a new difference engine.

My new Mac mini arrived yesterday, and I promptly wasted half the day setting it up and downloading a few multi-gigabyte World of Warcraft patches to it.  (With all the other gaming-capable computers in the house being Windows PCs, I couldn’t just copy my WoW folder from the old machine.  Instead, I had to reinstall from the DVD, and then let the game patch itself.)

Here’s what the desk looks like now:

So much more space.  It’s shocking how much smaller the mini is than even the little ION shoebox.  It’s no bigger than five CD cases stacked on top of each other, yet it has more processing grunt than my old Core 2 Duo system.  The wireless keyboard stows out of the way quickly and easily whenever I break out the pen & paper, and the whole setup is very shiny.  So far, I’m very impressed with the mini.  It’s zippy, and it plain works.

Did I mention that my wife rocks?  Well, she does.  Since I had just put the ION box together a few months ago, I wasn’t planning to upgrade again for at least another year, but I guess she got tired of my constant little whining noises whenever I looked at the mini at the Apple Store.

Nothing takes the edge off a Monday than the delivery truck trundling up the driveway with a shiny new toy…


12 thoughts on “a new difference engine.

  1. og says:

    You should put an “easy” button on top of it

  2. Marko Kloos says:

    On top of the Apple logo? That’s against the EULA. The Steve will come and take my Mac mini away.

  3. Joe says:

    They make mounts for the mini’s to go under desk or behind monitors, then you’d reclaim even the small deskspace the mini takes up.

  4. minimedic says:

    Re-installs and patch updates…yep, “half the day” sounds about right.

  5. Louise says:

    You’re a very lucky man and YES!
    she does rock!

  6. freddyboomboom says:

    So how is WoW on it?

    My 1.83 GHz Core Duo Mac Mini is increasingly unhappy with highly populated areas, such as Dalaran and 25 man raids.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Your 1.83Ghz C2D Mac Mini has the integrated Intel graphics chip…either a GMA950, or GMA X3100.

      The new Minis have the GeForce 9400M, which is much faster in games. (Apple claims something like five times the graphics performance of the Intel chips, and having played WoW on a MacBook with the X3100, I can verify that as accurate.)

      I get 40-70FPS just about everywhere, and mid- to high 20s in Dalaran. It’s much more smooth than I thought it would be. Very impressive for such a tiny machine.

      • freddyboomboom says:

        Nice to know.

        Mine is actually not core2duo, just core duo. 😦

        It is GMA950, though.

        I’m getting around 4-5 fps in Dal, and 24 fps is movie speed, so I’d be loving that improvement.

        Gotta talk the wife into it, I think. 🙂

        • Marko Kloos says:

          The GMA X3100 is two to four times faster than the GMA950, and the 9400M is five times faster than the X3100. Also, the new minis have pretty fast Core 2 Duo chips, and WoW is coded to take advantage of the second processor core. Between the faster dual-core CPU and the greatly improved 3D grunt, you’ll see major improvements.

  7. anonymous says:

    Very nice rig. But…

    “Apple boycotts Fox”

    Pretty hard to swallow as anything other than an “ism”. Maybe they just want their target market to look (and think) just (and only) like them. Even tech can’t escape the persistence Teh Stupid, eh?


  8. Laughingdog says:

    Downloading patches? Maybe this only works on PCs, but when I switched machines, all of the patch downloads were still in a folder on my old machine. I just copied them over to the new machine and ran them.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      If you go from PC to PC, you can just copy the entire World of Warcraft folder to the new machine. If you switch platforms, that method won’t work, since the executables are different formats. (PC is .exe, Mac OS is .app, and you can’t just rename the extension.)

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