The new Mac Mini is indeed $500 (£340). For the money, it’s downright superb, and it’s only a tuner box and some software away from being being a seriously cool video hub at some point later in the year. The only gotchas I can spot are that WiFi and Bluetooth are extra; it’s +£30 for the 80Gb drive rather than the stingy 40Gb standard; more RAM is pretty much essential; and a keyboard and mouse cost extra. Then again, the latter may be a good thing; sell previously-PC-users two-button mice from the start, and their main moan disappears. Oh – one more whine – my PowerMac desktop’s second-hand value just collapsed. But I can live with that. 🙂 The Mac Mini looks like a seriously good bit of kit, at a ludicrously low price. I’m hoping they sell them in the hundreds of thousands. Dad – this would plug into your giant monitor very nicely, then Mum could have the knackered PowerBook and all we need is a new flat-panel monitor, which could be only around £150 now.
The iPod Shuffle is also quite neat. A sensible solution to the whole problem of building an interface for cheap music players – don’t bother. And in so doing, make the price cheap enough that nobody much cares. Clever.
But I’m most impressed with Pages. Which is [modest cough] exactly what I speculated it would be, apart from the table/spreadsheet thing, and – apparently – it does do bibliographies. Page layout and beautiful templates for $79: rock on. Aside from basking in the apparent fact that what you read here was, evidently, closer to the truth than any of the rumour sites; I’ll be buying a copy.
Of particular note: it does widow and orphan control. Applescript permitting, this, with Tiger’s Automater, may be the workflow solution XML has been looking for. Which might, possibly, be Very Big Indeed.