Mini Mac Review
The Mini Mac considered, part 2
Here we return to the Mini-Mac review. You might recall last time that I
went into a lot of detail about my motives and reasons for choosing this
machine, and even skirted around the Mac versus PeeCee ongoing tribal
conflict. This time, I've now got my hands on one, so we move on to the
practical part of the review.
WHICH MODEL, WHAT OPTIONS?
There are the two models of Mini, 1.25ghz, and 1.42ghz. The extra 40gb and
the miniscule speed increase on the cpu is not enough to justify the extra
60 ukp, so I went for the base model.
Some daring people, who throw caution and warranty to the wind, have
overclocked the base model to go higher already by desoldering certain
resistors on the motherboard, speeds in the order of 1.5ghz have been
One theme that kept recurring, was that 256mb ram was barely adequate, so a
ram upgrade was factored in. I chose 512mb, which did not break the bank, as
the 1gb upgrade by Apple is too costly. I find it faintly amusing that
512mb, which is considered to be cavernous on a CT60, is just about
sufficient on here, and with 256mb, you have enough ram to run Tiger, and
errm, that's it!
You do have the option of going down the self-opening route, the famous
'putty knife manouvre', and replacing the memory yourself. This is
theoretically not breaching the warranty, but you can bet on a degree of
weaselly behaviour from Apple if something went wrong and this was put to
The Bluetooth and wireless options were appealing, but they bump up the
price, so I went for the plain option. To this, I got a wired keyboard and
mouse, which adds 40ukp to price for an Apple original. Finally, it was only
another 30ukp to increase the hard drive from 40gb to 80gb, so I did.
There was no screen needed, I've already got one, and Mini Mac and CT60 are
going to play nicely with each other and share!
The final cost came out at 457ukp, for 1.25ghz, Apple keyboard/mouse, 512mb
ram, and an 80gb hard drive. Oh yes, as I ordered on the 29th April, the
launch date for the new version OSX 10.4, or 'Tiger', that was included in
the box as well.
My budget could have run to the base model iBook, with a very similar spec
for 700ukp. but with less memory and a 30gh hard drive. I have seen one of
these close up, and it is a lovely little notebook, but I figured I would
get the Mini and spend the difference on the CT60 instead!
GETTING HOLD OF ONE..
This took me slightly longer, a period of 2 - 3 weeks from making the phone
call to Apple, which was about a week longer than expected. I was able to
track the progress of my order as it headed across Europe. This was made up
in the Czech republic. It looks like Mini Mac will nearly do this journey in
reverse when we're going to the Noise party next year. There was the usual
comedy delivery attempt at home when I'm not there, but the couriers
delivered to my work address the next day, so that was ok.
It seems that the Mini is in great demand. I have seen them on a couple of
occasions at the local PeeCeeWorld, but not for long, as they seem to sell
out very quickly, even the display unit. I also gather that the waiting list
has got longer since I bought mine :-/
FIRST IMPRESSIONS (In and out of the box)..
Apple are one of the central icons of the early 21st century consumer age.
We've seen it with the iPod. Their products are dripping with tactile 'must
have' appeal from the box it comes in onwards. You get a real Xmas morning
feeling of anticipation when you open one of these.
These are no dull cardboard crates, but works of art dripping with expensive
design. For me, it goes back to the early home computer days, when the
manufacturers last made a real effort in that area. The original Sinclair
Research packaging for all their computers was a classic, as was the
Enterprise 64 box. Now with most computers being dull and generic, it has
mostly gone downhill with the cheapest packaging possible.
As always, there is a huge polystyrene to product ratio. The Mini Mac itself
is small as expected and perfectly formed. It is quite heavy in relation to
its size, although lightweight compared with the Win-others. I had the
opportunity to compare directly, as I was installing a new Hewlett Packard
PeeCee just before I got the Mac. There was a lot more weightlifting
involved with the HP!
It has a simple and elegant design, which gives little away. There is a
single bright white LED on front to tell you the beast is alive. The shape
resembles a rounded steel tobacco tin. This has stainless steel effect
sides, and a white plastic coated top with a grey Apple logo on it. There is
a single slot for a frontloading combo DVD/CD drive. The useful but
unsightly connections and ports are hidden at the back.
Of the ports, there are a fair range of these, although the Mini could have
used a couple more USB ports. As it is, you have 2x USB2 ports on the back,
one of which is taken by the keyboard/mouse, and a spare USB1 port from the
keyboard. There are also Ethernet, Monitor connection, Firewire, a phone
socket for the built-in 56k modem, and a headphone jack for audio output.
Also in the box, we find a power supply, which is a sizeable block, about a
third the size of the Mini itself. There are other assorted items, including
a monitor adaptor for DVI to SVGA output, a setting-up guide, and O/S disks,
including a DVD of the new Tiger 10.4. There are various other try before
you buy things, such as iWork bundled in. In separate boxes, we find the
keyboard and mouse.
PLUGGING IN AND SWITCHING ON..
This was simple, merely plug in the appropriate cables to the clearly marked
spots and off we go. When I first fired up, the Mini started up in a
slightly coarse 800 x 600 screenmode. I soon found the system preferences
icon to switch that to a much more acceptable 1024 x 768 mode at 60mhz,
which is as good as my LCD gets. I opted to get Tiger on asap, and that was
easy, if the best part of 20 - 30 minutes to complete the install.
The Apple single-button mouse looks neat, but it is slightly off the pace as
OSX supports two button mouse operation. If sticking with the Apple mouse, I
have to fudge this with ctrl and click. Apple say that you can use other
mice and keyboards with Mini, and you are not just restricted to official
Apple products. More recently, Apple have taken steps to remedy the button
deficiency with their own official Mighty Mouse', which has multi-button
TAKING A FIRST LOOK AT THE PACK-IN SOFTWARE..
There is already a fair bit on there before you get a chance to do anything
else with the machine. The best part of fifteen of your 80 gig has already
been used for the system and various little extras loaded on with it. It is
a good job I got 80 gig in the first place.
The first place to start looking, is at what is in the icon bay at the
bottom of the screen. Of immediate importance, is 'Finder', the desktop and
file manager, it also provides shortcuts to other things. There is a new
feature for Tiger called 'Dashboard'. This will get its own section later.
The Apple pack-in web browser 'Safari', is close to hand, and comes into its
own once an internet connection is set up. Following closely is the emailer
simply called 'Mail'. Then what are the component parts of the 'iLife'
series. These are iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband. Somewhere on the
disk is a trial version of the the more business orientated 'iCal'. You also
get the ubiquitious Quicktime media player at version 7, but have to
register to get the ability to save files, even if you had the previously
fully working Quicktime 6 before you installed Tiger, which is a little bit
naughty of Apple!
There is more hidden deeper within the applications file, but their turn
A WORD ABOUT THE PRINT MEDIA AVAILABLE..
There is a reasonable but not overwhelming choice of print media available
in your local newsagent. These proved quite useful before I got the machine,
when I was a total newbie, but less so afterwards.
We consider the inevitable Future Publishing entrant, the teasingly familar
sounding Mac Format. Browsing a copy brings back old memories of ST Format.
You get the same breezy and very slightly patronising tone, with the odd
really useful thing sliding in under the Future Publishing consume or die
ethos. It is very well presented and does have nice CD-ROM cover disks. The
magazines tend to overlap each other with previews of the major packages,
especially games. A crucial difference between the ST Format days and now,
is the availability of vast and fast internet resources.
Once we're running with broadband and able to get what the hell I want, the
cover disks are a distraction. The magazines are more useful for their
actual written content, hints and tips and tutorials now, than for the pack-
Considering some other titles briefly. There is 'iCreate'. This is Uber-
glossy, the queen of glossy and expensive with lots of "Spend it like
Beckham" ads for expensive gear and furniture. The current Mac Magazines in
general have a wide range of advertising, with some very expensive gear in
there, and not all of it computer related.
Mac User, is cheaper than the rest, has no CD cover mount. Otherwise, not
too dissimilar in style and content from the rest.
Mac Addict is slightly different from the norm. This is a USA import, with
no local concessions whatsoever. But they have a more spontaneous and
natural style, and seem to have more fun doing what they do, and are the
sort of people who could get down really deep and dirty in a technical
sense, rather than just playing at it. Out of all of the mags, this is the
one I'm most likely to go back to,
GETTING ONLINE (Earth calling Zetnet!)
I actually managed to get my dialup config transferred and working from the
information on my Falcon! This took a fair bit of pulling and pushing and
guesswork! At that point the online experience was satisfactory. Running
Safari points by default to the Apple home pages. You also have to register
your machine online. The Mac mailer was ready to run out of the box as well.
BROADBAND ADDENDUM (Planet Tharg calling NTL!!)
Shortly after I got the Mini, NTL came up with a new round of package deals
designed to get more people onto broadband. After a ten minute chat which
saw their crappy cable tv service thrown in for an extra tenner, I've signed
up for a 1 meg broadband connection. Now this is the real reason why I got
Amazingly for NTL, this goes swimmingly easy. A five minute job for overall
bloke from NTL called Kevin to install the thing with the pre-existing cable
terminal. Then time to boot-up, then ring NTL customer services for the
missing details from the welcome page. After that, the web-based login
procedure practically completes itself, and we're off!
We've got the power! so it's time to take another look at this internet
For the Browser, there is an early choice of Safari, Apple own offering, and
some mac-i-fied version of MS Explorer. Suitably advised by Evil, I got hold
of Firefox. This is more compatible than Safari, and quicker and more secure
than Explorer. Firefox is now the first choice, although Safari pops
frequently up as a useful secondary browser, as I am too lazy to install the
plug-ins for Firefox at the moment.
Email is straightforward, with Apple's own Mac Mail taking care of things.
This is very Microsoft Outlook like in feel. It can display or play a lot of
media sent with the email, which may be a good or bad thing compared with
the ultra-secure Newsie on the Falcon? It can also flag up items as
junkmail, based on the subject header, which would be the majority of the
email I get ;-)
Finding a reasonable IRC client wasn't too difficult, with those needs being
taken care of by third party software, X-Chat. It wasn't too difficult to
transfer my settings from Atari IRC to here. I'm at a loss to understand why
some people (Hi John Hayward!) struggle to get going with IRC? Maybe he
should think of a Mac himself ;-)
There is a wealth of choice for FTP clients. I left that until recently to
sort out. Some of the available options are very sophisticated, and offer
functions way above my own needs. A client called Cyberduck did nicely. This
is open source, and more than adequate for what I want to do.
When broadband kicked in, the real role and potential of the Dashboard
became apparent. The best way to describe the Dashboard and Widgets on the
Mac, is like they are posh desk accessories, and internet enabled. Apart
from the usual onscreen calculator and bouncing ball type desktoys, there
are also realtime RSS news feeds for various interest sites like the BBC and
Slashdot, weather reports, travel timetables and television listings, and
lots more, I even spotted classic vector Asteroids playing in a widget.
Apple try to make the tedious business of system patches as easy as
possible, They have a built-in system updater which prompts when there are
new software patches available. As the majority of these downloads are in
the multi-megabyte class, you really do need broadband to keep up at this
There are things that I want to do, which the Apple supplied software does
not quite cover, so it's time to roam the net to look for suitable
A good replacement for the default Apple text editor is 'Smultron'. This
Swedish application is an Evil recommendation. Apart from general text, it
is also good for hand-coded simple html editing. It highlights things like
speech quotes and html code tags. It is a neat text editor in general. It is
my main app for handling the non-Atari created bits of Alive.
I also found early on that I needed an alternative to the Apple CD-ROM
burning utilities. After a little searching, I came across 'Dragon Burn'.
This is a reasonably priced shareware alternative to the better-known but
expensive Roxio Toast. Most importantly, it can burn Atari compatible iso
A good place to go to, which saves finger and keyboard wear looking for
stuff, is a site called 'www.pure-mac.com' - This acts as a repository and
rolling news collection point for a lot of Mac software out there. It is
possible to browse a category, and come up with a dozen variants of what you
are looking for, and two or three of them are open source or freeware.
There are plenty of options here. Many of these are mainstream, some are
professional, and very very expensive, sometimes a fair bit more than the
price of the Mini! There are also versions of famous open source
applications like The Gimp and Blender.
There is just one small problem, as I've so far not been able to get X11 aka
X-Windows to install. This is helpfully included with the Tiger install DVD,
seems to go through all the motions, but nothing seems to be showing for it?
UPDATE:- I managed to get X11 to install in the end, and yes, the Gimp does
run now. I've only had the briefest time of playing around with it, but it
looks like it could be the graphics editing package that could nicely do for
I have to admit that the deadline is looming, and this is one major aspect
of the Mac that I have not so far considered in detail.
When considering image processing and photo editing, there is iPhoto already
provided out of the box, which works very well with my digital camera. And I
got on fine with iMovie, which is a great fun package to play around with,
and has several demo-ish possibilities with the special effects provided!
Quicktime 7 is out of the box. As mentioned earlier, you have to register to
get the full 'Pro' version. Quicktime does not cover all the video codecs
out there. A certain other company has a lot of sway with its own
proprietary format, so I needed to visit the Microsoft support site
(shudder!) to get their player for .wmv files. Anything else which the
others miss seem to be nicely covered by the Videolan VLC player, which is
happy to pick up and play whatever you throw at it. Usefully, it is also
Versions of popular players on other formats also get in here. We discussed
Mplayer in some detail on the Atari, as a Linux port. It also has a glossy
and sophisticated Mac OSX face as well. I'd still rate VLC as the better
player at this point for covering a wider range of codecs.
These are very useful programs, as streaming media and movies are a much
bigger part of my internet experience than was previously the case.
The choice of music is mindboggling, and that is even before you get to the
more demoscener orientated players.
For most people, they will get their audio fix from a combination of
conventional audio CD's, and iTunes mp3 files. Both of these work straight
off iTunes. There is the retail aspect, heavily plugged by Apple, to buy as
much as you can from the iTunes store online ;-)
iTunes is the main music player for the Mac. it sits heavily as a key
component of the iLife suite. Quicktime is versatile enough to play back
mp3's as well. As if you didn't have enough choices already, VLC does as
well, and Mplayer is in with a chance too. I daresay if you search hard
enough, there will be a dozen other variations on this theme.
Moving onto more scenish tastes, there is a huge range of options there too.
Sidplay was discovered very early on, and the entire High Voltage SID
collection was my first bulk download on broadband! My most used day to day
audio application has to be the rather good 'Ximple' modfile player. This is
very much a multi-format player, with PeeCee standards such as S3m and XM
handled, and various others too. I think even midifiles might get in there.
I managed to get the Nectarine scene radio working with my Falcon and 56k
modem. This was at the lowest streaming rate, but still ok. It was never a
habit, more of an experiment. Now with broadband, the possibilities
increase. When I have been trying Nectarine, it rather seemlessly switches
into iTunes. The Kohina scene radio works fine as well, but uses an .ogg
For even more narrowly specific scenish tastes, Evil of DHS kindly
contributes his player 'XSC', which plays back various ST and Amiga formats
converted to a common SC68 format. These include just about all the ST
soundchip formats, most of the Amiga softsynth ones, and even misc music
from TCB Tracker and Quartet files! There is an improved version on the way
with many enhancements, according to the Swedish gentleman in question.
I remember my first lukewarm impression of Mac gaming from the 68030/040
years. It was a Mac Performa or something like in a high street computer
shop, running probably the crappiest slowest version of Lemmings, with
flick-page "scrolling" which made the game virtually unplayable, and yes, I
tried! That machine clearly lacked attributes taken for granted on other
machines to make decent gameplay possible. It was not only missing the
hardscroll and other graphics functions of the Amiga, it didn't even have
the compensating coding skills for the ST syncscroll equivalent.
The good news is, that it has got better since, although the Mac is still
considered as a poor relation to just about every other platform out there.
Apple even supplied a couple of pack-in games with the machine. These were
nice enough, with 'Nanosaur 2', a dinosaur based 3-D flyaround shootemup,
and there was a more cartoony marble madness style game 'Marble Blast'. This
latter game works well for a casual player who just wants to pick up and
play for a little while.
Versions of the more popular PeeCee games do make it to the Mac. the big
news of the summer was all about 'Doom 3'. It is debatable however, just
how many of the very latest games will run on the Mac Mini Radeon 9200
graphics card, which has an underwhelming 32mb video ram by modern
standards, (But that is still more than I'm used to!)
There is a world of games out there, many of which are homebrew or semi-pro
shareware. I found things like an updated 'Elite', there was an OSX perfect
version of the ST classic 'Oids', and many more. Some of these look very
good, but many of the others are quite basic and not giving even the ST, let
alone the Falcon many sleepless nights. I can confidently say that our
homebrew freeware games are better than the majority of their homebrew
DEMOS (Mac demoscene, a well kept secret!)
The Mac demoscene is generally so low profile, it has its own special home
at the bottom of a trench!
Well for most people, iTunes has got some funky sound to light visuals, and
that is the most demoscene they will ever need!
For those of us who are less easy to please, a search of the internet
reveals that there was one dead demoscene which ran from the mid to late
nineties, and glory be! A real live living one. The home for this is
www.macscene.org. And we musn't forget to mention pouet.net....
There are several interested parties, and a relatively small number of
'leet' crews with a bigger presence. Special big shouts go out to 'Fit', who
we know from another context, and a group called 'Spontz' have releases some
rather nice productions as well.
The demo which comes at the top of Macscene.org's top ten list is actually a
'classic' O/S 9 based one. This is called 'Macrostrange' by Haujobb, which
is dated for 2000. In terms of the design, it works better than the majority
of modern demos, which often try to cram in too much. I'd like to see
something like that texturemapped fish on the CT60. Incidentally, this was
the first time that I discovered the Mac O/S 9 'Classic' emulator built into
The Mac demo scene attracts a large proportion of ports from other machines.
The main group for this being 'Fit', who manage to release their works on
almost every platform out there. There are plenty of others, which also
started life as a Linux or Windows prod ported to the Mac. Some of these are
rather obscure to get running and need expert abilities on the terminal.
There are no Mac diskmags! I seem to remember very early on, back in the Mac
classic days, there may have been something of the sort which even predated
ST-News, but the Mac hasn't been well known for its cool diskmags since.
Generall, releases are infrequent, but the major demo parties like
Breakpoint or Assembly usually have something for the Mac. There is the
Macscene home page, which offers a community scratching post, a little bit
like DHS, but less active. They do provide a demoscene community servie by
attempting to massage some life back in, with a series of online
competitions. The current one of these has only just been finished. This
produced some nice, if not groundbreaking releases. Although the first
Widget demo has to be noted from the latest compo. Incidentally, it has yet
to be seen if there is any specific take-up of the Mac Mini by any
interested demo freax?
There is quite a lot of activity in this area, with just about all the
popular platforms being emulated, and quite a few obscure ones too. It helps
that there is a good centralised website www.emuscene.com, which provides
links to everyone who is maintaining MacOS emulation software of some kind.
Of primary interest are the various flavours of Atari emulation available.
This is getting its own separate and more detailed two part appraisal,
elsewhere in the issue. For those of you who can't wait and want to read a
slight taster, the three ST or TOS emulators are 'NoSTalgia', 'Hatari',
which has just been updated very recently, and the rather more ambitious
'Aranym', which insists it is more of a TOS high-end virtual machine, rather
than an emulator. The second part of this round-up, in Alive 12, will sort
out the early classic Atari emulators, such as the Atari 800, VCS, Lynx, and
I've been playing with a good Mac-specific C64 emulator, 'Power64'. There
are also versions of 'Frodo' and 'VICE' which await further consideration.
As it is, Power64 is mostly demo-perfect, although there are some questions
over diskloading? MacVICE is going to be a good second choice with X11 now
in play, but that is still
early days yet.
There are ZX speccy emulators, I got 'ZXSP.063' working, which even goes as
far as loading tape files .TAP format at the original speed, with an
animation of the tape player. Even consoles up to the N64 and original
Playstation are covered. The former of these not doing too badly with some
demo examples. There are so many more, and so little time. At some stage, I
will get to have a go with MacMAME.
USEFUL HARDWARE EXTRAS..
The Mac Mini is cool hardware on its own, but you will want to expand its
inbuilt capabilities sooner or later. In this section, we consider what
might be worth adding on to it.
The first question was "To floppy, or not to floppy?" As you will recall,
Apple were famous, or notorious for being one of the first to ditch the
floppy drive entirely from their product line. For those of us with holdings
in pale but interesting retro hardware, that lack wasn't an option, so I was
needing to get a USB floppy drive fairly early on. This comes in handy for
any quick file transfers that don't justify a CD-rom burn. Peecee formatted
disks read and write on both the Falcon and the Mac, which is useful.
The other early must-buy item was an SDram card reader for my digital camera
memory. In general, low level USB devices like the floppy drive and the card
reader, and most likely any other memory sticks and mini-drives, boot and
display to the Mac desktop and work first time. There is none of that extra
driver software malarky that makes Windows so much fun. OSX is not a dumb
blonde in that area. It is also safe to hot-swap devices like the camera,
and SDram cards, as long as you remember to eject the latter first. I'm
awaiting the completed EtherNat with interest, as it promises to open up a
great avenue of communication with the Falcon, if both machines can accept
and read the same portable memory device for data transfer.
Ultimately, there are too few USB ports on the current Mini design. I
daresay I will have to get a USB hub to extend the available ports, most
likely when adding a proper external Hard Drive or a printer? There are
several handy small hubs for laptops out there. These are petite sized and
not fugly, therefore very suitable for the bijou Mac Mini concept. I think
there is even one from Belkin which is specifically designed for the Mini to
stack on top of it.
And here's to the future now, what will Apple do next? I posed this question
when I first got the Mini Mac.
Well some of their plans have become public knowledge since. In fact it is
dizzying to try to keep up! What we do know of, is a paradigm shift from PPC
cpu's to Intel, a move which will upset a lot of the Mac community. From
there, it has been suggested that the first models to change over will be
the budget end Macs, which would point to an Intel powered Mini at some
point in 2006! I'd be interested in something like an upgraded Mini, but as
I've only just got this machine a few months ago, not just yet.
Apple are also riding a wave of iPod sales and interest, with a new model
seemingly launched every other week. Their latest iPods have now got even
more multimedia. Some are very small, and some can now play back video.
I still tend to think there is a gap between the sub-400ukp Mini Mac, and
the cheapest iMac, which starts at around 800ukp. I wonder what the chances
for something placed midway as a natural upgrade path would be?
Whatever Apple do, they have a knack for surprising us and reinvigorating a
stale market, it won't be boring.
TAKING A LOOK BACK TO FINISH OFF...
Here's a few random thoughts to close with, in no particular order.
There is a Mac equivalent of the famous Windows 'Blue screen of Death'. It
is called 'Kernal panic'. It has not happened to me as yet.
It amused me that some of the more tribal critics slated the Mini for being
a bit too 'mini'. "It's too small! We want computers we can walk into and
close the door behind us! Buck your ideas up Apple!" they cried. But the Mac
Mini has prodded some peecee builders to think "What if people don't want
computers which have the look and feel of American refrigerators?" Intel
actually produced a lookalike mock-up. This was a short time before Apple
dropped their little bombshell about getting into bed with these people. I
think the coincidence was very amusing.
At the time of writing in mid-October, my Mac and Falcon useage are starting
to get a bit back into balance. One factor which had put me off any sort of
new system for a while, was the fear that the distraction factor would prove
too much. Essentially the Falcon would find itself not ever being switched
on again. Once the Mac was up and running, this seemed to be coming true.
Ultimately other people manage to balance their time spent on different
computers, so I should do so as well.
Relating to the paragraph above, one of the things I am trying is to get
some quality time with the Atari emulators.The Atari ST emulators are fun
but still a bit cumbersome to do too much serious work with.They are only a
partial substitute for the real thing!
My Mac travels resemble being sucked into a vastness of options. There is
just too much to follow all at once. There are huge parts of this new
universe which I will never see. There are even a lot of things on my hard
drive which I won't see. On the other side, the Mac Demo scene is small and
easily followed. I guess that is what appeals to me about the Atari scene on
a deeper subconscious level, it is manageable and on a rational human scale.
There is just the one niggling technical issue. Where has X11 got to? When I
ran the install off the Tiger DVD, it said that it was all done, but it
isn't anywhere to be seen on my machine? (Ok, now I was being silly, as that
was one issue I managed to sort out in the end. X11 is alive and well, and
so are the Gimp and VICE.)
I'm also amazed I kept this lot down to a reasonable length. There are a
couple of you still struggling to finish reading my Maggie 28 CT2 review!
Then again, I have split this into two parts, and also spun off a separate
article on Atari emulation, which again will run to two parts, so maybe not
The Mac Mini has managed to live up to its potential. It is a useful member
of the CiH-HQ hardware menagerie. At this stage it is still too early to
determine whether the Steve Jobs reality distortion field has claimed me,
but there is always a part of me which is forever Atarian, most of me, in
A LAST WORD
I've avoided any harsh words about the WinOpposition this time around. We
touched on the tribal rivalry last time. However, there is a quote from an
interview in the December edition of Mac Format, which is hard to pass by,
impossible in fact.
It was with the actor Stephen Fry, well known at least in the UK. When asked
the question "Why a Mac and not a PC?" by floormat, he responded thus...
"You may as well ask someone who has the choice why they live in a Georgian
house and not a 1960's tower block. It drives me mad that people who spend
their working lives in front of a screen do so in a Windows environment, the
equivalent of a sick building syndrome office, with strip lighting, ugly
furniture, and no imagination, freshness or sexiness in design. People are
dragging out their lives in the computer equivalent of a sink estate and no-
one questions it. God rot Windows and all it's ugly clunk badly designed
And with that closing thought, goodnight!
CiH, for Alive Mag, Oct '05.