Apple Stakes Its Claim

It seems that the theme of this year’s Mac­world Expo is going to be afford­abil­i­ty . With the keynote speech announce­ments of the head­less iMac, called the Mac mini, as well as the sporty iPod Shuf­fle; Apple seems to be tak­ing the Tar­get approach to design. That is to say, great design need­n’t be expen­sive. You’ll make up the cost of the design in volume.

There was a great deal of spec­u­la­tion about the “head­less” iMac online, lead­ing to some law suits. It appears that the iHome was indeed a hoax, but on the right track when you take into con­sid­er­a­tion the Mac mini as well as the announce­ment of Final Cut Express HD. Of course, I’ve yet to play around with one, but a G4 Mac in a small square-ish box (stop me if you’ve heard this one) sounds like a cool lit­tle com­put­er. Pro­vid­ed it does­n’t over­heat like the cube. Based on what I know about the per­for­mance of the new iMac, I’d say it’s safe from over­heat­ing. They’re putting lit­tle fans in there just for good mea­sure these days. All of that aside, I’m glad to see a well-designed Mac with some decent specs at what seems like a super price. Par­tic­u­lar­ly since most of us already have a mon­i­tor, mouse, key­board, & speak­ers we can plug into one. While I love the design of the iMac (which is, by the way, a G5 now, instead of a G4), if you already have those things on your desk, buy­ing them again seems waste­ful. Just buy a KVMS switch (like the one I have from Belkin for my PC & Lin­ux box).

I am impressed with the iPod shuf­fle as well. Do I real­ize it’s just a USB key dri­ve with a speak­er jack & music play­er but­tons? Of course I do. How­ev­er, it’s a nice­ly priced one that hap­pens to have the über-cool name of iPod attached. Demand greater than sup­ply? Unless they’ve already pro­duced these things buy the 100’s of thou­sands, than you bet. I bought a 1GB USB key for about $70 a few weeks ago, and I’m already wish­ing I’d just wait­ed and bought this thing for twice that. I’m hap­py to pay pre­mi­um for this kind of cool.

Categorized as Geek

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.


  1. I think the new Apple prod­ucts rock. I fol­lowed the keynote and the fol­low-up very close­ly. The only prob­lem I have with the Mac Mini is that–apparently–the RAM is not user upgrade­able. This thing is like a gam­ing con­sole. If you want to mess around with the insides of it, you’ll be break­ing the war­ran­tee. Am I right here?

    I am cur­rent­ly try­ing to get my moth­er to buy one. She has lots of prob­lems with her Dell.

  2. Not hav­ing had an Apple com­put­er in my house in about 18 years, I could­n’t say for sure how they feel about user mod­i­fi­ca­tions vs. war­ranties. I found this arti­cle on their site, but it does­n’t real­ly go into what defines “user upgrad­able” or which prod­ucts this applies to.
    I think they’re pret­ty cool with peo­ple replac­ing bat­ter­ies in their iPods, althought that would be most like­ly to occur long after the war­ran­ty was up. How­ev­er, since they kind of got caught with their pants down on the issue of lousy bat­ter­ies which they weren’t will­ing to replace, that may be a one-of type thing.
    I men­tioned these com­put­ers to my younger broth­er, Dave (who reads this site, I hope). I thought a Mac would be per­fect for him and this is a nice option for some­one who isn’t pre­pared to lay down $1,300 for an iMac.

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