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New Mac Mini M1....

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

New Mac Mini M1....

I decided that, after 26 years of Windows based computers, I would try a Mac.  The Minis are pretty inexpensive when it comes to a Mac, though still somewhat pricey overall.  Back when they came out with the iMac in the late 90s I wanted one, but it was far outside my budget.  When they changed to using Intel processors they lost their appeal, at least for me, as what set them apart was no longer there.  When Apple announced the transition to using their own CPUs, it sparked that interest again.   And I like mini PCs, so this is a perfect fit.  It's not quite as mini as my other mini PCs, but it runs circles around them.  

 

So far, it's been great.  It's quite a bit of learning, that's for sure, as some things are done very differently on a Mac, but as time goes on I'm getting a better hang of it and I'm learning to do new things more quickly.  I just got a new 2TB Western Digital Elements drive today, connected it, selected it for Time Machine, and in around six minutes it had written a nearly 12GB backup.  Six minutes.  And this is with a mechanical drive!  Just unreal.  I have it in the USB-C port with an adapter, but still.  

 

My next try is downloading Steam and trying one or two of the few games I have through them (Half-Life series, Half-Life 2 series, Portal and Portal 2).  I don't know how well they'll work with this new type of CPU, as I believe it will have to use Rosetta 2 to translate it, but we'll see.  

 

The responsiveness of this thing is amazing.  You click and whatever you're trying to open or do is practically instant.  It makes my Ryzen 5 3400G desktop seem ancient, even though I just built that early last year.  I'm so glad I got this.  I got the 16GB/1TB model.  I know they may be coming out with models that have the M2 processor later this year, and likely more RAM, but they'll be a good bit more expensive, I'm sure.  I'm happy with this.  

 

Has anyone else out there gotten one of these recently? 


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
25 REPLIES 25
MarkJFine
Associate Professor

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

Plus, you've run Linux before, so using commands in the terminal window should be second nature on a Mini. Virtually anything you can run in Linux, you can rebuild under Darwin (Mac kernel).

 

You can even have a virtual Xserver running if you download XQuartz. And, if you install Homebrew, you can add all sorts of unix/Linux things that have already been rebuilt for Darwin. A good example is Pan, which has always been my newsreader under Linux, and now under Mac.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

Actually, I was never very versed in the terminal.  The only command I even remember is the one to get an update.  sudo apt update or something like that.

 

I haven't used the terminal at all on this Mac yet.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

I've been using this Mac Mini M1 solely for a week now.  It's taken a bit of getting used to, but I've not yet found something that I couldn't do with this and that I needed to reconnect my Windows desktop for.  I actually completely removed the desktop and put it in one end of my bedroom closet.  

 

The bad news is, no gaming.  The few games that I have through Steam cannot run in this environment, so that's a disappointment.  Granted, I hadn't played them in a while, but still.  Hopefully, as the Apple silicon based Macs come to replace the Intel based units, Steam will be working on a system that will allow their games to run on them.  It'll be quite the challenge, but I have a feeling these will start making more of a dent in the PC market.  

 

I had to go with Edge for a browser, as Safari doesn't have a warning if you're going to accidentally close a window that has a bunch of tabs open.  Edge does.  And Edge has quite a few more extensions available for it, though I only use a couple. 

 

So far, so good.  I'm glad I got this.    


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor III

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

i think with Safari you can do "reopen all windows from last session" or something like that, but a warning would be nice. I thought they used to have that, but I haven't used the Mac for a while. 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Re: New Mac Mini M1....


@maratsade wrote:

i think with Safari you can do "reopen all windows from last session" or something like that, but a warning would be nice. I thought they used to have that, but I haven't used the Mac for a while. 


They did.  They removed it, for whatever reason.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor III

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

"They removed it, for whatever reason."

 

To show us who's boss. 

GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

They just released the update for Big Sur to take it from 11.2.3 to 11.3.  And I thought Windows 10 version updates were big.  Sheesh!!!

 

Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 10.26.47 PM.png

 

It installed without issue.  I'm so loving this thing.   The more I learn on the this the less need I have for my Windows based PCs.  Still, I can't print on this due to my printer being so old there's no driver for it, and I can't play any of my Steam games on the Mac, or at least not yet, so I'll still have to use my Windows desktop or laptop occasionally.  


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
maratsade
Distinguished Professor III

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

And a Mac convert is born. Smiley Happy

Yep, the OS updates are huge. I can never update my Mac at home because of that, which is why it's turned off and will have no updates until I go back to the office later this year. 

MarkJFine
Associate Professor

Re: New Mac Mini M1....

Good thing you don't develop. Xcode updates every time there's a macOS update, and it's now up to 12GB - and sometimes it fails the first time so it has to be re-downoaded - but that's another story.

 

So there's this machine that would need 18GB, right there, and then another 6GB for my wife's machine = 24GB in one morning, and that's not even a game.

 

I used to be able to capture the maOS updates in the system file structure (before macOS deleted it prior to install), copy it to a USB drive, then install it on my wife's computer. But Apple decided that wasn't safe and prevent you from file operations there anymore.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.