After Apple announced new versions of their small Mac mini, now with Intel processors, the various shops selling Apple computers lowered the price (all by exactly the same amount, using exactly the same graphics, curiosly enough) of the old models.
The middle one looked good to me - 80GB harddisk, no dvd-burning capability (this was the only difference from the old top model, priced 1/5 higher) - so I went looking for one.
On March 7th I visited five shops. None of them had the middle Mac mini (only the smaller one or the larger one - or the prices weren't lowered).
Last weekend I decided to give it one last shot, being the day the lowering of prices ended. In the first shop I visited they had exactly one, but it was on display in the shop and had been running since january. The salesperson looked at the shop-chains inventory and told me that another shop was supposed to have two left.
So I went to the other shop, only to learn that the inventory was inaccurate. Only the bottom and the top-model was available there after all.
Biked back to the first shop and asked them what they wanted for the demo-model. It was already discounted 1/5 of the price, so they "only" knocked 1/20 more of the price. I was happy just to get the machine.
I installed Debian on it and I must say, it is an absolute joy to use. It is small, it is very quiet compared to the old machine I used and it looks nice too. It even displays it's console on my monitor, something the old machine wasn't capable of.
The only nit so far is that I can't use netbanking from it; IBM does hava a Java runtime available, but it just crashes Firefox when I try to use it. So I'll have to ssh to an x86-box to do bank-business.
I can't view Windows Media Video 9-videos on it either, but I don't really care about that.
It doesn't pack a lot of CPU-power (1.4GHz PowerPC G4), but I don't really need that on the desktop anyway - I can feel that it is a little slower than the 2GHz Pentium 4 I was using, but only slightly - and the reduction in sound and formfactor combined with the increase in "cool" is certainly much preferable.
It is a sweet little desktop machine.