Right now I’m writing this post on my “Mid 2007” Mac Mini with a Core 2 Duo processor. This Mac Mini sits in an armoire desk located in our living room and is used daily. I purchased this Mac in the fall of 2007. Since then, I’ve increased its RAM (to 2GB) and replaced the hard drive (now at 500GB). I’ve also updated the OS to Lion (10.7). Sure, it’s not as powerful as my home office Mac Mini, a Mid 2011 with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and running Mountain Lion. But, it is more powerful than the working PowerPC G4 based Mac Mini from January of 2005 running in one of the rooms in the basement (running Leopard, 1GB of ram and an 80GB hard drive.)
I have an early 2005 Mac Mini still running (although not used very often, best for looking up something via Google and streaming Pandora), a 2007 I use daily (regular web access) and a 2011 I used a few of times a week directly and all week indirectly (is my music manager updating both iTunes Match and Google Music). These things are indestructible, low profile, quiet, not in the way of any drink I’m going to spill (as recently happened to one of my MacBooks), easy to upgrade and…..their Macs.
I know, their not portable like my iPad or MacBook (or iPhone or Android). But, mated to the large Acer and Samsung monitors I have, they give me the “real estate”, full keyboard and rich music in the background I need to tap out a blog post, like this one. I just can’t do all that on my iPad. And while my MacBook is large enough, I sometimes write better when I’m sitting up straight staring at a 23″ widescreen.
And if you have home movies and other non-cloud media, you can host them on your Mac Mini and make them available to your TVs via Apple TV via your home wireless network. I know, Apple, Apple, Apple. I even have an Apple Extreme Base Station with Express Base Station repeaters (and these are replacement devices for the earlier generation Apple devices I had been using.) Who else provides all this to make a digital life so easy? I do have Microsoft and Android based devices on this network. So, I can accommodate any device.
I keep reading that desktop computers will be gone soon. I do agree those large dinosaurs we used to be are mostly a thing of the past. However, a Mac Mini hardly fits the definition of those older desktops. When I’m portable, I use the cloud to reach things I need. And where do I keep those things I put into the cloud? On my Mac Mini which is always backed-up using Time Machine. My Mac Mini never goes down, but if it does, I have a Time Machine drive with continuous backups to restore it. If the Time Machine backup drive dies, I still have backups of my media at Apple, Google and Smugmug and have other important non-media files at Dropbox and Google Drive (and other places.) All the while I live on my mobile phones, laptop and tablet.
The Mac Mini is the best computer value on the market. If you don’t have one, get one. And get ready for it to still be there 7 years later doing what you need it to do.