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Taking Control – MAC mini

I have been around the block a few times. I know my way fairly well. There are options along the way that can be controlled. Many things exist on the journey of which I have no control. Sometimes I try change, then discover some things are best if left alone. If it is serious, then the tactic may be to avoid, rather than attempt change. A detour is a good strategy.

Wisdom is knowing what can be changed and what needs to be avoided. Wisdom is also knowing that just because you can affect change, doesn’t mean you have to. Change can have a good effect, a bad effect, or no effect.

The results of change are not always known in advance. Doing nothing seems to be the safe path but can cause one to endure something undesirable. Experimentation is a process of learning and understanding, sometimes things can go right, wrong, or stay the same.

Being curious, I do a lot of experimentation. I try things. I take guidance from others but learn most from my own experience. Self-taught is as good and sometimes better than being taught. It’s called experience, often quoted as “the best teacher”.

OK, enough philosophy. Ha!

Let’s look a computer science. Did I mention that science is a term used for “learning?”

The state of knowing: knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.” — as defined by Merriam-Webster.

Computers and computing are some of my “hot buttons.” No secret about that from my friends and family. I am somewhat a self-taught computer scientist. It’s one of the “blocks” I have been around a few times. As a much younger man, I helped usher in the personal computer age as a hobbyist. Devouring Dr. Dobbs Journal of Calisthenics and Orthodontia, and also BYTE magazine.

The last 20 years of my working career involved installing stand alone, distributed and embedded computer, energy, environmental and security control systems into large scale educational, commercial, political, and military environments. My credentials include: Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Business Energy Professional (BEP) and Certified Sustainable Development Professional (CSDP)

OK, enough self-promotion…

I take charge and get things done when necessary.

My retirement, since March of 2015 continues heavy involvement in personal computers. I am fluent with the three main personal computer operating systems, Microsoft Windows, Linux version of UNIX, and Apple macOS. Also, several other small board systems no having a stand-alone major operating system. Embed computer control systems like Arduino, Parallax Spin, and others.

Tolerating what I consider the mis-behavior of the highly popular Microsoft operating system called WIN10. It is something I cannot change. But I can avoid…

Win10 is not bad. Its poor behavior can be endured, as its good points keep it at the height of top PC operating system on the planet. I continue to use and require the WIN10 operating system on an everyday basis.

There are two major alternatives. Linux in various distributions and Apple macOS.

Action Taken

Ramblin Dan has just made a move to a macOS. That’s the current Apple computer operating system.

Not exclusively, as I will continue to use both WIN10 and Linux operating systems.  I have investment in both those in the form of commercial software and hardware, as well as much personal effort and time.

I am not prejudice to any computer operating system. I have lots of Apple hardware. Of course the usual iPhones and iPads but includes two elderly Macintosh computers. The original MACINTOSH, 35 years old, and a MAC mini, 14 years old. The original MAC is in hibernation, but the 14-year-old mini is quite functional.

The new system is NEW, MAC mini, circa 2019. The latest and greatest. Uh…, not quite the greatest, as it is the base model. It’s not wimpy brain-dead like previous MAC’s, its hardware is equal or better than any of my present machines.

This is not exactly a move. More like an option. My intention is to use and experience the macOS and then decide if it is worth the effort to let it become my dominate OS.

WIN10 (unfortunately) is my current dominate operating system. I say unfortunate, as it is becoming less and less user friendly. Linux in various flavors is an OS I love but doesn’t offer the commercial software support I need. I have always like OSX, ( but the cost of hardware was a deterrent.

The new MAC mini is the lowest hardware entry level into using the macOS. Except perhaps for some of the “Hackintosh” clones. Apple, in 2018, finally, made major upgrades in processor and systems speed improvements for the MAC mini. It had set untouched for four years as the little underpowered orphan. That has changed.

Too soon for me to say if it will be my go-to hardware and OS. I have loaded both Office 365 and Adobe Creative Suit. Those are the two major products that keep me in WIN10. I will also move some of my CAD/CAM to the mini. FUSION360 is already installed and works fine.

Rhino (CAD) has reduced features in the MAC version and may require an additional license. Vectric Aspire (CAD/CAM) does not have a macOS version – MS Windows only. So, WIN10 is not going away. These programs operate just fine where they are. It’s the WIN10 OS trying to dominate the user experience, not how programs operate in WIN10, where I have issues.

I have already admitted being a computer junkie since BC, Before Computer. The computer operating system was originally intended to be the silent background system that created I/O standards all application software could use to “talk” to the hardware and the rest of the world. Once it helped “boot” the system, it became invisible, just like the boot-ROM still does.

Not true today. It still helps boot the computer but is now designed to control the entire user’s computer and social experience. It makes decisions and acts on its own for the user. Bragging how it will “improve” the user experience. Not designed for power users, it must cater to the lowest, inexperienced user.

MacOS probably does the same. I’ll find out. Maybe I can find a DOS 2.0 disk in my archives. Might have to find a computer with an Intel 8086 processor… Ha! (That’s a joke, son…)


2 comments to Taking Control – MAC mini

  • Mike

    Will your new Mac Mini be your goto machine? Ah, the question of the day!!!

  • Daniel Kautz

    Presently, it is… Just because it is the new kid on the block. (Keeping with the metaphor)
    Will it endure? That’s IS the question. It will get a fair trial… 🙂