AOTHER MAC CLONE?

Yesterday there was news of yet another PC hardware maker with a new model that is supposed to run the Apple Operating System, from a company called EFi-X USA you can read about in articles found at: http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=efi-x+usa&aq=1&oq=EFI-X It was not that long ago that a Florida company, Psystar, tried marketing a PC that would run the Apple OS and ran into strong legal opposition from Apple. So this begs a couple of questions, is there a market for PC hardware that will run the Apple Operating System software; and if so does this indicate a weakness in the Apple Mac computer model line-up?

From a digital photography perspective there are good image quality performance reasons to want to run the Apple operating system, especially if the other alternative is Windows Vista. It is a fact the one tower configuration Apple makes, the MacPro, is expensive, but its speed and capabilities are at a high professional level, and overkill to be sure for most photo enthusiasts. Then the iMac next down in price from the Mac Pro in the current model selections is quickly becoming known for its very bright LCD (it as an all-in-one computer and display) that is a cause of the “prints too dark” problem, and is a problem difficult to resolve. Finally the Mac Mini because it’s not in a big enclosure like a typical PC that has little inside but air, is not seen by many Americans as being a computer to take seriously, a victim of the SUV mentality of bigger is better.

So at least apparently, and I hear there are sales indications, that Apple is maybe missing some computer buyers because there isn’t an obvious mid-level computer in their offerings. In other words because Apple marches to its own drum beat many folk don’t recognize because Apple computers don’t look like a Dell, Apple doesn’t have anything for them they can afford. However my experience with the Mac Mini says otherwise and has been confirmed in experience since I have purchased three of them. One reason for selecting the Mac Mini is because I do digital photography and the monitor/display is as important if not more so than the computer its attached to - I hope that is understood for the obvious reason all digital photo processing is done based on visual perception of the image on-screen. The Mini has to have a stand-alone separate display (that’s extra and can be chosen from many brands), as well as the base price also does not even include a keyboard and mouse. For some, including myself, this can be an advantage if you already have a display, keyboard and mouse that is in good working condition - just add the Mac Mini to what you have.

My first Mini was a Solo Core processor model and its performance was adequate but modest. The two most recent Mac Mini’s I have purchased have the fastest Dual Core Intel processors, 2GB RAM and the largest hard drive offered, and although not as fast and powerful as my Mac Pro surely, there is nothing I do processing digital camera images, with Aperture or Photoshop, making large scans, color correcting and editing, as well as printing done with a Mac Mini that would be accomplished faster or better if I used my Mac Pro. In fact the one advantage I find using the Mac Pro is to run Microsoft Windows in addition to the Apple OS 10.5 Leopard operating system using Parallels 4.0 that supports running alternate operating systems on an Apple Mac in a virtual machine - you can have both the Apple OS and Windows running at the same time. Why? Because I write for Shutterbug readers most of whom still use Windows - I have had no luck converting but a few brave souls to the Mac.

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