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About GLMeece

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    New Mac Geek

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  1. GLMeece

    Dashboard crashing

    I have removed all non-Apple Widgets in order to troubleshoot. I am running no hacks whatsoever. It's a fairly vanilla system. FWIW, here's my system setup: 1.42 GHz G4 Mac mini Latest version of Tiger (all patches, etc.) 1 Gig of RAM
  2. GLMeece

    Dashboard crashing

    I've searched Apple's forums and this one as well, and I've not seen anyone with this specific problem. Problem In all logins, when Dashboard is activated, existing Widgets seem to work fine. However, if I click on the Plus sign to add widgets, etc., moving the mouse over the right arrow to see any more Widgets, the Dock (along with Dashboard) crashes and re-launches. Also, if I try to drag an additional Widget out, I get a crash as well. Troubleshooting thus far * Run DiskWarrior on machine. It found a number of problems (and fixed them) on the drive, but the problem still occurs. * Ran Repair Permissions. Still happens. * Removed all non-standard Widgets. Still a problem. * Removed PLIST, etc. in preferences. Same ol' same ol'. Anyone else see anything like this. Thoughts/suggestions? Thanks!
  3. GLMeece

    New Mac Mini

    Here's yet another weigh-in on the whole Intel graphics matter from Macworld: http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/editors/20...6/03/miniboger/ They basically quote Apple as saying the 3D performance should be better, but Macworld's testing showed things to the contrary with a (presumably Universal Binary) Unreal Tournament 2004 test.
  4. GLMeece

    New Mac Mini

    To steal a line from Steve: "Oh, there's one more thing..." This is from the original Mac mini's product description page: So, now shared memory for video is kewl? :?
  5. GLMeece

    New Mac Mini

    I realize my posting was a bit long-winded and I didn't clarify a few issues. Paired RAM First off, I realize(d) that two memory sticks weren't actually/truly required, but it was something you needed to do for best performance. The bummer part is that however you buy it from Apple, you effectively have to "throw out" both DIMMs if you decide to upgrade yourself. Sure, you can keep one if you want less-than-optimal performance. Anyway, IMO, people need to factor this in as one usually upgrades RAM for better performance. If someone can identify what the memory controller is on this board, then "we" might be able to tell what kind of hit one will take if you don't upgrade in pairs. Intel Video Secondly, I realize that the Intel graphics chipset is in the same league as the Radeon 9200 it replaces. I haven't been able to find any kind of consistent benchmark on all the PC sites that do such reviews to compare the two chipsets exactly. However, it would appear that the Intel chip is still a bit south of the ATI one. Additionally, the first test I've seen of the new system (the "solo" configuration) on Macintouch confirms that the hardware OpenGL on the new mini performs worse than the G4 mini: http://www.macintouch.com/specialreports/p...ck02/#cinebench Hi-Def Video? Will the new mini be able to output 1280x720p HD without dropping frames? I know my current mini can sometimes pull this off (with a Gig o' RAM) if I read the source from a fast, external FireWire drive and all other apps have been quit. 1920x1080i is out of the question. Will that work on the new mini? Somehow, I doubt it unless Intel has a special CoDec much as ATI has commissioned one for their newest (AVIVO-equipped) boards. If you've not watched HiDef content, you probably don't know what you're missing, but SD (Standard Definition) is like going back to AM radio when you've gotten used to CD sound. If the mini can't play in this arena, there are more capable PC solutions out there that can (I'm thinking of both Windows and Linux here). Anyhow, I'm a bit disappointed to see Apple taking a downward turn at all just when they need the maximum performance boosts wherever they can get it. Customers will be taking enough of a hit as it is with Rosetta - they don't need to be hobbled with poor video performance. Shared memory for video is just...inexusable. It's one of the reasons I've avoided the major PC vendor's low-end models for years because, although I'm not an avid gamer, I do like 3D games that perform at better than slide-show speeds. Not an Apple-basher! For those who think I'm an Apple basher...well, I've probably owned Macs longer than many of you have been around. With my own money, I've purchased a Mac 512K, Mac SE, Performa 575, PM 6100, PM 8500, Bondi iMac, Summer 2000 iMac, and the G4 mini. At work, I've used Pluses, SI's, CI's, Beige G3's, Cubes, various flavors of G3 & G4 towers, etc. I worked on Norton Utilities and SAM while at Symantec, various products at AVID Technologies, other Mac-friendly shops as a developer and software QA engineer, blah, blah. I still think the Mac is the best doggone desktop OS out there to date. Apple will have to actually do what Dvorak said recently for me to stop being a customer altogether. I just think this iteration is a swing and a miss.
  6. GLMeece

    New Mac Mini

    Here's an edited version of what I sent Adam... Thanks for the quickly-produced MacCast to talk about the new Apple stuff. I'll skip over the other announcements to offer my opinions on the new mini. As an owner of the latest (well, mostly - I only have a 32 MB VRAM version) Mac mini, I have some perspective on what the mini "was" as compared to the new version. First of all - here's my gripe list of the G4 mini: . Not until I upgraded to 1 Gig of RAM did the mini finally feel like it had decent performance. Needs at least 64 MB of VRAM. 32 MB of VRAM limits a number of games that could at least be playable, not to mention certain Quartz Extreme effects (such as the rotating cube for fast user switching) that don't work at higher resolutions. Could use ATI 9600 or equivalent for decent game performance. Actually the 9600 series is about 2 generations old for lower-midrange graphics, and it would have really benefited the mini for a decent casual gaming machine. As it is, the 9200 will let you play a lot of games that are 3+ years old with decent performance, but most newer games become either unplayable or are really ugly. This is less of a gripe than a wistful "gee, wouldn't it have been great if..." Hard drive - slow and small. Yeah, I know - the form factor almost forced them to use a laptop-style drive. However, it's really dog slow and it helps to pull down the performance quite a bit. If the drive was faster, 512 MB wouldn't seem too skimpy as hitting VM would hurt less. Additionally, 80 Gigs just isn't all that much these days, especially if people actually use applications like iMovie and iDVD. If one attempts to use the mini as a media center, you absolutely must have a large/fast external drive, or a good connection to an 802.11G (or Ethernet) access point to access a dedicated server somewhere. Other than these gripes, I really like my mini! ;-) Now, let's contrast the new mini. The Good * Fast or Faster CPU offerings. The dual-core offering is really sweet on a machine like this, as it's typically going to be asked to be a real hub. Dual cores mean it can deal with drive access much better, plus do a lot of other simultaneous processing (e.g., DVR record functions while watching at the same time?). * 5400 RPM SATA Drives. Faster rotation, faster bus, and larger sized offerings. What's not to like here? * Two more USB ports. Again, what's not to like? * Sound Out and In. Flexibility to use analog or digital sound - both out and in instead of just analog out. Very good feature for a media hub. * WiFi and Bluetooth standard. I use both technologies a lot, so this is only a plus IMO. * Front Row & Remote. Moves the mini toward the ideal media hub. Now, if only they could address the DVR market directly... The Bad * RAM "needs" to be in pairs. OK, so the old mini only had one DIMM slot anyway. However, from what I can gather, one needs to upgrade the RAM in pairs. This point is somewhere between good and bad, but I think it's less than optimal so it goes here. * HD Expansion pricey. OK, so they are limited due to what's available, but the drive upgrading is not cheap, and you can't expand it all that much. Better performance and higher capacity can be had for those willing to use a 3rd party external drive offering. The Ugly * Wimpy graphic processor with Shared Memory. They traded a decent graphics card (ATI Radeon 9200 chipset) for the anemic Intel GMA950 graphics processor with 64MB of SDRAM shared with main memory. No! NO!!!! I wish I had saved the old mini page - one of the selling points on the graphics page was the fact they didn't take the same route that Wintel box manufacturers took and use a wimpy graphics chipset that borrowed memory from the system. Now, they've gone and done it too! This one fact alone is enough for me to entirely abandon any consideration of upgrading/sidegrading to this new model. There is NO WAY I will use or buy a system like this. They have effectively (pardon the analogy) castrated the machine's performance in the name of saving a few bucks. From what I understand, the Intel part runs OEM's about $7. The 9200 runs about 3 times that. Hey, I'll PAY another $15-25 for decent 3-D performance. You know - something I can actually play games with!? Bad Apple - no biscuit (or sale)!! Looking at the list above, it would seem at first glance that Apple has made a decent improvement to the mini. However, for me (as I stated above), the paltry video will keep me a 10-foot-pole's distance away from this model. I could probably ignore the other issues if it weren't for this. However, I find the video setup inexcusable for Apple, of all vendors. Although I've been an Apple owner since 1985 (a "Fat Mac"), I honestly hope that this model sells poorly. Hopefully, Apple will "get it" and re-design the video subsystem correctly.