Pimp your Mac mini. Trick out Apple’s $499 value-packed, bargain-basement priced Mac. Keep the price at $499 and load up on the freebies. It’s all in the software.
What’s a bargain without someone showing you how to make it a better bargain. Few would argue that the Mac mini is not Apple’s best Mac bargain ever.
There’s not much outside and not much needed. Keyboard. Mouse. Monitor. Those are a dime a dozen these days. I saw a whole set at Goodwill for $35 (no guarantee, though) and everyone I know has an extra monitor and keyboard and five mice in the desk drawer.
Nope, no doubt about it $499 gets you a package you’ll love. So, what do you have to do to pimp the mini ride? How do you trick out something that’s such a value already without spending another dime?
Granted, the Mac mini is loaded and ready. Mac OS X Tiger. Solid, dependable, secure, and stuffed with features that make Windows users drool.
The mini is also stuffed with the basics in AppleWorks; spreadsheet, word processor, database, graphics. Old, yes. AppleWorks still runs rings around Microsoft’s Works and neither has been upgraded since about 1892.
Two years after iLife began on earth, there’s still nothing quite like it and it’s free with each new Mac mini (along with 512 megs RAM, USB, Firewire, ethernet). iTunes for music and entry to the iTunes Music Store.
There’s also GarageBand and an opportunity to show the world why you flinked out of band in high school. iPhoto captures digital images and sends them wherever you want to go. QuickTime plays movies. Mail does mail. iCal and AddressBook keep track of people you want to impress and relatives who aren’t impressed.
What’s not to like? The Mac mini is a hit. So how do you make it better? Add the freebies!
Feel too young to use the older than old AppleWorks? Try the newer than new and whiter than white NeoOffice J. It’s compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and it’s free. You just saved $300.
Don’t want to cough up $600 for Photoshop or Illustrator? Can’t afford $1,000 for Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks? Microsoft to the rescue.
Uh, what’s that again? Microsoft? Yep. Old Billy Boy’s minions bought a graphics application for the Mac a few years back. It’s called Expression. It’s free.
Man, are you tricking out this little Mac mini, or what? Office, Graphics; who could ask for more?
Say you’re into making web pages and need something good and cheap (can you say ‘Free!?’) to do XHTML and CSS? You could pay a couple of big ones for BBEdit (already assumes you don’t want Dreamweaver). Or, don’t pay anything and use these instead:
Taco HTML Edit is good, stable, and priced right. Free. Here’s one that could be better and combines XHTML editing with CSS editing.
SEE Edit mini has evolved from a scruffy little wannabe editor to one that’s worthy of a look see. Did I mention that it’s free?
How pimped does this Mac mini ride need to be? You’ve got OS X, iLife, Office, Graphics, Editors? What’s left? Besides all the utilities I come up with every week, not much.
The Mac mini is a great value made only more valuable with the addition of just the right Mac applications; the kind that cost nothin’.
What about you? If you had to trick out a $499 Mac mini and couldn’t afford to spend another dime, what would you add? Share the wealth.