It’s been a long time coming but I finally bit the bullet today and invested in a brand-spanking new iMac, just like the one shown above. I was initially tempted by the low price available for the 20″ older model but in the end the greatly improved spec and right up to date technology swung the balance in favour of the newest model. We aren’t ‘power users’ and the 27″ screen would just swamp the study so I’ve gone for the lowest spec 21.5″ version, which is still light years ahead of the 2yr old PC it is replacing. The PC has been making ghastly noises for some time now, similar to a car that hasn’t been serviced for 20 years, and I’m sure is about to die a horrible, hard-disc mutilating death so rather than wait for that to happen I’ve got the replacement in early.
I’ve been toying with the idea of a Mac for many years but have always been put off by the large price differential between a Mac and a PC as well as by the fact that my entire computing world was and is Microsoft biased. The idea of having to learn everything from the beginning was troublesome but there remained a strong temptation to switch allegiances. There is still a price differential, this thing cost perhaps 1,000 zlots, 1,500 max, more than an equivalent PC (just a new CPU) but that’s a lot smaller difference than the comparisons I’d made before especially if you consider the improved screen, keyboard, mouse and overall design as well. So, I can justify the price now and we’ll have to wait and see how the difference in operating systems goes.
I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at the ease of set-up. It took maximum 30 minutes to unpack, install and then get things like the router, VPN and mail working. It found the router easily and connected via both wireless (AirPort) and cable. I’ve heard these things are quite intuitive to use and so far that appears to be true. Apart from the blissful silence the most visible difference is the lack of cables and associated junk lying on, around and under the desk. The iMac itself has only one cable (mine has two if you count the ethernet connection) and that’s invisible as it goes out the back and behind the desk. Everything else is contained in the box behind the screen. The tiny keyboard and super-slick ‘magic mouse’ are both wireless using bluetooth connection and apart from looking great, take up very little space on the desktop. The only problem now is I need to go to Ikea and get a new desk as this Mac is making everything else look nasty!
The screen is plenty big enough, wide screen format and HD quality picture, everything looks great, especially photos. The mail programme seems very good and is visually a lot better than Thunderbird. Safari I’m going to have to try out for a while. It seems okay but I’m very attached to Firefox and may need to download the Mac version. I haven’t really tried anything else yet. I’m about to transfer an few photos and documents so I can check how iPhoto and iWorks operate. I’m pretty sure iPhoto will be nowhere near a good enough editor so I expect I’ll have to invest in Aperture or Photoshop eventually. Dashboard is a very handy feature.
So, if things get a bit wonky around here you’ll know I’m having trouble adapting. In the meantime I’ll be grateful for any tips you Mac experts have to pass on.