NY Times Looks at the Smaller Mac mini

The New York Times has published a close look at what makes Appleis Mac mini a mini Mac. In his "How it works" column for the newspaper, Ian Austen looked at the components and design that went into making the Mac mini small, yet quiet, and spoke to Apple execs for additional details on how and why Apple made the decisions it did.

Mr. Austen started his explanation by going back to the early 1980s, when he said that IBMis emerging dominance with its Personal Computer squelched all other efforts to introduce style and design to computers.

"The simplest way today to create a computer as small as the Mini," he wrote, "would be piecing it together with miniaturized parts designed for laptop computers. But Philip Schiller, senior vice president for worldwide product marketing at Apple, says that despite the decline in the costs of such components, many of them remain too expensive for a $500 computer."

Accordingly, Apple approached the design around the assumption that most users would only upgrade their RAM at purchase, and that most people would expand their computers through USB and FireWire.

Other topics explored are how Apple keeps the Mac mini cool, and the fact that Apple does allow users to open up the Mac mini to add their own memory, "provided they do not damage anything in the process."

This information will not be new to denizens of the Mac Web, but for a mainstream audience, the article offers yet more exposure to the Mac platform, and Appleis inexpensive consumer Mac, to an audience not at all versed in such concepts.

Note that the New York Times requires a free subscription.