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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Stephen Hackett

The Hackett File: The case for the Mac mini

When it was introduced at Macworld 2005, Steve Jobs pitched the Mac mini as the easiest way to switch to Mac OS X. It was the BYODKM Mac — bring your display, keyboard and mouse. A PC user could unhook their Dell or HP or whatever, drop in a Mac mini and be off to the races. The incredibly low price of $499 just sweetened the deal for would-be switchers.

Over the years, the Mac mini became more than just the budget Mac for new users. Higher-end models became more powerful and more expensive, creating a real fanbase for the little computer.

Mac mini enthusiasts were soon hooking the machines up to televisions, using them as in-car entertainment systems and even running them as servers, something that Apple recognized and blessed with separate “Server” SKUs that often came with more storage and a copy of OS X sever. Heck, there are companies that colocate Mac minis in data centers now.…

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