usable in any place a human can be used


shiny new toy

[caption id="attachment_389" align="alignright" width="214" caption="it cuts the roof of your mouth so the chemicals can get into your bloodstream faster"]it cuts the roof of your mouth so the chemicals can get into your bloodstream faster[/caption]

I took a half-day today, got to sit at home this morning waiting for the Fedex man (who turned out to be a woman). A few weeks ago I got the go ahead from my company to buy an iMac for home (HMB has a program where they will pay for half of your hardware purchase, because they are an amazing company). I got the news yesterday via fedex that my package had arrived overnight from Shanghai in beautiful Anchorage. I was told that the delivery would arrive this morning, asked for a half-day off, and this morning leisurely enjoyed a bowl of Peanut Butter Crunch.

Then I heard the thump thump thump of someone climbing the stairs outside of my apartment and a knock on my door. After subduing my dog Harvey I opened the door, signed the Fedex pad, and took a giant heavy package inside my house. The size of the box blew me away at first, here are the specs of my new iMac.

  • 27in Aluminum iMac

  • 2.8GHz Quad Core Intel Core i7

  • 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM

  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive

  • ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB Video Card

  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive

  • Magic Mouse

  • Wireless Keyboard

Now I have played with Macs before, I've spent countless minutes over the last month or two at BestBuy goofing around with the 27in iMac there. I thought I was prepared for how large this beast is, but I was not. It's a heavy machine and it is ginormous. The packaging was simple, effective, and beautiful. I had it up and running in about 10 minutes, and most of that time was moving stuff off my desk to make room. A little while back I had purchased a cheap opened-item (although very nice) 22in Velocity Micro Monitor (similar to this one but not identical). When I brought it home I thought it was huge, it looks Lilliputian next to this hulking behemoth.

There have been some reports of the i7 showing up DOA. I'm lucky enough to have not had this happen, my iMac is pretty and working. I turned on the power, answered some questions, and watching "Welcome" fly at my face in multiple languages for a few minutes, and it was up and running.

The Good

  • This screen is huge and beautiful, plenty of real estate to take on the job of 2 (maybe even 3) physical monitors

  • The wireless keyboard and mighty mouse were pre-synced with the computer and worked right off the bat

  • The Apple Remote synced nicely (after I reread the syncing part of the manual and saw the phrase "menu and right button" instead of just "right button")

  • I can now retire my Acer tower to be a HTPC (It's a little big but I have a cabinet it will fit nicely in)

  • The wireless keyboard is a joy to type on

  • Opened a terminal and typed ruby --version, it replied with 1.8.7 instead of " 'ruby' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."

The Bad

  • After syncing my remote I couldn't get it to do anything, I tried controlling a DVD with it to no avail.

  • I only took a half day instead of the whole day off so I can't play with its beauty right now

  • I took some great pictures with my phone, but foolishly left behind my usb cable, a gallery will be posted tonight or sometime over the weekend

  • I don't know what I'm doing. This is the first Mac I've owned and so far things seem simple enough, but I'm not at home yet.

There you have it, about 2 years of thinking about buying a new iMac, a few weeks of waiting, and 4 hours off of work later I have my new shiny toy. It is a work of beauty and really a testament to the skill and care the engineers and designers at Apple put into their products. I'm hoping to avoid fanboyism though, I will be running a Vista / Ubuntu powered HTPC and working on an XP Pro laptop everyday for work.

This weekend I will get better introduced to the new member of my tech family, for now though I have to get back to work. Check in Monday for shiny pictures. I hope to do a bunch of how-to's and screencasts in the future about development on macs and setting things up if you are a developer, so stay tuned.

PS. I have changed the RSS Feed to use FeedBurner, if you experience any problems please let me know at ihumanable [at] gmail [dot] com


  1. Obligatory "software you should get for your Mac" comment:
    Picture viewer: Xee
    Text editor: TextMate (worth every penny)
    System monitoring: iStat Menus and/or iStat Pro
    IM Multi-Client: Adium
    RSS: NetNewsWire
    Twitter: Tweetie for Mac
    Backup: Carbon Copy Cloner
    System Notifications: Growl
    Screenshots/screencast: Jing

    That's all that spring to mind right now. Let me know if you can't figure something out; obviously I love talking about Macs.

  2. Here's the software I use:

    picture/pdf/justabouteverything viewer: preview
    editor: textmate
    system monitor: command prompt utilities (honestly, I could care less how much RAM and CPU I'm using)
    IM: adium
    RSS: google reader
    twitter: tweetdeck
    backup: time machine + mozy home + dropbox
    system notifications: growl, but I turn most of it off
    screenshots: skitch
    screencasts: ScreenFlow
    ftp: cyberduck
    application uninstaller: AppZapper (this clears up unwanted plist files and whatnot)
    app launcher: QuickSilver
    VMs: parallels
    system maintenance: onyx

    umm... crap, don't have the mac in front of me. I use most of the built in apps because, frankly, they work well enough that I don't care to figure something else out. Apart from iPhoto. iPhoto is a turd.

  3. Other things I use:

    clipboard manager: jumpcut
    VPN: IPSecuritas
    Presenting/Movies/Screencasts: Caffeine
    windows remote desktop: CoRD
    web dev: espresso
    video conversion: handbrake
    .NET: MonoDevelop
    Task Management: Things
    bittorrent: Transmission
    unarchiving: The Unarchiver (clever name)
    nntp: unison
    video: VLC for those things that won't play any other way

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