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NYT: Mac mini, TiVo are \"elegant underdogs\"

updated 03:10 pm EDT, Mon October 3, 2005

Mac mini NYT review

The Mac mini is among the "" in the tech industry, says James Fallows of the New York Times. "The devices or solutions that don't lead their markets but are in many ways more admirable than the ones that do." For years, the Mac has "defined this category." Fallows' review explains why the Mac mini reinforces this idea. "Less than five minutes after I had taken the mini out of its box, I was sitting at my desk typing on my usual keyboard, looking at the usual flat-panel display, automatically connected to the Internet through the usual Wi-Fi link, with pages coming out of the usual printer - but now I was using Mac software, under the Apple operating system OSX. No configuration was required for anything."




by MacNN Staff

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  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    TiVo

    TiVo's an underdog?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Tivo

    Well, with DirecTV (where TiVo gets most of its new customers) about to release their own DVR and basically stop selling Tivos, and all the cable providers trying to roll their own DVR or OnDemand services, it certainly is an underdog.

  1. kupan787

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    TiVo + Comcast...

    I had read recently that sometime in 2006 comcast would start rolling our their DVRs with TiVo software on them. I don't recall where I read this (maybe the TiVo community forums), but it was a big deal. I guess talks had been going on for awhile, but they finaly struck some kind of an agreement. So while TiVo is losing DirecTV, they are gaining Comcast, for a net push I would guess.

  1. g4zilla

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re:Tivo

    That dog needs to learn new tricks: HD support, Mac support for TivoToGo, improvements to schedule interface (support for individual users/folders, ability to lock a show independent of rating), built in support for two tuners (to allow a watch one live/record different one live)(and yes, I know it works this way already with satellite--make it standard for cable users as well!)

    You get the idea.

    That *THUMP* you hear is the old dog getting run over...

  1. donk270

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Tivo

    g4zilla, TiVo does offer HD support. Not on all it's boxes, but I was just at my friends house yesterday and his directv tivo box supports high def.

    However, I couldn't agree more about Mac support for TiVoToGo. Speaking as a user of both, both camps of fans of eerily similar. Also, couldn't agree more about the support for two tuners for cable users - very jealous of my aforementioned friend because of that.

    Still, though, after using my cable company's DVR for high-def content, I will say that, even with all it's failings, using a Tivo is like driving a porsche, while using a cable company DVR is like driving an old chevette. Sure, both cars will get you where you need to go, but one will do it in a very pleasant and ultimately more satisfying style.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Automatically to wi-fi?

    Heh heh, I'll bet Mr. Fallows' neighbours are also enjoying connecting to his Wi-Fi link automatically too. ;-)

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    TiVO versus Mac

    I don't know how you could compare TiVO to the Mac in terms of ease of use. TiVO has no email or phone support and it is not intuitive at all. They also never asked for me to sign up for their service or included it with the TiVO box purchase and as I didn't have access to a credit card for several weeks, I wouldn't be able to record any TV shows at all for that time. I guess they want people to use the TiVO box as a cheap Linux PC. I had an easier time setting up Linux in 1999. I now use a Comcast box which they set up for me and offer great support although I don't need it and they offer on demand which TiVO doesn't offer and they offer support for HDTV which TiVO claimed on its website they didn't support. Also Comcast uses a Motorola box, not a TiVO. I am still trying to get rid of my brand new TiVO box, but I can't find anyone to take it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: TIVO vs Mac

    I'll take the Tivo if you don't want it.

    Oh, and to say the mac is easy to use out of the box is a falsehood. Its easy to use if you know what you're doing. But does someone just know what they need to use to write a letter, or where that's located? No. Do they know what saving a file is all about, and where they can find that file later? Probably not as well. They'll 'know' these things if they've used computers previously, but if they're just plain neophytes, they're screwed.

    Same goes with a Tivo.

    Oh, I had no problem hooking up my tivo and using it. Followed the steps in the manual, worked like a charm. Although this was years and years ago. Of course, I bought it at Best Buy, and they actually explained the whole 'subscribe vs. buy' part of the deal (yeah, I know, hard to believe from Best Buy).

    Then again, I wouldn't sign up with Comcast again unless I had absolutely no other choice in the matter. They've got to be the most inept company out there, when it comes to customer service, tech support, and just plain gouging their customers. (Friends of mine just signed up for Comcast, the installer was late - a shock! - took him 2 hours to get the cable set up, although it was fuzzy, and the cable modem didn't work, so they had to send someone else out, initially between 8 and 5 until she yelled at the people, and then the next tech came out to fix it, who found that the first tech plugged in the cables all wrong, and the cable modem would be spotty because they needed to boost the signal and that would take a week, oh, and BOTH remote controls for the digital boxes didn't work, and none of the techs seemed to care - they were both used and dirty as well, how nice. Oh, the joys of comcast....)

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