Written: November 19, 2009

Week One of iMac Use

A funny thing started to happen this week as I used the iMac. The huge 24″ screen has now become just normal to me. I can certainly have more docs open at once and that improves my ability to get more work done on web development.

My once “large” 17″ laptop display has now become smaller to me and has a cramped feeling, making me less productive as I move multiple windows back and forth to see what’s happening between Outlook and Dreamweaver.
The “mighty mouse” could not track properly on my table top so today I’m the proud owner of the “magic mouse”.
It’s wireless using the Bluetooth technology and like all things Mac the setup was under one minute, and the big win – it actually tracks on my pure white table top. I was surprised that turning on Bluetooth for my iMac it quickly found my Samsung cell phone in addition to the Magic Mouse. Well done Apple.
Microsoft Word told me today that it had an auto-update. Fine, go ahead. Mistake.
At the end it tells me, “Your license key is invalid or there are more than one computer using the same key.”

Oh well, that’s what I get for buying an iMac used on Craigslist. The previous owner obviously has this still installed on his machine, and Microsoft won’t allow that copying.

I also upgraded from 2GB to 4GB and that took all of 2 minutes to complete.

My Canon 5D DSLR camera now connects tethered to the iMac, which I plan to use in December for some event photography.

I’ve outgrown the number of ethernet connections on my gateway router so it was time to add a gigabit switch, this one is from D-Link and the iMac connected and can now see my other PCs and networked HP printer.

Life is good and I’m learning every day about the simplicity and power of the iMac in my web development and photography businesses.

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iMac – first impressions from a PC user

On Wednesday I purchased a pre-owned iMac 24″ from a guy in Portland on Craigslist. We met at a Starbuck’s and I asked to see the iMac powered up.

My seller was a knowledgeable Mac user and gave me an intro on the machine. Right away I noticed that the “Mighty Mouse” couldn’t track on a wooden table top.

When I tried the Mighty Mouse on the next three surfaces it failed to track properly, and it bugged me because my Logitech mouse for my HP Laptop worked on all of these surfaces.
At home the only surface that worked well was a specialized laser mouse pad that my oldest son used for gaming.
I lugged the iMac along to a photo client’s home for proofing and they just said, “Wow.”
My home has WiFi secured with WPA-2 and the iMac connected effortlessly using the password.
We also use a networked printer, the HP 6490 Deskjet.

The iMac found it quickly and I was printing without ever reading the How To manual. On the PC side it takes several minutes of manual typing to configure a network printer. My iMac told me ink levels and could run printer diagnostics however my Vista and XP machines cannot do either of these, so the iMac wins this category.
The iMac screen colors are too vivid and over-saturated. Soon I’ll discover how to get more accurate color rendering, perhaps I have to purchase a colorimeter and create a custom profile.
The 24″ screen takes some getting used to compared to my 17″ laptop screen. With a smaller screen I can glance and see everything on the screen without head motion. On the 24″ iMac I find myself moving my head from side to side, and up/down. Over long periods this is creating some fatigue.
Photoshop CS3 opens and looks different on the iMac especially the fact that there is no application background, rather it’s transparent until I open up  a document. I don’t like that look and much prefer Photoshop CS3 on the PC where it has an opaque background at invoke time.

Operation of the iMac is quiet, something that even my Vista laptop cannot approach. I like silence.
Transferring 68GB of data from my Vista machine to the iMac took over one hour even with a gigabit switch! I thought that was too slow and wanted to compare with using a USB 2.0 drive instead.
Microsoft has an application to let me remote desktop from the iMac into my Vista laptop. I’ll let you know how that works after I finish the upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.

One thing I missed immediately on the iMac is the ability to resize any window by simply grabbing it’s edge or corner. It is certainly extra work on the iMac to find the lower right-hand window corner, re-size, then move the window by the banner. The PC is much easier for sizing windows.

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