back to article Apple preempts Win 7 with fresh iMacs, Macbooks

Apple has announced a major overhaul of its iMacs, a new unibody white Macbook, and updated Mac Minis for its holiday lineup. The Cupertino company also unveiled a new wireless multitouch mouse featuring a completely touch-sensitive top side. The company refreshed its line of iMacs today with additional two screen sizes: a 21.5- …

COMMENTS

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Paris Hilton

You forgot the 'Mini with Snow Leopard Server'.

Talk about small business. I'm gonna miss squeezing the sides of my mouse 'if' I bought this. Apple must have a thing about making you fondle their products.

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Go

Not all bad

Andrew Johnson 1: Apple have a 14-day no questions asked opened or unopened return policy, for just such issues. You should be able to return and replace with latest model with ease.

As to the new iMac, the i7 is worth the upgrade not only for speed but also because it is multithreaded, which means that although it has 4 physical CPU cores it has 8 logical cores -- even better for parallel operations (run VMWare on 4-cores and still have 4-cores for Mac OS X).

I also like the look of the Magic Mouse, I think it looks like they've finally got there -- a great improvement over Mighty Mouse with it's stupid tiny rollerball that cannot be cleaned (no matter what people say) and clogs up. Multi-touch features only lack pinch, but I am sure we'll see that on v2.

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27"

Surely that's too big? You'd end up having to put it further away from yourself just so you could take it all in, in which case you might as well have had a smaller screen and put it closer. I'd say 23-24" is about the limit of usefulness for a desktop PC - It seems odd that they've ditched this option.

Nice set of updates in general though - and I don't think most of it is overpriced for what it is (if you go with the standard versions - the upgrades they offer are often at silly prices)

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Anonymous Coward

@Andrew Johnson 1

Ring the Apple Store ASAP and tell them your troubles, they may let you swap!

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@Sean Timarco Baggaley

You may well be right in much of what you say but you must be very young or extremely old if you think the current £/$ rate is poor. It's well over the average for the last 25 years. Now if Apple were based in the Eurozone...........

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Grenade

@everyone complaining at anyone mentioning price..

Wow... not seen a Mac-lash like this for a long time... i think someone touched a nerve. It's completely fair to mention price as a part of the package.

One of the AC posts above mentions that it's not "fair" to talk about price (a feature) before going on to talk about how OSX is so easy to use (a feature). You need to compare features with other features.

Yes, apple make shiny products - but they charge accordingly. Pay your money and take the choice.

By the way, I got stung by buying an iPod for Apple to release a shinier, bigger and better one a week later... pretty annoying. But if it's any consolation, I use an Apple keyboard... it was the best one i could find when i was shopping for one.

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Jobs Halo

Grumpytom & AC [20:50]

100% agree with you guys and your sarcasm, AC, got me a good chuckle this morning :).

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Re: Nice But

"Not at those prices. I have an i7 desktop of the same spec as the top end box, except I have 12GB memory and Win 7. Mine cost £1100 - iMac with 4GB is £1600. Add £500 for an extra 8GB.

They look nice, but that premium? No way, José!"

Add a decent 27 inch monitor, with DisplayPort. Now, fit the whole lot (including LCD) into a case not much larger than the LCD..

Your £1100 PC suddenly doesn't look feasible, does it?

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Grenade

@Sean Timarco Baggaley et al

Yep lets pin that one on the government too. Only if you have been awake for the last 10 odd years you would notice that there has always been big discrepency in hardware and software pricing between here and the US. Wierdly when asked of, the US manufactures that is, why this is so out comes the old dollar / sterling exchange bollocks.

If you don't want to pay these prices don't buy the kit and force them to rethink their attitude to the EU area. They would never pull a stunt like this on the Yanks but we are daft enough to tolerate it.

Like others have said if you don't like the price of a Ferrari don't by it. Other four wheeled, petrol machines do the same job - most are more reliable ;-)

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@Andrew Johnson 1

You are well within your consumer rights to take it back...

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To AC Re: Nice But..

"Not at those prices. I have an i7 desktop of the same spec as the top end box, except I have 12GB memory and Win 7. Mine cost £1100 - iMac with 4GB is £1600. Add £500 for an extra 8GB.

They look nice, but that premium?"

You're missing the point.

Whatever the PC looks like, no matter how fast and shiny it is, it is still lumbered with crappy Windows.

I used to be Windows/PC all the way for years.

Converted to Mac 3 years ago.

I'd happily pay £500 so that I would never have to use Windows ever again, including the all new, much celebrated Windows 7(which is what Vista should have been, only 2 years late (like most MS products)).

Windows 7 - Trying to be a OSX since Vista, but still falling short.

No Thanks, I'll pay the premium.

And I don't mind admitting, yes, I'll also enjoy having a better looking, less cluttered desktop too, cos my Mac is aesthetically beautiful compared to EVERY PC I have ever seen.

Hint to the Nerdcore: Having visible components and fans and lots of coloured lights in your computer is not cool, it's trashy and identifies you as a no-life, no girlfriend loser.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

@AC

"while we work out how to give Steve some more money for his next set of toys!"

One day you'll realise that life DOESN'T revolve around owning Apple products and you'll wish that your bank account was a bit healthier and Steve had a few less toys.

Of course Steve won't give a toss, he'll be on some yacht in the Med with more hot 19 year old girls than you've had hot dinners.

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Jobs Halo

@Apple should give people a heads up!!

I *think* that in these cases you can go and complain to Apple who then sort you out with a small refund, swap for better bit of kit etc.

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Grenade

@ Apple fanbois

"This is a company that's just posted record profits - in a recession." - By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 20th October 2009 20:50 GMT

You just summed it all up nicely, Apple posted record profits in a recession. Off the back of you idiots willing to pay a huge markup to feel as if you belong to an exclusive club and lord it up over everyone else.

Don't worry though, with screens that size to hide behind you won't see everyone else's sheer contempt fo you.

As for the new range, if I had the dosh I'd probably try one, then stick Win7 on it so I could do gaming properly!

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IT Angle

@Andrew Johnson

I've bought many things n arbitrary time units ago that were replaced by bigger, smaller, faster, cheaper, or more expensive SKUs. Not sure that restricting all retail sales to a products launch day is a good idea.

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Silver badge
Coat

No complaints about price

As far as I can see, the iMac's (which I thought was hair removal cream) are coming with a free copy of the Star Trek film, judging by the picture...

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all good stuff, however...

Apple have never made a nice mouse, yet non-Apple mice always take ages to be picked up by the Bluetooth, will be interested in the reviews of this new one.

The Mini, this would make the best media centre ever if only it had HDMI on, sure you can use DVI-HDMI but you'll not get any sound.

I've just bought a second hand 8-core Mac-Pro, looking at the new iMac's probably should have bought one of them instead.

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WTF?

iMacs

I don't like the iMacs. It strikes me that they're like those TV/VCR combos, which locked you into a full upgrade. I like it that I can swap out my monitor anytime I please, or swap out my CPU.

I know that my beige box can have a PSU upgrade for about £30. It blows up, I throw it out and put a new one in. Can I do that with an iMac, or do I have to go back to Apple and get an expensive repair done?

Why not just have a mini on your desk and a monitor of choice?

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Don't like the mouse

Yes, very photogenic, but it's too low (I can see myself getting cramps using it over a long period), and ... er.... no middle mouse button configuration? Wow... No magic mouse for Maya/Houdini then...:P

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Stop

Idiots

To all the whingers, complainers and bitter fools:

if you don't like them, don't buy them. Simple. Why waste your time complaining on the internet about something you were never going to buy anyway? Idiots.

Unless of course (gasp) you have nothing better to do than harp on about how terrible it all is despite not owning any of it.

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Jobs Horns

@Robinson

"So let me get this straight. With 5% of the market, Apple is "preempting" Microsoft? Apple are a bit player in the PC market, period. 95% of people don't give a flying **** what Apple do!"

Did we just warp back to 2005? Apple has a little under 10% of the market share the last time I checked (linux a bit under 2% for what it's worth) and MS about 87%. Not a huge difference but enough for software companies to sit up and take notice. Like it or not, MS's rein of terror is over, Caesar has left the building and the foundations are crumbling.

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Bronze badge

FFS!

Are these cocks even vaguely aware that disposable income is in short supply the world over? The Mini is supposed to be there as an entry level machine to tempt people away from their PC. You can see it in their marketing where they point out it will work with the KVM of your current PC. So why the fuck is every subsequent version more expensive than the last?

Do the guys in marketing ever talk to the engineers? Do any of them talk to potential customers? Do they ever even look out of the window at the rest of the world? <insert windows joke here>

I know the fanbois like the kit to be expensive. I know that they don't want cheap Macs because then the great unwashed could afford them and the fanbois wouldn't feel special anymore. But why is it that Apple themselves seem to have the same attitude?

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FAIL

Does it come with a working operating system?

Too bad that Snow Leopard is riddled with severe bugs, such as broken firewire drivers and randomly ejects external drives.

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Jobs Horns

Multitouch Mouse

I'd love a multitouch mouse. Now all we really need is a multitouch network switch, a touch sensitive USB cable and range of office supplies controlled by touch gestures, like a multitouch stapler.

Innovation must never be driven by consumer needs or the development of humankind. Technology for technology's sake is the way to go!

Now if only there was a company who could sell this pointless crap to brainless punters at grossly inflated prices...

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Anonymous Coward

@FFS!

"I know the fanbois like the kit to be expensive. I know that they don't want cheap Macs because then the great unwashed could afford them and the fanbois wouldn't feel special anymore. But why is it that Apple themselves seem to have the same attitude?"

Because they are in business in order to make money.

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@Grease Monkey

And breathe! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/20/apple_q4_2009_earnings/ that's why!

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Stop

@Robinson

"So let me get this straight. With 5% of the market, Apple is "preempting" Microsoft? Apple are a bit player in the PC market, period. 95% of people don't give a flying **** what Apple do!"

Well, first of all, it's 9% for apple.

Next, from the rampant and insecent screaming in forums like this from PC owners who have both never owned or exentively used the products they're bashing, a whole lot of the 91% left absolutely DO give a flying **** what apple does (and most of them do ther damndest to emulate and copy what apple does for less money if they can).

Oh, here's one for you: Microsofts whiny new PC recomendation tool. microsoft.com/windows/PC-scout. Put in the specs of ANY of the Macbooks and see what you get. Yup, not a single competitive PC at any price... NOT 1!

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Stop

27" too big?

I've got 2 sidebyside 22" screens and I could use more desktop space.

For a secretary's desk, yea, it would be gargantuan, but for deaily use, honestly, if you already have a 22" screen, it would add about the width of a coffee cup to the dimentions.

Note the screen is not set in the middle of a huge mass of plastic anymore. Its fairly flush to the edges. I dont; feel like looking it up atm, but my bet is the 27" now has within 2" the width of the older 22" imacs, and within the same of the current 24" iMacs. It's not that much bigger.

plus, at this size you can easily set it farther back on your desk, and have a tone more actual space in front of you.

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Happy

All Good Fun

I sometimes think that El Reg would vanish in a puff off smoke if it were not for these periodic Mac vs Windows spats, with the penguins cheering on from the sides.

I use a Mac. My wife, my son, my daughter and my business partner all use Macs. I am very happy to be using a Mac. I am happy that I don't need to worry overmuch about malware (not completely complacent but the odds are in my favour). I am happy that a crashing app doesn't bring the O/S tumbling down with it. I am happy that my machine doesn't need to be rebooted on a regular basis to recover its resources. I am happy that I can afford to think of these things rather than looking for the absolute cheapest computing I could find.

If I were a hardcore gamer I would probably have stayed with Windows, but I'm not. In the event that I ever need to run an app that is Windows-only I have Parallels although I have never actually installed it because I have not yet hit that need.

But I don't feel the need to slag off those who stick with Microsoft. They can definitely buy cheaper hardware. They can play more games and there is no doubt a greater quantity of applications available for the platform. And so long as Windows remains the dominant O/S in the market the bad guys will probably continue their concentration on low-hanging fruit rather than trying to raise their game and come after me.

On the whole, life is good.

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Thumb Up

Good Value

I've bought a Mac Book Pro in the last 6 months. Best machine I've ever bought. Works very well. Runs Win XP (using VirtualBox). I'm sure it would run Win 7, but who cares. I develop web solutions for a living and it works just fine.

As to the new mouse, if it works as well as the MBP touch pad then it will be a winner. Multi-touch is amazing.

As to price, you can argue about that all day. While you're doing that I'll be enjoying myself in Mac land. There's not a massive difference in cost at the end of the day (and remember OS/X needs less resources than Windooooze).

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re: UK pricing...

"Thanks to a Mr. G. Brown whose incompetence has led to a poor £ / $ exchange"

The £ is now at the same level it was 10 years ago against the $.

Or are you referring to the years when we were getting $2 = £1? I'm guessing that had nothing to do Mr. G. Brown.

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Gates Halo

@Ian Tunnacliffe

"I am happy that a crashing app doesn't bring the O/S tumbling down with it. I am happy that my machine doesn't need to be rebooted on a regular basis to reckover its resources."

To be fair to Windows, these issues haven't been a problem since the bad old days of Windows 9x/Me.

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FAIL

Give up

To all those complaining that Mac buyers are being bilked / wasting their money / should buy Windows, I have one message: FAIL. You have failed to have any impact whatsoever as testified to by Apple's sales figures. Go home and find something else to rant about.

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Jobs Halo

help

Look like good upgrades from Apple in general.

I am certainly going to get at least one of the mouses and with my extraordinary powers of self-restraint I will probably walk out of the store with a 27" iMac and new 15" MBP for the Mrs to assuage my guilt.

I hope 15 inches is enough for her.

/damn you Steve

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WTF?

Unbelievable

It never ceases to amaze me how much people are moaning. Do you also moan at BMW or Mercedes when they release a new car because it costs more than a Ford? Some of you PC zealots seem to think it's your birth right that all computers are priced rock bottom and look like plastic dustbins.

Apple certainly don't appeal to every class of consumer, but they certainly are very sexy and stylish and generally do their job extremely well. Let's not forget about the amazing resale value as well.

@Anonymous Coward - Castrated BSD? Erm how about fully certified Unix implementation that actually has a nice GUI and you don't have to resort to the command line unless you really want to?

Can't afford it? Don't want to afford it? Fine - go take your PC to peices and work out which part you want to upgrade this month or even better go down the pub and stop being such nerds.

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Stop

Dollar - Sterling

Look, for the last time, there is a discrepancy between prices in the US and EU because in the UK and in the EU there is a thing called VAT. Not just VAT on the price of the product, but there's VAT on the rent for the apple store, there's VAT on the fucking toilet paper in the Apple UK offices, there's VAT to pay on everything... in America you pay sales tax once, when the product is sold to the "final consumer" -therefore America is cheaper. Please remember this when you Brits whine.

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@Dale Richards

"To be fair to Windows, these issues haven't been a problem since the bad old days of Windows 9x/Me."

Well, my last Windows machine was XP and it still had both issues. Not as badly as 98/ME to be sure but I definitely couldn't leave it running for more than 48 hours or so without having to reboot or it would slowly grind to a halt.

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FAIL

@Anonymous Coward

Not got such a good grasp of the tax system have we? All the VAT further up the supply chain is reclaimable such that the net tax take is that paid by the final consumer. Each business pays tax only on the value it has added. That's why it's called Value Added Tax. Geddit?

The reason it has more impact is that in general VAT rates are higher in Europe than are sales tax rates in the US. Oh, and the fact that prices in the US are invariably quoted net of tax while in Europe they are usually quoted VAT inclusive, especially for products and services offered to the consumer rather than B2B.

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@FacePalm

"Because they are in business in order to make money."

On what evidence do you base this? I can see none.

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Rob

@ Dale and Ian RE:To be fair....

You probably can't claim that the threaded issue was resolved in XP, I'd say it went in Vista.

The Vista builds I have running have had application crashes that haven't taken down the OS at all or to the degree that it happened in XP. That was one of the supposedly big changes in Vista was it's ability not to crash the kernal when a threaded application went tits up, on the whole I think they have achieved that (certainly so with No.7 (no not the make-up brand the MS OS)).

Depending on your build you can get Vista to run for at least a week without encountering any problems.

(Mac fans stay back, I'm not dissing Apple or their products, just adding to the discussion Ian and Dale have entered into).

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@Grease Monkey

" "Because they are in business in order to make money."

On what evidence do you base this? I can see none. "

Stock price, quarterly earnings reports?

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Alert

@Ian Tunnacliffe

It seems you are the one who does not know much about the tax system: VAT does not stand for "Value" Added Tax - how does that make any sense? How is it adding value to anything? VAT is a word, not an abbreviation:

• noun, a large tank or tub used to hold liquid.

Why this tax is named after a tub I don't know, but it certainly has nothing to do with value.

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Megaphone

The Real Reason for the Release Timing

A new version of Windows is coming out. Many people will be thinking of buying a new computer as a result. Apple know full well that many people run Windows on their Macs.

Ergo, it is in Apple's interests to do their utmost to ensure people consider buying their hardware on which to run Win7.

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Stop

Bad mouse?

It's the "free" mouse... so who cares. I throw out the mouse that comes with the Dells and IBMs at the office too... If the new thing is actually really nice, and works, you'll see everyone else trying to copy it (and pay heafty royalties to apple for it, since I did see the patent app on this recently approved).

If you don't want the new touch mouse, choose the older mouse option when ordering, save $20, and go buy a regular bluetooth mouse you're comfortable with. Better to have something you like for a few bucks more (and maybe see the other on ebay, or just keep it in the drawer as a backup).

At least the keyboard isn't also a POS, cuz we throw those out with ther Dells too, and spend $60-80 a piece on quality kit that lasts and feels good typing on. Each $700 PC we bring in, we add $260 to between a good mouse, keyboard, AV client license (no, there are NO free centrally managed, logged, auditable AV clients out there, so **** all you people who say you can use free AV...),

Also, no problems here using bluetooth with our macs with anyone's mice (except for the ones that also taike forever to sync to PCs, which is clearly the mouse's problem, no Apple).

Also, who in their right mind pays ANY manufacturer to upgradce the RAM in a new machine at the factory? Dell's RAM and HDD upgrade costs are equally unreasonable, so are HPs, so are IBMs, and Sony's are off the chart! MacMall usually doubles the RAM free on most systems, and if not, you can buy RAM much cheaper and self install. Since Apple (unliek most companies) is nice enough to ship 2 chips in 4 slots (not 4 in 4) you can add another 4GB for $93 from Crucial (less from New Egg). Now, going from 4 to 12 or 16, not as big of a deal... you only save $120 doing it yourself due to the massive cost of the 4GB SoDIMMS. Much better to have those under Apple's warranty.

Now, for Pricing:

everyone's comparing the 27", which granted, the screen alone is rediculously priced so building a PC and getting a 27" to go with it, let alone an LED backlit super high res model like this, is not happening cheap, and that alone makes the iMac an impressive deal. But honestly, 22" is fine for most people, so lets look at those 2 models:

base model, $1199. (1149 for students and teachers).

4GB 1066 RAM (with 2 additional slots open to go to 16GB!), 3.06GHz duo (with VT and 64bit extensions!), 500GB 7200 drive, Descrete graphics, webcam (i'll considder that optional), gigabit ethernet, 802.11n, and bluetooth, and a DVD writer. Oh, and a 22 (21.5) 1080P native display.

Per New Egg, no 21.5 or 22" displays are available under $169 (plus shipping) with 1080 native resolution and all the decent ones are $199 and higher, so we'll say, the screen is worth $200. The Dell XPS 630 is the only model comperable (base components or better) to iMac configuration, so I've configured one. Same CPU (no VT), same RAM (800mhz, vs Apple's 1066, and only upgradeably to 8GB) , same HDD, same DVD drive but adding Roxio to give it equal capabilities, the Vid card is better, but its not extreme added the cheapest kbd and mouse options (none come with it, these were not wireless), no software, no accessories, no wireless networking, and not even Vista Ultimate, and it;s $988. Also no webcam, mic, or speakers were included... So it's more expensive than an iMac, even without being an all-in-one, and it's slower and has fewer options installed. Sure, you can add more than 1 HDD, and can change the vid card...

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@AC 21/10/09 15:02 GMT

OK, I'll bite. REALLY?! No, surely you are joking! Next time use the joke icon so we know!

"It seems you are the one who does not know much about the tax system: VAT does not stand for "Value" Added Tax - how does that make any sense? How is it adding value to anything? VAT is a word, not an abbreviation…"

You are joking! You must be! I refuse to believe that ANYBODY would in all seriousness post that!

Value Added Tax for those that are unaware, is a tax levied ON THE VALUE of an item or service that is sold. You never know, judging by some of the post we see here on a daily basis this guy may be serious! No wonder he's hiding his name!

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@Anonymous Coward

"It seems you are the one who does not know much about the tax system: VAT does not stand for "Value" Added Tax - how does that make any sense?"

And here's me sitting down and filling in my Value Added Tax Return that HM Customs and Excise have kindly sent me. Do you suppose I should write to them and tell them they have it wrong?

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@AC Wed 21st Oct 2009 15:02 GMT

"VAT" does indeed stand for "Value Added Tax". The amount of tax added is proportional to the net value of the item (currently 15% in the UK).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_added_tax

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Uh, yeah

Apple. Successfully going out of business since 1981.

Seriously, folks, reach between your legs, grab your ears, and pull. Apple has great design and (generally) well-made hardware and software and they make a pile of money from their efforts. In over 40 years of observing the world, I can say that they probably deserve it if people choose to spend their money that way. It's not like they're a monopoly that can manipulate markets and companies with an iron hand.

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@Jay 2

Apple often has a two-week or one-month no-questions-asked return policy. Take your mac mini back and see if you can trade it in for a new one. Seriously, I've found the folks at our local Apple Store to be that easy to work with.

True story: remember about four or five years ago, when there was a problem with the iPod batteries? They'd gotten a bad batch or something. Anyway, a co-worker at the time had one and six months later, he told me his battery was crap and he was PO'd at Apple. I told him how they'd had a bad batch of batteries and replaced iPods for free. So he went over, and this was long after the recall officially ended, the Genius said "Yeah, this is a bad one. I tell you what, we don't make 30GB iPods anymore, here, take this brand new 40GB iPod to replace your two-year old one". This was a Windows programmer, and he was ready to make an iBook his next laptop right then and there.

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Paris Hilton

Can I use this mouse?

A comment, and a question.

Comment: I think all computer-users are spoiled for price. I’m a professional photographer. The body (never mind the lens) of my camera of choice – Nikon D300 – costs more than the new top-spec iMac, and it has a lot less processing power. To me, the price of an iMac is cheap! I do a lot of photo editing, and y’know, I get tired of having to reboot my (year old) high-spec windoze machine every 5 photos. I certainly think the iMac is the way to go. 27 inches? Mamma! It’s Photoshop heaven!

Now the question: I have terrible hands, in the winter their flakier than Paris’ relationships! I wear gloves almost permanently in winter, and half the time in summer. Would I be able to use this new Fantabulumouse while wearing gloves? Is it pressure sensitive or touch sensitive like those pesky elevator buttons I can never push in winter? Or is this one lost to me and I need to get a dime-store cheapy?

I lied – 2 questions: a keyboard without a keypad? Ah no man, I want my numbers on the right! I wonder if my local branch of Apple (Me’s not in the UK or US) can gimme a “normal” keyboard instead of the new fancy one? I won’t mind a wire or two along with the wires of my desklamps, headphones, radio, printer, cell-charger, card-reader…

Paris – cos I’m as lost as she is.

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