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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:48 pm 
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dougz wrote:
There is no national/federal (VAT/sales) tax in the U.S. Individual states have State Sales Taxes. Localities may add their own tax to the State tax. Most (not all) Internet sales are tax free.

Internet sales are not exempt from sales tax. It's just they're generally state-to-state sales and the state of the purchaser gets the sales tax, not the seller. Some sites will state that sales tax is applied to certain states as that's where they have locations at that they can correctly charge you for. If not, they don't charge you the sales tax but you still owe it to your state. At least that's what I understand from living in WI. My tax forms include a section for out of state purchases were you are suppose to report anything that you didn't pay sales tax for and pay the amount based on your county's sales tax.

Of course you could just not report that on your taxes. But legally, you do have to pay sales tax one way or another.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:56 pm 
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But there's no FEDERAL tax, and state taxes vary quite a bit.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:20 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
no Mac will ever be the best value or cheapest product for any application. they are a premium product for people who like everything to "just work"TM and don't want to get their hands dirty.

Dell Studio Hybrid is a competitor in the same segment as the mac mini.

But maybe the Mac Mini is the best value for people who want it to just work and look a certain way. You seem to be assuming that size, appearance, and level of integration are not useful features, but they are. It is like the people who question the need for a Silent PC, because silence does not play Crysis at a higher frame rate. The utility of any feature is completely subjective. A shiny white case may be worth $0 to you and $50 to someone else. The Apple price premium would only be a "tax" if you could find something that was exactly the same for less money.

EDIT: Not arguing against classifying Apple as a Premium Brand. Just saying that Premium != Bad Value.


Last edited by jessekopelman on Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:22 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
jaganath wrote:
no Mac will ever be the best value or cheapest product for any application. they are a premium product for people who like everything to "just work"TM and don't want to get their hands dirty.

Dell Studio Hybrid is a competitor in the same segment as the mac mini.

But maybe the Mac Mini is the best value for people who want it to just work and look a certain way. You seem to be assuming that size, appearance, and level of integration are not useful features, but they are. It is like the people who question the need for a Silent PC, because silence does not play Crysis at a higher frame rate. The utility of any feature is completely subjective. A shiny white case may be worth $0 to you and $50 to someone else. The Apple price premium would only be a "tax" if you could find something that was exactly the same for less money.


Yes! Well put.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:24 pm 
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You would think the silent PC crowd would be understanding and appreciate the justification for this premium.


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 Post subject: The "tax" is really for Mac OS X & customer sa
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:57 pm 
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I know that many people would choose iMacs, Mac Minis, MacBooks, etc. for their hardware specs. Several posters in this thread have said how happy they are with their hardware.

For a substantial minority, however, the draw is the OS. I think there would be very few that would argue that Vista is remotely comparable due to its performance issues, lack of security, GUI usability, etc. The "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" ads ring true for many people.

We Linux fans have to admit, as Ubuntu's Shuttleworth has done, that Mac OS X is far better than current Linux distros. I agree with Shuttleworth and I use Ubuntu. It is good but not nearly as good.

So, those who want the stability, performance, and usability of OS X have to pay for well-engineered, but premium priced hardware. Don't find the sort of hardware you want (say a minimally expandable SFF desktop), tough. Apple really doesn't provide much choice.

Apple isn't perfect, but they have the highest customer satisfaction in the business. Kind of the Lexus of computers; not for everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:48 pm 
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I also am drawn to the Mac OSX. The problem is once you decide to go with Apple, you are locked into their hardware line which has very few options. These few options only change every so often, and then only at the whim of his holiness Steve Jobs.

There is the hackintosh route of course, but personally I don't want to be constantly fiddling with the bios, doing hacks and work-arounds for all the glitches that keep popping up.

I would simply get the iMac and be done with all this shopping around, research and custom building, were it not for the glossy screen. The iMac is quiet (almost silent) and has all the specs I need. But I know I couldn't stand the reflective glare.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:10 am 
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whispercat wrote:
I also am drawn to the Mac OSX...

There is the hackintosh route of course, but personally I don't want to be constantly fiddling with the bios, doing hacks and work-arounds for all the glitches that keep popping up.

I don't particularly like OSX, probably since I actually work with it everyday, but this is not true for Hackintoshes. With the right one (Intel based) there's no more glitches with one than with an Apple supplied machine.

For example, the few OSX installs I've done have booted right up when I swapped them to a different machine (i.e., P35 -> G31 -> Netbook.)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:32 am 
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It's one thing to do a few installs, it's another to work with a Hackintosh over a long period of time through various Apple updates and component upgrades. I know a few people with Hackintoshes with machines they've had for years, and they are very dedicated. They are always telling me of the latest quirk or glitch they've figured out. It's a source of pride for them. Because there's only support in limited ways from Apple, most issues have to be figured out on one's own.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:50 am 
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QuietOC wrote:
I don't particularly like OSX, probably since I actually work with it everyday,but this is not true for Hackintoshes. With the right one (Intel based) there's no more glitches with one than with an Apple supplied machine.

For example, the few OSX installs I've done have booted right up when I swapped them to a different machine (i.e., P35 -> G31 -> Netbook.)

I've been using OS X as my main OS for 4 years now and overall I've had a nice experience (but then my Windows/Linux experience hasn't been much better or worse either). I'm just a home user, not a professional one. Of course it has its glitches (Leopard has given me the most problems so far but they were fixed after a few updates) like every other OS out there.

There's still something about using a Hackintosh as a primary machine everyday. It may have come a long way but I'd still not trust a Hackintosh as my main machine I rely on. That's just me though.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:39 pm 
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whispercat wrote:
I would simply get the iMac and be done with all this shopping around, research and custom building, were it not for the glossy screen. The iMac is quiet (almost silent) and has all the specs I need. But I know I couldn't stand the reflective glare.

So isn't the Mac Mini then the perfect solution for you? It IS an iMac without an integral monitor. Get the Mini and attach it too whatever monitor you like . . .


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Nah, the mini only goes up to 2.26 GHz, and I need something with a bit more oomph. It would also have to sit on a desk, increasing the footprint of hardware on my already cluttered desk top (i.e. monitor, speakers, modem, external drives, etc.). I need either an all-in-one like an iMac, or else a tower I can just keep on the floor.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:16 pm 
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It doesn't have to sit ON a desk.

http://www.123macmini.com/accessories/guide/stands.html

http://www.macessitywebstore.com/Search ... .asp?Cat=3


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:18 am 
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Hi,

The "MiniHitch" which hangs the Mac Mini on the back of the LCD monitor (using the standard 100mm square screw holes) is an excellent set up, I think.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:46 pm 
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lowpowercomputing wrote:
There's still something about using a Hackintosh as a primary machine everyday. It may have come a long way but I'd still not trust a Hackintosh as my main machine I rely on. That's just me though.

Me, too. Although I'd like to try running Mac OS X on my Acer Aspire ONE (HD, not flash). It's been done by others.

***

Some nice links in Amazon's "Bites from the Apple: Digging Into the New Mac Hardware"
http://www.enduserblog.com/2009/03/bites-from-the-apple-digging-into-the-new-mac-hardware.html --

Quote:

Quote:
HardMac http://www.hardmac.com/news/2009-03-06/#9706 also notes that the 1 GB RAM version of the Mac mini comes with just a single stick of RAM (rather than divided between two 512 MB sticks), which means you only need to buy a 1 GB RAM to get to a 2 GB total (rather than having to buy two new sticks to replace the original modules). And by increasing the RAM from 1 to 2 GB, you'll also increase the shared memory allocated to the NVIDIA 9400M graphics chip from 128 to 256 MB.

Quote:
If you want to go even further, iFixit http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Mac-mini-A1283-Terabyte-Drive/660/1 (via Gizmodo http://i.gizmodo.com/5165381/how-to-install-a-second-hard-drive-in-the-new-mac-mini) even has a tutorial on how to replace both the Mac mini's stock hard drive and optical drive with a second hard drive for a 1 TB total storage solution (caution--soldering involved).

Many more goodies at the cited Amazon link.

This new Mini is very, very tempting. Must resist... ;-)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:31 pm 
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rei wrote:


Hmmm....I didn't know there was a whole cottage industry catering to the mini. I like the monitor stand solution the best, though any of those product ideas would work fine (lol..that mini-skirt thing is cute).

Well, that eliminates one excuse. I just wish the mini had slightly more horsepower.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:14 am 
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dougz wrote:
lowpowercomputing wrote:
There's still something about using a Hackintosh as a primary machine everyday. It may have come a long way but I'd still not trust a Hackintosh as my main machine I rely on. That's just me though.

Me, too. Although I'd like to try running Mac OS X on my Acer Aspire ONE (HD, not flash). It's been done by others.

You could give it a try. :) I'm running OS X on my Asus U1F. Works quite well (but the install is far from perfect).


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Mac mini for people with too much money. Atom Ion clone for everyone else.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:27 am 
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vicx wrote:
Mac mini for people with too much money. Atom Ion clone for everyone else.

No thanks. The mini's C2D is much faster than the Atom.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:36 am 
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vicx wrote:
Mac mini for people with too much money. Atom Ion clone for everyone else.

Please read "Who buys a Mac mini?" at http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=3235
Quote:
From what I’ve seen there are two segments that buy Mac minis. First, there are customers from the installed base of Mac owners, who want an inexpensive Mac and who already own a monitor, display and keyboard. These persons are either purchasing a second (or third or fourth as Jobs said) machine or are replacing an ancient PowerPC-based Mac.

But from what I’ve seen in the past couple of years is that the growth segments are Mac and Linux geeks who are using these inexpensive Macs as servers, virtualization machines and colocation boxes.

Much as I like the Ion for inexpensive multimedia apps, the Mini easily exceeds it in many other areas. The Ion would be great for a refresh of the underpowered Apple TV box.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:49 am 
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MacMini is very nice, not for the chassis (too frugal, flat, for my taste ...), but for the unbeliveable low idle power consumption. Very greenish.

The decision here is going mac or not. I prefere pc.

Atom boards are more robust than most people think. I have one for my main pc and I can do everyting I need for my work, including some photo editing and gaming.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:02 pm 
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lowpowercomputing wrote:
Intel models (as of now): RAM upgrade requires motherboard to be removed from the case...


RAM can be upgraded without removing the motherboard. It's really not that hard to open a Mini, and along with RAM, wireless adapter (not an issue with new one), HDD and optical drive are all easy upgrades. CPU is harder and does require removing the motherboard.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:43 am 
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dougz wrote:
Much as I like the Ion for inexpensive multimedia apps, the Mini easily exceeds it in many other areas. The Ion would be great for a refresh of the underpowered Apple TV box.

Turns out that the ION platform is unusable for Blu-ray with a single-core Atom. A dual-core will work.

Anand Lal Shimpi has some issues with the mating of a low performance CPU and a high performance GPU for multimedia. Short article with performance data appears to be well-reasoned.

Some closing quotes and a link to the Anandtech article --
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=456434#456434


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:27 am 
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So...
Anyone bought one of these yet, and can comment on the acoustics?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:44 pm 
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Entropy wrote:
So...
Anyone bought one of these yet, and can comment on the acoustics?


I bought one (Mac Mini, 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 120GB) to be upgraded to 4GB/320GB.

So far I am very happy with the acoustics. I don't have any measurements to go by, but as far as I am concerned it is very quiet. In a relatively quiet room it is really hard to hear it. Sometimes you can hear the hard drive seeking, but you have to listen for it.

All subjective of course... :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:02 pm 
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goink wrote:
So far I am very happy with the acoustics. I don't have any measurements to go by, but as far as I am concerned it is very quiet. In a relatively quiet room it is really hard to hear it. Sometimes you can hear the hard drive seeking, but you have to listen for it.

All subjective of course... :)

Thanks. This is encouraging. Sounds like it could use an SSD. I put an Intel X25-M in my Core 2 Duo Mini and have been very happy with it.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:41 am 
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goink wrote:
So far I am very happy with the acoustics.

Good to hear. Although from these threads[1], it seems the fan controller maintains the mini's fan at 1500 rpms even on really high temperatures.

[1]
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jsp ... ID=9168462
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=667736


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Anyone have any knowledge of Mac Pro sound levels?


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 Post subject: MacMini Dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:16 am 
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Location: Scotland
I already own a pre March 2009 mac mini which I use in my smallish tv room, and can say that the only time you know its on is when you're seeking in an HD movie (1080p through PLEX).

Anyway the reason for my post, I want a new media PC for playing music and feeding my projector (in my big lounge). Was wondering if you guys might have some ideas.

Requirements

1) Ability to run dual display simultaneously (LCD monitor & Projector)
2) Be near silent when under low load
3) Have an optical drive
4) Be less than 10cm high and 28cm deep. (width up to 44cm)
5) Run Win XP (i use it mainly for music playback and foobar is the only media player that I'm happy with)
6) Have enough oomph to run an Ubuntu VM whilst still allow smooth web browsing, music playback
7) Comfortably playback 1080p (though I can tolerate a bit of fan noise during a movie since they're usually up loud and there's 8m between me and the machine when I'm seated)

I really can't find anything that meets these requirements better than a current gen macmini. My only objection to another mac is they're a little over priced and since I don't rate OSX at all (and hence won't use it) I am a bit hesitant. I'm guessing the new board from Zotac with the embedded Dual Core Atom 1.6 would probably struggle with a VM.

Look forward to replies

Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:28 am 
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Hi Tony & welcome to SPCR,

I am familiar with a more recent Mac Mini, and with Fusion to run WinXP (or you could wipe the OSX and run it native -- though I don't know why you would), and to run Ubuntu. I'd get 4GB of RAM if you do this.

They sell a video splitter adapter to run dual outputs. Oh, it is very quiet and very compact. The unit with 4GB RAM and a 320GB HD was ~$750US though regular retail is higher.

Check out the recent SPCR reviews of small systems.

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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