They're both also fairly easy to work on: if you have small hands and a careful touch the Mac Mini is pretty easy once you kind of get used to it, but the first couple times you take it apart be very careful not to tear out various wires, since it's really quite difficult to repair them when you do.
seconded! i did just this my first time with the blower connector, it was very delicate. we ended up having to order a new blower
Appreciate the comments, thanks. So, based on cost to run and buy, seems like it's worth a look to check out the various Mini iterations, which would probably do just fine for my "mission" in the upcoming year(s).
But, don't know if starting a new thread is what I would need to get some thoughts on PC desktops that could be comparable to the Mini, on spec of platform components and cost to run vis power usage?? I've kicked around enough in Linux realm that I could do my home computer tasks using 64bit LM or Ubuntu xx . . . and/or using the tonymac86x web site, figure out how to hack it to run OSX 10.9 . . . .
I just don't have any experience with buying and running PC machine to be able to know the "ups and downs" of the PC v Apple arguments. Question is, would that get me into a "better" quality machine . . . easier to work on . . . and easy on power consumption--for the same or less money than a Mini? Even considering that the Mini would likely be used item, to get back to when the RAM could be changed by the "homeowner"????
So, I get that for price point it's hard to compare "apples to apples" straight up, but, worth it to look at PC? Or, just stick with Apple, it's not a bad computer for the money going with the Mini? I had more or less decided I was going to get a Mac Pro for easy access to innards, but, seems like many of them are like running three 100 w lightbulbs when maxed out, or 1 when idling . . . makes it I think perhaps too 'spensive to have running while trying to think a thought and write it out.