New Mac user: First Impressions of Intel Imac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by wpwj40e, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. wpwj40e macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Hi all,

    Thought I would post my impressions - from the viewpoint of someone who has never used a mac before. (I did purchase a mac mini for my parents over the holidays and played with it a bit - outside of that NEVER before).

    Right off the bat I need to STRONGLY advise the book..."Switching to the Mac" the missing manual by David Pogue for any windows switcher...its a godsend as is this forum:)

    Okay - What do I think - for the little I played with the mac mini - I had deteremined it would not meet my needs - but was perfect for my parents. In the few weeks with it I discovered what bouncing icons meant and what a beachball was:) I mention this because this is NOT the experience on the Imac. The icons would bounce maybe once the first time an app was opened - but never got it after that, Outside of startup - never saw the beach ball at all. WOW!!!

    The Imac is fast - whatever I click(assuming I have figured out where to go...)just does it. Do not have many MAC apps(hey...remember pc switcher) but did have Office 2004 for Macs. Loaded that up and short of the first time I clicked on the apps - loaded and ran without a problem. (Except for VPC - which I knew would not work). And I mean FAST!!! Faster than my work laptop(thats not saying much) - faster than my home pc which was/is pretty decent hardware wise P4 2 gig ram, 400 gig harddrives etc...

    So tried what I call the killer spreadsheet tied to a PPT...loaded in record time, ran flawlessly. This ssl contains many multi solve order scripts and opens a workbook that is 6 meg then updates a ppt. It cranks on my work laptop and we only release it at work to power users due to the oomph it needs....No problem on the Imac. Then opened all the office apps, all the widgets, all the apps, ran a few browsers, downloaded some programs (little snitch was the first - can u tell I come from a POS windows environment:)) and ripped a CD - ALL AT THE SAME TIME. NO problem...everything was just snappy. CLick, there you go.

    It did appear that the more you used the Office apps the faster they got. Don't really know how to describe this other than my perception is that under Rosetta they must be compiling and as they compile certain functions or executables they do not need to recompile them and hence your 2nd hit does not take the CPU hit the first did. Anyways thats my novice way of explaining the behaviors I saw.

    Downloaded HP trailers - played without dropping frames and were flawless. ALthough note that the 20 in display does not display all of the HD trailer - for true 1080p you would need a bigger screen. However these played without a hitch while I was also running other programs.

    I know you would not have all these wwindows open under windows or even in everyday use - however just wanted to push it to see what would happen. Very impressed. The OS will take some time to get used to...

    My java apps ran fine - which was a pleasant surprise as did a couple of programs I run as services from various inetrnet sites that typically use the JVM. All those worked as they did on the mini mac - note I differentiated these because their UI and behaviors vary from the windows environment to the MAC.

    Things I don't like:
    I can't seem to get the mouse to do a right click. I did not upgrade to the wireless when I ordered as I had the BT apple mouse before for the mini mac and I hated it. The mighty mouse is okay and if I can figure out how to make it right click I will be VERY happy!!! If not will just purchase a BT for the mac from logitech or MS.

    Keyboard commands will tke some getting used to - this is where the book I mentioned above becomes indispensable!

    I set up my Imac at a friends house due to his having high speed access. Currently have dial up through AOL(which thank god changes next week - we finally get DSL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). But.....downloaded AOL for Apple and it DOES NOT work on the intel MAC. If AOL dial up is your only internet connectivity - be prepared for this and watch for updates. This is no longer an issue for me as of next week - but had DSL not been available - would have to figure out soemthing else quickly. Not haveing any internet access for the TIger OS is just too painful.

    I played for hours - so lots I did not cover - please feel free to ask questions. Some notes on gaming - I do not play interactive or internet games. My two teen boys however - do. They both have built super duper windows boxes that run dual graphics cards, have 4 gig of memory and probably the kitchen sink. Truly believe 50% of my electric bill is due to their "turboed" machines! They insisted upon my loading WOW and Call of Duty on to see what happened. WHile I personally cannot attest to their functioning - nor will they get to use my MAC...their initial impressions were that WOW was playable - albeit not as nice or fast as their machines and they would not opt to play on my MAC versus their hardware. My oldest did tel me that Blizzard is working on a universal binary that is supposed to just - in his words - "blow it all away" and he would be very interested in seeing this performance. Call of Duty was very playable and they thought most people on most PC's(ahem...not their souped up stuff) would be very happy with the playability. They had tried these games on the mac mini and determined they were unplayable (for them) - so this might be good news to those that were wondering about this on the intel Imac.

    My config for those that wondered...20 in Imac, 256 Vram, 1 gig RAM, 250 Gig HD. Connected to 400 gig External HD's.

    oh and this machine is SILENT. In fact spookingly so...Not having any audibles to tell me when things appear to be going wrong or HD is cranking or FANS will take some getting used to:) a GOOD way!

  2. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2005
    Thanks for sharing,
    That's a real nice system you've got there.

    I made the switch last april with a powerbook, and i haven't looked through the window recently coz the view here is perfect. I hope you find this to be the case to.

    Welcome to the world of the mac.
  3. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I believe the mighty mouse is set up for single button mode out of the box. You can change this by setting the mouse preferences. Alternatively, use Ctrl-click.

    I'll be switching myself soon - just as soon as I know the new iMacs aren't all lemons.
  4. MacFan782040 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2003
    Scranton, PA
    Glad you like it so far. It may take some getting used to, but it's definitly worth it.

    As far as the mouse is concerned, if you have the mighty mouse, you have to turn on right click in System Prefs. Go into the Apple Menu > System Preferences, and go to Keyboard and Mouse. Using the dropdown menu, select secondary button.

    If you're using the BT Apple mouse, that is single button only. I recomend a Kensington Mouse with a touch sensitive scroll pad :)

    Good luck!
  5. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    Awesome review! Glad to hear your impressions.

    Oh, and I'll mention it before someone else bites your head off for it. iMac not Imac.
  6. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    Welcome to the Mac community! Thanks for the impressions. I'm really hoping to get an iMac soon... I just have a lot of freelance graphics work to do. :p
  7. wpwj40e thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Thanks for the help on the mouse! No luck yet in getting it working. Might just be a bum rodent! Gonna try another and see what happens.

    And please forgive my use of "I"mac instead of iMac:).

    Now off to play some more...Also a couple more apps that don't work, Zoo Tycoon and ROller Coaster tycoon. Bought those from the Apple store for my nephew and they just bounce.

    My little pet peeve is that I do beleive Apple should have at least tested the apps they sell in their stores (its not like they have all that manu) and they could have added stickers or something to indicate compatability.

    But all else is well...beautiful machine:)
  8. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Yep, that's exactly what happens - the translated instructions get cached and therefore do not need to be retranslated the next time around :)
  9. c6viperkiller macrumors newbie


    Jul 24, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I played with the mighty mouse in the Apple Store a few weeks ago. It is very sensitive with the right click. Your fingers MUST be off the left side of the mouse when you click on the right side in order for it to work.

    As a previous poster said, make sure it is set right in the keyboard and mouse system prefs.
  10. Thomas Harte macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2005
    What, even window resizing? That's something I'd really like...
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Sounds pretty cool wpwj40e- very nice review!

    And, welcome to the world of Macintosh!!! :)
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    If you're still having trouble with your mighty mouse, try lifting your left finger when you right-click. Or maybe try setting the right click to the squeeze buttons instead, until you get used to the way the mouse works (or chuck it out the window and buy another mouse! ;) )
  13. wpwj40e thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Thanks again fro the helpful hints on the mouse. It appears reassigning the squeeze buttons did the trick.

    I must not know how to "right click" the apple way:)

    All esle is fine...

  14. discoforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2004
    Vermont, USA
    Right-clicking is a new technology for us, so you'll have to be patient while the bugs are worked out :p
  15. wpwj40e thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006

    Hmmmm.Not sure I understand. But you just drag the bottom right corner and it resizes. Have not been able to figure out how to resize it like you do in windows. But for the most part the drag the corner gets it to where I want it to be.
  16. wpwj40e thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    A bit more of an update...

    So far all the latest programs I have either bought or downloaded have worked. My fav games work fine - poker, bookworm and my online scrabble site (

    The might mouse is worthless for me and finally ditched it last night. Plugged in a variety I have and will probbaly go find a nice BT and get some drivers for it.

    Having a great time playing/working - still a major adjustment after many decades on dos/os2/windows boxes. Most of the stuff I like - some will take some adjustment. Not sure I am crazy about the context sensitivity of the menu - with multiple windows open, I seem to want to do a task that is in another window and keep forgetting the menu is for the window I'm in - I.E. in onw app and want to play aorund with system prefs or something.

    Some of the behaviors of windows - such as copy look like they work the same way - but do not really. Gonna play more with this tonite to see if I can elaborate - it appears in some cases I am not really moving the files and now have stuff all over the place.

    STill don't understand the "speed" issues I see all over the net about how it is slower under Rosetta etc....I am simply not expereincing that. Maybe my brain just works slower so that I am at the same speed:) I cannot keep up with all the activity I have going on at the same time - so for me its as fast as it needs to be for the moment. Again this is probably 'cause I come from a windows environment and not the G5 - so maybe it is comparable there - but to your average windows dektop/laptop that most people have - this is gonna scream. If you just dropped a couple of grand on a really high end desktop - then you might think this was close...SHort of that...its just flat out fast!

    Not having too many weird behaviors - or any that I would recognize:)

    Very Happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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