The Macalope Daily: Inflammariffic

In these tough economic times the Macalope is sure that it’s hard to resist the siren’s song of trolling for hits. Particularly when hits pay the bills, like they do over at DealMac.

Dear Steve Jobs: The Mac mini Is Crap (tip o’ the antlers to SS)

The only crap is in this flaming bag you left on our doorstep, Jeff Somogyi. Let’s get right to its “thesis” about the updated Mac mini Apple unveiled last week.

The one, probably-necessary update they didn’t give this ‘lil computer? A reason to exist.

Sheer awesomeness isn’t enough anymore?

With such a fast CPU, one might assume that the mini is mighty enough to tackle all but the most intensive tasks. And you’re probably right—for now. The problem is, software will begin to bloat it.

First of all, your use of the transitive here doesn’t make any sense. The software bloats, not the hardware. Second, when do you expect this bloat overload to happen? Three years is kind of a standard lifecycle for a computer. Do you really think the Mac mini isn’t going to be useful for that long? The Macalope has an early 2006 mini that’s only just now been outpaced by Lion. Still runs Snow Leopard like a champ.

Anyway, whatever, dude. More Mac minis for the rest of us.

When you have a desktop, how do you handle this situation? You crack open the case and replace all or some of the following: CPU, RAM, video card, or hard drive.

CPU? It’s too bad it’s now a cliché to say “1998 called and they want their computer hardware lifecycle back” because, seriously, 1998 actually did call and they really do want it back, and now it just sounds like a joke. But, really, the Macalope just got off the phone with them and they’re pretty ticked off.

When you want to upgrade your Mac mini, you can conveniently crack open the case and … replace just the RAM. If that wasn’t your problem, well, then you’re out of luck.

Actually, no! Not only can you upgrade the stock hard drive, you can install a second hard drive.

We are talking about the same Mac mini, right? The one from Apple? The company whose logo is an apple with a bite out of it? Because, reading this, one might get the impression that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

As an added bonus, this “desktop replacement” has dropped the optical drive completely.

You know what else it dropped? A hundred bucks. You know how much an external SuperDrive is? $79.

It uses a work-around that enables you to wirelessly sync your Mac mini to the DVD drive of another computer. So … wait. What? In order to fully use this computer, you have to have another computer? Hilarious!

Please define “fully use” in the context of the current computing era. Because the last time the Macalope used the optical drive in his MacBook Pro was probably two years ago, when he upgraded to Snow Leopard.

With the promo material proudly boasting its 2.7-lb. weight, you might think that Apple is positioning the mini as something portable.

Sure, if you have no idea that it needs a monitor, keyboard and mouse. But if you’re illiterate you can’t read the weight specs. That’s a bit of a catch-22, isn’t it?

On the other hand, the Mac mini’s diminutive weight might be of interest to people in IT departments or those who want to stick a mess of them in a rack and do some cool things.

This piece might seem a little weird to you. Wouldn’t a shopping site want people to respect the opinion of its editors in recommending hardware? Why would they publish such an ill-informed piece? Well, it turns out the Mac mini is actually a DealMac “Editor’s Choice.” So they’re just trying to have their link-bait cake and eat it, too.

Oh, and since the cheapest mini is almost $600, we’re pretty sure you can easily find a laptop for that price. Or, you know, 80 of them.

Right. Instead of a Mac mini we’ll just buy a Windows laptop. It’s almost exactly the same thing.

Apple’s claim that it can “connect … to your HDTV with a single HDMI cable” might lead you to believe that it’s the best option for a home theater PC.

Or it might lead you to think it can connect to your HDTV with a single HDMI cable. Which is not just a “claim,” seeing as how it actually can connect to your HDTV with a single HDMI cable.

But when you think about it, it looks more like a jack of all trades, trying too hard to appeal to too many groups, without doing any one thing particularly well.

Which, when you think about that, is actually a pretty good way to make an entry-level computer. Cast a wide net, because you can never be sure what people are planning on using it for.

Of course, praising the Mac mini probably isn’t going to get as many hits, so forget the Macalope even mentioned it.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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