Monday, January 23, 2012

The Mac mini turns right

At the Macworld 2005; Steve Jobs introduced small Apple products including the iPod shuffle ... and the Mac mini. Today they celebrate their seven years.

According to some it is the Board of Directors, at a time when Apple was preparing its passage Intel, which would have led to the creation of the Mac mini, against the advice of Steve Jobs. According to others, is the successor to the G4 Cube, and Cube NeXT before him, and therefore born from the will of Steve Jobs, obsessed with the idea of ​​a desktop clean and simple, the antithesis of tower PCs. The truth is probably somewhere halfway: the board of directors at the time was eating into the hand of Steve Jobs and the Mac mini is far from the versatility of Cube.

A thing is certain: offered € 500 free keyboard, monitor or mouse (it was BYODKM, "bring your own display, keyboard and mouse"), the Mac mini is designed for switchers, these users from around the PC and can move to the Mac at low cost. This is not the mini-tower still claimed a hue and cry; this is not the Mac that was most frequently updated or where the tariff, ironically, was the most advantageous. But thanks to its small size and high integration (that competitors have struggled to match up until recently), it has that Apple uses itself, no doubt, had not imagined. 

The Mac mini, it is G4 (1.25 to 1.42 GHz, ATI Radeon 9200 32 MB) or Intel (Core Duo or Core 2 Duo, 1.5 to 2.53 GHz, Intel GMA 950 and Nvidia GeForce 9400 M) has never been a great warrior, but his power was enough to use as office and internet station. Highly efficient (85 W load), it nevertheless often been used as a server, so that companies like MacMiniColo have their main activity. Compact (16.5 x 16.5 x 5 cm), discreet and quiet, it was also very popular as a media center system, including through Front Row and the remote control uses infrared provided. 

These "unexpected" pushed Apple to gradually review the positioning of its Mac mini, first with a server model launched in 2010 and with a new unibody aluminum design in mid-2010. The Mac mini is no longer the "Mac of the people" gentrified, it wants the server to be connected homes and small developments, and the media-center lounges trend. Thinner, flatter, easier to disassemble and can accommodate two drives; the new Mac mini is going the same optical drive since the summer has definitely lost last.

It versatility, but still the second desktop machine in the best-selling Apple (behind the iMac), and has features that no other Mac can claim. This is the only such model in the range to have an HDMI port, which brings it closer to the Apple TV, and therefore able to generate a video stream HD 1080p with a stereo audio stream, Dolby Surround 5.1 or 24 -bit/192 kHz eight channels. It also has a set of connection quite varied: four USB ports, a port Thunderbolt, a FireWire 800 port, an SD slot, and a couple audio in / out.

Entry-level machine from Apple, sometimes seen as unpopular, the Mac mini has enabled the Cupertino Company to reach out to new audiences. Sometimes workstation discreet but powerful file server sometimes effective, sometimes luxury media center, the Mac mini is a machine often forgotten, but emblematic of the transformation of Apple in the 2000s and still has a certain sympathy in capital the "fans" of the brand.

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