New iMac: Expectations Shattered (no, in a good way)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Anik, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Anik macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2005
    This is probably redundant, and I hope I don't bore you, but after less than 12 hours with the new computer, I feel as though my experience is profound enough to need to share it.

    I bought one of the first PowerPC Macs back when I was a student, after an agonizing period of speculation, prudent saving, and buyer's angst. I used that computer for a longer duration than any other I've had, and even years after I had moved on (work requirements, etc.) to other platforms, I fondly reminisced that whatever computer I was using at the time still couldn't do some of the things that old PowerMac could do.

    Since school, I have worked in some computationally-intensive positions, both on the artistic side of things, and on the math/physics end (mostly complex systems simulation). I have gained experience in a wide variety of platforms, applications, and bits of hardware. Eventually, when the various annoyances of my work life had grown great enough, I decided that my next home machine would be a Mac.

    I researched fairly heavily on this purchase, since a medical condition had since disrupted my career and put a fairly serious strain on my young family's finances. While my treatment has been successful (yay!) I hardly felt reckless with what little money we had left after the fact. I ordered a new 20" iMac as soon as I was certain we could afford it, and when the rumors came bouncing around about the iMac potentially going Intel in January of next year, I felt that I had made a terrible mistake, spending my money on a machine that would soon 'feel' outdated and underpowered compared to what I knew was available.

    My wife reminded me that our current stable of laptops were on the verge of hardware death (aggressive field use ;) ) and that the iMac was a good deal regardless of what came out the next day; reason prevailed, and today, on my way home from work, I brought home the huge and lovely box.

    Okay, here's the thing: I thought I knew Macs reasonably well - at least for a PC user for the past few years. I knew that they were easy to work with, and that they handled some multitasking issues a lot better than Windows. I thought I knew that Apple's UI was more intuitive, and more elegant, and that everything was just integrated into a tighter package than I could expect in the chaotic world of Windows development...and honestly, I thought that the Mac community had grown - I dunno, a little too enthusiastic, in my absence. I mean, I'd been on Windows for years, and I could still do everything a Mac user could do, right?

    Obviously, I underestimated the progress that the platform had made during my Windows years. Five minutes after starting up the iMac, I realized that I didn't care whether a faster processor was about to roll out the door at Apple, or Intel, or wherever. The heart and soul of the Mac platform is the OS, and OS X, she rocks.

    Here was the turning point: I started copying my Stepmania songs from a CD onto the HD; the dialog box said it would take about five minutes. Windows has taught me that those time estimates are meaningless, and that I should just let the computer do it's thing and wait quietly in the meantime, but I was feeling risky, so I did something stupid. I switched users to my wife's account, and configured iTunes so that we could share the same music library. Then I switched back to my account, and started downloading Firefox. Then I switched back to her account, and did something else (I forget what exactly). Then I switched back to my account. These activities had taken about 5 minutes to complete in total, despite the fact that I didn't know how to do the iTunes library sharing thing before I started. And the copy job was done when I got back.

    If you're not a Windows user, this might not excite you, but it scared the pants off of me - which was a bad thing, because I was playing with photobooth at the time.

    Everything works so ridiculously well. Frankly, I'm amazed.

    I wish I could give specific examples, but I can't. I spent a few hours loafing around OS X, setting preferences, checking out options, and watching the technology seem to disappear before my eyes. Instead of thinking about the computer as a tool (which you have to know how to use), I started to feel that it was more like a blank sheet of paper, which is just ready to soak up my ideas as fast as I can think them up. It made me want to work.

    Anyways, sorry for wasting your time with the insane ramblings of a switch-backer. When I get home, I'll probably get in line to use the new computer again, behind my wife, and my rather clever six-year-old. I mean, sure, I could use one of the Pentium-4 laptops that are lying around the house, but somehow, I just don't want to anymore...

    Thanks for all the information this forum has provided me as I prepared to make the switch,

  2. Some_Big_Spoon macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2003
    New York, NY
    I was thinking about moving to the rev C imac from a rev B (since I need the speed and this one ain't cutting it), but the only thing that's stopping me is the crippled RAM on the board. I have 2GB in my current imac and I don't feel like spending an extra grand+ for a 2GB DIMM.

    Apple lost me as a person who would have bought 2 imacs in 6 months if they didn't add the "feature" of perma-RAM.. it's insulting.
  3. Garcia macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2005
    This is a great story, I'm really glad you like your new purchase. OS X is a brilliant OS (the best), People from the Windows world wonder why we are so 'cult-like' about Mac...... well now you know :)

    Thanks for sharing
  4. liketom macrumors 601


    Apr 8, 2004
    reminds me of my rant about my new Powermac , Glad you like the new Mac
  5. munkle macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
    Nice post, thanks for sharing your story :)

    I switched over with the introduction of Panther and remember OSX just blowing me away...and it just keeps getting better!
  6. Anik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2005
    I had to think hard about whether to spring for a 2 GB DIMM (probably from CanadaRam ;) ) or whether to take the 1 GB from Apple, and see how it worked. It would be nice to have the option to swap out the original module for a more incremental upgrade path - but that being said, I'm more than happy with the compromise I made (went with 1.5 GB ram for now, on the 20").
  7. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    Glad you like the new iMac. They sure look nice (hopefully an iMac will be my family's next desktop :) ). Don't need one yet though.

    And welcome to Mac! Better isn't it?!
  8. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    Well ... on topic again ...

    My experience (18 months ago now) was fairly similar.

    After 20+ years using DOS, Windows and variants it was refreshing to work on a platform that did not get in the way of what I wanted to do, and in fact encouraged real work as opposed to doing work on the platform to make it do what I wanted to do (if that makes sense). :rolleyes:

    Like Anik I have several Win PCs and laptops that I keep "just in case" but I have no inclination to use them. The kids use them for games and simple homework.

    Family and friends do not understand my raves, and why I will not consider Windows again - at least until Vista proves it is more than a facelift.

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