Home > Apple, Computers, Gear, rant > Open letter to Steve Jobs. Re: Mac Mini Pro.

Open letter to Steve Jobs. Re: Mac Mini Pro.

February 15, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

let2.pngDear Steve,

The MacBook Air is cute. The iMacs are cute.
The Mini is cute. iPods, cute again.
But the Mac Pro is an expensive behemoth.

You see, I’m one of those “Pros” that you target your $1300 software to…
I’m not looking for
“cute.” Nor am I looking to get screwed.
So, I’d like you to make a Mac Mini Pro.

This shouldn’t be news to you. Really.
Unless you pay
zero attention to your customers.

miniprosm.jpgA Mac Mini Pro has been discussed by the Macintosh faithful for many years.

I mentioned it in EventDV back in 2006 (written in 05) while reviewing Mac Mini hard drives.

Here’s a link to the Mac Mini Monster MacInTouch Reader Report that spans 2006 and 2007. Actually, there was an earlier thread that went back to 2005, but I lost the link to that one.

People are taking the Mac Mini and putting it into larger cases, with full size drives, faster chips and more to make the Pro mini you inanely refuse to make.asus.jpg

There’s a thriving “Hackintosh” community which is working to put the Mac OS onto the types of hardware that Apple refuses to build. Like this Wiki about installing Tiger onto a truly small, light, and cheap $300 Asus EEE laptop. The movement even has it’s own Wikipedia page.

It’s clear your customers want the Mac OS on different hardware than the few designs you offer.

modbook.jpgAxiotron and Other World Computing have put together the ModBook. The Mac tablet that Apple won’t make. It’s more expensive than it has to be because it’s built after the retail sale of a MacBook. Why do you punish your loyal customers like this?

I’m one of those Pros who owns Final Cut Studio. Actually, I own two complete sets of Final Cut Studio to use on two Macs that are four feet apart from each other. I’m the only one that uses them but your copy protection won’t allow me to use FCP on one machine while the other is rendering a complex timeline for 2 hours. So I went and spent $1300 more. Yes, that’s a $1300 tax for the privilege of using just one application (FCP) on two computers because you won’t sell the individual applications. Why do you punish your loyal customers like this?

Our dual G4 tower is having issues again. We’d love to upgrade to a new machine. I mean, we’d walk into an Apple store tomorrow and buy a new machine to replace our aged G4. But you don’t make a machine for us any more. Not. At. All.

I’ll explain.

g4.gifWe have a G4 tower with three empty slots. All we edit is DV and HDV over firewire. We’ve added an internal “video” hard drive so now we have two 3.5″ hard drives. The original optical drive died. We replaced it with a new optical drive. We’ve added RAM. This is why we like these “desktop” models- because a failure of a single component doesn’t mean we have to throw everything away. We can easily open it up, take out the optical drive, slide a new one in, and be back up and running in minutes.

We have an extended keyboard we like, Logitech mouse, Apple Cinema Display HD, Altec Lansing speakers, JVC 13″ tube monitor, and Sony decks. We don’t need to change anything but the box with the CPU in it. So, all-in-one machines, like the iMac are ruled out. We do not wish to waste the $2000 investment we made in the monitor alone. It still works perfectly.mac_mini_rear_view.gif

As much as Final Cut Pro will work on a machine with integrated graphics, like the Mac Mini, other components of Final Cut Studio won’t. It doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements. protall.jpgYour already a little bit too expensive $800 desktop model is ruled out.

The next step up is an eight-core, $2,800 behometh that:

— still needs additional RAM, and a second “video” drive, to work in our edit suite. Adding just these two items rockets the price of the Mac Pro to $3,950. For a new CPU.
That’s
waaaay too friggin’ much.
Why is it so expensive?

— is so big that it literally won’t fit into the rack we have. We had to remove the handles from the G4, which is considerably smaller than the aluminum Mac Pro, to get it to fit. We stood the PC on its side because there wasn’t room above or below the G4 in this Winstead video editing desk. The desk is designed to hold gear, but your computers aren’t designed to be held.
Why the heck not?

— has extra capability that we’ll never use. The Mac Pro has four additional PCI slots. It would be nice to keep one for a SATA card to connect speedy, redundant storage a year from now when we need to dump projects off the internal drive. But there’s just way to friggin much unused potential here for the mid-level video pro.
Why only offer too little and too much?

— is designed for eight cores. Great for those few people who need that. But these days, due to your own software engineering, video pros need a GPU (good video card) more than eight cores. Cut the box in half, put in a single quad-core chip and take half off the price tag.

Let me go back to the issue of “the rack.”

You do make a “rackmount” computer. The 1RU Xserve.

xservethin.jpg

This is a very cool design. Cool-looking (but noisy) ventilation ports. Three easily accessible, swappable hard drives- great for having one startup drive and two swappable media drives. Hey man, that’s friggin’ cool. Processor utilization LEDs on the front- nice touch. This way we can see from across the room when FCP is finally done rendering the timeline (…because you can’t see fit to give FCP a nice and incredibly useful end-of-process “ding” like that other oh-so-professional tool- iTunes.) Front USB for convenience. You can even open the thing up while it is mounted in the rack. This thing just begs to be a pro video tool.

The problem with the Xserve is the whopping 30 inch deep chassis and up to 38 pounds of weight. (omg)

xservebig.gif

This is just completely unusable for most video pros. I’ve been reading and writing for trade pubs for decades and, other than the very high-end post house which is all about networked workstations, nobody uses the Xserve as their primary desktop edit machine. Video and gear racks are not 36″ deep. Portable racks are even shallower. We have a serious problem integrating something as deep as this- and you must keep in mind that all kinds of cables must plug into the back of this, so it’s really not “just” 30 inches deep. You have to add a few inches to the back of the gear for real world use.

I need you to listen to your customers, me included. We need a Mac Mini Pro.
Here are some general requirements:

  • Around $1500 ready to go, or $999 with no RAM or hard drives. Internal SATA hard drives (2) and full-size optical. Make it so we can open it, put our own drives in it, swap those drives out as we see fit, upgrade the optical drive, and keep it up to date for a few years.
  • After the high-end GPU, we need one PCI slot; or two ExpressCard slots. We don’t know what new technology will come out tomorrow, but we need to be able to take advantage of it without having to buy a whole new machine. We feel much better about our purchase of Apple gear, if it isn’t obsoleted the very next day.
  • Single chip, quad core. Handle at least 4g of RAM. Back in the PPC days, you touted how lean Mac code was compared to PC code. It really was. Well, those days are dead. The ever-expanding OS is bloated beyond belief and apps continue to get bigger and bigger every year. Short of a “conservation effort” in programming, we’ll need RAM, lots of RAM.
  • Rack mountable 1 or 2 RU, or standard component width that we can put in a rack. I know how much you like to make things “amazing” and “unbelievable.” You make them too big and silver, or too small and white. We don’t need that. We need to put it in a rack and use it to create our own dreams. The computer is a tool, not a dainty flower. We need to put it with the other tools. In the damm rack.

I’ll keep repairing my dual G4 until you make the Mac Mini Pro.
No, really! I mean it. We will
not buy the Mac Pro.
It makes absolutely no fiscal sense to waste
that much money.

I’ll buy a shuttle PC, add Windows XP Pro (SP2),
and the Intel Core 2 Quad,
and 4 GB of RAM,
and two 1 TB hard drives,
and Adobe Premiere Pro Creative Suite 3,
and a Blue Ray burner,
and a Canon HD camcorder,
and a Manfrotto tripod, all on Amazon (not the cheapest I can find)
and I’ll
still have spent less than just the Mac Pro shown above. See: receipt.gif

When you finally listen to your customers, instead of trying to dictate,
and get back to making products we can integrate with the rest of our gear,
then I (and many others) will gladly give you money for new machines to replace our tired, old, but affordable and upgradeable machines.

Remember, the customer is always right.
I have been, am, and
could continue to be your customer.
But,
What have you done for me, Pro video editor me, lately?

Sincerely,

Anthony


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  1. February 16, 2008 at 3:55 am

    you are absolutely right….

  2. February 16, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Yep, totally agree!!!

  3. James
    February 20, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Spot-on!

    Though, I think, you are missing one point, Apple is a HARDWARE company–software only to sell the iron. So X on other brands isn’t very likely.

    As for the MiniPro: YUP.
    As for the standard rack mount: YUP.
    As for keeping the G4 Dual up and running — on oxygen : YUP.

  4. February 20, 2008 at 10:49 am

    And another Amen to that! I had to go from a Mini to a Pro just to get a decent-speed hard drive and a working (I mean REALLY working, not just on brand new discs) optical drive. Yes, there are iMacs…if you don’t already own a monitor.

  5. alfred klosterman
    February 20, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Total agreement here! I love my dual G4, but when she finally needs replacing, the pricing for the MacPro is just tooooo big a jump! I simply don’t see why Apple doesn’t try to fill this gap.

  6. Dean
    February 20, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I just went with a single-chip Mac Pro after wrestling with the very same conundrum. It only worked for me because I burned my once-in-a-lifetime Apple Student Developer hardware discount. I still bought the memory and extra drives elsewhere (NOT from Apple).

    What I REALLY wanted was a “Mac semi-Pro:”
    * 1 quad-core processor (Mac Pro has that)
    * Support for at least 16GB of memory (Mac Pro has that) [Note that I need 4GB today, and expect to need 16 before I retire the machine.]
    * NOT FB-DIMMs (Mac Pro — OOPS!)
    * Upgradeable video card — the 8800GT is fine (Mac Pro has that)
    * one other empty PCIe slot

  7. Dean
    February 20, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I just went with a single-chip Mac Pro after wrestling with the very same conundrum. It only worked for me because I burned my once-in-a-lifetime Apple Student Developer hardware discount. I still bought the memory and extra drives elsewhere (NOT from Apple).

    What I REALLY wanted was a “Mac semi-Pro:”
    * 1 quad-core processor (Mac Pro has that)
    * Support for at least 16GB of memory (Mac Pro has that) [Note that I need 4GB today, and expect to need 16 before I retire the machine.]
    * NOT FB-DIMMs, they’re too expensive! (Mac Pro — OOPS!)
    * Upgradeable video card — the 8800GT is fine (Mac Pro has that)
    * one other empty PCIe slot (Mac Pro — OOPS, I’m paying $$, space, and power-supply beefiness for 4)
    * room for 2 drives (Mac Pro — OOPS, I’m paying for room for 4)
    * ONE internal optical drive (Mac Pro — OOPS, I’m paying for room for 2)
    * Form factor NO LARGER than my G4 tower, and a bit smaller would be better (Mac Pro — MEGA-OOPS! it’s ginormous!!! and doesn’t fit my workstation furniture)
    * Price tag: no more than what I just paid as a developer, and preferably a WHOLE LOT LESS (Mac Pro OOPS! It would be totally out of range without that developer discount, and even then my bank account is curled up in fetal position in the corner, crying quietly)

  8. Scott Brown
    February 20, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Right-on for not only video but any business that manipulates data. There is a huge gap in Apple’s product line. Our company has 3 xservers, alot of mini’s and imac’s but we are still using 5 old G4 towers for the same reason you are. I won’t change until there is something in between the mini and MacPro’s.

  9. Greg
    February 20, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I beg to differ with the oft-repeated maxim – “Remember, the customer is always right.” I think it is best said that any commercial enterprise that doesn’t listen to its customers is foolish, and will pay for the mistake of not taking time to hear.

    Years ago, I worked for the corporate HQ of Kinko’s (before they were purchased by FedEx). The founder – Paul Orfalea – was fond of saying, “The customer isn’t always right – but the customer is still the customer.” Sometimes no matter what one does, the customer cannot be satisfied. However, a business concern should always do *what it can* to meet the expectations of its customers.

    Having said all of that – yes! I, too, would be in the market for an upscale Mac mini (maxi?). Our main home machine is a 1.4 GHz G4 with 1 Gig of RAM and it is dog-slow! I only do what I have to on it (mostly downloading Podcasts and syncing with the Apple TV) as it is too sluggish to do much else. I’ve thought about upgrading, but the next logical step is an iMac and I already have a pretty good Dell 1600 x 1200 monitor. Besides, I’ve already gone through two (CRT) iMacs and I think I’m done with all-in-one’s for awhile.

    At any rate, I hope someone at Apple who has enough influence and “empowerment” (a word not often associated with the Jobs dynasty there) will read this, take it to heart, and work to see something happen. In the meantime, I’ve purchased not one, but TWO Windows laptops for my wife and I for the basics of what we need them to do. The cost of both of these laptops (granted, purchased on sale locally) TOGETHER cost less than a lowly Macbook costs. This from a guy who bought his first Mac back in 1985, and who has owned at least one ever since.

  10. Rob
    February 20, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Spot on! I’d like a Mac Mini Pro for different reasons. I’ve set up a Mac Mini as a home server for all of my music and movies. I have 3TB of storage in an external Drobo that connects via USB. It is SLOW. SLOW. SLOW. And I’ve had a few USB-related issues.

    The Mini is a dream server for the home and small business. But it lacks a key feature: external SATA. Give me a MulitLane SATA port so that I can buy an external RAID case. I want SATA. Not some SATA-to-USB or -Firewire box, but 100% SATA. Or give me a PCI card so that I can add a MultiLane card.

    Or make me a Mini Tower with five drive bays, one for the boot drive, the other four in RAID. Whatever works for you. Media files are big and Apple is pushing hard for us to consume our media online in the form of files, not DVDs and CDs. Yet you do not provide an adequate product for storing all of this data. Xserve is not an option for the home or small business user. I can buy a four-bay RAID enclosure with a SATA MultiLane port for a few hundred dollars.

    Now all I need is for Apple to take my needs seriously.

  11. Steve Kaynes
    February 20, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Waaay too long winded. Useless “I’m switching to Windows” threat. Could have boiled it down to one paragraph. But I agree we need a mini-tower or something like it.

  12. Bill Johnston Jr
    February 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I agree with you but Steve Jobs won’t. Your mistake and where Jobs will stop listening is when you say that computers are tools. Jobs doesn’t believe that computers are tools. He believes they are statements, like clothing, and are about elegance or “cool.” What you want isn’t cool or elegant. It reeks of practicality. That’s not Jobs’ territory.

  13. George Wedding
    February 20, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I agree…or a Mac Pro mini (smaller tower)…

  14. George Wedding
    February 20, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    …except that you ARE being a complete bonehead about the shuttle PC alternative. No one who truly understands and appreciates all the OS X advantages would choose any version of Windows and cheap-ass, PC hardware at this point.

  15. February 20, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    George,
    Except only blind Mac-o-philes think that all PC hardware is cheap (i.e. crappy). There is some quality hardware, some dedicated VARs and some absolutely screaming machines for less than a Mac Pro. I, as many Mac people do, have to deal with Windows regularly and, in the end, you can still get the job done. There’s stupid OS issues, but OS-X is filled with plenty too (as I’ve pointed out in this blog repeatedly.)

    Testing Premiere helped me realize that, not only is the app back for Mac, but it’s a pretty damm good PC app too.

    Plus you get rid of _all_ of those “Mac not supported” issues.

  16. C Carr
    February 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    there was NEVER a Dual CPU Power Mac G4 that could be purchased for only $1500. the dual 867 MDD PM G4 was $1699 when it was brand new (and it only had a combo drive and a crappy video card.) It is a bummer you can’t get some kind Mac Pro “lite” for less than $2000. Even the single Quad Core 2.8 is still $2299.

  17. dal20402
    February 21, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Agreed on the enormous hole in Apple’s lineup. I, like everyone else, could use a quad-core machine with a manageable case, room for 2 internal HDs, 8GB of RAM, and a swappable video card.

    That said, you don’t get people to respond through long-windedness, abuse, and threats. I felt less inclined to take your wishes seriously at the end of your rant than I did at the beginning.

  18. Rob Van
    February 21, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I like that you say you will not buy a Mac Pro. That is what Apple needs to hear. I find it so frustrating when I hear others say things like “I finally gave up and bought a Pro, and a Cinema Display” – Apple laughs all the way to the bank when they hear that.

    I have 2 aging Macs that I would like to replace, plus my teenager has no computer of her own as yet, so I could potentially buy three. I cannot afford (and don’t need) Pros. I do not wish to buy all-in-ones. I will not buy the underpowered and overpriced Mini. I will continue to procrastinate, or (gasp!) move to the Dark Side.

  19. Luke Rademacher
    February 21, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I understand your pain. You love the Mac OS you enjoy working with Macs, but You are a Video Editor and you got a job you want done, and currently Apple makes that job hard and expensive.
    I still keep my MDD Dual G4 1.25Ghz alive because I too cannot afford $3K for a Mac Pro which even in its base form is overkill for my needs: Photoshop, InDesign, low end Video production. But as the Apple world moves forward I like others are left behind unless we pony up and adhere to the standards Jobs thinks we need.
    I bought a new Mac mini so I could try and keep my business going. the Mac mini is set for my general apps as its HD & Graphics are too crippled for the Graphics I need.

  20. February 22, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Oh, I neglected to mention that the Mac Pro is 65 pounds out of the box. Add more drives and cards, and it gets heavier.

    C. Carr,
    There may never have been a Dual Processor G4 tower for $1500, or the $1200 I suggest, but then, you can now buy a Core 2 Duo Mini for $800. I’m suggesting that instead of using more costly hard drive and optical drives designed for laptops, we get the opportunity to buy a Mac Mini Pro with lower cost, and higher performance desktop-sized hard drives and optical drives.

    The case would be bigger. I suggested a second internal hard drive bay (maybe removable from the front for exchanging media) and more RAM slots. Really, when you start with a Mac Mini and add the tweaks necessary, I can’t see how it could possibly cost more than double what it does to start with- especially when the cost of several of the components drops dramatically.

    Anthony

  21. Don Bennet
    February 24, 2008 at 5:14 am

    I have been running a Mini Monster for about 9 months. It is great. There is no tempting upgrade path for me at this time for all the reasons stated above.

    I am waiting for a Mini Pro or similar.

    Might be interesting to have a survey on Macintouch just to see how many people are waiting.

    Cheers all

    Don

  22. Ruhayat
    February 28, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Not just small-scale video editors: Apple has completely forgotten about us DTP designers, too. And we were just, oh, those people who kept buying Apple back when everyone said Apple was a dead duck.

    Another vote for a real desktop Mac here. The Mac Pro a desktop? Please. Better make sure you’re not using one from Ikea, then. My old G5 bent my desk in under a year. I’m also currently still chugging along on a much-upgraded Quicksilver (RAID 0 Raptors, 200GB scratchdisk, maxed RAM, etc) and refuse to buy a Pro machine until Apple makes a machine that works for me.

    When a job came in a few months ago that the single G4 was too slow for, I also went out and bought a mini PC, the T3 from Asus. Has Mac styling, but with 2 x internal hard disk space, 2 x optical hard disk space, 1 x PCIX and 1 x PCIe. We’re not asking for much, but when it comes to Apple, obviously it is too much to ask for.

    I’m now trying to figure out how to turn my Windows machine into a Hackintosh. Will buy original copy of OS X for that, of course, but Apple’s not going to see single cent for hardware from me until they listen.

  23. February 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Check out the Hacintosh links I have provided here and elsewhere on the TechThoughts blog. That should get you going.

    As for the T3, that looks like a nice little package. A little bigger than I envisioned, but it looks like it can support more internal drives which would be great for video editors.

    With drives so cheap, we can have “client” drives and never have to worry about deleting old projects, we just pull out that client’s drive when we’re done working on a project and it’s instantly archived with all that client’s other work. Just put the drive on a shelf. Plus, accessing that “archived” data is as fast as plugging the drive back into the enclosure.

    I’d still like a 1 or 2 RU enclosure for Pro work, with rack-ears that can be removed (like most pro gear) should we just want to use it on a desktop. But the Asus shows Apple’s “one size fits all” Mac Pro mentality for what it is- full of holes.

    Anthony

  24. March 5, 2008 at 10:09 am

    As reported on Macworld:

    “A question somewhat tangentially related to the MacHeads movie asked Jobs whether the company’s runaway success of the past several years has broken the bonds between the company and the longtime Mac community, and whether Apple “still cares” about these people. Some of these folks see Apple as the local rock band that made it big, losing some of its innocence and humility along the way.

    Jobs acknowledged, “We have a lot more customers now.” There has been some angst among longtime Apple users that the company is getting away from its Mac roots with projects like the iPod and the iPhone, which manifested itself during some early problems with Leopard, the latest version of Mac OS X.

    But “we do care…We drop the ball sometimes, when some of those customers have a problem, but the vast majority do well” with their Apple experience,” he said, citing high customer satisfaction ratings.”

    http://www.news.com/8301-13579_3-9885708-37.html?tag=nefd.top

  25. pegasus
    May 1, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I’m a little late to the party here, but want to put my 2 cents worth in. I am in the same situation with a G4 I want to upgrade, but with the cost of the Pros, can’t afford to. It should also be noted that many of us would upgrade our Macs a lot more often if we could get a mid range tower. If I shell out 2-3000$ for a Pro, it’s going to have to last several years. I would upgrade every 2 to 3 years if I could get a “semi-Pro”. Don’t want an iMac; I have a cinema display that works just fine.

  26. JS
    May 4, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Ok I’m super late to the party but here are my 2 cents as well. I’ve been trying to decide on a replacement for my G4 mac mini – a new mac mini or an iMac – for months now. And I just can’t seem to get myself to buy either. Perhaps the “I’ll just go with Windows” seems like an empty threat to some. But how’s this – I’ll just buy a PC and install ubuntu or pcbsd on it. I’m not putting my money into another mac I can’t upgrade, and I refuse to buy the over-priced iMac.

  27. MOCCA
    May 6, 2008 at 1:43 am

    hi.. if they don’t listen..we should ‘create’ a way then ;)
    i’m a video editor..n i’m sick of the Apple pricing.. so I CREATE both ‘hackintosh’n vista in a single ORDINARY PC..it is core2duo 2,4gig n 2gig DDR2 with 500 gig SATA2+FIREWIRE card & 19″samsung wide..i just spent $600 for all of them(excl.OS)
    n right now i’m building another ‘hackintosh’+ Vista with AMD X2 6000+ same spec in $700 price… i could finish my job with both premiere pro cs3 n final cut pro now..so if steve JOB doesn’t listen.. i’ll find another JOB.
    cheers.

  28. nod
    May 14, 2008 at 7:25 am

    if they don’t fill the gap .. someone will .. it’s a natural law.

  29. Mike
    May 15, 2008 at 6:42 am

    I couldn’t wait for Apple to build something they should be offering all along. I simply bought a used G5 for a price I can afford for the power and expandibilty I need.

    And with the bloated software these companies are putting out these days – the mid-Mac Pro should be able to have at least 8GB. Let’s not give them some excuse to wimp out and make us buy prematurely again just because we need more ram in 3 years (which is really their model all along).

    I will continue to buy the previous generation used model until they get these kinds of ideas of what an important segment of their market wants. And stop bloating the software! It’s getting ridiculous.

  30. bill Dwyer
    May 15, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Dude that is right on, i wish apple would make a mac mini pro, I have a G4 apg graphics that I upgraded from a 400mhz to a 1.4GHZ and I am just going to run that until apple makes a computer that will suite me. Or I will just turn to a hackintosh. I have no shame

  31. May 16, 2008 at 11:40 am

    At the risk of sounding like a war starter, maybe you should try linux on your apple hardware. It runs extremely smoothly, try Sidux if you have some knowledge of unix/linux. There is some great software on linux like digikam and gimp. It just takes a while of practice, just like using your previous program did.

  32. Mark
    May 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Three words: Get an Avid

  33. John H
    May 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I am yet another Dual 1G MDD G4 owner who is DYING for a Mac Semi Pro. I want a cheap ass powerful mini-tower. I want a Quad Core system that I can add a few drives to and doesn’t consume 9000 watts to run (like the current Mac Pros). This doesn’t need to be a piece of artwork or sculpture (like the current Mac Pros!) I have tons of other apple products here including a mac book pro. You can buy an $800 quad core Dell system – yes it is frickin’ ugly piece of shite windows pc crap… but like the writer said, I would be one every couple of years instead of $2800 for a monster behemoth of the MacPro today!

    Ditto to the above comments — Steve, give us a mac mini pro or a mac semi-pro.

    Steve – keep up the great fantastic work and expand our horizons with a Mac Semi-Pro!

    John

  34. _
    May 17, 2008 at 5:08 am

    I’m no fanboy, but why would you even consider paying thousands of extra dollars for a computer that doesn’t warrant it rather than just switch operating systems?

    Get a PC.

  35. anonymous
    May 17, 2008 at 6:22 am

    So if they keep screwing you over, why not switch to PC/Linux, where its rather easy and cheap to build your own custom machine?
    silly mac people…

  36. Antonio Manriquez
    May 17, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    The iMac 24″ 3.06 gHz with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS with 4GB of RAM and a Firewire 800 External RAID could work perfectly for the writer’s needs. He can even use his current Cinema Display with the built in port for a second display. If you are running Final Cut Studio 2, and only doing DV and HDV work, this setup works very well, and it will (or should) last just as long as the G4 has.

    I have the same setup as the writer (6 year-old G4), and have no problem with the prospect of spending more for an 8-core Mac Pro that may seem like overkill now, but will continue to suit my needs for at least six to eight years. Get the best your budget can handle now if you absolutely need to or wait and save up so that the workstation you purchase is, in a sense, future-proofed from obsolescence for much longer than a “Mac Mini Pro” or iMac would be.

    As for unnecessary expansion slots, you might not think they are unnecessary when you need to get a USB 3, SATA III, or fibre channel card to keep you running fast with the latest accessories.

  37. Jacob Smith
    May 18, 2008 at 4:43 am

    If you are such a pro, then you know time is money and if you got an intel mac then you wouldnt be waiting around for 2 hours.. the intel is over 5 times faster than your old g4. Think about it.

  38. BobOki
    May 20, 2008 at 7:03 am

    “Get a pc” is not an answer.
    Can I load my mac software on that pc? No. It costs just as much for me to switch. Same reason you don’t switch to a mac.
    There is a huge hole in the mac lineup…. its called “The Macintosh” We have the mini, small and powerless. The iMac, all-in-one, then finally the overly powerful Mac Pro.
    Sounds like we are just missing that middle to high range machine just called mac.

  39. May 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Just a reminder.
    If you have something useful to contribute, please do.
    Those are the types of comments that get to stay.

    Anthony

  40. Justin
    May 21, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I agree. If they could take the insides out of an iMac, put it in a tower, so you user your own external monitor, etc, it would be the perfect “Mac Mini Pro” lol.

  41. May 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I am a music producer and recording engineer, and I agree with you video guys. There needs to be something just right. I use a Intel Mac mini dual 1.83 with Pro Tools LE and it works, but with a big mix it bogs down. A quad machine with around 8 gigs of ram and a couple of PCIe slots would be just what the doctor ordered. It does seem someone is aware of this. Check out Psystar.
    http://psystar.com/index.php
    They call it an open computer and it ships with leopard. I am just curious how stable they are, and what kind of support if any, there is. But for those willing to tread new waters, there is something for you. I also wounder how long until Apple tries to shut this down.

  42. Peet
    May 22, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I love these posts from people who think they have better powers of market analysis than Apple. Hello? Apple makes OVER HALF THE PROFIT in the personal computer industry. Do you really think they need suggestions from the peanut gallery? They are firing on all cylinders already. Go buy a computer that will make you happy instead of whining about Apple “punishing” you. We’ll all be better off.

  43. Parsnip Paul
    May 22, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I love my Mac pro, LOVE it. As a Professional video editor my shop found the time savings alone justified the cost of the upgrade to a few 8-cores. Perhaps the author isn’t bringing in enough business to warrant an upgrade and thats fine, but please don’t assume to speak for all video editors on the subject.
    As for FCP licensing we have the same complaint, so I’m with you on that. Although Final Cut server is supposed to address some of those issues, the reviews aren’t so great on that yet. All in all its more than Redmond ever gave me.

  44. Bob
    May 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    “but your copy protection won’t allow me to use FCP on one machine while the other is rendering a complex timeline for 2 hours.”….

    Just take the second machine off the network.. duh

  45. May 22, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Yes, removing the computer from the network works around that issue, except when you have a ton of media on a NAS – network attached storage. You need the network to access it.

  46. Captain Insano
    May 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    You’re an idiot.

    Most of the fun in owning a Mac is the knowledge that you’re part of a special little club.

    Apple would lose its special little market of hardcore fools with money, after they realize the club is no-more, and it loses its appeal.

    At that point, everyone would see the Mac for what it truly is: an overpriced computer.

  47. May 23, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Make it yourself. While you’re at it, stop typing whiny blogs with one hand (filled with sanctimonious simpering, italicized emphasis, and patronizing “You see…” wording) while you shovel cash in Apple’s direction with the other hand.

  48. Chris
    May 23, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    This is why I don’t buy Apple stuff. It’s not just the OS or the file system. I could learn to live with that. It’s not the dearth of usable programs compared to Windows or even Linux with WINE on hand. It’s Jobs. He knows what to do, but his head is so far up his ass that he refuses to make obviously needed decisions. He’s just like Henry Ford. Ford created the Model T, but from then on he refused to make any other car. For over 20 years, he let Ford go from smashing company to a 2nd runner in the automobile industry, all because he was too stubborn to make good business decisions. That is also Jobs’ problem. He’s got what it takes, but he refuses to acknowledge necessary changes.

  49. cms
    May 24, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    “Get a pc” is not an answer.
    Can I load my mac software on that pc? No.

    actually you can – its called the osx86 project

    i triple boot between vista64, xp and leopard all on a pc i built about a year ago, selected of components that I wanted. just do a educated search at any of the major torrent distro sites and you can grab a copy of osx for your pc. it’s not all that hard.

  50. Gravlax
    May 25, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    The photo-shopp elongated face of the Mac Pro, presumably to make your point is a nice touch.

  51. Hyram H. Hackenbacker
    May 27, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Another “OH GOD PLEASE STEVE” request for a Mac (well, what else can you call it?)

    I want a monitor-less box that’s half (or slightly less) the size of that Hummer-sized tower with:

    – one standard-height 5.25″ drive bay
    – two (minimum) internal 3.5″ drive bays using the same integrated-SATA slide-in arrangement the Mac Pro has
    – 1 x Core Quad processor or dual twin-core PA6T (I’m still not convinced Intel was the right idea, it just makes Intel even more of a monopoly than Microsoft could ever dream about)
    – maximum 16 GB of DDR2 RAM (none of this FB-DIMM nonsense)
    – one PCI-E x4 slot and one PCI-E x1 slot
    – Airport and BlueTooth on an AirCard
    – standard ports (combo-audio out, line-audio in, 2 x rear USB 2, 1 x front USB 2, 2 x rear FW400, 1 x front FW400, 1 x rear FW800, 1 x 1000bT).

    Gimme.

    Until such a beastie appears, I’ll keep my seven year old G4 running for another few years.

    Oh, another message for Steve: business isn’t going to consider Apple as a viable enterprise alternative until there’s a mid-range tower. No matter how good the OS may be.

  52. vroomfondel
    May 29, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    As much as you are right, the “stock threat” at the end is pointlessly reaching. This end of the business industry does NOT affect Apple’s stock price, and you get no little bit of egg on your face when they’re back up to ~$190 or so as they are now.

    “The customer is always right” for THAT customer. It’s just that “the customer” you share your opinions with is such an insanely small portion of the customers overall that it doesn’t matter.

    It bums me out that Apple is ignoring a pretty large segment, but while they’ve Mac sales from me and you and any number of others, I rather imagine they’ve run the numbers and know which way makes to most sense for them financially.

    They may eventually get to it, but the their numbers–whether we’re talking stock price, revenue, or their bottom line–do not depend on it.

  53. Alexander D. Stiles
    May 31, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I totally agree with you on this. But, still there’s something I don’t understand. What’s with the “nice job on iPhone” ?! You probably mean the design and the multi touch interface. Cause that’s all there is to it. There is no Java support, there is no bluetooth (ok it is but not to get/receive files from anyone else nor contacts), there is no way you can set another .mp3 as a ringtone (excuse me but maybe my preferences are different, or maybe I just want to use something else than what comes with it) … what else? I cannot edit or order my playlist unless I use iTunes, I cannot sort out my pics cause a smart programmer made only “slideshow” option available, I don’t have 3G… besides why would I need one, there’s a 2MP only camera and that one cannot even make videos. For all these and much more, iPhone is just a smartphone wannabe.

  54. May 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Stop crying – or go buy a pc… you know exactly what you get when you buy a mac!

  55. Bill Owens
    June 14, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Totally agree with 40 and 51.
    I want to upgrade from my E-Mac and I would like to use a Samsung Monitor so a Monitor-Free iMac would probably suit

  56. MacHead
    June 17, 2008 at 12:26 am

    “Get A PC” *IS* the answer. It doesn’t have quite the cartoon interface of the mac, and it allows you to tell IT what to do instead of the other way around (just try to do something on a Mac if there’s no icon to do it). PC’s are way cheaper, more reliable, completely piece by piece upgradable…they’re Real computers. You bought a piece of Fashionwear!

    And as someone else mentioned, “Steve laughs himself to sleep at night”.

    You know why Mac folks are seen as “cultists”? Because they’re irrational. Why would you worship such a lessor machine? Why is the look of the box more important than the power of the tool to you?

  57. MacHead
    June 17, 2008 at 12:28 am

    P.S. Apple isn’t an innovator, except in fashion. You should wear that machine of yours, that’s what it was made for!

  58. Richard
    September 7, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Typical Mac head stuff here. Religiously devoted to the company that puts form over function on all their products. Just dump FCP.. there are better options that cost less anyway. Get a PC with Sony Vegas software and you’ll get a PC in a price range that is less than half of the Mac Pro with all the stuff you do want and none of the stuff you don’t need. I love my Mac Mini, don’t get me wrong. But I stick with that because I can boot into Windows or Mac OS and I can fit it in my carry on when I fly, so I just take my entire computer and external media drive with me wherever I go. Oh and it’s silent…

    But when it’s time to get a practical system that doesn’t need to move.. just get a PC. :-)

  59. Andrew
    March 3, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    You will continue to be their customer, no matter what. And i’m guessing you’re one of these types who will have a rant like this and then the next day will be saying how apple are a great company and this, that and the other when in reality, they’re just like any other company. You wouldn’t write to microsoft with something like this, so why write to apple? They don’t care one jot more than any other company would.

    What i would suggest for you is that you get a Windows computer. I’m not waving the windows flag or mac flag, i just think you’d be more suited to a windows pc. There’s a lot more options, not loads of overpriced stuff you have to buy just to get things to work, and since you pay for software, you can just got premiere pro (which they have for macs too) or sony vegas or any of the other great software there is for windows.

  60. July 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    UPDATE: It’s July 2010 and I STILL have not bought a MacPro. Not used, certainly not new. The latest generation 12-core systems were announced today. Starting at $5000 before you add hard drives and RAM.

    If Apple’s desktop selection was available from Volkswagen,
    there’d be two cars:
    The Bug.
    The V10 Diesel Tourag.

    If Apple sold soda at 7-11 there’d be two choices:
    8-oz childrens’ cup
    Thirsty-two ouncer.

    We need something in between.
    Why is it every other company understands this but Apple?
    The same company that offers a half dozen different iPod options to suit every need and reach more customers…

  61. July 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    You’re not going to like this, Macheads, but the solution is to go Windoze for the sole reason that Premiere Pro CS5 has effectively killed FCP. The reason is that CS5 added the Mercury Playback Engine which, when paired with an nVidia GPU, applies multiple effects and renders on-the-fly in HD. That’s a sea change in workflow. And reportedly, the supported nVidia GPU cards do not fit in Mac cases. Moreover, Apple simply overcharges (nickels-and-dimes) for everything. It’s just not worth it.

  62. Fred
    December 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Steve would tell you that the “something in between” is the iMac. In fact, it is the mainstream Mac computing experience. The Pro is for, well, pros. The Mini is a bone thrown to hook people in to Apple computers and OSX.

    I’d just like to see the Mini get an option for 1TB internal drive, maxing at 500GB in 2010 on a “Desktop PC” is silly. Also an i3 processor and 512GB “graphics card.” But then again Jobs would tell me I need an iMac, I would tell him he might be right but I don’t feel like dealing with yellow screens, grey bands, whistling hard drives,…

  63. December 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    The key problem with the iMac is having to buy a new screen every time you want to upgrade anything. I have a 5 year old Dell 24″ display that still works gangbusters and has survived several desktop systems.

    I have stuck to my guns and the G4 Mac Mini was the last desktop machine I have purchased. I want a small machine with at least a modicum of upgradeability aside from just RAM. I agree, a 500GB HDD in a “desktop” machine doesn’t cut it today.

    While I do LOVE that they integrated the power supply in the silver Mac Mini computers available in 2010, putting the SD media card slot on the back, amidst all the cables is about as boneheaded as not having a middle-sized desktop in their lineup. It’s clear that the computer designers are: A) constrained by Apple’s primary focus clearly being on consumer electronics (ipod, iphone, ipad, itunes, ibooks, etc) and, B) designing in a vacuum with zero end user “usability” testing.

    There’s no end to the demand for more varied models and, as PC computers offer the selection, the price, faster access to new technologies (Blu-ray, USB 3.0, etc) and, specifically for video pros, near complete customization to pick any NVIDIA card we want to leverage Adobe’s incredible advancements in speed and usability, the industry media has already demonstrated that the exodus away from Mac as the “creative authoring tool” is well underway.

    A Mac Mini Pro won’t stop that any more.
    It is just one of the large MIA pieces of a company that doesn’t care any more.

  1. August 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

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