Friday, September 23, 2016

An Inside Look at Apple's Skunkworks

I feel a little paranoid even posting this, especially after Tim Cook loaded all those Samsung phones with explosive devices like a ninja. A few weeks ago I came into contact (won't say the method or the medium) with an insider at Apple (won't say who) of some distinction (won't say their rank) who first dangled and then delivered pictures of the new 2016 Mac Mini. Ordinarily I'd be like, "Cool," but nothing to risk my neck over. The Mac Mini isn't the most exciting product ever, but this Mac Mini, my source said, is different. It's a revolutionary new Mac Mini, and one that would hint at changes to the entire Mac lineup. This is a paradigm shifter. It shows Apple's changing priorities and where Jony Ive & Co. intend to take the whole Mac product line in years to come. The old Mac Mini is no more. It's time for a new form factor, new internals, and even an assault on the very concept of internals.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the 2016 Mac Mini:

2016 Mac Mini

As you can see, it's minnier than ever. "How can they fit a computer in that?" you ask. Before you go speculating there's an A10 fusion processor in there, ask yourself first, "What is the concept of a processor?" Is it internal to the core housing of a computer, or is it modular? Must it always be internal taking up valuable space that can be better filled by the feng shui of Jony Ive's brilliance, or would it be more harmonious as an external add-on — a dedicated CPU (or eCPU)? This is the next revolution Apple intends to give us. Their new computers will have no CPUs, and just as they used the Mac Mini 10 years ago to usher in the age of Intel, they're using the 2016 Mac Mini to usher in the age of Notel. That's right, the CPU is a thing of the past. You may add one if you wish, but Apple will not bow to the vulgarities of manufacturers who pursue function over form. Rather, Apple is dedicated to balancing form and function on equal terms.

As with the CPU, there is no internal GPU. There is no internal hard drive or memory. The new Mac Mini is a waystation for your dreams. To fulfill your vision, add an external CPU and motherboard. Add an external GPU and hard drive. Even many hard drives if you like. Apple has never shied from its role as curator for the essential and worthy in life, and this new design (I blush at such a blunt moniker) creates, yes creates, maximum flexibility to follow your muse.

So advanced is the new, "form," we'll call it, that it doesn't even need a power supply. You simply plug it into one with the USB-C connector. You can attach a plethora of external devices to the included ports comprising of USB-C, USB 3 , and HDMI. If you run out of ports, you may add a hub, or perhaps hubs upon hubs. In this way, Apple devices will be scalable. For the first time, home consumer devices will scale in ways that will make many an enterprise procurer wonder why they even still exist.

You may wonder, "Won't this ruin the aesthetic?" Won't all these devices, hubs, and dongles make every desktop a tangled web of cords and connectors, of external housing units of varying brands and sizes, turning an otherwise elegant workspace (brainspace) into a teeming jungle? Yes, and this is where Apple's second innovation comes in. This is not your traditional device rack. Apple, my source informs me, thought long and hard to come up with the right form factor for a new component receptacle befitting of the new now.

May I humbly introduce the Apple Wastebasket:

Apple Wastebasket

Simple. Futuristic yet harkening. You never would have thought of it yesterday, but now that it's arrived, you cannot imagine anything else.


  1. LOVE IT ! :D
    That wastebasket is so totally "Ive" design ...

  2. NO CPU!? How does it process anything!?

  3. is it rly true or just a joke?

  4. I'm starting to think Apple will scrap the mini altogether. I got sick of waiting for a new one to replace my dead 2007 1.83GHz C2D, so I just bid on and won a 2009 mini with a 2.26GHz C2D, 4GB RAM and a 160GB HD. It also came with an extended aluminum keyboard, a newer magic mouse, 3 display adapters, and a retail copy of aperture. All for only 123 US. Score!

    The new OS X Sierra drops support for it, but it runs El Capitan. Sierra supports the 2010 model and up.

    Love the comedy in this post!

    1. All for only 123 US. Score!

      [cue Keeanu voice] Whoa.

    2. I prefer Snow Leopard, but want El Capitan for modern browser support.

      I smell a dual boot!

      What would you do, Dan?

    3. I'd curse the state of current operating systems and end up running back to PowerPC which at least has TenFourFox.

    4. All that iOS-like BS in 10.7+ is only an issue if you use those new features.

      I use new school Mac OS just like 10.4 or 10.5. I only access the barebones parts of the OS, just like with Leopard and Tiger.

    5. My 2009 MBP has been declared obsolete by apple as of MacOS Sierra. It is still a capable machine for what I need. Thank fully I have Debian on a separate partition.

      I hear the guys in MacRumors are working on a hack to have MacOS run on some of the older HW. I would like it just for the security updates.

    6. When Mac's get dropped from support, I would say 9 times out of 10 because of the GPU.

      The C2D is still supported, so it can only be the GPU that was too dated.

  5. Here you go Rican:

    I'm going to stick with El Capitan on my late 2009 mini, as it still gets security updates, and will for a while based on history.