Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Can't Stand The Suspense!!!!

After months of lamenting my bad luck concerning my inability to afford a new Mac, I won a Mac Mini on eBay. It wasn't just any Mini, either. I am waiting on my brand new, shiny, late 2009, 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 160 GB hard drive, dual layer DVD+-RW, NVidia GeForce 9400M GPU Mini to arrive. Granted, my savings weren't all that great considering I used a 10% coupon and still payed $517.50 for it, but that's below the $599.00 Apple would have hit me for it. When it arrives....I'm going to tear it to pieces! Bwah-Hah-Hah-hah!!!!!

Seriously, I'm going to retrofit an old G4 Cube with the Mini's innards. Why? Hmmmm.... let's just say I'm looking forward to having the most bitchin' Mini on the planet, okay? I will be adding 8 2TB HD's and a Blu Ray drive to the mix along with 8GB of RAM. A friend of mine is going to bump up the wattage on the external power supply to ensure I don't have any power issues with all the extra hardware.

Still not impressed, you say? Did I mention it's sitting in a custom paint carbon fiber cage that fits snugly inside the original acrylic casing? Oh, yeah.... it's gonna be awesome. When next we meet, I will have the Mini/Cube hybrid build on here. TTFN.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Choking On Bad Apples

All right. I took a step backwards yesterday and tried to reason with Apple. I spent the day on the phone with them trying to get them to sell me the necessary parts I need to make my aging G-series machines viable once more. Like you, I like the direction Apple is taking with Snow Leopard and it's phenomenal potential for RAM expansion. Naturally, me being a die hard MacHead, I wanted in on the action. Unfortunately, I am not made of money and cannot afford a Mac Pro, the only truly upgradeable Mac there is. So, I found myself pleading my case to a cadre of Apple reps who were obviously instructed to be unsympathetic to my plight. I say instructed because they all tried to help at first, then changed their tunes when a supervisor got involved in the background. One of those supervisors was rather rude to me. After thinking about my situation, I started thinking about some of the differences between Apple and most PC manufacturers....

1. Apple is like a Totalitarian Regime that restrict freedoms at every turn. You cannot buy parts to upgrade your Apple machines to make them Intel units. With any PC, you can buy a new motherboard and processor from a myriad of sources, keeping your machine viable for decades.

2. Apple does not offer any upgradeable economic models. The Mini is a joke. It has one HD...two if you forgo having an optical drive, and no expansion slots whatsoever. Most mini ITX boards, mobo's the same size as the Mac Mini's HAVE expansion slots and usually come in a mini tower that can house at least two drives and, thanks to the EFiX dongle, can also run OSX.

3. Apple's EULA is a monopolizing tool. Microsoft doesn't tell you what hardware you can or can't run Windows on, does it?

All of this leads me to think Apple has totally no interest in being the people's computer company I'd always hoped it would become. It's a shame Steve Jobs and company are that greedy. On the positive side of things, it did inspire me to make a new comic strip......I've added dialogue for those who don't have a 42" monitor.

PC: Hi. I'm a PC and he's a Mac.
Mac: MINI!!!!!'re so tiny and not user upgradeable. In fact, no inexpensive Macs are...if there's such a thing as an inexpensive Mac.
Mac: MINI!!!!!!

PC:As A matter of fact, Apple recently launched an operating system that rendered a lot of older Macs obsolete. What do you think about that Mac?
Mac:ROWR!!! MINI!!!!!

PC: Dear lord. I'm working with a retard.


PC:What the hell? (Dude, that's so unprofessional.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Build On Hold

The G4/Mini retrofit I was working on is now on hold. I took a rather nasty spill and smashed all the connecting tissue in my left wrist. It could be over eight weeks before it heals, or so the doctor says. I hope others will take heart and go forth with their own projects. On that front, I have some interesting news: ExpressHD is now offering the EFiX Dongle which allows you to run Snow Leopard on hardware readily available from most online computer stores. It is possible for us to retrofit our old Macs with third party gear to bring them into the new age. The EFiX Dongle sells for between 130 to 250 dollars depending on which model you buy. Here are some links to builds using the new technology. I've added the pros and cons views on it to let you make an informed decision.

I hope the information on these links will give you a better insight on this remarkable little device. I'm looking forward to getting back on track in the weeks to come and continue mt own build.