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Is there a better Mac than the Mini for cautious switchers?

 
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:05 pm    Post subject: Is there a better Mac than the Mini for cautious switchers? Reply with quote

I recently had an interesting exchange of PMs between myself and Trustory, and he brought something quite interesting to light: the low, low price of eMacs on eBay.

Now before anyone accuses me of completely "losing the plot", please remember that my first Mac was an eMac, so I know about their drawbacks...
  • They weigh a ton
  • They don't exactly have the quietest cooling fan in the world
  • After a few hours of use, that CRT will suntan your eyeballs
  • CPU speeds start at 700MHz
  • Their G4 processors are the "lite" version with reduced onboard cache
But!... an eMac is still a Mac. And it wasn't meant to be used as an OS9 machine, either.

In fact, if you can look beyond the drawbacks, there's a lot going for these chunky beasts...
  • The G4 in an eMac may not have the same cache that you'd find in a G4 tower - but hey - at least it's not a G3. It'll run OS X, Safari, Mail and NeoOffice with ease.
  • The memory on all eMacs can be upgraded to 1GB (according to the "eMac" article on Wikipedia, the later models will unofficially take 2GB)
  • They'll take AirPort cards, so they can be used as wireless servers.
  • Heaven knows, I wouldn't want to return to using a CRT screen, but the external video port (plus adapter) means that the picture on the CRT can be mirrored on a (cheap) 1024x768 pixel LCD display.
  • If you're feeling adventurous, you could upgrade the internal HDD - and it's a 3.5-incher, so there's plenty of replacements to choose from.
So, what about those prices? Checking on eBay.co.uk, I can see a 1GHz eMac with a B-I-N price of £100, a few 800MHz machines for £70-£75 and a 700MHz model selling for £55. On eBay.com, eMacs can be picked up for between $50 and $100.... for an OS X Mac.

So the next time that one of your friends is telling you how "pi**ed off they are with their PC because it's gone wrong again, and how they'd love to buy a Mac, but even the secondhand machines are too expensive", you'll have some good news for them: it's possible to buy a hell of a lot of Macintosh, for very little money. Wink Smile
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trustory
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've a lot of good points there JohnnyBoy and there some of the reasons I'm gonna get one to act as a wireless file server. An old PowerMac G4 was my initial first choice but there big old and very slow. From my research you can get a good 1.25ghz model (which can run leopard) for around £100. A lot of them have nice extras like Airport, SuperDrives and most come with a keyboard and mouse. Bargain IMO!
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trustory wrote:
From my research you can get a good 1.25ghz model (which can run leopard) for around £100. A lot of them have nice extras like Airport, SuperDrives and most come with a keyboard and mouse. Bargain IMO!

If you take a few seconds to roll it around your brain, it's staggering: an all-in-one Mac that runs Leopard for £100. Shocked
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the eMacs were great machines as well. If $100 is all it will take to get you into the Mac world then that's a great deal.

I'm personally not a fan of CRTs any longer and the fans in the eMacs are a bit loud for my taste.

I would personally set one up in the garage/shop or for kids in a heartbeat. Based on the conversation of topic, I certainly would recommend an eMac for $100 for a cautious switcher. It would be a great introduction to OS X. I would however advise them that they will likely want to upgrade to something else soon after. They will likely love OS X and Apple and want a more up to date system with an LCD display.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill, you've precisely captured the essence of my opening post; you wouldn't recommend an eMac as a long term solution, but as way to try out OS X, it's ideal. Smile
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