I've been looking into getting an Apple Mac to replace my aging home computer. Now, I know some people will be asking, "Why an Apple Mac?" Well it's quite simple really. I don't use Windows for anything other than updating my iPod. Everything else I do is done on Linux. "So why not just get a new PC and install Linux" I hear you say... well, that one's quite easy too... because the Mac OS X is based on a version of Unix (BSD for the techies), it looks great, and everything just works and I can update my iPod without having to reboot. Apple pretty much sums up all the reasons why I'd want to switch to Mac.

Apple have successfully taken Unix and put it into the homes of thousands of people without them realising Unix is actually running on their computers. The user interface is slick and well designed and puts any Linux desktop to shame. Its more stable than Windows, and has much better driver support than Linux.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not abandoning Linux, I still have my laptop with Linux installed, so I can tinker with that - I might even set it up to tri-boot Windows, Linux and Solaris 10, but that's a task for another day.

Now for the quandary... I've had my eye on this lovely piece of machinary - the iMac G5
iMac G5

The whole computer, screen, cd drive, network card, fireware card, usb ports and even the speakers are all contained within the screen. The screen itself is only 2 inches thick. I can then use either a wired keyboard and mouse that connects to the back of the monitor (as will my iPod) or use bluetooth with a wireless keyboard and mouse. This machine is lovely, will clear up loads of wires lying around and takes up very little space too. The only con with this beauty is the price - they start at ?899 for the basic model and go upward depending on size, speed and option I may want.

Then yesterday, Apple goes and announces that they will be selling the "cheapest ever Mac". The iMac mini.

iMac mini

This is basically just a box with no monitor, keyboard or mouse to which you can connect your own monitor and keyboard and mouse. The BIG pro with this is the price... it certainly is the cheapest Mac ever with prices starting at ?339 for the bottom of the range.

Now the price alone is very attractive, as is the cute little box, but I'll still have to buy a monitor, keyboard and mouse in order for it ALL to look like Mac'ish like this picture. This then knocks the price up big time. (Apple monitors don't come cheap).

I could use the stuff I've got already and start playing now, but I think that will take away some of the "ooo" factor of having a nice looking Mac environemt - there's no point having a lovely little box that sits in the corner when I've got a hideous PC monitor.

Hmmm, I think I've solved my own quandary in writing this... I've got a lot of saving to do. Donations are welcome if someone if feeling very generous.