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MacBook Mini lives!

March 19th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was happy to receive shipment confirmation on my Dell Mini 9 order on Thursday and it showed up Tuesday afternoon. After quickly archiving the SSD (I had considered evaluating the pre-installed Ubuntu Linux setup, but ‘eh, I’ve used Ubuntu before), I proceeded to install OS X Leopard (10.5).

My initial attempt didn’t work directly off of the install DVD (the easy way) so I had to resort to the more mucky copy-install-DVD-to-external-drive solution. On the plus side, the install proceeded fairly quickly as it was not hampered by the slowness of installing from DVD.

After a few reboots and updates, I now have this:

I must say that it is the cutest and coolest little laptop that I’ve used in a while. I’ve been able to install the apps I want to use (Firefox, OmniFocus, 1Password, iStat Menus, Growl, and Adium) as well as the VPN software for work so I can respond to any issue that might come up. After purging items mentioned in my last post, I have 4.5G free on the 16G SSD (formats to 14.03G).

It isn’t all paradise, however. Getting used to the keyboard is proving challenging. Not surprisingly, the keys are about 80% normal size, but I can live with that. The part that’s really strange is that the ‘/” key which is normally to the right of ;/: is now below ./> but the really annoying thing is the right shift key is half size right next to the up arrow. More often than not I end up moving the cursor up a line whenever I try to capitalize something.

While I will opt for my work MacBook or the family MacBook Pro for anything really serious, the Mini 9 is a great little “goof around” Mac that Apple never made. After our budget digests the purchase in a month or two, I’ll pick up a 2G DIMM as I’m noticing the slowdown of OS X on 1G. I’ll also get a 8G SDHC Flash card for scratch and I’ll be ready for anything.

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