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It also sets up iCloud, so apps such as Mail, Contacts, Calendar , and Safari have all your latest information waiting for you. Getting to know the desktop: The desktop is where you can find everything and do anything on your Mac. The Dock at the bottom of the screen is a handy place to keep the apps you use most.

Click the Finder icon to quickly get to all your files and folders. The menu bar at the top has lots of useful information about the Mac mini. To check the status of your wireless Internet connection, click the Wi-Fi icon. Your Mac mini automatically connects to the network you chose during setup.

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You can also find anything on your Mac using Spotlight Search. And it keeps everything up to date automatically. For example, if you buy a song on one device, it will be instantly available on all other devices. If the user creates a new Pages document on his or her Mac mini, he or she can make edits with their iPad on the go. Or you can take a photo with your iPhone, and it automatically appears in iPhoto on your Mac.

To choose the iCloud features you want to enable, select System Preferences in the Dock and click iCloud. Launchpad is where you can easily find all the apps on your Mac.

Prior to the iMac, I'd never been able to use a machine for more than 18 months without needing a major upgrade. The iMac lasted five years. To be fair, it's desperately needed an upgrade for about a year, but the hurricane and the big house move took precedence and I just didn't want to get a new machine until we were moved back into a permanent place.


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I use all my machines for light writing, web browsing, keeping up with social networks, and email. But I use my main machine for seven main workloads:.

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This is what finally killed my iMac. It does one 4K stream reasonably well, but just choked with four camera feeds. I need PowerPoint, Photoshop, Illustrator, and other apps open, along with a bunch of research resources. Big analysis documents: When I'm working on a big analysis, I often need a bunch of documents open. I used to have four screens on my iMac and even that wasn't quite enough screen real estate to see everything. Coding: I support a number of open source projects, one of which manages donations for more than 10 thousand non-profits.

VM simulations: I used to do network simulations of up to 16 simultaneously-running VMs. I'm not doing quite as much work with this now, so I usually don't need more than four VMs open at once.

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  • Fortunately, running Parallels, I can cut and paste between both environments, which saves a ton of time. With a lot of my bigger projects, I've been craving a wider screen. When the ultrawide monitors started appearing a few years ago , I was bummed to discover that my iMac wouldn't support them. Then, when I started doing multicam video either with four talking heads or lots of camera angles shot simultaneously it became clear the iMac had met its match. For me, the best fit was a Mac rather than a Windows machine.

    The Mac would run Windows, and since I need to run applications on both, I couldn't just run out and buy or build any old Windows machine. That put me in wait-and-see mode for new Macs. As I discussed a few weeks ago, there were four scenarios for a new machine to meet my workload. A Hackintosh could have done it, but I just didn't want to go that route if I could help it.

    While I'm not uncomfortable with the technical hacks to set one up, I am uncomfortable with the ongoing fiddling required for maintaining them, especially during upgrades. When I have an assignment to work on, it's sometimes very time-sensitive and I need a machine I can rely on. Since I wanted an ultrawide monitor, the screens that come with an iMac or a MacBook Pro would have been more pain than gain. The MacBook Pro screen is too small for desktop use, and the iMac screen is unwieldy and heavy for most standard monitor stands.

    I really wanted a headless computer, and since the Mac Pro is missing in action, that meant a Mac Mini -- if Apple ever upgraded it. That's just silly. To be honest, I would have liked an even higher performing processor, but this will still be a huge boost. Early Geekbench scores put the Mac Mini at for single core and for multi-core. In terms of single-core performance, that puts the Mac Mini at just below the 4.

    In single-core performance, that's about 25 percent faster than my old iMac. Also: Here's why Apple doesn't really care about the Mac or iPad. In multicore performance, it still lags a bit behind the old Mac Pro 8-core Xeon processor, but not by much. Beyond the two hugely expensive pro machines, the new Mac Mini with the processor I chose appears to be faster in multicore performance than all the other Macs.

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    In single core performance, only one machine bests it. Next up is memory. I haven't pushed past about 24GB in any of my recent workloads. So, given a choice, I'd rather not spend on 64GB. My preference is usually to buy gear when my workload needs it. While we don't consider the memory directly end-user accessible, service providers can access the internals of the Mac Mini to upgrade the memory. I'm honestly not entirely sure what I'll encounter when the Mac arrives, but I'm sure it'll be interesting.

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    • Next is storage. Apple charges way too much on storage, but it's not internally upgradeable. Apple's internal storage is also seriously fast, since it relies on flash memory. Here, I needed to balance performance against price. I use an external direct-attached RAID array for my video production and assets, so I don't need a huge amount of on-system storage. I also have a very large NAS with most of my other resources.

      I checked my various machines and, as might be expected, the main workhorse iMac used the most. Even so, it was under GB. That machine was equipped with 1TB and I found that quite workable. Finally, there was another big decision. This time, though, it was not about price, but about reliability. I am not running 10Gb Ethernet here, mostly because none of my computers support it.

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      I spent the extra hundred bucks and configured the Mac Mini with 10Gb. My only concern is that since Apple only has such a port on the iMac Pro and now the Mac Mini, will it work properly? Apple just doesn't have that much experience with this new port. I decided to go for it anyway, because it'll help future-proof the machine.

      Also, worst case, since the machine has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the worst case scenario is to throw an Ethernet adapter on the Thunderbolt and use it that way.

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      I asked for Thunderbolt and USB-3 and got it. I asked for a 10Gb Ethernet port and I got it.