New Mac Mini Vs. Old Vista PC: Early thoughts


I’m still just a week into the migration of PC to Mac with the New Mac Mini. To recap I received the new base Mac Mini with 1GB of extra Ram ($649) and had major problems just getting the display to work. That problem “fixed” there was a lot to do.

It took two days to get my music imported into iTunes again.

It took a day to organize my photos.

And for the first few days I was just getting acclimated to the “eccentricities” that is life with a Mac. You know, using the Apple button instead of CTRL (of course mine is a Windows start button but still), expanding windows in just one corner etc etc.

But there are some things that are painfully obvious even at this early date that I just have to point out that don’t live up to the Mac vs. PC hype.

1.    Vista is better looking
Unless you like solid gray bars everywhere, Vista’s transparent windows are much better looking than the Mac’s one bar window. Now, I like the fact that two of the four sides of the windows are borderless on the Mac, but it’s not always an eye-pleasing effect.  

2.    You still have to download lots of crap
Another big misconception is that everything just “works” on a Mac. Uh, no. While I liked how the Mini recognized my Bluetooth keyboard, wireless mouse and both hard drives with no issues, I still had to install printer software to get that going. I also had to download Logitech’s software to get all my mouse features to work too. I needed Stuffit to get certain files opened (why one Zip opened and another didn’t without Stuffit I have no idea) and so on.

3.    Face recognition in iPhoto is a crock
The biggest disappointment so far is that that iPhoto 09’s face recognition doesn’t really work as advertised. I tried setting it up for my family members and it didn’t do anything automatically. Once, I assigned a few photos more came up, but EVERY time you have to confirm if its right or wrong and a LOT of times the faces aren’t even close to being accurate.

On the positive, organizing photos period is so terrific on the Mini I don’t really care about the facial recognition blunders. This is where I spend the most time on my computer. From importing pics from my Cannon G9, to assigning them a logical folder, to renaming them, to uploading them to Flickr, I think the Mini cut my entire process time in half, easily. And I like the “tile” view like the new iTunes uses. It’s really much better than how Vista does things with the standard folder icons etc.

Oh, and it hasn't crashed yet, despite the workout I've been putting it through.

Still, there are other issues I’ll have to go into for my full report. I still have to go back to the PC and get all my non-multimedia documents off the hard drive. Fun.