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Old 10-06-2007, 02:01 PM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Mac Mini: Getting serious

I will probably get this little thing. Trying to figure out my options.

My instinct is to buy the faster CPU and boost the Mac’s RAM but accept the 120 GB hard drive (the only option is 160 GB anyway), as I think it will just be the boot drive and 120 GB should be large enough. (I have only 29 GB on my G4 boot drive now, and haven’t done any serious housekeeping for a long time).

So it looks like this:
  • Mac mini 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 1 GB RAM (up to 2 GB); 120 GB hard drive; CD/DVD read/write [$800 plus more for more RAM]

Add ons:
  • Apple wireless keyboard [$80]
  • Apple wireless laser mouse [$70]
  • 24-inch Apple cinema display [$900]

And then a stackable external hard drive/USB & Firewire hub. But which one? I have dealt with all three of these companies in the past and still have faith in LaCie and NewerTech (not much in Iomega):
  • LaCie mini, 500 GB [$217 incl shipping from NewEgg]
  • NewerTech miniStack, 500 GB or 750 GB [$240 or $320 list]
  • Iomega mini 500 GB [$190 list]

It is at least theoretically possible to replace the slow (5400 RPM) hard drive in the Mini itself, but not sure it will matter (with the 7200 RPM drive in the stack) and it sounds like no task for the likes of me. Swapping out the RAM might be easier, but wonder if it matters enough.

So it is about $2,100, not too bad. The other flexible option is the Mac Pro, but set up similarly — though with more power and future possibilities — that would run over $4,000.

If the Mini would support it, I might consider the 30-inch cinema display, but it doesn’t. And it is probably too large to sit in front of anyway. Or I could just use the 24-inch I have now and attach the G4 to a CRT we have, but I need to do some things with the older Macs, and we are shy a monitor already. Besides, once used to this size and quality, it is tough to go back.

I also want to learn how to use the Wacom tablet. I have an Intuos 2 6X8-inch and just downloaded up-to-date drivers. Is the Intuos 3 better enough that I need to replace this one?

Any advice gratefully accepted!

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