Bought first iMac

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Jun 24, 2004
Top of Virginia
After being very satisfied with my wife's recent iPhone purchase, I asked my brother, who has an iMac and a couple of MBPs, if he still had his iMac. I wanted to make sure he knew not to sell it, that I'd like to buy it from him when he was done with it. He told me that it was sitting in a corner not being used. So he shipped it to me and I've been playing with it all week. What a nice machine.

It's a mid-2007 aluminum iMac with a 24" display. It was a build-to-order model with the upgraded Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz "Extreme" processor (X7900) that wasn't available in stores; it had to be ordered from Apple. 500 GB 7200 rpm hard drive and 2 GB of SODIMM DDR2 RAM. He reformatted the drive and reinstalled stock Leopard (OS X 10.5) before he sent it to me. The computer didn't feel all that spritely on Leopard, but it worked well. I upgraded Leopard to Snow Leopard (10.6) a day later and it feels like I doubled the RAM (or more). Performance was excellent. I downloaded Lion (10.7) that evening and my wife actually installed it the following day. Lion allows for better integration with the iOS environment, and makes synchronizing with external servers (like Yahoo, Gmail, etc) very easy. The mail app on Lion works just like the mail app works on an iPhone or an Android phone. You add your account to the computer and it pulls your contacts and mail and calendar down and it stays sync'd with those products on the remote server. It's a nice merge of a mobile device and a desktop computer.

So far, I don't even feel the need to upgrade the RAM. 2 GB seems plenty. And I love Apple's OS EULA. At least with Lion, you're allowed to buy it once (for the astronomical price of $29) and install it on as many Apple devices that you own. No serial numbers, no product activation.

I have Office for Mac 2011 coming in the mail today. From what a few friends have told me, there's great parity between the Mac and Windows versions of Office with this latest version, and conversion between the two types is a non-issue. I hope that is the case.

As much as I like OS X (and I do like it quite a bit), the hardware is what I really like. The all-in-one chassis is incredibly high quality. If you want to adjust the monitor angle, you just push the top or bottom of the monitor with your finger. It's perfectly balanced so you don't need both hands to adjust it as you do with some cheaper screens or mounts. And you don't hear plastic creaking as you wiggle the unit around. It feels like it was carved out of a single ingot. The aluminum housing also acts as a heat sink (and an effective one at that), so the chips inside stay cool enough. The hard drive is the warmest component inside, and it'll heat up to 52-54*C after extended use. The other components (CPU and GPU) stay at reasonable temperatures (below 50*C for the CPU and below 60*C for the GPU). A very nice fan control app is available as a free download to manually adjust the minimum fan speed of all three internal fans (they will still increase with load as required).

The keyboard is fantastic. The keys are plastic, but the housing is aluminum. There's no flex to it at all. It's very solid, and typing on it is more comfortable than any keyboard I've used. And I love the bluetooth Magic Mouse. The mouse body recognizes finger gestures, so despite there being no physical scroll wheel on the mouse, you just swipe your finger up and down to move around web pages or open Finder windows. It's also low-profile and rather comfortable to use. Using a standard PC mouse now feels like holding in inflated balloon in hand by comparison.

There are two complaints I have with this particular machine.

1) You can't install a second internal hard drive. Well, technically, you CAN, but it's major surgery, and a lot of retrofitting for an earlier model like mine. Current models have an SSD as an available option, which supplements a mechanical platter drive, and the SSD rides piggyback on the optical drive. So physically, it fits, but it's not really a viable option for an older machine without the associated brackets and cable connections, etc. Apple's Time Machine is an excellent backup system, but I will need to buy an external hard drive enclosure and use that for data backups. That's a minor annoyance, but WOULD like to have everything in one physical housing. All-in-ones are all about a clutter-free desk space, right?

2) There aren't quite enough USB ports on this. Later ones have 4 USB ports on the back, but earlier ones have only 3. One of which is taken up by the keyboard, and one of which is taken up by the printer. So I have only 1 available USB port on the case itself. Smartly, the keyboard has 2 USB ports on it, so we can charge the phone or plug in a camera using the keyboard without fishing around on the back of the case for a free USB port.

3) I said I had two complaints, but I will list a third, only because there's an easy workaround and I think this complaint may be an old-fashioned one anyway. I'd prefer a card reader built-in to the computer. Just a standard SD card reader should suffice for 75% of the population out there. But at the same time, this may be less and less of an issue as time goes on. As noted in other threads about phones, removable media seems to be going away in favor of on-board storage and either wireless synchronization or a simple USB hookup. So it's not likely to present a big issue (and we have a USB card reader if needed anyway), but it would have been cool to have one built-in.

Anyway, the software is nice, but I've been most pleased with the hardware associated with this Apple. From the chassis design and solid feel, to the very pleasant and natural-feeling keyboard, to the cool Magic Mouse with finger gestures, it's a real joy to use.
4GB RAM will be nice when you've got a lot going on (Word, web browser, Mail, iTunes, etc) but for simple tasks you won't notice it. Glad to hear you're enjoying the purchase.
The thing I loved about my iMac was the durability of the hardware and software over time. I used my 1999 vintage iMac G3 333 mhz as my main computer for 9 years. Video playback was the only reason I buckled and bought a cheap $500 laptop. Otherwise, I edited 500+ page word docs full of graphics and all sorts of other fairly intensive work w/ the little thing. One more cheap black friday HP laptop later and I've got my wife convinced it's time for another iMac. I'd like a 27 inch but as we've been keeping the laptop on one of the kitchen counters, I'll settle for the smaller one.

Congrats on the purchase!
Yep, I bought my first iMac about 4 or 5 years ago. Since then, I bought another larger one, three Mac laptops for my college age kids, a boat-load of iPods, and soon to buy a couple of iPads. Watch out or this could become expensive, lol...
Originally Posted By: BrianWC
The thing I loved about my iMac was the durability of the hardware and software over time. I used my 1999 vintage iMac G3 333 mhz as my main computer for 9 years. Video playback was the only reason I buckled and bought a cheap $500 laptop.

We have a G3 iMac in the closet that was on my daughter's desk for a while. It's a 700 MHz slot-loader (Summer 2001 model) with 512 MB of RAM and OS X 10.3. The only reason we quit using it is because it struggled with modern websites. You can't run a modern version of Safari on it, but there is a nice little browser called Camino that works well on older versions of OS X. But it won't run a You Tube video or things like that. So I replaced it with a HTPC-sized little Acer with Windows XP that I got free at a recycling event.

Originally Posted By: SrDriver
As Apple/MAC computers become more popular, we will see more attacks by the bad guys.

I certainly agree with this. I have Sophos on it now, which is a free security suite that seems legit. I haven't looked too much into it yet, and all of the usual suspects offer paid versions, like Norton, McAfee, etc. If anyone has been using a really nice *and free* AV suite on OS X, please chime in!
Yep! That's why Apple can't make them fast enough, their stock is north of $600/sh and they're sitting on $100 billion in cash. They are fun to use and I like OSX.

I've been given two because their owner wasn't interested in fixing them (for some reason...). A 17" iMac with a PPC and a 13" dual core MB with a bad HD. Both work fine now. The iMac is built like a Ferrari inside. Very high quality. Straight forward to disassemble and repair.

Don't understand for the life of me why they'd just toss these in the trash! Oh well..their loss my gain.

Enjoy your new iMac!
Man, this is too easy. I plugged the network cable between the two computers and had the Mac connect to the Windows machine and I'm pulling all of my data files across.

I have a long history with this Dell, and it's been a 98% positive one. We bought it in 2005 or 2006, right before Vista came out. It was pre-loaded with XP MCE, but had the free coupon for a Vista upgrade. I upgraded to Vista just as soon as I could, but did a full system restore back to XP after about 3 months; Vista was just too slow and sluggish. I think I had 2 GB of RAM in it at the time (AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ processor). XP MCE ran well for many years after. Only about 8 months ago did I finally upgrade it to 7. I had also put 2 more GB of RAM in it at some point. The system flies on 7; 7 is a really nice OS and certainly the best Microsoft Windows version I've used.

The only real hiccup we've had with it, ironically, is since installing 7. We're having sleeping problems. It's supposed to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity. And sometimes it will, but sometimes it won't. All backup/update activities are done in the mornings, but this is in the evening, so all of that stuff is long done for the day. You can manually put it to sleep, and again, sometimes it will and sometimes it won't. If it does go to sleep, it'll sometimes wake up randomly on its own. And it sometimes doesn't wake up from sleep at all, and I have to do a hard reset on it. I fiddled with the power settings on the motherboard (something about S1 vs. S3 vs. S5 or something), and that seemed to help initially, but it didn't fix the problem. Small annoyance, but it was something that should be straight forward that wasn't.

So my move to the Mac really isn't for a distaste for Windows, but because of how much I've liked each Apple product that I've only recently been using. I've been an Apple stockholder since the middle of last year, and the joke with my investing buddies is I own Apple stock, but don't own a single Apple product. Just in the last month, we've gone from having essentially none (save for the obsolete G3 iMac in the closet) to having 2 products that we use (or are planning to use) every day.

Lion has a really nice PC migration tool (to move your data from a Windows machine to a Mac), but I'd like a little more control over how our stuff comes across, so I'm doing a manual copy via ethernet cable. Super easy process.

And it sleeps when it's supposed to.
I have the newest 27 inch iMac. It's a fantastic machine! Congrats on your iMac!

The OS is so fine and crisp during daily use, you will soon convert to nothing but Apple!!
It's funny: I upgraded our Windows machine with a nice Asus 23" monitor for Christmas. It was great. Now that I'm looking at a 24" Apple display, that "old" Asus display is all of a sudden inadequate. There does appear to be more polish and precision to the Mac OS, but the screen surely helps out with that.
Originally Posted By: BrianWC
The thing I loved about my iMac was the durability of the hardware and software over time. I used my 1999 vintage iMac G3 333 mhz as my main computer for 9 years.

I still have one. 333mhz, 6GB, tray loading, OS X ... It's a stylish dust collector and oddity in the guest room

It still works....sort of. It has an outdated version of IE, and you can't upgrade past the buggy versions of Safari

It's the reason I never bought another Apple product.

I tried to like it. But I kept going back to my older Celeron 400/2GB/Windows 98 computer.
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