The Computer Blog

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Return of the iMac

I’ve said many times in this blog that I really loved iMacs. I’ve been using just my Mac Pro and my MacBook Pro to do all my work and while they were practical and simplified my software and data management chores, I still missed working with an iMac. The iMac is like the sexy woman next door; sooner or later, she’s gonna’ get to ya’. (Your mileage will vary; what you decide to do about that, if anything, is up to you.)

The ball started rolling over me when I bought my wife a new 20 inch aluminum iMac a few weeks back. I had been saving money to replace her two-year old 20 inch Intel Core Duo when Microcenter put the newer Core 2 Duo’s on sale. I took the plunge, and she loved the new machine. Getting her one also allowed me to play with a new iMac to see for myself the flaws and benefits of them. I could see what folks were talking about but the flaws certainly didn’t seem to impede my wife. I could side-step some of those issues anyway by buying the more expensive 24 inch iMac.
Ever since then, off and on, I’ve been stopping by the Apple Store to play with their 24 inch iMacs.

At first, I tried to make do by using my wife’s old 20 inch iMac. I liked it well enough, but the screen didn’t seem as bright as my Mac Pro’s 23 inch Apple Cinema Display and my eyes got a bit tired after four hours of using it. So, I packaged it up and shipped it off to one of my sons, settling in to continue using my Mac Pro as my one and only desktop. But, then, both my wife and a friend of mine (who owns a 24 inch iMac, by the way) suggested I look at going to dual monitor ops and turning my Mac Pro into more of a true creative workstation. I did that last night and immediately fell in love with it. While the optimum set-up would use two 23 inch Apple Cinema Displays, I’m having a great time running one 23 inch main display and one 20 inch side display. I do not want to give that up!

I’ve also been wanting to take the Mac Pro back to its original purpose, i.e., photo and video editing, and do so with a vengeance this year, as well as start back into my fiction writing again. More of its time will be taken up with encoding and rendering duties, so I wanted another machine for my everyday correspondence and my fiction writing. Yes, I could do that at a lot less cost by simply buying another 23 inch display and throwing the job back to my MacBook Pro hooked to the 20 inch display, a mouse, a keyboard, and running the MBP off an external hard disk. But I wanted something more elegant than that. In other words, I was in love with the look and ergonomics of the aluminum iMac, and I wanted one.

To make it worse, Apple released a 3.06 GHz version...one that had crawled past the mythical 3 GHz barrier. Like Chuck Yeager crawling into the X-1 to chase the demon in the sky, it was something I HAD to pursue. It’s been too long since I’ve written any benchmarking articles about the Mac. With this machine, I COULD…

Lastly, my wife’s guilt had gotten to her; and in her state of being undeserving of a new iMac, she has been encouraging me to get one, too. Better than hers, of course. A 24 incher. And 3 GHz.

So, I did.

It’ll be here next week.

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