Monday, March 07, 2011

Happy Birthday to my iMac


Today is my iMac's first birthday!  A year ago today I bought an iMac and started out on my love affair with Apple. 

A year later I am the proud owner of a one year old 27" Apple iMac, an iPad and my other half no longer protests when I tell him he needs to get his very own iMac for when he retires this summer.  (This only so I get him off the music and films on iTunes on mine!)

The story so far - Year 0 minus 1 month

Last February I was faced with a computer which I knew was going to misbehave sometime soon.

What I knew for absolute certain was that I no longer wanted to face trying to buy a computer without a proper functioning computer!

Hence I decided the time had arrived to decide what to get as my next computer.  Ideally one which would not overheat due to kit which had not been properly designed for the size of the box or the quality of the fan (HP and Evesham) and avoiding a faulty graphics card which was built into new laptops even though they knew they were faulty (Sony Vio laptop - there was a legal case pending last time I looked!)

I have to confess here I had seen the iMacs in stores at Christmas and was very impressed by the quality of the image on the screen.  However they looked expensive.  Now I know they are actually NOT expensive when reliability gets taken into account.

These are the links to the posts which led me to my purchase.
  • PC vs Mac for artists 18 Feb 2010 - the invite to say which is best a PC or a Mac and why
  • PCs versus Apple Mac - for artists (Part 2) 19 Feb 2010  which summarised the results of my request for help and my survey.  It produced the chart you can see below and details what people liked about a Mac - and other things to think about
Of the 32 people who have responded to date (19th February 2010), where there were clear recommendations this is how it works in terms of numbers.
  • Nearly 80% of all respondents recommend buying a Mac
  • 100% of Mac users recommend a Mac
  • 56% of former PC users recommend buying a Mac



I want especially to thank all those people who told me about how they kept buying Apple Macs despite the fact their old ones had not broken down and how they now had any number of bits of Apple technology.

Having managed to blow up or burn out three computers this was music to my ears.  That and this chart from my survey.

PC versus Apple Mac - what you recommended - something of a "no brainer"!

For the record I bought the following
a 27-inch model with a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache; 4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; four SO-DIMM slots support up to 16GB; 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA hard drive; ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory; Built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible; Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) wireless technology;  Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector); Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

The software included was
  • Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard (includes iTunes, Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools)
  • iLife (includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand)

The story so far - Year 0 starts

For those new to this blog in the last year, after buying my iMac a year I then continued to record my experience in the following posts.
Magic Mouse

The only real issue I've had all year has been with the Magic Mouse.  Here's the update.

My wireless Magic Mouse kept draining juice from the batteries really really fast.  That could be because the Magic Mouse is so brilliant to use that I actually used it much more than my previous Mouse!  Anyway I can testify to the after sales service insofar as I'm now on my third mouse but the reporting and despatch of the new ones worked brilliantly and without question.  So much more sensible than arrangements used by other companies.

I also highly recommend that you buy the Apple battery charger!  That also seemed to form part of the solution.  I now have three pairs of batteries - one set in the mouse, another waiting for when I get the battery alert comes up on screen re low batteries and the third set are charging.

So - at the end of the Year 0 - how do I feel about my Mac

Year 1 - and the conclusion after a year is......

It wouldn't be stretching a point to say that I love my iMac.  With the intensity of a first love because I have never ever loved a computer before!

  • I adore the quality of the screen image and the outrageous amount of screen estate to stack full size documents next to one another.  Life suddenly gets a whole lot easier when working on documents or with reference to separate screens.
  • I have had absolutely no problem with excess heat - the design is totally brilliant
  • It never ever makes a noise except on the hour when it tells me the time.  It's silent and efficient all the time - day after day.
  • It is the simplest computer I have ever had to operate in terms of software updates and installing new software.
  • I love TimeMachine and have a proper back-up going on the hour every hour 24/7 for the first time ever.  
  • Learning new keystrokes and where things are and how things work is a bit tedious at the beginning - just the way it is every time Microsoft changes Office!  But you learn and you get used to it in no time at all  That said I still have yellow sticky notes stuck up on the wall with the shortcuts - especially the one which gets you back out of full screen
  • Full screen is a major feature of this computer - all 27" of it.  I've watched quite a bit of television on my iMac via iPlayer.
  • The sync between iPad and iMac is easypeasy and I love the fact I've now got an Apps for Mac as well as iTunes! 
The only thing I didn't like was nothing to do with the computer.  I just didn't get on with iwork and was so pleased when Microsoft Office brought out the latest update for Mac.  It was installed PDQ and I was back to normal!

All I need to do now is work out where to find a home for the big dead boxes which are my old computers.

I can't ever see me going back to owning a PC again.

On the other hand I can definitely see me buying more Apple products - even though the current one is still fine.
I think at the last count three people have bought an iMac following my long debate about getting one and then my very enthusiastic reaction.  If there are more of you out there do let me know!