Give me a PowerPC Mac mini

Well, the Intel-powered Mac mini is out, released as part of a home-focused set of Apple product announcements yesterday. And my only criticism is that they’ve eliminated the current PowerPC based models from the channel. I understand the reasoning—pricing them at a discount, as has been done with the PowerPC powered iMacs, would lower the price point too far to allow the channel any margin. But I still want one of the original series of Mac minis, even after our purchase of a MacBook Pro (anticipated arrival date still March 22).

Why? It comes down to Classic. At first I didn’t cavil too much at the thought of losing access to programs that run under Mac OS Classic aka Mac OS 9. There is nothing that I run on a daily basis that requires Classic, and that’s been the case ever since the release of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X.

But I’ve been a Mac user for 16 years, and there are quite a few programs that I ran in the first 10 of those years that require Classic that I’ll miss an awful lot if I can’t access them again. Some, like the Talking Moose, have made the jump to Mac OS X versions; for others, like most multimedia CD-ROMs (e.g. the Laurie Anderson Puppet Motel or Peter Gabriel’s media titles), it’s already too late. But there are a host of programs, including the LucasArts Star Wars and Indiana Jones games, Crystal Quest, and even the Mac version of MORE that will be inaccessible to me after this platform transition.

So it’s impractical, but I think that having continued access to the Classic environment in a small form factor machine would be really useful. It appears that Amazon still sells the original Mac minis; I may have to decide about putting my money where my mouth is.