But Does It Boot Windows? . . .

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Since Apple Macintoshes are PCs these days, I guess we need to talk about them a bit more often.

Apple introduced the Intel-based Mac mini yesterday. I have just one question:

Does it boot Windows? If it doesn’t, it is useless to me.

I would like to have a decently-powered small computer I can carry around with me, whether around the house or outside it.

To kill two birds with one stone, I would like to try MacOS X, provided it doesn’t cost me too much extra.

This Mac mini doesn’t look too bad. Yes, it has integrated graphics, yes, the hard drive is slow, but this box will never play a game, and I can compensate for the hard drive with extra RAM.

Yes, I’m sure I could buy or put together a smallish A64, or even Intel-based box that could kick the Mac mini around the block a few times, but I don’t need a powerhouse, and those boxes won’t run MacOS X without serious and dubious hacking.

So I could live with the Mac mini’s hardware shortcomings, I’m definitely a potential customer, but . . .

Does it boot Windows? If it doesn’t, it is useless to me.

You see, I never was, am, or ever would be a candidate for a Mac-only machine. Not going to spend a grand or two or three to buy a machine endorsed by too many cultists.

But I’ll spend a couple hundred dollars extra for an extended tryout, and if it ends up that I see fireworks, the ground moves, and I end up in post-Macual bliss, so be it.

But if it ends up not being so good for me, I’ll still have a perfectly usable Windows machine good enough for what I want to do with it.

So it has to boot Windows. If it doesn’t, it is useless to me.

(To literally answer my question, though I haven’t found chapter and verse yet, the Mac Mini probably won’t boot Windows XP for the same EFI reason the iMac won’t. OK, no money from
me until Vista and/or Apple takes care of that little problem, but that’s not the point of this article).

I’m sure some of those cultists mentioned above would and will call me a pig for that requirement, or for being a Doubting Thomas.

Fine, I’m a pig, I’ve got lots of Windows s–t, and I’ve been happy enough wallowing in it. If you can show me better at little risk to me, fine, but I’m hanging on to my feces just in case.

Fine, my new middle name is Thomas, and until I put my hand into X’s side, I will not believe.

Macdom, you need doubting pigs like me.

One rather large problem with the Mac world today is that they often come across as a bunch of female clowns in clown regalia walking around saying, “Hey, we’re hot supermodels,” and when the PC world says, “No, you look like a bunch of clowns,” they reply (and say to see other), “They’re just jealous of us.”

It still is an inbred group that needs new blood, and not just the occasional cluster of Windows advocates (who often have, shall we say, their own issues) who show up at Mac sites.

To be fair, Macdom has been changing on its own. Even before the Intel move, the general culture has been evolving towards a more PC-like attitude to the machines, more hard-nosedness, less hero-worship.

Imagine what would happen if an onslaught of pigs like me show up.

You see, I might be a pig in your eyes, but there’s a lot more pigs like me than there are of you, and if we give your side a shot, we’re going to bring a much difference experience and attitude to Macdom.

For one thing, on the whole, we’re much more nuts and bolts guys than the typical Macster, and much less likely to swallow whatever Uncle Stevie says. Not that such people don’t exist in Macdom today (and it’s much better today than it was five years ago), but if a drove, an armada of Winpigs shows up, the proportion of such skeptical and critical users will go up dramatically.

For another, in one sense, we really are pigs in that we’re, well, less sensitive, than many Macsters, and less likely to have our hearts set aflutter by superficial and/or trivial aesthetic features. We’ll likely value such things much less, and say, “Where’s the beef?” much more.

Pigs like us will on the whole probably be more biOSual than the typical Macster (those who are currently Mac biOSuals tend to be much less ridiculous about the matter than those who don’t and equate Windows with waterboarding). We’ll do it by choice, too, we’ll use whatever fits the task best.

Pigs like us will change the Mac culture, it will be the finishing blow to cultish, ghettoish Macdom as we’ve known it. What will happen is that Macdom will stop being a cult, and while the elitism will probably still stay, there will be more reason for it. Apple will stop looking like Apple, and gradually morph into something looking more like Alienware.

And that will be a very good thing, a tougher audience will mean better Macs in the long run.

But it has to boot Windows. If it doesn’t, it is useless to us.

Ed


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Discussion
  1. "Does it boot Windows? If it doesn't, it is useless to me."
    Why exactly??????? What makes Ed so tied not just to a platform but an OS?
    Is is compatability..... don't make me laugh.....
    Is it software...... what piece of code does Ed need to run that either isn't available on OS X or doesn't have a suitable replacement?
    "Not going to spend a grand or two or three to buy a machine endorsed by too many cultists"
    Wow that's a really grown up way of thinking. You can put the above quote another way......
    "I'm not going to spend money on a piece of hardware purely because I don't like the attitidue of people who own them - regardless of if it improves my computing experience " - That's a pathetic excuse for not buying a machine.
    thingi

    I have yet to read the article, I will do that later, but I can tell just from the two short clips mentioned above that A), the article is biased, and I am having trouble seeing a reasoning for its publishing. A machine that is useless, if it does not boot windows? Dont make me laugh, there are plenty of things that dont boot windows that people use. How many servers do you think you visit that are run from Linux? Just a small example.
    And for B), the obvious jab towards mac users is both laughable and insulting. I myself have a mac laptop, I purchased it third party, and there has yet to be something that I wanted to do on my windows box, that I could not do on it.
    -Midnight Dream.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    lol .... must be a mac envy
    read it again ... because nowhere did i ever get those inferences from what Ed wrote
    what i got is ... he's curious, however if it doesnt work out, since it is pc based after all, can he load and boot windows on it ... and at least be able to use it for something else ... if not then it is useless and he wasted money on something that for him is little more than a 1000.00 door stop ... he's even stated that he would be willing to load OS-x on a pc-centric machine except that for all intents and purposes it would be a hack job and illegal at this time
    now if you want to criticize the diatribe between, by all means ... but no where did i see Ed infer that he wouldnt be willing to try, or that hes stuck on a given OS ... im sure Ed has at least 1 linux box somewhere in his menagerie, and im quite sure that current mac-centric machines cant run linux ... so its as much about versatitlity as anything
    wow did i miss something here? Who is ed? and what is this thing talking aobut ( am guessing from what people were saying is that that it is a Mac V PC thing...huh...sorry guys
    I too agree
    the extra $300 for a Mac Box would be worth it if i could fall back on Windows if OS X just doesnt work out.
    Untill i can run Windows on a Mac, its just too much of a gamble to try an Intel Mac
    I think a nicer way of putting it is like this...
    What makes an "Intel" Mac special? Despite the fact that we are computer geeks, the hardware that is underneath our operating systems is a moot point (other than speed considerations perhaps... :)). So, it doesn't matter to me if the Mac is running PPC or Intel or anything else. It still boils down to the fact that a Mac is a Mac, I run Windows primarily, and I'm not spending money (at least, not much money) on experimentation. Windows does what I need it to do and I can rely on it to get me to the net and run my applications. Thus, for a Windows user who is only toying with other operating systems, a machine that doesn't boot Windows is essentially not worth its' huge price to me.
    In other words, if a Mac could boot Windows it is instantly a more valuable machine to everybody since it could boot Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. If Windows no worky there then it isn't much of a change from Macs of the past to me. It has a lot less appeal.
    At least, that is how I interprited it.
    Is it software...... what piece of code does Ed need to run that either isn't available on OS X or doesn't have a suitable replacement?
    I guess you've never heard of ArcGIS, Erdas Imagine, TransCAD, or the host of other technical and scientific software packages not developed for the Mac OS. As the work goes from IPod hosting to actual computing, the best Mac users can hope for in many instances is to run PC software via emulation. When you want to run PC software, there is no suitable replacement for a PC. Once you've realized Macs do lock up and don't actually operate themselves, that leaves a Mac that has no chance of running PC software natively completely unattractive to many users.
    i scanned this article, and its all sound and fury... ed can and has done far better.
    maybe he was fairly moved and wanted to show it, but when i saw the new mac mini announcment in the news section of oc-rev.com the other day, i thought
    "okay, a baby yonah box, with mac only software and a big pricetag"
    i really dont see anything more to it. either someone finds a way to dual boot (or MSFT 100%) or they dont (so untill then, we have things like the VIA tinyboxen). as ed so thoughtfully pointed out, its not like theyre stopping anyone outright... i think its just another (extra-proprietary) box.
    I love macs. stable. But they just don't work with what I want to do. Now if they start making programs universal..basically, if it runs in windows, it can run in os X as well..then I'll start looking more.
    Same thing could be said about Ipods.
    However I am biased in my opinion becuase I believe that what mac does is take away enough options so that you cant easily hurt yourself make it look pretty and then sell it to you not giving you the ability to use those options. Windows does the opposite it gives you pretty much every option and unfortunetly not every user should be allowed to have every option.
    As far as programs apple has itunes for music I would rather have an Ogg or WMA codec then what do I do? For office you buy a Microsoft program. For CAD well I am out of luck autodesk no longer makes Mac versions. Games yes the are available but why exactly would I pay twice as much for the same performance in a game?
    Anyway I like Yonahs so it could end up being something cool if I could run Linux on it.
    I guess you've never heard of ArcGIS, Erdas Imagine, TransCAD, or the host of other technical and scientific software packages not developed for the Mac OS. As the work goes from IPod hosting to actual computing, the best Mac users can hope for in many instances is to run PC software via emulation. When you want to run PC software, there is no suitable replacement for a PC. Once you've realized Macs do lock up and don't actually operate themselves, that leaves a Mac that has no chance of running PC software natively completely unattractive to many users.

    <3 almost halfway done with my cert.
    Mac OS may be better, but it is just out of the question for me at the moment.
    I guess you've never heard of ArcGIS, Erdas Imagine, TransCAD, or the host of other technical and scientific software packages not developed for the Mac OS. As the work goes from IPod hosting to actual computing, the best Mac users can hope for in many instances is to run PC software via emulation. When you want to run PC software, there is no suitable replacement for a PC. Once you've realized Macs do lock up and don't actually operate themselves, that leaves a Mac that has no chance of running PC software natively completely unattractive to many users.

    Yes I have heard of those apps, I've never installed them on my PC and obviously havn't on my mac either....
    The question was "what app's does Ed need?"
    The question was not "what apps can you come up with that don't have a suitable replacement on OS X?"
    Your "unattractive" arguement doesn't make sense, it's a rarity for an app to not have a suitable replacement. Most poeple who use computers don't use specialist apps, they write email, surf the web, use photo apps and use office apps.
    Joe's really don't care that Catia isn't available for OS X, they don't even know it exists for PC's.....
    So some might say "well with a PC I can install it if I want to......" What's the point in that arguement if that choice is never going to be taken up?
    If you need an an MS OS for a specific task fair enough, but it's the exception rather than the rule. There's plenty of scientific software only available for solaris, unix and linux too.......... Hell Sebilieus was only available for RISC OS for many, many years.
    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid, I wouldn't recommend buying a mac to play games...... I'd tell em' to buy an xbox360 or a keep a PC for gaming, but for day to day stuff OS X (and the apps that run on it) wins hands down in usability terms.
    One more point I should add, If anyone did buy a mac and hate it, well they've two choices......
    1. Install linux.
    2. Sell it, the 2nd hand value of mac's is much higher than that of PC's for far longer.
    I've never met anyone who didn't like the switch so I've never seen either happen.
    thingi
    What confused me is that people are already running MacOS on a PC. A have a couple of friends who are both running it - one on his home build rig and the other on a Thinkpad laptop. It's not LEGAL, but it's being done. Would would one even need a Mac?
    As far as me using a mac is concerned, I would only actually go that route if there was some benfit to doing so. I prefer to build my own systems so theres realy no more of a reason for me to buy a mac than there is to buy any other high end OEM system. As far as mac OSX is concerned, I'd rather use linux or freebsd or windows.
    The question was "what app's does Ed need?"
    Whatever slant you try to put on it, the implication was that there aren't valid software (and thus compatibility) reasons for using a PC. This is simply not true.
    Your "unattractive" arguement doesn't make sense, it's a rarity for an app to not have a suitable replacement.
    You may feel it is a rarity, but when you apply the term 'rarity' you admit that there are PC apps for which there is no suitable alternative. Obviously if you need one of them a machine that won't run it is unattractive. Honestly, you are grasping at straws here.
    Most poeple who use computers don't use specialist apps, they write email, surf the web, use photo apps and use office apps.
    You implied that your comments applied to all, not "most".
    So some might say "well with a PC I can install it if I want to......" What's the point in that arguement if that choice is never going to be taken up?
    I'll tell you this, there's a lot more point to that argument than yours--which implied there aren't really valid software reasons that drive some to PCs.
    If you need an an MS OS for a specific task fair enough, but it's the exception rather than the rule. There's plenty of scientific software only available for solaris, unix and linux too.......... Hell Sebilieus was only available for RISC OS for many, many years.
    Finally, the truth seeps in. But this is your first admission that there are those that would have real software reasons they must run a PC. Had you balanced your initial comments with this point I would not have replied. And at one time you ran everything on a VAX, too, but it does not reflect current reality.
    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid, I wouldn't recommend buying a mac to play games...... I'd tell em' to buy an xbox360 or a keep a PC for gaming, but for day to day stuff OS X (and the apps that run on it) wins hands down in usability terms.
    Well believe it or not, Ed may well game some...
    One more point I should add, If anyone did buy a mac and hate it, well they've two choices......
    1. Install linux.
    2. Sell it, the 2nd hand value of mac's is much higher than that of PC's for far longer.
    Or just don't buy it in the first place.
    I've never met anyone who didn't like the switch so I've never seen either happen.
    thingi
    The reason being that the overwhelming majority of competent x86 users HATE macs, and thus don't consider switching to one without externalities that force the decision.
    I work in a university cartography shop that has been making maps on macs for more than 15 years using graphics arts software like Freehand. When they started doing this, Macs were the only way to do it on a desktop machine. PCs did not have the graphics capability nor application software at that time. But that time is no more. Even though my boss was the one that decided that using computers was the only way to fly, chose macs, and has a nice shiny 4GB dual-CPU G5 with the 30" Apple LCD he must constantly switch to the PC on the next desk to get anything done. Any new computer purchases he makes will be PCs. He is not alone.
    And if you think things like the use of GIS software are just rarities, find out what ESRI's sales were last year... Or PC game revenues, for that matter.

    One more point I should add, If anyone did buy a mac and hate it, well they've two choices......
    1. Install linux.
    2. Sell it, the 2nd hand value of mac's is much higher than that of PC's for far longer.

    HAHAHA was that meant to be funny?
    You cant go on talking about web surfers and people that want an EASY to use computer to linux.
    Nor can you expect them to even know what Linux is.
    Linux is a 3rd party operating system!!!!
    A simular analagy to these partys is the democratic or republican party. Infact, an even better analogy is the difference between first and third world countries.
    Windows = First world country
    LInux = Third world country
    And Mac == Sweeden. Small and fanatical about how much better their country is than the others.
    ;)
    On a more serious note, the article does make some very valid points (amongst the personal ranting, which is to be expected from Ed). An Intel Mac Mini that is incapable of booting windows is *no different* than the old macs, in terms of who they appeal to.
    * There is no new software compatability (in fact, it looses some backward compatability).
    * There is no appreciable price change.
    This means, for the average user, there is no difference between this Mac Mini and the Mac Mini's of years past. If they didn't buy one then, why would they buy one now?
    However, as Ed stated, if it could also run windows... then that changes things significantly.
    I think they are moving to intel for the performance and cost advantage, not to attract people to use windows on it. There are good and bad side effects for intels in macs. The good side effect is compatability, the bad side effect is what it does to the product differentiation. Apple has used product differentiation as a marketing technique for awhile now. Now that the product itself is not different than a PC the software will have to be. Without that they just become another vendor. That would not necessarily be a bad thing though, if they did become another vender, perhaps they could be bought by dell for a large amount of money? Then we could all get Dellmacs!