An Apple a day

I have finally decided to go to the dark side. Already my house is populated with both Windows and Linux systems. It is now time to add Mac to the list. I ordered my iMac earlier this week and it should be in tomorrow. Honestly, I haven’t really spent any quality time with an Apple system since my early childhood when I spent countless hours with my mom’s Apple ][e running Apple DOS 3.3. Oh how that was such a monster system for its day. It had the 80 column card, 64k of memory, two 5.25″ floppy drives and a 300baud modem. Seriously, this thing was a powerhouse. But alas, that computer eventually died and I entered the world of the Commodore and Adam and TI99-4a computers. Eventually it settled down into the PC world with my purchase of a Packard Bell 486sx-25.

These days I use my Dell Inspiron 1501 with Vista Home Premium for most of my computing fun because of its portability around my house. My stationary box is a home built AMD Athlon64 running Ubuntu at the moment. I have a tendancy to change the flavor of Linux on that box between Fedora, Gentoo, Slackware, and Ubuntu depending on my mood that week. The downside to that system is the noise ratio. I have 11 fans in that system and it sounds like a rabid vacuum cleaner with buck teeth snoring itself into oblivion when I turn it on. When you add the near radioactive glow that comes from the acrylic case and plethora of cold cathode tubes and LEDs, well, it is more than a little distracting. There is also the matter of the 550 watt power supply being strained to its limit and the MAG 19″ CRT sucking in as much energy as it can and happily producing copious amounts of heat as a thank you that just make me tired of using it. I decided to go a bit more green and a lot more quiet.

Enter the iMac. Basically a computer in a monitor, the iMac is a wonderful little device that is quieter, cooler, and immensely easier on the electric bill. Some people say that Apple’s offerings are far more expensive than those of Dell or HP. Not so. I did a comparison build of computers between manufacturers and Apple is right in line with their pricing. They also have the concept of making the computer itself look really nice. Have you actually seen one of the Dell XPS One sytems up close? It has all the allure and style of a train wreck. It is large, unwieldy, and just plain bad. I do not put form over function when it comes to my computing, but that does not mean I want something that is downright ugly. Just hand me the sleek one that does all of the things I intend to do on a computer.

iMac computers are capable of everything I want to do. In addition to their renown for being an artist’s best friend, with Leopard and Boot Camp I can load Windows on it as well to perform whatever tasks required Microsoft’s OS. It is not emulation; it is a boot loader that allows you to choose between installed operating systems at power up. As a matter of fact, most performance benchmarks performed on iMacs since their shift to Intel architecture have shown that Windows performs better on them than on similarly built systems from other manufacturers. Crazy, isn’t it? So here I sit, waiting for my new toy arrive…my very own 20″ Apple iMac (refurb). Why refurb? Because I got it for $999 with full Apple warranty instead of $1199. Bargain basement pricing on what is essentially a brand new system. With luck, it will be here tomorrow. Once I get it up and running, I will post a little of my experience in transitioning to the dark side of personal computing.