Apple just announced its second round of new hardware for this Fall. Most of our users are probably interested in the updated MacBook Air, but we were all about the Mac Mini. It hasn’t been updated since 2014, so the new version was long overdue. Really, the Mini stalled out in 2012. The newer ones seem to be slower.
Why do we like the Mini? Well, software developers need large screens. Writing code means looking at scads of text. The more you can see, the better. Beside that, there needs to be room for the app being developed, plus a debugger window. So, it makes sense to get a very large screen, with a separate CPU.
For testing, it also helps to have several machines with different OS versions. It’s nice to still have space for other things on one’s literal desktop. So, the smaller the CPU box, the better.
TurtleSoft switched to Mac Minis, soon after they were released. With a big monitor and a KVM switch, it’s possible to run several machines at once and switch between them. For a long time we stacked the Minis, but lost a couple to overheating. Now they are on individual shelves. Meanwhile, Windows desktops still tend to be huge, but we can pop in cheap laptops when there’s need for more than one.
The new Minis have better specs, but not by much. The underlying problem is that computer hardware is reaching maturity. CPU speeds are not increasing like they used to, and it’s only going to get worse. Silicon chips are already starting to be affected by physical limits like the speed of light and the size of atoms.
Meanwhile, we are still working on breakdown tables.