Apple breaks out a new Mini

My good friend dschned had his nice Apple laptop stolen recently (although fortunately he had just backed up most of his stuff). So now he is trying to find a good replacement, and was attracted to the older G4-based Mac Mini. We went over to FirstTech on Hennepin to see what was going on, and the guys there advised us that Apple was releasing new models of something today, with the typical Jobs mystique of theatrical surprise.

200602281326200602281308They didn't let us down. The new Mac Minis look damn good and feature either single or double-core Intel chips, at $599 for a 1.5GHz Intel 'Solo' or $799 for a 1.66 GHz Core Duo, with built-in wireless Internet. They finally added more USB ports, Bluetooth, and one of those spiffy remotes. You can also get a DVI to analog video adapter for the TV, and other such stuff. They also released the hilarious iPod Hi-Fi, which I really hope isn't a boondoggle.

Again, I am not really sure if Apple is going to screw the pooch by letting the Intel chip lead to OS X all over generic PCs, thus killing Apple's profit margin (a la the Clone Wars). However, releasing a Mac Mini starting at $599 (and even less for education - $579) is a great way to get the Apple brand throughout the various more economically constrained niches of the world, putting them more on par with Dell and generic manufacturers. I am imagining Mac computer labs in Pakistan or something like that. Apple always used to neglect the low end, and it's great that they are releasing what appears to be a pretty good machine for that.

I really want to write something about the oil wars right now, (surprise) but I have real work of sorts to deal with. The new Politics in Minnesota campaign site is nearly finished, and I gots to get it out the door.... thanks to the contributors for carrying some weight right now!!

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