I decided the Apple MacBook Pro was not meant to be at this time. Apple has put them on backorder for another 3-4 weeks and they are out of my price range for the current processor speed so I bought a Apple Mac Mini (PowerPC G4 1.5 Ghz, 512MB RAM, DVD-RW) so I could start to see how the other half, or 20% live.
I placed the order on a weekend and got a shipment confirmation on same weekend, which I thought was odd or just incredible service. It arrived just 5 days later and I was anxious to set it up and see what the hype was all about.
The unit is extremely small, just a few inches square and only a couple inches high. The power supply is external which makes the unit just about silent. OSX came pre-installed on the system but needed to be setup for my information for registration and such things as my wireless network. Being an Apple neophyte I expected some problems with the setup and configuration but it all just worked. From the time I opened the package until the first time I opened up the Safari web browser was only about 10 minutes. The auto updater also ran right away and updated all of my software, including OSX to 10.4.4.
The main drive to get a Mac was to use it for Ruby on Rails development and to use some of the software for the Mac I have heard great things about which include TextMate and OpenOffice for the Mac. I was able to download and install OpenOffice without too much trouble, the prerequisites include Java JRE 1.5 and X11 be installed for OpenOffice to run, which I installed without and problems. I download TextMate, installed it and started working with it, which seems like an editor that supports a lot of different development languages.
Installation of the components of Ruby on Rails was a bit more difficult that I will detail in an upcoming post. I will also follow up on my experiences with this Mac Mini from a development standpoint in future posts.