This blog used to be about politics. Not so much anymore as I have worked through
my fascination with that subject. It now seems appropriate that with a new president
and the end of the Bush nightmare that I move on to new subjects that are more in
line with my current interests. I may still occasionally express an opinion about
political matters but for the most part I will be commenting on music, photography
and personal observations. Thank you for reading.
Apple - Mac mini
Apple - Mac mini
There are mixed feelings about the new Mac mini. I personally feel that it was a good idea for Apple to head into the budget PC market with something that can be easily used as a substitute for a Windows box. Think about it just a little and you might realize that the majority of what you use you PC for these days is internet related. I know I spend the majority of my time using a browser, an email client and basic picture and music software. So the old argument about software is becoming less and less relevant, especially since the rise in popularity of the gaming platforms like the PS2, XBox and Gamecube.
But, good ideas don't necessarily equate to market success. That, has more to do with trends. Apple is hoping that the current trends lead people to embrace their new mac.
What are the trends:
The growing problem of viruses: The popularity of Windows has caused that OS to become a target for people wishing to spread a malicious virus. While I don't really understand what people get out of doing this in the first place, it has become a major issue for people that don't have the tech savvy to deal with these recurrent inconveniences. Apple is hoping that their machine and OS will be seen (at least in the sort term) as a fix to this problem.
The outboarding of hardware: Most people who are down on the Mac mini usually complain that it doesn't have one feature or another. What I feel they are looking past is the trend towards adding external functionality to our machines. Now that we can add almost anything to a basic CPU through the use of fast plug and play USB and Firewire ports why do we even need to have anything built into the computer but the basic processor and ports? We should start looking at the basic computer as one component of a computer system. This allows us to just upgrade the basic processor as they become better without having to buy a whole new system.
The Internet: Like I mentioned above, my computer has become the main way in which I access the internet. Before the internet computers were pretty boring. Nowadays the internet is the THE REASON to get a computer for most people. For some it is still a way to play games, but dedicated gaming consoles do that cheaper and better anyways, especially now that they are going online as well. A few years ago there was something called the "Network PC" that was supposed to be a low end computer geared towards internet usage. At that time though the trends were not pointing in that direction; the internet was still for techies that wanted something full fledged and most people hadn't really seen the usefulness of being "online". But internet usage has exploded to the point where it is no longer uncommon for most people to be connected in some sort of capacity. Apple is betting that technology has essentially outpaced the needs of most people to do things like Ebay, Blogging, email, viewing pictures or surfing the web.
Convergence: This could be the dangerous trend for companies like Apple and Dell who are mining (or hoping to mine) the low end internet user PC market. The distances between Home Theater / Entertainment and computer usage is becoming smaller and smaller such that a device from out of that realm could potentially eat away at this other realm. People are already speculating that next generation gaming consoles will have added home theater functions, like movie recording and playback. Systems like the XBox and the PS2 already have the ability to play back DVD movies. All it takes it the addition of a hard drive and DVD authoring to make it into a TiVo like system. Its already connected to the internet. The service that lets you play online games could also control your TV recording as well as your access to the web. Plug a keyboard into the game port and you're done; a $200 console system and a monthly fee gets you games, a TiVo and your basic internet needs. All that's holding you back is the crappy resolution of a CRT and that can be fixed with a new HDTV.
Much of the success of the Mac mini will depend on how it is marketed. Apple is trying to make the Mac mini seem like a simple replacement for an outdated or virus infected Windows machine. I feel that's a good way of presenting it as well. They will have to overcome the perception that having a Mac will isolate you from the rest of the PC world, but that's a mostly outdated perception anyways. And they hope to build on their success with the iPod which has brought apple to the attention of many young, potential new computer buyers.
Funny... a computer as an iPod accessory?
35 yr old
Voted for Kerry
Voted for Obama
22.3% Less Smart