My wife and I aren’t the “latest and greatest” type. We can’t really afford to be. But if we could we have strong environmental leanings which would prevent us buying into consumerism for its own sake. Like the Barenaked Ladies song “Shopping” (on Everything To Everyone) more than adequately parodies, we take the whole “shop ’til you drop” as a prophetic realism. But we did go for the latest and greatest on Oct. 26. We bought a 2GHz iMac.
We’ve both used Mac’s before but we’ve either had them from work or came into a 2nd hand older piece of hardware. No, when we purchased a PC we usually went with biggest bang for the buck as our prime motivator.
So now we bought the latest with Tiger on it. We had hoped to get Leopard right off but Apple OS releases are serious things. It wasn’t going to be released until 6pm that day and then only as an upgrade. We were buying a new system and so we had to send away $10 for the privilege of having the “latest.” So we did and Apple said they would have it to us in 2 weeks. It came in only 6 days and I was easily upgrading from Tiger while I gave out treats Hallowe’en night. Contrast that to when I ordered a laptop from Dell: they told us 3 weeks and we had to cancel the order as it still hadn’t arrived after almost 2 months.
The decision to go with a Mac was largely made because it was the best system for our needs. My wife, daughter and one son are all musicians and Mac’s were recommended by most of the musician friends we know. I researched it long and hard (as resident nerd in our house) and had to agree. My other son, the techie, had his own laptop (Windows) but we all thought the iMac was cool when it was set up. And a new toy IS a new toy, especially where anything new is rare!
GarageBand is fun as well as useful. My wife set up a jazz Magic GarageBand session with guitar, bass, drum and piano and her improvised vocals. It took less than 10 minutes and I had an MP3 I could play for friends. Safari and the new Finder are painless. But our favourite app so far is Photo Booth. Especially the new filters provided in Leopard. It makes taking pictures a lot of fun and very easy with the built in camera. We have already taken almost 600 pic’s. I like the superimposed image filter where it zeroes out the background, then you move in and voila! Suddenly you’re in front of Le Tour Eiffel. C’est magnifique, n’est-ce pas?
Of course one of the most impressive features of the iMac is what you don’t see. It is a “black box.” For those who haven’t seen one, everything is built into the monitor perched on its small stand. Only the, very minimal, keyboard, minimal mouse and power cord need to emerge from it.
It was very easy to set up. So much so that the setup instructions in the manual are very short, terse and hardly necessary. It is very close to “gloating” to the imagined converts from the Windows world. Of course, if that’s true then they needn’t have bothered. They gloat to the converted. Anyone who forks over $1500 must have already been Applefied. Well they’ve every right to gloat. The hardware is a lesson in integration. The OS upgrade is a lofty model for other OS developers to aim for. That is, if they care about their clients.
It is only fair, by the way, to point out how difficult it would be for Microsoft to pull this off. The Bill Gates show is a victim of its own success. Comparing Leopard to Vista is monumentally unfair even though it is fun. Windows has to run on an incredible number of hardware platforms and be backwards compliant for millions of software apps. Leopard only has to work on one platforms and with vigorously controlled software rules. Of course, the Steve Jobs show may find itself a victim shortly with the numbers of people picking up iMacs.
Still… I have to say it. What a joy to upgrade Tiger to Leopard compared to XP to Vista.
I’m liking this machine and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty with AppleScript. I’ve downloaded NeoOffice and Firefox. Of course, I’ve yet to seriously try networking the Apple with the Windows laptop…
If wishes were horses
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