so either will do me well.  Another consideration is RAM:  the new Mac Mini's have RAM chips that are soldered into the motherboard, which means that I would  buy a lot upfront, as there will be no upgrades.

The best choice for me?  I'm getting the second tier Mac Mini but adding 8GB more RAM (up to the maximum of 16GB) and I'm also buying the separate unit optical drive as well.  I should end up with a faster machine, the same amount of total HD space and I get to learn the OS X operating system.  Here is a side-by-side comparison of my current Acer vs the Mac Mini:

                      Acer                                    Mac Mini
Processor:     AMD E-450/dual core        Intel dual core i5
Speed:           1.65GHz                             2.6GHz
Graphics:      Radeon HD                         Intel Iris
HD:               1TB 5400rpm                     1TB 5400 rpm
RAM:            4GB, upgraded to 16GB     8GB, buying 8GB more

As an added plus, the Mac will have 4 USB 3.0 ports.

A win all around.  I love technology, even if I end up burning in Hell with Steve Jobs, tormented by the souls of all those Foxconn workers who committed suicide while making iStuff.

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