General Mac OS X Discussion General Apple and Mac OS X Discussion

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  (#11) Old
DELLsFan DELLsFan is offline
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Default 06-07-2009, 06:37 PM

7 years old? I cringe watching TEENAGERS handling laptops! Though it isn't fair assuming anything about your daughter's care for electronic eqpt, it comes down to economics and practicality IMO.

Get the Mini-9, Hack it up, and be ready for OS X tech support via iChat and/or phone. Upgrade with a modest SSD, a decent case, & maybe splurge on a bluetooth mouse and/or Apple Wireless Keyboard Kit (the newer, smaller, Aluminum one), and you will STILL be paying about 1/2 as much as you would have, had you gone with a lower end Aluminum Unibody Macbook.

Save the cash and you won't feel as bad when the Mini gets dropped down a flight of stairs or gets accidentally washed in the laundry, or <<insert child accident here>>.

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dad2ways dad2ways is offline
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Default 06-07-2009, 07:17 PM

I would give a Dell Mini 9 or 10v a very close consideration. I have been using a Mini 9 now for almost 3 months. I have been impressed with just how well it works with OS X. I am a devoted Mac user who has been without a functioning portable for over 4 years before getting my Mini.

It will install MS Office, iLife and iWork and run all of those titles reasonably well. I go online and do everything I need or would want to do. I haven't tried any processor intensive programs because of the limited main drive space and the fact that the Atom CPU is only a single core processor. Although these limitations might make it sticky for you to seriously consider a mini, it would most likely be more than adequate for your 7 year old daughter. In fact, I am seriously considering purchasing a Mini 10v for me and passing my Mini 9 down to my 11 year old who is entering middle school (6th grade) this fall.

I would trust it for his needs and I am not just an uber Mac geek, but I am also a computer and network technician who is well-versed in operating, setting up and maintaining just about every OS currently in use. Having tried a Mini 9 with Linux and Windows XP, I can tell you that not only does OS X on my Mini provide the best possible overall user experience, it runs considerable faster as a Mac than another platform PC.

Check out eBay and the clearance section at the Dell website. The Mini 9 has just been discontinued and the 10v has the same chipset so not only will Dell become highly motivated to clear out its refurb Mini 9s, but many OS X users may be wanting to upgrade to the 10v, especially considering that it comes with HD video support.
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mintyfresh mintyfresh is offline
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Default 06-07-2009, 08:23 PM

Buy a used Mac for her. Clean it well and polish it. It will save you money and she will have a real Apple product.
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JCM JCM is offline
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Default 06-07-2009, 11:25 PM

Originally Posted by mintyfresh View Post
Buy a used Mac for her. Clean it well and polish it. It will save you money and she will have a real Apple product.
I have to agree. I love my mini 9 hackintosh and while I am looking to mod a 10v, I would not give one to someone else in case a reinstall was necessary. A refurb or used macbook would be fine.
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Enigmafan420 Enigmafan420 is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 12:00 AM

I agree with several comments here. First is I have a mini 9 running OS-X but it is NOT my only computer and never would be.

You also have to be comfortable hacking the machine to run OS-X. It is not difficult, but it is not like a MacBook where she could just rely on software updates for the patches she needs. You will likely have to reinstall the OS each time an upgrade comes out. That being said, many people think that 10.5.7 is the last leopard update. I'm not so sure, the put 10.4.14 (I think) out after leopard shipped, but still, either way, getting major software fixes won't be easy.

Finally, the keyboard STILL drives me nuts. If I had no other computer I think I would kill myself. Not seriously, but it does make me crazy to type a lot on it.
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mario65 mario65 is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 12:03 AM

I have set up about 4 mini 9's for friends and outside of 10.5.7 they have not called me with one problem. Frankly I was surprised. I do work with them so asking me a Q is easy for them. 2 never had a mac before. They are happy. I have 3 in the house right now also. I am an old mac user. I think its a matter of cost if you set the mini up correctly.
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MacG MacG is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 06:22 AM

As long as she doesn't try any automatic updates, you should be fine. You will encounter issues with applications that need full screen real estate, but an external monitor can fix that.

Dell Mini 10v, 2GB, 120GB, 6-Cell, BT, 802.11n | Mac OS X 10.6.1 - 10v Hackintosh Guide - Get Dropbox for Mac OS X 2GB Free
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ian ian is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 09:44 AM

Originally Posted by fatmac View Post
I'd go with the Mini 9. I have an iBook that I had to replace the motherboard in (out of warranty) and I have a brand new MacBook that I have to send back to get the optical drive replaced in. I don't think you'll see any better reliability with an Apple product, all computers are built somewhere in China or Mexico.
Agreed! The reliability of an old Mac laptop may not be as good as a new Dell Mini. I am still using my old iBook for websurfing at home, but it is on its fifth motherboard and third airport card. I'm not optimistic about it surviving much longer, now that the AppleCare has finally run out (I was going to stick it on eBay, but my girlfriend pursuaded me to keep it as a spare web surfing machine).

However, as antar05 said, this has to be balanced against not being able to walk into your local Genius Bar with your Dell Mini if there's a minor problem. I could easily see a situation similar to the 10.5.7 update screwing up the Mini. You could fix it but you're a long way away and she can't take it to the local Genius Bar to sort out.

I guess overall, if I was in your situation I'd go with a genuine Apple product. If it goes wrong, then there's a way to fix it locally - and my experiences with Apple Support have always been good (even when the product itself was iffy).
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lugesm lugesm is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 12:59 PM

Unless your daughter is a computer nerd like those of us on this forum who like to hack and mess around with the computer, get her one of the small Mac portables. They cost more, but they are hassle free and make good tools.

Just my two cents. Good luck.

Dell Mini10v, 64GB RunCore Pro IV SATA SSD, 2GB Memory, A06 BIOS, 10.6.7, NBI 20100616212351, Bluetooth enabled (external dongle), USB Legacy disabled.
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alauser alauser is offline
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Default 06-08-2009, 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by nick47 View Post
Can I rely on one or should I invest in a MacBook and have peace of mind?
I'm going to go against the general flow on this one and suggest that, given the situation you've described, it's a bad idea. Folks seem to have very quickly forgotten the 10.5.7 update of a few weeks ago that required some interesting efforts to make our minis usable again. All it takes is someone "helpful" at your daughter's end to run an ill-advised update and you end up looking like a chump for providing a shoddy system that can't even survive an update.

If you were physically handy, I'd say go for it, but, given that you're a long way away, I'd play it safe and choose a configuration that can be supported by someone local.
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