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The Mighty Impressive And Oh So Mini Mac

mac_mini.jpgPlease bear with me as I write this. There really is no clear marketing correlation here, and I don't even know what my point will end up being, but I am certain along the way I'll think of something. And I wanted to share this story with you. After the new year, Jim & I invested rather heavily in high-end audio recording equipment. Condenser microphones, pop filters, special stands, and something called an MBOX2, along with the premier audio editing software on the market. All this because we're going to be producing a high volume of recorded materials in the first quarter, and we don't really enjoy listening to poorly recorded material - and figured most of you wouldn't either. So in the best interest of our listeners ears, we took the plunge. Little did we know that the equipment and software we invested in was VERY FICKLE. First of all we had to order different pieces from many different places - no one stop shopping. Then it all arrived at different times. Once we finally had it in the office, we anxiously began hooking it all up. What a chore!! I had to disable dozens of features on my computer and change my screen font settings and boot sequence and power settings. Uggh. It was a nightmare. And this was after we purchased a stand alone external hard drive to exclusively store the audio recordings and the program. Once it was all hooked up, we hit the record button...... ....error! What? Oh yeah. It didn't work. So we bought yet another piece of equipment to increase the speed of the connection. That wouldn't work. So we bought another. That worked. We had to reformat the hard drive, reinstall the software and equipment.... ...error! Again?!?! So we call tech support. They explain that the software won't work my brand of computer OR the new hard drive we bought. WEIRD!! They have a list of "approved" hardware - which means about 5 different specific models of computers they recommend. What a mess! I wish we had known about this before we bought ALL this equipment. So we hooked it up on Jim's computer. By the way - both machines are less than 1 year old. No dice. Error on Jim's computer too! So we decide to BUILD (Yeah...dumb idea) our own computer - to make sure it fits the MBOX specifications perfectly. We had down to the computer store and make a long list of gadgets we'll need. As you can imagine, the bill is getting pretty high. But the worst part was our time. We had spend 10's of hours on this project. It was quickly becoming a losing proposition. Finally, just before we were going to buy all the computer junk, we recalled seeing that the equipment worked on macs as well. Neither of us have ever owned a mac, so we weren't very familiar. But we pulled up the web site to check out the mac specs. It lists about 6 different models and says it will work with each of the models right out of the box - no monkeying around. Wow! So I call the Apple store. How much is this Mac Mini? $499. That's it? Yep. And what else will I need? Nothing, it will work with your existing monitor, keyboard and mouse. Oh by the way, the Mac Mini is 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches by 2 inches tall. Wow! Welcome to mac. So we drive down there, skeptical. Sure enough, we walk out with a box that could barely fit a calculator and extra batteries. Inside was a computer. We get back to the office - 6:00 Friday evening - wives ringing the phone off the hook. Hail Mary. If you've ever taken a new computer out of the box and set it up, you know this can be an ALL DAY AFFAIR. Well, at 6:10 the computer was up and running, operating system installed. It had already connected itself to the internet and the office network - and all we did was plug in the ethernet cable. We were very curious. 7 minutes later we had installed the Pro Tools software and the MBOX2 - yep, the same items we had WASTED all week trying to make work on our PCs. About 2 minutes later we had hit the record button and were laying down crystal clear perfect audio. AMAZING! And this $499 Mac Mini is the entry level Mac. Nothing special. It's the Ford Fiesta of the Mac world. But compared to PCs it's like a Rolls Royce. Common! It worked right out of the box - not screwing around. I didn't have to change a single setting. And it's a good thing, because I wouldn't know where to find the settings on the Mac. All I know how to do is turn it on and open the recording program. But it works!! Leapin' Lizards!! I'm in love. I've wasted years of my life horsing around with PCs. Rebuilding, reinstalling, reformatting. All with mediocre performance, viruses, and spyware (which they tell me doesn't really exist in the Mac world. So I've decided that my message is this: 1. Give Mac a chance. Pretty darned impressive - and this from the biggest computer critic I know 2. Time. It's all we really have. I ended up buying the new computer after being prodded by my dad the night before. He said, "Son, you're wasting too much time on this project. Just buy a new computer and you'll come out way ahead." He was right. It's not worth wasting time with things like this. It's been said that you should only spend your time doing those things you are uniquely qualified to do, and buy everything else around the corner. The thing is, I know few people who know their way around a PC better than Jim and I. So we are qualified. The problem is that it doesn't pay to waste time doing it. During those 10+ hours we wasted we could have held a private teleconference, several consulting sessions, written 2 articles and a short ebook. That's all very valuable stuff. Stuff that would benefit YOU. But what value did you get from us wasting our time with the computers? None. Hopefully you'll enjoy the crisp new sound! So keep this story in mind for your business. Don't get stuck with dumb stuff. Spend your time learning and practicing marketing (the highest paid profession in the world) and creating new and improved valuable content or systems for your clients. P.S. The apple inspired Newton to noodle out gravity. How fitting.