REBOL Technologies

Mac Mini (Apple OSX) is Pretty Cool

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
29-Apr-2005 18:07 GMT

Article #0160
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I setup a new Mac Mini today to test new versions of REBOL. It's a nice box. Small. Quiet. Affordable. Easy to setup. If you are not familiar with it, you can read about the Mac Mini here.

This box reminds me of an old Amiga project from a decade ago. It was the "mini Amiga"concept that was partly an outgrowth of CD32/CDTV research and development projects, but also a special pet project (pardon the pun) driven by Jeff Porter, a Commodore and Amiga visionary whom I highly respected. The idea was to make an Amiga box that was roughly the size of a small hard drive, plus room for the Amiga chips and I/O connections.

Jeff's dream was to put the Scala Multimedia presentation engine on top and target the tiny box toward the presentation market. (FYI: In my book Scala was one of the most elegant presentation engines and authoring systems ever invented.) The box would easily fit into your briefcase, and you could hook it up to any television (NTSC or PAL) to edit your presentation even from a hotel room, then connect up with any projection systems when you were "on stage". And of course, since it was an Amiga, the power-on-to-use time was just a few seconds. Always a nice feature.

Well... anyway... those days are long gone and it's good to see Steve Jobs and team pushing forward in the right direction. I suspect, like most everything Apple does these days, the PC droids aren't far behind. If it is not here already, I expect to see the PC Mini available by next week. Of course, it's not OSX, but I'm not sure how many people in the mass market will care.

The mini box idea is, of course, the future of desktop computing. After all, the big desktop box idea was good when you had a lot of cards you needed to plug-in. But, with just about everything useful now on the motherboard, it's simply a waste of space. The mini box will succeed even though the screen-box idea has mostly failed. That's because people don't want to throw out their screen just to upgrade their box capability. We're still a component-oriented (screen, box, speakers, keyboard all separate) computer society, and frankly, I don't think that will ever change. We want to mix and match our components. Like DVD players and big screen TVs. The mini box idea fits right into that model. I'm sure Apple knew this when they created the Mac Mini.

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