- Yup, that’s our “tower”.
- The mini itself is six inches wide, six inches deep, and two inches tall. The whole machine can sit on one of my outstretched hands. In the picture above, it is sitting on top of a matching drive enclosure called the miniStack. the miniStack has the same width and depth as the mini, but is just one and a half inches tall.
- You can read Apple’s official spiel on the mini here.
- It contains a slot-loading “SuperDrive”, which is an optical drive that can read, write, and rewrite both CDs and DVDs. It can even write and rewrite dual-layer DVDs at up to 8x speed. Just stick your disc into the front, and it pulls it right in!
- It has two RAM slots. Each one can take up to a 1 GB DDR2 PC2-5300 SDRAM. It came installed with two 256 MB RAM chips for a total of 512 MB, but I upgraded it to two 1 GB RAM chips for a total of 2 GB of RAM. The machine was very fast with just 512 MB, but it did take an extra second or two to switch between applications when running a lot of applications. With 2 GB you can switch apps instantaneously. If you don’t feel comfortable working inside of a computer and possibly voiding your warranty, have Apple do the upgrade for you. If, like me, you are comfortable working in computers, it might be worth it. Yes, even though I goofed up the first time, I wouldn’t hesitate to make the same decision again (this time with the benefit of a lesson learned).
- It has a 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor (also known as a dual core processor). To put it simply, dual core means that the computer can perform two separate tasks at the same time, each one running at 1.66 GHz. It’s actually more complicated than that, but I can give you the more complicated answer another time. 🙂 Compare that to our old Mac, which had only a single core 450 MHz processor. Just one of the two cores in the mini is almost four times faster than that.
- It came with an 80 GB internal hard drive, but that was barely big enough to hold our existing collection of movies, music, and photos. Rather than order it with a larger hard drive (the internal hard drives spin at 5400 RPM and thus are a bit slow), we ordered an external drive enclosure called a miniStack. This sits neatly under the mini and lets you add an additional hard drive. We ordered it with a 320 GB hard drive, so we’ll have plenty of room for baby photos and videos. 🙂
- The mini comes with Apple’s excellent iLife ’06 software package. I won’t take up your time by telling you everything it does, but suffice to say, it lets you do some very cool stuff with photos, video, music, and more. Be on the lookout for more cool creations from the Wood Family thanks to iLife ’06. 🙂 Don’t take my word for it… head over and take the tour.
So that’s a little blurb on what’s cool about the mini. I’m really enjoying it, and I’m excited about the creative possibilities it holds. It’s so much easier to put together movies and edit photos when you have a blazingly fast computer to work with.