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PaperlessUndergrad goes Apple...gasp!!

Well yesterday I took a massive step and finally bought into the world of Apple by ordering myself a shiny new MAC MINI. Don’t worry my principle of not buying any new electronic replacements until I really need to is still intact because believe me…I really needed to. I’ve struggled with my old AMD Athlon 600Mhz, sporting a hefty (not) 256meg of RAM, for at least 4 years now and trust me it’s not easy working paperlessly every day (or indeed using resource hungry apps such as Photoshop) on a machine this slow (and for the past few months with only a 14'' monitor as I said a few of days ago) but like the true martyr I’ve persevered :o)

Buying into Apple is a huge deal for me. Why? Well I’ve been ‘PC only’ for my entire computing life (both professionally and personally which totals over 15 years…ouch!!) during which time I’ve feverously shunned the Mac with a passion :o). What’s changed? Have I finally succumbed to the seductions of Apple’s shiny iridescent product styling, which if their marketing spiel is to be believed, also gives you a shiny iridescent lifestyle to match? Well maybe it’s a little bit of the ‘shiny appeal’ but I’d like to think that I’m not quite as shallow as that and that my decision has more to do with me being consistently impressed by the build quality of Macs and their superlative operating system. Yes I know I could have stuck with the PC and taken advantage of the ‘improved’ Vista platform but I think it’s best to leave well alone until the new Microsoft OS goes through the usual 18 month ‘ironing out’ period following launch :o)

Additionally if you’re a regular reader you’ll already know that I’m a strong advocate of Greenpeace’sGreen my Apple’ campaign. Well how can I ask Apple to green mine if I don’t even own one in the first place? You got it I can’t..Doh! Yes I’m aware that the machine I’m buying may be somewhat distant from the perfect eco-friendly purchase but at least it’s small, compact and not particularly thirsty on energy (I just love its tiny footprint). What the Mac Mini does give me though, as a bona fide Apple owner, is the ability to fight the good fight from the inside and help persuade Apple to go down the green road.

So what are the specs on the machine I’ve ordered? Well here’s a screenshot from the Apple Store (the Education flavoured one – an extra cost saving bonus when you’re a student :o)):
As you can see, aside from the long shipping delay :o(, it’s pretty much an ‘off the shelf’ purchase aside from a doubling of the memory up to 1GB and the addition of a wireless keyboard and mouse (inspired by seeing them in use in the movie Devil Wears Prada :o)). I know it isn’t a ground-breaking top of the range all singing and dancing Mac but I seriously wouldn’t want it to be. I buy according to my requirements and as my TabletPC firmly remains my mobile solution the MAC MINI more than meets my ‘home base’ demands.

It seems I’m not the only one who’s dipping a new toe in the Apple ocean either. Later in the day Kevin Tofel over at JKOnTheRun announced that he gave into his procrastination, ‘pulled the trigger’ as he calls it :o), and ordered himself a Mac Book Pro opening himself like me (albeit with more style and whiz) to a whole new world of Mac discovery.

Although I’m excited about getting this new baby (god knows it’s overdue) I’m also somewhat nervous. I may well be able to effortlessly whiz my way around a Windows rig but I’m so unfamiliar with the Mac OS that it feels as though I’m going back to that first day when I unpacked my first 486. It’s a good job for me you can run Windows on an Apple platform now because I think that may well throw me a bit of a lifeline – at least until I get familiar with OS X and find Mac alternatives to my usual desktop PC applications. Tell you what I am excited about though – discovering what juicy ‘MAC only’ applications I can fit nicely in my paperless toolbox. Any suggestions?


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