So I decided to go over to the dark side… or should that be light side? Anyhoo, for a variety of reasons, which I’ll blog about later, I decided to replace my aging Athlon XP 3200+ with a shiny new iMac:
- 24–inch screen
- Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4Ghz
- 1GB ram (2GB more on order from Crucial)
- 320GB hard drive
- ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB
Ok, so from a PC perspective the video card isn’t brilliant and the hard drive space isn’t massive but they’re more than good enough. It’s certainly a heavy beast since I had to lug it from the Apple shop back through the Trafford Centre and out through the car park.
The out of the box experience is great. The keyboard, mouse, drivers, manuals and other gubbins are all packed together in a really neatly laid out long, thin white cardboard box. The iMac itself is very well protected and packaged as well.
Connecting it up is dead easy. You have all of three cables to fiddle with. The power cable into the back through a hole in it’s stand. The USB keyboard again into the back of the iMac and then the mouse into the keyboard (which has two USB ports, one either side). Actually, one of the many things that really sold me on the iMac, was this image:
That just says it all to me about the comparison of Mac’s versus PC’s!
Anyhoo, It took less than 10 minutes to have it booted up and on the interweb. I hit a slight snag with the wireless connection initially since it didn’t seem to want to connect and it gave no options to tweak. So to start with I hard wired it into my router via it’s ethernet port. I fixed it later and it turned out to be a simple matter of picking the correct encryption method.
First impressions of Mac OS X? Pretty cool, I like how stable it is and how it does a damn sight better with 1GB memory than Vista does. The screen is fantastic, the picture is really bright and rich in colour. You’d think that at that size it’d be too big to work with, but it’s not the case.
The new thin aluminium keyboard is excellent. The keys have a good, responsive feel to them and I like the inclusion of the media controls along the top (play, pause, volume, etc). In that respect, it’s just like my trusty old Microsoft keyboard.
The Mighty Mouse is pretty good too. It’s weird not having any mouse buttons on it and one of the first things I did in Mac OS was enable right click. It’s equivalent of the mouse wheel is strange too, in terms of size and feel (it’s dinky), but it works well.
I have given some Mac alternative apps a try, like for example:
But unfortunately neither of the Mac alternatives in this case quite live up to standards of their Windows counterparts (I’ll explain why in another post), which is where VMWare Fusion comes in!
There’s nothing new with VMWare and virtual machines but the really cool thing with this Mac OS version is a mode called Unity, whereby you start up your VM and then you can open Windows apps and they just appear as if they’re running on Mac OS. So, amusingly, this post is being written in Mac OS X, but with good old BlogJet!
Of course there is one other important thing I have to mention, otherwise Vondur will hunt me down, which is how well World of Warcraft runs… which is not bad ;). It runs natively (I was surprised that the discs I had for it had both Windows and Mac versions) at 1920×1200 at 50+ fps with pretty much everything on high.
There seems to be some issues with the shader affects and apparently this is a known issue with the ATI graphics drivers. But anyway, a picture says a thousand words (ok, so it’s not the most interesting of places, but there are Orcs!!!):
First impressions of me iMac, it’s not a bad piece of kit at all :) Why the hell didn’t I buy one earlier!