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$399 headless mac tower! (Page 3)
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lpkmckenna
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:22 PM
 
Here's the "real" solution to the xMac issue: two versions of the Mac mini. A cheaper version with integrated graphics, and a more expensive version with nVidia graphics for gamers.
     
CharlesS
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Mostly for cost reasons, though, not because people actually need the upgradeability (many of them *think* they do, but AFAIK, the vast majority never actually DO upgrade beyond RAM).
If many of them think they do, then they're going to want a certain class of machine regardless. You want to sell to them, you'll have to give them what they want.

Plus, I thought the market for those desktops was actually shrinking due to increased laptop sales to all those folks who realize that they could care less about hardware upgrades? Why should Apple invest in a shrinking market that they already encroach upon with the mini at one and the iMac at the other end?
My take on it is that the folks who want a "plain and simple" machine are starting to realize that a laptop is about as plain and simple as you can get, and that it's the iMac crowd who are switching over (and I'll happily admit to being one of those). The iMac is, in my mind, an outdated idea - remember those ads when it first came out, like the "Traffic" ad that compared the tangle of cords behind a desktop PC to a crowded city street? That was really effective back then, but nowadays the target audience would just go "whatever, my Dell laptop has no cords behind it at all." If you want plain and simple, you can't beat a laptop, which can run without even a power cord as long as the battery's charged, and you don't really get that much from a non-expandable desktop over what the laptop offers.

With that said, there are people who want or need desktop features, and Apple's not catering to those users adequately. You can see by comparing the percentage of Apple sales that are desktops to the overall percentage of PC sales that are desktops. Sure, laptop sales are growing compared to desktop sales due to the "plain and simple" crowd switching over, but desktops still made up 55% of computer sales in 2007. I doubt it's anything close to that on the Mac platform.

Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Here's the "real" solution to the xMac issue: two versions of the Mac mini. A cheaper version with integrated graphics, and a more expensive version with nVidia graphics for gamers.
Argh, not nVidia. Even the Intel X3100 is better than nVidia. Why is this, you ask? Because: when you make an X3100 work hard, you get low frame rates. When you make an nVidia card work hard, you get frame rates of zero, because the entire OS X UI locks up and although the computer underneath is still working, and you can SSH in and whatnot, you won't be able to actually use your computer again until you hard-reboot the machine. Zero FPS.

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analogika
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Here's the "real" solution to the xMac issue: two versions of the Mac mini. A cheaper version with integrated graphics, and a more expensive version that comes with a PS3.
Fixed for real-world applicability.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Mostly for cost reasons, though, not because people actually need the upgradeability (many of them *think* they do, but AFAIK, the vast majority never actually DO upgrade beyond RAM).

Plus, I thought the market for those desktops was actually shrinking due to increased laptop sales to all those folks who realize that they could care less about hardware upgrades? Why should Apple invest in a shrinking market that they already encroach upon with the mini at one and the iMac at the other end?
By that token, I could also argue that most laptop owners never unplug their laptops and carry them along with them. A lot of them don't even buy a keyboard and mouse, they just use the built in ones. That's definitely a recipe for a worse user experience. For a lot of people, the only advantage to a laptop is that it basically has a built-in UPS and the ports are easier to reach.

The other thing is that, with the exception of Apple and a few other scattered models here and there, "desktop" is synonymous with "upgradable." I don't think you can buy a desktop that can't have its hard drive and RAM upgraded now, unless you're looking at an Apple or an all-in-one. It doesn't cost anything to make a computer upgradable. If anything, it costs extra to prevent upgrades, because that's out of the ordinary.

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analogue SPRINKLES
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Here's the "real" solution to the xMac issue: two versions of the Mac mini. A cheaper version with integrated graphics, and a more expensive version with nVidia graphics for gamers.
Right cuz gamers love Mac's to begin with and they are also known for buying low end systems with no-upgrading abilities but they will be cool with that as long as it has a "Real" video card. Ya Apple will make a killing from that huge market.
     
analogika
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
If many of them think they do, then they're going to want a certain class of machine regardless. You want to sell to them, you'll have to give them what they want.
Many people are smarter than you give them credit for. I note that the customers smart enough to snap out of the Windows grapple (even if pushed less than gently by Vista) will usually take the chance to re-assess their needs and find that for years, they've been sold ugly, clunky **** that they just don't need.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
My take on it is that the folks who want a "plain and simple" machine are starting to realize that a laptop is about as plain and simple as you can get, and that it's the iMac crowd who are switching over (and I'll happily admit to being one of those). The iMac is, in my mind, an outdated idea - remember those ads when it first came out, like the "Traffic" ad that compared the tangle of cords behind a desktop PC to a crowded city street? That was really effective back then, but nowadays the target audience would just go "whatever, my Dell laptop has no cords behind it at all." If you want plain and simple, you can't beat a laptop, which can run without even a power cord as long as the battery's charged, and you don't really get that much from a non-expandable desktop over what the laptop offers
Many, many customers do not want a laptop as their primary machine.

There certainly are many customers that think the way you do - and they buy MacBooks, sure - but around the holidays, 24-inch iMacs were selling LIKE CRAZY as living-room machines - many of them with eyeTV USB sticks.

A laptop is pretty useless as a "media center" computer, and that's actually a pretty big deal these days.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
With that said, there are people who want or need desktop features, and Apple's not catering to those users adequately.
The iMac 24" is PERFECT for the market it's aimed at.

For the past ten years, Apple has been all about selecting its markets *very carefully*, and about filling market needs in a way that doesn't really directly compete, but actually SETS THEM APART from competitors. It helps that their benchmarks and features compare favorably against the competition these days, but that's not what actually makes the sale (Mac Pro excluded).

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
You can see by comparing the percentage of Apple sales that are desktops to the overall percentage of PC sales that are desktops. Sure, laptop sales are growing compared to desktop sales due to the "plain and simple" crowd switching over, but desktops still made up 55% of computer sales in 2007. I doubt it's anything close to that on the Mac platform.
True.

Apple laptops made up 57% of unit sales in Q1 2008, 62% in Q4 2007, and 60% in Q1 2007.

The release of the aluminum iMacs actually increased the percentage of desktop CPU sales from 38% to 43% within a single quarter.

Now, FTFA:
The laptop share of client PCs nearly hit 45% in the third quarter and is expected to reach 50% by the end of 2008, IDC added.
So you want Apple to build an entirely new line to compete in a dying shrinking market while they're actually managing to BUCK AN INDUSTRY-WIDE TREND WITH THEIR EXISTING LINE?

"The desktop market will aim to maintain share by emphasizing improvements in energy efficiency, shrinking case designs and emerging mainstream opportunities, such as gaming and all-in-one systems."
So the analyst in the article you quote is saying that desktop makers will attempt to maintain appeal by doing *exactly* what Apple is doing (except the gaming systems)?

Please, take no offense at my post (or at the shouting - it's just for emphasis).

I just think that Apple know EXACTLY what they're doing.
     
analogika
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
By that token, I could also argue that most laptop owners never unplug their laptops and carry them along with them. A lot of them don't even buy a keyboard and mouse, they just use the built in ones. That's definitely a recipe for a worse user experience. For a lot of people, the only advantage to a laptop is that it basically has a built-in UPS and the ports are easier to reach.
Actually, the main reason people who never move their machines buy laptops is because they disappear into a desk drawer when not in use. Seriously.

Cosmetics really are the #2 sales reason after portability IME.

Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
The other thing is that, with the exception of Apple and a few other scattered models here and there, "desktop" is synonymous with "upgradable." I don't think you can buy a desktop that can't have its hard drive and RAM upgraded now, unless you're looking at an Apple or an all-in-one. It doesn't cost anything to make a computer upgradable. If anything, it costs extra to prevent upgrades, because that's out of the ordinary.
Actually, it *does* cost a LOT to make them easily upgradeable - just not money. Look at Dell's and Sony's all-in-ones, and there's exactly one reason why most of them look like complete shit: they've gotta be upgradeable.

The original G5 iMac was marvellously upgradeable and serviceable. The iSight models are horrible in that regard, but they're *much* prettier, slimmer, quieter. That's the trade-off.
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Apr 16, 2008, 04:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Right cuz gamers love Mac's to begin with and they are also known for buying low end systems with no-upgrading abilities but they will be cool with that as long as it has a "Real" video card. Ya Apple will make a killing from that huge market.
Exactly.

Gamers want features like SLI, and no one is getting that in a Mini or cube form factor.

People are arguing for Apple to cater to markets its simply not interested in catering to, and doesn't see good long-term reasons to even attempt.

I also believe they know exactly what they are doing. It's why their critics turn out so often to be wrong, Apple still remains profitable, and others who've tried to emulate Apple (aping everything from the iMac to iPods) without having anywhere near as solid a business plan, have gone down in flames.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Apr 16, 2008, 04:50 PM
 
Actually, I don't know many people who are interested in SLI. There is no graphics card available that provides better performance in SLI than a more powerful card that costs twice as much (or, in most cases, far less than twice as much).

It would need to be in a slot, though. If you can't upgrade the graphics card, there's no reason to buy a computer for gaming.

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CharlesS
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Apr 16, 2008, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Many people are smarter than you give them credit for. I note that the customers smart enough to snap out of the Windows grapple (even if pushed less than gently by Vista) will usually take the chance to re-assess their needs and find that for years, they've been sold ugly, clunky **** that they just don't need.
Other people just look at the Mac that does what they want, find out that it costs $2700, and then you have people going around saying "Macs are 3-4 times more expensive."

There certainly are many customers that think the way you do - and they buy MacBooks, sure - but around the holidays, 24-inch iMacs were selling LIKE CRAZY as living-room machines - many of them with eyeTV USB sticks.

A laptop is pretty useless as a "media center" computer, and that's actually a pretty big deal these days.
Okay, granted, media centers are one niche that Apple's desktops are well-suited for. However, there are a lot of other uses for desktops where Apple's machines don't work too well.

Now, FTFA:

So you want Apple to build an entirely new line to compete in a dying shrinking market while they're actually managing to BUCK AN INDUSTRY-WIDE TREND WITH THEIR EXISTING LINE?
Buck a trend? Wouldn't that be going the opposite direction - wouldn't they have to be moving toward desktops to be bucking a trend?

Anyway, I don't think desktops are dying anytime soon. They're still the majority, for crying out loud! Laptops are gaining traction, because they're actually usable as desktop machines - the performance gap between laptops and desktops is the lowest it's ever been. It hasn't always been that way. Anyway, assuming that desktops are going away would be unwarranted - it's more likely to me that laptops and desktops will meet an equilibrium at some point. This article estimates that even by 2011, desktops will still make up almost 30% of the market. That's not chump change.

I just think that Apple know EXACTLY what they're doing.
I doubt it. The trend in Apple's desktop line started in 1997 with the iMac, which was well before notebooks started taking off.

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olePigeon
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Right cuz gamers love Mac's to begin with...
A Mac's what?
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analogue SPRINKLES
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
A Mac's what?
Funny, that one never gets old.
     
NateEssex
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:42 PM
 
So, has anyone or do you know anyone that has purchased a Psystar computer? I'm very curious.
MBP 15" 2.33 ghz 256Video Card
40 Gig iPod, Airport Extreme
     
finboy
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Way too large a gap between the mini and the pro. I don't want an integrated monitor. I just don't. Anything which pressures Apple to produce an affordable expandable tower is good.
I agree, and I remember the Performa debacle. I'm all about a skinny matrix, but the difference b/w the Mini and the Pro is too much.
     
olePigeon
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Funny, that one never gets old.
Be nice if your misuses of apostrophes did, though. Heil grammar!
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Apr 16, 2008, 07:16 PM
 
Anyone else get the feeling that Woz is turning more and more from a loveable dork into just a dork these days?

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OldManMac
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Apr 16, 2008, 07:44 PM
 
I doubt that anyone knows someone who has purchased one, or will. It appears that this was all a huge hoax!

Psystar Exposed: Looks Like a Hoax
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CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Apr 16, 2008, 08:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
Actually, I don't know many people who are interested in SLI. There is no graphics card available that provides better performance in SLI than a more powerful card that costs twice as much (or, in most cases, far less than twice as much).
The point was, there's no major segment of the gaming market clamoring for a Mac Mini-sized gaming machine. Gamers want hardware that wouldn't even fit in a modified mini- even a single, serious graphic card with proper cooling, (let alone SLI), full sized hard/optical drives, the PSU to power it all, etc.
     
analogika
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Apr 17, 2008, 03:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Other people just look at the Mac that does what they want, find out that it costs $2700, and then you have people going around saying "Macs are 3-4 times more expensive."
Again: Almost nobody in the home market needs an expandable machine.

And my experience is the COMPLETE opposite: people walk into the store, take a closer look at the iMacs, and are FLOORED at how much cheaper they are than they'd expected.

And you wouldn't believe how many people are still amazed at the "but where's the computer?" factor.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Buck a trend? Wouldn't that be going the opposite direction - wouldn't they have to be moving toward desktops to be bucking a trend?
Did you misread my post?

The alu iMac alone INCREASED the percentage of Apple desktops sold by 5%, from 38% to 43%.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Anyway, I don't think desktops are dying anytime soon. They're still the majority, for crying out loud!
Barely. Projections for this year (as per the article you posted) estimate 50/50 for 2008. Down from 55/45 for last year.

And again, Apple is the ONLY manufacturer whose desktops have been *increasing* that share, despite your claim that they need to be following the rest of the industry by catering to a declining market of minitowers.

Why should they? They're apparently catering to the desktop market BETTER than the rest of the industry!

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Laptops are gaining traction, because they're actually usable as desktop machines - the performance gap between laptops and desktops is the lowest it's ever been. It hasn't always been that way. Anyway, assuming that desktops are going away would be unwarranted - it's more likely to me that laptops and desktops will meet an equilibrium at some point. This article estimates that even by 2011, desktops will still make up almost 30% of the market. That's not chump change.
Absolutely not. The question is: What kind of machines will that 30% be?

Apple's recent numbers, and the analyst from the other article you quoted above, seem to indicate that they *won't* be "minitowers", but rather exactly the kind of lifestyle/appliance/commodity machines that Apple is building.


Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
I doubt it. The trend in Apple's desktop line started in 1997 with the iMac, which was well before notebooks started taking off.
Sorry, I don't think I understand what you're saying here.
     
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Apr 17, 2008, 07:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
I doubt it. The trend in Apple's desktop line started in 1997 with the iMac, which was well before notebooks started taking off.
Close, Charles. The iMac was announced in May 1998 and went on sale in August 1998. 1997 was still the era of beige!

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Apr 17, 2008, 10:54 AM
 
I for one think that what they're doing is a good thing and a healthy thing for Apple and the Mactel market. Really, Apple was begging for this when it became just another PC box stuffer, so now it's time for Apple to accept the consequences of its new think same attitude. Long live the "OpenComputer."

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Apr 17, 2008, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
A Mac's what?
Headroom ?

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Apr 17, 2008, 11:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I for one think that what they're doing is a good thing and a healthy thing for Apple and the Mactel market. Really, Apple was begging for this when it became just another PC box stuffer, so now it's time for Apple to accept the consequences of its new think same attitude. Long live the "OpenComputer."
It's a hoax.
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Big Mac
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Apr 17, 2008, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by OldManMac View Post
It's a hoax.
I don't know, it looks like they're taking orders again.

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Apr 17, 2008, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Again: Almost nobody in the home market needs an expandable machine.
Unless they have kids who want to play games.

Did you misread my post?

The alu iMac alone INCREASED the percentage of Apple desktops sold by 5%, from 38% to 43%.

Barely. Projections for this year (as per the article you posted) estimate 50/50 for 2008. Down from 55/45 for last year.

And again, Apple is the ONLY manufacturer whose desktops have been *increasing* that share, despite your claim that they need to be following the rest of the industry by catering to a declining market of minitowers.

Why should they? They're apparently catering to the desktop market BETTER than the rest of the industry!
That's faulty logic. Apple's percentage of desktops is still quite a bit lower than that of the industry as a whole, so if they managed to increase their percentage a bit, that just means they're catering to the desktop market slightly less badly than they were before, not that they're suddenly better than the rest of the industry.

And that's just one quarter - for the previous quarter you mentioned, the desktop portion went down, so you certainly don't have a trend there yet. You also don't know that the aluminum iMac was the sole reason for that, either - people could have been holding off on notebook sales (particularly the MBP, which was getting long in the tooth) and waited until February because of the rumors of an impending notebook refresh. That's what I did anyway, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I wonder what the numbers for Q2 2008 were, with the release of the MacBook Air, the multitouch-enabled MBP, and the new MacBook with twice the RAM. I bet they're quite a bit higher than Q1's numbers...

Absolutely not. The question is: What kind of machines will that 30% be?

Apple's recent numbers, and the analyst from the other article you quoted above, seem to indicate that they *won't* be "minitowers", but rather exactly the kind of lifestyle/appliance/commodity machines that Apple is building.
I dunno, it seems to me that those customers would be part of the laptop trend. I mean, if you want plain and simple, there really is nothing simpler than a laptop. And, as someone mentioned, you can take it off your desk when you're not using it, and have extra space for writing. Meanwhile, the people that actually use the expansion aren't going to suddenly want a boutique computer even though they can't do what they want/need to do on them. And a good number of people who think they use the expansion will still want to have that option open.

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Apr 17, 2008, 01:26 PM
 
I have owned a couple of towers.

On my G5 Tower I didn't use a single PCI slot in 4 years for anything and only added more RAM but still not maxing it out. I also added an internal drive but I could have easily just used an external.

On my g3 "mini Tower" the only think I ever used the PCI slots for was to add a USB and firewire card as it didn't come with either.

The reason I had to get a tower was because of the CPU power but didn't need all the other stuff that comes with it that I had to unfortunately pay for.
     
analogika
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Apr 17, 2008, 02:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Unless they have kids who want to play games.
Gaming is generally not a priority for the *parents*, as long as the machine is capable of handling basic stuff to keep the kids happy. The iMac is more than able to do so, especially in Boot Camp.

I doubt that the hardcore gaming PC market is relevant to Apple, because being able to switch graphics cards every few months is just ONE of the needs of that market, and Apple will NEVER make their MLBs and CPUs officially replaceable. So there's no point.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
That's faulty logic. Apple's percentage of desktops is still quite a bit lower than that of the industry as a whole, so if they managed to increase their percentage a bit, that just means they're catering to the desktop market slightly less badly than they were before, not that they're suddenly better than the rest of the industry.
Equally faulty logic, since you can't rule out that they're actually doing laptops way better than the competition, as well - in the markets they're actually competing in:
MacDailyNews - Report: Apple holds 29% share of premium notebook market; 46% when excluding business computers
NB: That's a SINGLE manufacturer, running a proprietary operating system.

And that's just one quarter - for the previous quarter you mentioned, the desktop portion went down, so you certainly don't have a trend there yet. You also don't know that the aluminum iMac was the sole reason for that, either - people could have been holding off on notebook sales (particularly the MBP, which was getting long in the tooth) and waited until February because of the rumors of an impending notebook refresh.
The MacBook was refreshed in November, and it sells WAY more units than the MacBook Pro.

And yes, I *do* know that the aluminum iMac was responsible for the desktop sales push. They were selling like no other model before.

I dunno, it seems to me that those customers would be part of the laptop trend. I mean, if you want plain and simple, there really is nothing simpler than a laptop. And, as someone mentioned, you can take it off your desk when you're not using it, and have extra space for writing.
Actually, that was me who mentioned it.

Feel free to claim the analyst quoted in the article you linked to in support of your point ( )is wrong, but he's stating what I see actually happening every day.

Lots of people DO NOT WANT a laptop as a primary machine. They want a big screen and/or media center capabilities. They want better ergonomics than a laptop can give them. And not too few of them already HAVE a laptop - or intend to buy one IN ADDITION to their main machine at some point down the line.

Meanwhile, the people that actually use the expansion aren't going to suddenly want a boutique computer even though they can't do what they want/need to do on them. And a good number of people who think they use the expansion will still want to have that option open.
They're not that many, and they're getting fewer every year.

In fact, the only people I know who ever use their expansion slots (other than for a single graphics card that's never upgraded) are professionals - audio cards, extra video cards, external expansion chassis for SCSI raid and obsolete card formats, etc. And many of the audio guys are moving to Firewire-based solutions, due to better modularity (and laptop compatibility). Firewire has already survived three expansion card slot standards.
     
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Apr 17, 2008, 02:19 PM
 
I think eSATA is a good example of why expansion slots are still important. It's not currently included in the Mac Pro, but it's a really nice thing to have. Either that or a firewire card so that one can capture video with on board firewire while writing to a drive with either a separate eSATA or firewire bus. I just bought an eSATA card for my G5.

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Apr 17, 2008, 02:28 PM
 
Yes, but who actually *needs* eSATA who isn't in a position where a new machine is a great tax-writeoff?

The target market of people who deal with so much time-critical streaming data at a time that they actually need to add a second bus (as opposed to merely opting for a faster and larger internal drive is pretty much exclusively audio and video pros with pretty intense needs even for their respective markets.

By the time Average Joe at home will actually need to use eSATA for (if ever), it'll probably have been standard on the machines for a couple of years already.
     
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Apr 17, 2008, 03:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I for one think that what they're doing is a good thing and a healthy thing for Apple and the Mactel market. Really, Apple was begging for this when it became just another PC box stuffer, so now it's time for Apple to accept the consequences of its new think same attitude. Long live the "OpenComputer."
That's all Apple has been since PCs took off. Now they just have a different supplier for some of the components. Clones before, clones now.
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Apr 17, 2008, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Lots of people DO NOT WANT a laptop as a primary machine. They want a big screen and/or media center capabilities. They want better ergonomics than a laptop can give them. And not too few of them already HAVE a laptop - or intend to buy one IN ADDITION to their main machine at some point down the line.
Doesn't that conflict with your earlier quote about desktops being a dying market that Apple shouldn't waste time pursuing?

Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Yes, but who actually *needs* eSATA who isn't in a position where a new machine is a great tax-writeoff?

The target market of people who deal with so much time-critical streaming data at a time that they actually need to add a second bus (as opposed to merely opting for a faster and larger internal drive is pretty much exclusively audio and video pros with pretty intense needs even for their respective markets.

By the time Average Joe at home will actually need to use eSATA for (if ever), it'll probably have been standard on the machines for a couple of years already.
The Average Joe could use eSATA right now, because Leopard includes a new feature called Time Machine. You may have heard of it. This feature requires this thing called an external hard drive. As it turns out, eSATA is not only the fastest type of external hard drive enclosure, but it's also the cheapest, making it desirable to the video professional and Average Joe alike. There's no downside to it at all except for the fact that you CAN'T USE IT on most of Apple's lineup because they won't give you a simple expansion slot (even just an ExpressCard or something).

Oh yeah, there's also Time Capsule, but I hope you have a really recent machine for that, because otherwise you won't have 802.11n... and chances are you won't be able to add that, either.

Of course, the classic example was when Apple took FireWire off of the iPods and made USB 2.0 the only way to hook them up to a Mac... when there were Macs without USB 2.0 support that were less than two years old. Any solution? Nope. Screwed. There were some Average Joes who probably would have used the expansion slots... if they'd had the opportunity.

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Apr 17, 2008, 04:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Doesn't that conflict with your earlier quote about desktops being a dying market that Apple shouldn't waste time pursuing?
Not at all.

If you read carefully the link you yourself posted and that I quoted twice, as well as what I've written, you'll find that I believe that the market YOU want Apple to pursue - the minitower market - is drying up, and that what will remain of the desktop market - apart from workstations - is precisely the types of machines that Apple is really, really good at making (and selling), already.


Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
The Average Joe could use eSATA right now, because Leopard includes a new feature called Time Machine. You may have heard of it. This feature requires this thing called an external hard drive. As it turns out, eSATA is not only the fastest type of external hard drive enclosure, but it's also the cheapest, making it desirable to the video professional and Average Joe alike. There's no downside to it at all except for the fact that you CAN'T USE IT on most of Apple's lineup because they won't give you a simple expansion slot (even just an ExpressCard or something).
No downside? You mean other than that the current eSATA connector is going to be rendered obsolete by next year, when a replacement connector is standardized that makes eSATA actually USEFUL by incorporating BUS POWER, which it currently lacks?

Knock off the condescending bullshit. I sell and support these machines for a living.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Oh yeah, there's also Time Capsule, but I hope you have a really recent machine for that, because otherwise you won't have 802.11n... and chances are you won't be able to add that, either.
USB?

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Of course, the classic example was when Apple took FireWire off of the iPods and made USB 2.0 the only way to hook them up to a Mac... when there were Macs without USB 2.0 support that were less than two years old. Any solution? Nope. Screwed. There were some Average Joes who probably would have used the expansion slots... if they'd had the opportunity.
A little misinformation goes a long way towards making a "classic", I see.

ALL iPods up to and including the 2G nano and 5.5G iPod worked fine - albeit slowly - with USB 1.1. Not pretty, but definitely not "screwed". The first iPods that *required* USB 2.0 didn't show up until September of last year - a full FOUR YEARS after all Macs started shipping with USB 2.0.

(Okay, if you include the iPhone, it's only like three years and eight months or something.)

Note that I despise the fact that iPods are USB-only these days (Firewire was *much* less of a hassle, and to this day, many a dead iPod can be jump-started back to life by hooking it up to a Firewire power source); I'm just saying that Apple is MUCH better and smarter at what they do than you give them credit for.
     
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Apr 17, 2008, 04:16 PM
 
Sorry about the on-topic post, but:
MacNN | Psystar tries to explain Mac clone fiasco
     
CharlesS
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Apr 17, 2008, 05:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Not at all.

If you read carefully the link you yourself posted and that I quoted twice, as well as what I've written, you'll find that I believe that the market YOU want Apple to pursue - the minitower market - is drying up, and that what will remain of the desktop market - apart from workstations - is precisely the types of machines that Apple is really, really good at making (and selling), already.
Hardly - in that very sentence you're referencing, the article mentions gaming as one of the markets that desktops as one of the "mainstream opportunities" that desktops will need to focus on. How that would be possible when selling only the types of machines that Apple makes is a mystery to me.

No downside? You mean other than that the current eSATA connector is going to be rendered obsolete by next year, when a replacement connector is standardized that makes eSATA actually USEFUL by incorporating BUS POWER, which it currently lacks?
Virtually no external HD enclosures support bus power at all, whether over FireWire, USB 2.0, or anything else, unless they're 2.5" enclosures. I really doubt a 2.5" is what you want for your backup drive. Also, for a backup drive, you are almost never going to be relying on bus power - you want the thing to be reliable, and relying on bus power has got to be less reliable than powering the drive separately. The notion that eSATA isn't useful without bus power is completely ridiculous.

The only bus-powered storage devices I have are an iPod and an ancient USB floppy drive that I haven't used for probably at least five years.
Knock off the condescending bullshit. I sell and support these machines for a living.
...

USB?
Not a favorable solution. USB likes to bog down if too many devices are using the bus at once, and Apple never provides enough USB ports as it is without having to use another one up for a network card. Plus you have this really long thing sticking out that's easy to dislodge.

A little misinformation goes a long way towards making a "classic", I see.

ALL iPods up to and including the 2G nano and 5.5G iPod worked fine - albeit slowly - with USB 1.1. Not pretty, but definitely not "screwed". The first iPods that *required* USB 2.0 didn't show up until September of last year - a full FOUR YEARS after all Macs started shipping with USB 2.0.
If you'd ever tried to use an iPod with USB 1.1, you wouldn't have this opinion. I've tried this before, and the iPod literally took about 6 hours just to sync. Not exactly realistic.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Apr 17, 2008 at 05:36 PM. )

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analogika
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Apr 18, 2008, 01:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Hardly - in that very sentence you're referencing, the article mentions gaming as one of the markets that desktops as one of the "mainstream opportunities" that desktops will need to focus on. How that would be possible when selling only the types of machines that Apple makes is a mystery to me.
I already addressed gaming in my previous post.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Virtually no external HD enclosures support bus power at all, whether over FireWire, USB 2.0, or anything else, unless they're 2.5" enclosures. I really doubt a 2.5" is what you want for your backup drive. Also, for a backup drive, you are almost never going to be relying on bus power - you want the thing to be reliable, and relying on bus power has got to be less reliable than powering the drive separately. The notion that eSATA isn't useful without bus power is completely ridiculous.
Actually, the bigger issue is that the connector is going to be obsoleted starting in the second half of this year.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
The only bus-powered storage devices I have are an iPod and an ancient USB floppy drive that I haven't used for probably at least five years.
Good for you. You must be the guy in the minitower target market.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Not a favorable solution. USB likes to bog down if too many devices are using the bus at once, and Apple never provides enough USB ports as it is without having to use another one up for a network card. Plus you have this really long thing sticking out that's easy to dislodge.
Are you now talking about "favorable" solutions or about stuff people NEED?

A theoretical problem that crops up years from now and can probably be addressed via USB is not going to convince anyone to forgo the iMac for a mini-tower. Especially since the average non-business machine is going to be passed on three or four years down the line, anyway.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
If you'd ever tried to use an iPod with USB 1.1, you wouldn't have this opinion. I've tried this before, and the iPod literally took about 6 hours just to sync. Not exactly realistic.
And yet, plenty of customers do just that, and it WORKS.

BTW: For most people, it's only such a pain the first time. After that, it's considerably quicker. (That's what *she* said.)
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 02:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Actually, the bigger issue is that the connector is going to be obsoleted starting in the second half of this year.
I doubt it - the advent of the 6-pin FireWire port with bus power certainly hasn't stopped (or made useless) the usage of the 4-pin FireWire port that doesn't.

Good for you. You must be the guy in the minitower target market.
Oh, you're not condescending at all.

Are you now talking about "favorable" solutions or about stuff people NEED?
A solution that sucks isn't a very good solution, by definition.

And yet, plenty of customers do just that, and it WORKS.
And they complain up a storm while doing it, too.

I'm getting sick of this. Here's a question for you. If a Mac minitower is such a horrible flop idea that no one wants, then why do you suppose it's easily the single most frequently seen hardware wishlist item for Apple on the Internet right now? Why do you suppose stories like the one that began this thread spread all over the Internet within seconds of their occurrence? Why all the buzz if it's something no one wants? Why do minitowers sell like crazy in the other 95% of the market, and why do AIOs sit on the shelf and collect dust when consumers have a choice between the two?
( Last edited by CharlesS; Apr 18, 2008 at 02:50 AM. )

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Simon
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Apr 18, 2008, 03:29 AM
 
Have the two of you noticed that this discussion is going nowhere at all?

analogika thinks Apple's lineup is perfect the way it is. He can't imagine anybody would want an inexpensive HEM.
CharlesS think Apple's lineup is all wrong. He can't imagine how Apple couldn't cater to the inexpensive HEM market.

Fact is you're both off. Of course Apple's lineup isn't perfect. There are people who can't find a suitable Mac today. And of course many people would love to buy a sub-$1k HEM. OTOH just because there's a hole in Apple's lineup does not mean it would be economical for them to fill it. For all we know Apple has made the conscious decision not to offer such a Mac and most likely that is for good business reasons.

As so often in discussions like these what it boils down to is that Apple's business decisions and what geeks like us want are two distinctly different things. Apple certainly isn't perfect, but they are a smart company that is currently very successful. Many geeks on the other hand have very specific hardware needs that are often not shared by a broader market. Bottom line is Apple has many great products. But if you come to the conclusion that you simply need hardware Apple is not willing to make, you need to look elsewhere.
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 03:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
I'm getting sick of this. Here's a question for you. If a Mac minitower is such a horrible flop idea that no one wants, then why do you suppose it's easily the single most frequently seen hardware wishlist item for Apple on the Internet right now? Why do you suppose stories like the one that began this thread spread all over the Internet within seconds of their occurrence? Why all the buzz if it's something no one wants?
Those are all good questions, although I'm sure some would argue with many of the underlying assertions you've made.

Why do minitowers sell like crazy in the other 95% of the market, and why do AIOs sit on the shelf and collect dust when consumers have a choice between the two?
Perhaps you've hit on a substantial factor that explains why Apple doesn't go after the midrange tower market anymore. Apple may have a corporate bias toward protecting the iMac.

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Apr 18, 2008, 03:40 AM
 
Yeah, that's what I always love about these arguments.

Anti-Minitower Guy #1 is always saying an Apple minitower is a bad idea because no one wants them and they wouldn't sell.

Anti-Minitower Guy #2 is always saying an Apple minitower is a bad idea because everyone wants them and they would sell so well that no would buy the iMac anymore.

My opinion on #2 is that if the iMac can't compete against a minitower, then maybe it deserves to die. If it's not what your customers want...

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Apr 18, 2008, 03:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Perhaps you've hit on a substantial factor that explains why Apple doesn't go after the midrange tower market anymore. Apple may have a corporate bias toward protecting the iMac.
Very doubtful.

It's more that the iMac lifestyle/appliance/design concept will continue to be successful long-term, while the mid-range tower market is a cut-throat business driven by price, and in slow but steady decline.
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 03:52 AM
 
My opinion on #2 is that if the iMac can't compete against a minitower, then maybe it deserves to die. If it's not what your customers want...
I agree with you Charles, but I think it's quite probable that #2 reflects reality, given all the evidence that we have. The PM G4 got to be really cheap at the low end in its last incarnations, but with the G5 Apple started to move the midrange tower market, and the MP's pricing abandons it all together. The iMac fills the price gap but not the feature/design gap, yet this is clearly a deliberate choice on Apple's part. I'm now pretty satisfied with my understanding of this peculiar dynamic. And I truly think the Pystar people (if they are for real) offer the best chance to get Apple to possibly change its hardline stance.

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Apr 18, 2008, 03:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
My opinion on #2 is that if the iMac can't compete against a minitower, then maybe it deserves to die. If it's not what your customers want...
You make no sense.

The iMac IS competing with minitowers, and on a completely proprietary platform, to boot.

And not only is it selling like crazy, it's ALSO competitive enough to pull a bunch of people over onto a completely different *platform*.

I really, really don't get what you are trying to argue here - that going after the minitower business would be a good idea for Apple, or that the iMac and Mac mini suck as options?

The former, I completely disagree with for a number of reasons I've already expunged upon.
The latter flies completely in the face of skyrocketing iMac sales with the introduction of the aluminium models.
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 03:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
And I truly think the Pystar people (if they are for real) offer the best chance to get Apple to possibly change its hardline stance.
Considering that what they're doing is illegal, I doubt they'll get the chance to do so.
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 04:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Have the two of you noticed that this discussion is going nowhere at all?

analogika thinks Apple's lineup is perfect the way it is. He can't imagine anybody would want an inexpensive HEM.
Actually, that's not at all what I said.

I just think that Apple has EXCELLENT reasons for not offering one, and that it's completely unreasonable to expect them to do so. They know exactly what they're doing - and most importantly (the actual "secret" of their success), what they're NOT doing.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
There are people who can't find a suitable Mac today. And of course many people would love to buy a sub-$1k HEM. OTOH just because there's a hole in Apple's lineup does not mean it would be economical for them to fill it. For all we know Apple has made the conscious decision not to offer such a Mac and most likely that is for good business reasons.

As so often in discussions like these what it boils down to is that Apple's business decisions and what geeks like us want are two distinctly different things. Apple certainly isn't perfect, but they are a smart company that is currently very successful. Many geeks on the other hand have very specific hardware needs that are often not shared by a broader market. Bottom line is Apple has many great products. But if you come to the conclusion that you simply need hardware Apple is not willing to make, you need to look elsewhere.
Exactly.
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 04:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
I'm getting sick of this. Here's a question for you. If a Mac minitower is such a horrible flop idea that no one wants, then why do you suppose it's easily the single most frequently seen hardware wishlist item for Apple on the Internet right now? Why do you suppose stories like the one that began this thread spread all over the Internet within seconds of their occurrence? Why all the buzz if it's something no one wants? Why do minitowers sell like crazy in the other 95% of the market, and why do AIOs sit on the shelf and collect dust when consumers have a choice between the two?
I remember when the Mac mini was exactly all that, and everybody freaked out about it.

If Apple brought out a minitower to satisfy the Slashdot crowd (which is a miniscule market, btw), it would probably be around $1500, and wouldn't even be overpriced for the feature set, because that's what Apple does.

Then two years down the line, you'd be clamoring for a sub-$1000 minitower.

You know why Windows minitowers sell like crazy, while the AiOs are collecting dust?

Windows minitowers are $500. Windows AiOs are $1500, and they ALL SUCK.
And you can get an AIO that *doesn't* suck for $1200 - from Apple.

Duh.
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 10:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Considering that what they're doing is illegal, I doubt they'll get the chance to do so.
It's not "illegal." Their installation of Leopard violates Apple's EULA, a shrink wrap agreement that may or may not be upheld by a court. Of course, if Apple wants to it can blanket those guys in paperwork and make it completely cost prohibitive for them to continue their operations, which is probably what will occur.

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Apr 18, 2008, 10:33 AM
 
I agree with Big Mac, it's not necessarily illegal as not all provisions in EULAs need to be legal.
The fact that you don't have official Apple support probably won't scare off anyone to buy a Mac PC clone.
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Apr 18, 2008, 12:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
You make no sense.

The iMac IS competing with minitowers, and on a completely proprietary platform, to boot.

And not only is it selling like crazy, it's ALSO competitive enough to pull a bunch of people over onto a completely different *platform*.

I really, really don't get what you are trying to argue here - that going after the minitower business would be a good idea for Apple, or that the iMac and Mac mini suck as options?

The former, I completely disagree with for a number of reasons I've already expunged upon.
The latter flies completely in the face of skyrocketing iMac sales with the introduction of the aluminium models.
It couldn't possibly be that the platform is what is drawing people to the iMac, could it? It doesn't have anything to do with the problems with Vista or the lack of viruses or the ease of use of the OS, the iPod halo effect, the "I'm a Mac" ads, any of those things.........

... no, it's all because iMacs are pretty.

The iMac isn't competing with minitowers because it's on a completely different platform. People come for the platform because they're fed up with Windows - they buy iMacs because that's what there is. If you had a minitower option, you'd still probably get a bunch of first-time Mac switchers buying the iMacs, but when it came time to upgrade the machine, they'd start feeling pangs of regret on having to get rid of such a nice monitor just to upgrade the computer part (I know I did!), and would probably buy something else. Just my take on it.

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Apr 18, 2008, 04:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I agree with Big Mac, it's not necessarily illegal as not all provisions in EULAs need to be legal.
The fact that you don't have official Apple support probably won't scare off anyone to buy a Mac PC clone.
Or just build one for yourself. All this company (if it's not just a sham) is doing is packaging a product out of readily available information from others who've already figured out how to build a Mac clone, and the exact parts to use. It's never been easier. Ironically, far more so than in the official cloning days.

Rather than pester Apple to commit business model suicide, why not just do it yourself if having a $400 mini-tower Mac is that big a deal to some folks?
     
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Apr 18, 2008, 07:03 PM
 
The OpenComputer people promise EFI boards and the ability to install and run Leopard unmodified. That's more than what other Hacintosh projects promise.

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