Sane Mac Deals

By on September 25, 2005

The Apple Store has a Special Deals section where they sell refurbished hardware, and there are some sweet deals going on (don’t let the word “refurbished” scare you off; you get what is basically new hardware and the standard warranty without the new hardware price.)

For instance, you can pick up a 1.25GHz Mac mini (256MB SDRAM, 40GB HD, DVD/CD-RW) for $399. That puts it within swinging distance of Dell’s bargain basement offerings without dealing with second-rate hardware and a hobbled OS. And going this route is a far, far better way to get the beauty of OS X than trying to hack together an OS X-on-generic-Intel install. There’s something to be said for running software on supported hardware.

I just bought a fully buzzword-compliant mini from the Special Deals page for a new employee at work — 1.42GHz, 512MB SDRAM, 80GB HD, Bluetooth, AirPort, DVD-R/CD-RW — for $599, (I know a guy who bought a similar machine for a whole lot more and is still bitter about it) and plan to buy one of the $399 minis for home. There are also G5 iMacs for $900, iPod Shuffle’s for $79… save from 10 to 43% on everything listed. You can even get an extended warranty if you want.

Before anyone gets their underwear in a bundle, this is in no way a suggestion or even the merest hint that everyone dump their commodity Intel machines and adopt Macs — there are too many narrow-minded developers who build their software tools only for Wintel. If you’ve got apps that you simply cannot live without that are Windows-only, you know what you have to do.

But for those who need a system at home or at work to do the basics — word processing, e-mail, web browsing — the Mac mini is the perfect solution. Solid hardware, near bullet-proof OS, zero vulnerability to worms & viruses, a good suite of software bundled with it, and a low, low price… just the ticket for anyone who doesn’t want to further enrich Bill Gates & Symantec, and doesn’t have the time or skill set to deal with Linux.

And don’t be too surprised if once you get past the minor paradigm shift using the Mac OS and figure out that it will do most everything your beloved/hated PC will do, with less hassle, that you decide your friend Dave isn’t as crazy as you once thought. He really does have your best interest at heart!

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  1. I’ve really become an OS-indifferent lately. We have one of each platform in our office (Windows, Mac, Linux), and on any given day, I do something on one of the two that don’t belong to me (the Mac or the Linux machine).

    It’s made me realize that they all do the same things, just in different ways. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. Windows isn’t perfect, but it does what I need. I have zero problems with viruses and spyware, I can find all the software I need, and it’s nice and stable (except for the fact that I’m hell on operating systems in general — but that’s another post entirely).

    My current mode of thinking is that an OS is an OS is an OS. If your productivity depends on having one platform over another, then you have bigger problems.

  2. If your productivity depends on having one platform over another, then you have bigger problems.

    Like developers that refuse to build software that runs on anything but Windows?

    You may have zero problems with malware, but I’d say that you &amp: and most Gadgetopia readers & are the exception and not the rule.

  3. Like developers that refuse to build software that runs on anything but Windows?

    I always question the validity of this argument. Are companies that refuse to build on the Mac platform evil? Do they choose to exclude Macs out of malice or arrogance?

    No, this is decision always comes down to economics. They don’t develop for Mac because it does not make economic sense to. The reality of business being what it is, you do what keeps you in business.

    I get frustrated when Mac users imply that a company which doesn’t develop for Macs is exercising some kind of racism, as if companies should lose money just to cater to the Mac users of the planet.

    You have very little market share — that’s not our fault.

    You guys tout the “benefits” of your platform all day long. Well, lots of software is one of the benefits of ours.

  4. Actually, I personally see the lack-of-software-for-Macs as a bit of a catch-22 with neither side particularly at fault.

    On one hand, one of the biggest reasons people don’t switch over to Macs is because so many programs (read: games) aren’t supported.

    On the other hand, one of the biggest reasons so many programs aren’t supported is because there is a low market share for Macs.

    So, realistically, somebody has got to make a bad economic decision if ever the Macs are going to get full support. Either a buncha users have to blindly switch without having all the support they want, or a few companies are going to have to release a lot more major software (and, more importantly for getting the masses, games) for the Macs.

    Personally, I like Linux the best because it gives you so much freedom and choice. But, really, I can use anything I need to to get the job done, and I will. I really am not picky; I will use what’s at hand. And that’s how it really should be: people should be sufficiently skilled with any OS they have a significant chance of running into and shouldn’t really worry that much beyond that.

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