Buying a new Mac Mini

After the holiday season I decided it was time to replace my Macbook. It is a 2.1 ghz, maxed out at 4GB of memory. It was running Lion but barely. The keyboard was broken, some keys were sticking and two were missing. The battery had also gone bad. I was using the Macbook connected to a 24 inch monitor with usb keyboard and a magic track pad as a desk top computer. I have to admit it was pretty Rueb Goldberg or ghetto, but it worked. I use my iPad as my computer when I travel or go to the local coffee shop, so I decided against another laptop. My choice was than down to the iMac or the Mac Mini. I did look at the iMac, but since I already had two 24 inch monitors, buying the 21 inch iMac didn’t make sense and I couldn’t afford the 27 inch version. I then took a look at the new Mac Mini. I have a working core-duo Mac Mini and I love the form factor, but its even older than the Macbook and is no longer upgradable.

After going back and forth between the various options I decided to go with the 2.5 ghz Mac Mini with the 500 GB hard drive. The Mac Mini comes with 4 GB of memory, but per the suggestions of most reviews, I brought 8 gb of memory from OWC, the same time I ordered the computer. The memory installation is extremely easy if you follow the instructions. I ordered through Amazon, under my prime membership with next day delivery. Before the computer came I went through my Macbook and got rid of all unnecessary files and applications and then did a full back up to Time Machine. Once I received the Mac Mini I connected to the network and then connected the new Mac Mini to the Macbook by Ethernet. I then started the Migration Assistant application. The one thing I would recommend is to start up migration on the from computer and fill in all the information on that first. I only have one “working” keyboard so I had to switch the keyboard back and forth between the two computers. Besides that glitch the migration went fine, although it did take a lot longer then I thought it would. If I remember correctly it took a little over 5 hours. Obviously this isn’t something you want to do at the last-minute.

A hdmi to dvi adapter comes with the Mac Mini, which I used to attach to my LG monitor. It was at that point I realized the only adapter I didn’t have was a mini-display to DVI adapter, so I had to order that. The other thing I had to order was 400 to 800 firewire adapter so that I could connect my Comcast Box to my computer and watch TV using AVC Browser through VLC. So my second recommendation would be to check to make sure you have all the adapter you need. Another recommendation is if you store your password on Dropbox or another secure drive make sure you have your password for that written down. I went to start-up 1password and realized I needed the password for Dropbox so I could import all the passwords. fortunately I had it on my phone. Finally make sure you know where all your licenses are for all your applications. If you have been thinking about buying a Mac and are looking for a desktop I would recommend looking at the Mac Mini. Especially if you are a switcher and already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse.