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Betrayal: Mac Mini - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Betrayal: Mac Mini
So, my annual work bonus finally arrived, and I decided to purchase a computer. My current desktop maching is a hand-me-down from Warren that's at least five years old. For over a year the drive has sporadically been making a horrible whirring noise, so I'm sure its on its last legs. More importantly though, it is way underpowered for playing World of Warcraft. Yes, the immediate motivation for me buying a new computer was so I could play a game; I'm a big enough woman to admit that*.

The thing is, I don't need a brand new G5. I just need something that will allow me to play my current game addiction, watch DVDs, read email, browse the web, run a word processor and spreadsheet and store my photos. In other words, stuff that most normal people might use a computer for. I don't want an iMac because I have an Apple Cinema Display and want to keep using that as my monitor.

It sure seemed like the Mac Mini was the solution. Just a basic comupter, no frill, and I supply the monitor, which in my case is even an Apple monitor, so it should be compatable. I do a little research on the Mini, and it sure looks like the thing, so I go out and buy one. I get the $600 dollar model, then spend another $250 upgrading it to a Gig of RAM.

I went home with my new computer, feeling all rapturous about my new purchase. Its so small I can fit it under the monitor risers that my monitor is sitting on. I plug it in, and everything looks good. I install Warcrack. Warcrack plays its opening sequence and everything looks fine. Then I hit the login screen. Bad news. There are these red, blue and green horizontal lines flickering all over the place, and every few seconds the screen jumps. Not good. I login, and its the same: headache inducing lines and flicker. Very not good. I get angry, and do what most people suffering unexpected Warcrack withdrawal do, I blame Blizzard. I also whine at the husband about it. The husband, being a bright guy and not suffering addict very reasonably points out that there might be an issue with the video card, or something in that neighborhood. He surfs the web, and I try to reproduce the problem in other areas. Playing a DVD in fact reveals that its not Blizzards fault, the lines are showing up there as well, just not as bad. In fact, once I was noticing them, it appeared that I got the occasional line while just browsing the web.

I was hoping at this point that I'd just gotten a bad video card. The very first Mac I ever bought had a bad logic board in it, and it was replaced. It would be annoying, but I'd just take the thing back to Microcenter, and they'd replace it. It might take a while and be annoying, but ultimately the problem would get resolved. Unfortunatly for me, Warren was turning up some information on the web with other people having similar video issues on their Mac Minis. There's weren't quite as bad, but it started looking like the issue might be that the Mini just can't power a large monitor. We tried a few obvious things, like doing a software update, and checking all the cables, but the problem remained. I see a trip to Microcenter in my future. More importantly, what I'm currently not seeing in my future is the ability to play Warcrack and walk through Goldshire without freezing for a minute on every other step.

* By "big enough" I mean that I am suffciently large that I believe I could beat you up if you make fun of me over this.

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Current Mood: aggravated aggravated

5 comments or Leave a comment
dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: March 14th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)


Zoop. :(

Oh, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who got a new computer to play a video game.

Although in my case, it was Half-Life 2. But in between ordering my computer and receiving it, I was visiting jcatelli at the Mausoleum and saw the denizens there playing. I thought, "ooh, pretty". So then I got a copy.

I think I've played many 30 mins of HL2. :)
mjperson From: mjperson Date: March 14th, 2005 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)


that does all seem odd though as they seem to be trying to position the mac mini as a dedicated multimedia machine. IE If if can't even play a DVD without the lines, I'd wonder about the card being bad in addition to underpowered.
twe From: twe Date: March 14th, 2005 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh, most foul betrayal!

Well, jcatelli is still having computer issues to, so Morley will just continue to rest in the inn. :)
jcatelli From: jcatelli Date: March 14th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Much sadness! Having just been betrayed by new hardware myself, I feel your pain.

I had been thinking that my computer didn't have enough RAM for a while now, but Warcrack was the necessary incentive to get me to go out and buy some more. You're not alone. :)

Much crashing later, I have confirmed that the new memory was the problem. (The driver error appears to have been a decoy.) I had to completely erase my system and reinstall the factory specs. Atleast I have an OS again, even if I have nothing else. I was just taunted by the two days of speed before the crash.

I wonder how long it'll take to reinstall WoW....
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: March 15th, 2005 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Ick, bad memory. At least you have your CDs back now.
5 comments or Leave a comment