Saturday, August 08, 2009

New Computer!

Well, although it's going to be hard on the old pocketbook, I decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and get a new computer. I realized my old iMac just wasn't up to the task anymore when I started having trouble playing YouTube videos and I got sick and tired of not having a functioning DVD-ROM drive (the one on the old machine died quite some time ago, the very first hardware failure I've ever had on a Macintosh).

So, I am now the proud owner of a 20" Widescreen iMac! Driven by a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM, this thing's got power to spare! Plus, as the RAM is expandable to 8 GB, this thing will grow with me as software requires more and more power (I never did upgrade the RAM on my old machine; who has 256 MB of RAM nowadays?! :P)! Thank God I'm on vacation this week; I forsee a lot of late nights with this thing. ;)

That being said, although my evaluation of this machine is still preliminary, I have a few quibbles:
  1. While I'm getting used to it more quickly than I thought I would, I'm still not a big fan of this keyboard. As a 95 wpm typist, keyboard feel is critical to me and I find this "flat" form factor a bit awkward. On the other hand, looking around at the other non-Apple computers at Future Shop, I can't help but notice that the "flat" form is becoming the norm for all keyboards. Might as well get used to it, I guess.
  2. The keyboard that comes with this machine also lacks a numeric keypad. I suppose I'll get used to that, too, but right now whenever I go to enter a number, I find myself reaching to the right and my fingers finding nothing but mouse and wood (or air when it's in my lap). Maybe when my pocketbook recovers from the purchase of this thing, I'll sell this keyboard and get one of the full sized versions (they're still flat, though).
  3. I miss my Page Up and Page Down keys, which this keyboard doesn't have, either (again, the full sized one does). Like the keypad, I keep reaching for them out of force of habit.
  4. I'm having trouble transferring my Apple Mail E-mail archives. It's odd; some mailboxes transferred without a hitch, others didn't. I want to hold onto my archives; I have archives of my sent mail going back to March of 2000 and they'd go back further if not for a hard drive crash I had. I think I might be able to rescue the lost data but it'll involve importing a few mailboxes manually.
I was about to write a fourth quibble but I'm just realizing it might not be relevant. Just let me try something here...

Ah, OK. Never mind. I was about to complain that there are no USB ports on the front of this machine which makes using a portable USB "key" drive a real pain but I just realized there is an easily reachable free port, not on the machine itself, but at the left of the keyboard (intended primarily for the left handed who hook their mouse in there but it's still a USB port like any other). I just tried plugging my portable drive in there; it works fine. OK; one problem solved. ;)

Now, on the plus side:
  1. Fast. 'Nuff said. :P
  2. The screen is much brighter, much higher quality and the wide screen gives me a lot more screen real estate to work with; I'm even finding it an advantage in word processing (and I thought I was going to find it awkward :P).
  3. Despite the flat form factor, the keys on the keyboard are nice and firm yet responsive, giving good tactile feedback yet responding to a near feather touch. I'm actually thinking, aside from the missing keys, I'll eventually come to prefer this keyboard over the old fashioned keyboards which "rise up" with each row.
  4. The keyboard is small enough to use in my lap (where it is right now) which is actually more comfortable than using it on the desk.
  5. This thing has nearly ten times the storage capacity of my old machine; no more "out of disk space" messages. Plus, with a functional DVD-ROM drive, even if I do run out of space some day I can always transfer less used files to DVD to free up drive space.
Those are my initial impressions. So far, my most serious issues are with the keyboard. Looks like I can get used to the feel but I think, eventually, I'm going to break down and get this baby's bigger cousin so I can get my full set of keys back. However, for the time being, this works. :)

By the way, any of you out there who've been waiting for E-mail from me you'll be getting replies soon. I was just waiting until I got this new machine. Now that I have it, it'll be a lot easier to catch up on E-mail, Facebook and lots of other stuff without the machine bogging down and taking forever to do anything. :P

I think this thing's going to be worth the financial headaches. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Mandy (your sis ^_^)8:38 AM

    Awesome, John! Enjoy it, you deserve it!


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