The Mac Mini has arrived

MacBook, coffee mug, and cactus

Last updated on December 10th, 2021

While I announced such awhile ago, it’s now official: as of this weekend, I’m now the proud owner of a new entry level Mac Mini.

The Mini was bought at an Apple Store, after seeing they’d offer a (small) discount for government employees. The Apple Store staff were very courteous, and answered my questions capably. This was the polar opposite of my experience at Best Buy, where I bought the monitor: not only did I get sold the wrong monitor cable (which I’ll be exchanging), but also was told they only had the floor model of the monitor I wanted in stock… only to see that there were several boxes of said monitor on a shelf elsewhere.

Anyway, I spent Sunday afternoon setting up the Mac, which was easy. I then set about the usual computer customs of downloading various programs. Fortunately, many of the programs I used on Linux have OS X versions, including KeePassX, LibreOffice, and VLC. I also set about transferring my data from my laptop to my new computer, which was the most time-consuming part.

The main issues so far:

  • The Mac doesn’t natively support ext3/ext4 file systems that Linux uses. Since I’d formatted my external hard drive for ext3, I moved the data from it to the laptop, reformatted it as HFS+ (OS X’s file system), and then connected the hard drive to my Mac. I then networked the laptop and Mac through my router using Ethernet cables (after setting up Samba on the laptop), and copied data over from the laptop to the external hard drive/Mac.
  • The monitor. It only has DVI and VGA outputs, and thus I needed a DVI cable (versus the more ubiquitous HDMI or VGA varieties), of which finding one (after seeing I’d bought the wrong type of cable from Best Buy) wasn’t much fun. (It doesn’t help that I live some distance from most of Milwaukee’s electronics stores, which—per retail’s usual competition from the Internet, the city’s general Rust Belt decline, etc.—are largely based out in the suburbs.) It initially didn’t come on; it turns out I didn’t have the DVI cable firmly plugged in.
  • I could use a new keyboard. This one’s been in storage for a few years, and I remember why I put it there now…

Other than the above, things are going well. I’m still getting re-adjusted to OS X after years of Linux (and Mac System 7.5/Mac OS 9 before that), I admit. Still, I’ll have more to say about OS X life in the future…

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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