Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Not-free Mac Minis

I have pretty much committed myself to getting a Mac Mini soon, probably the basic model but with the 512MB RAM upgrade. I will also need to get a screen (probably a 17″ LCD), keyboard and KVM switch, which will allow me to switch between the Mac and my laptop. I haven’t yet decided when I’m going to get them – I have the money right now but I’m somewhat tempted to wait a bit.
But when I do get it, I’ve decided that I will pay for it in full, out of my own money, like I did with my iPod Mini. Like with the iPod, there’s a site offering free Mac Minis in return for signing up 10 of your friends for various offers, such as those from AOL and Blockbuster. Apart from the fact that this is for US residents only, I have a couple of ethical problems with it.

  1. Firstly, it’s a pyramid scheme. While they can be very advantageous to popular, early adopters, if you happen to be towards the pyramid you’re more likely to lose out. With the requirement here being 10 referrals instead of 5, that likelihood is even higher.
  2. I also don’t want to have to subject other people to this. Even if I was a US resident I don’t think any of the offers would interest me. Sure, I could leave after a month but it’s a lot of hassle.

If you are interested in getting a Mac Mini for free then I’m not going to stop you – in fact, why not give Luke Hutteman a helping hand and use his referral link? But for me, personally, I’d rather do it my way.
Note to commenters: Please do not spam the comments with your referral links. They’re not welcome here.


  1. While the price is right for the computer, the money Apple charges for upgrading the RAM is scandalous ($450 extra for a gig, when I can buy it for $165?!?).
    The low memory in the Mac Mini is really surprising to me. OS X runs SO much nicer with lots of RAM, and 256 doesn’t really cut it for a decent OS X experience. Fortunately, sites are popping up all over with instructions for upgrading the unit yourself, and a full gigabyte is really the way to go if you can afford it.

  2. More bzzz

    After my previous posts on BzzAgents, I was interested to see more evidence of efforts to creat word-of-mouth marketing, in posts from Neil Turner and Dan Gilmour. They’re both a bit wary of it….

  3. Dave: I was wondering about getting the cheapest model and then adding the RAM myself, but then I’d end up with a spare stick of RAM that I’d need to sell on since the Mini only has one slot. I’d rather pay a little more for less hassle.
    I’d love a full Gig but when you throw in the cost of a 17″ LCD screen (£150 for a reasonable one) the cost is starting to get beyond my budget.

  4. Neil, why doesn’t your blog remember my URL. I click Remember Me all the time. I use OmniWeb 5.1 all the time. If it is setting a cookie there is no reason why it would not remember my URL.
    About this post tho… I am so glad to hear you are going to get a Mac mini! Having at least 512, and I would say at least 1 GB of RAM will make you more happy with the system. I would not buy the RAM from Apple tho. They do say it is not a User Installable Part. In reality it is, you have to jimmy the case off to get to the one RAM slot. You could buy that RAM somewhere else and take it somewhere to get it put in, or do it yourself. How close are you to an authorized apple retailer?