Update: Turns out Best Buy, where we bought the iMac, doesn’t have the new models in stock yet, but to make room in their inventory, they’ve lowered the prices on the remaining ones by $400.
They were nice enough to honor the new price and refund the difference. Win-win, since I wasn’t all that excited about a data transfer. W00t!
So, you may have heard that Apple dropped a bunch of updates to their product catalog today, along with software updates.
Among the updates were upgrades to the iMac line.
Not that noteworthy, unless you just bought an iMac last week like I did. Funny stuff, right?
I’m actually not that bummed; a little, but not too much, considering. This was a replacement for my wife’s XP machine, which I had been nursing along for nearly ten years, adding disk, RAM and a DVD player to keep it functional. She had lent her Macbook to a friend (I know, gasp) and was forced to use that old beast without any escaping to a faster computer.
Speed is her main requirement (and annoyance); this means the Internet, installed programs, everything. This means keeping a lot of moving parts, moving quickly, which was becoming increasingly tough with the old XP box. So, rather than have me rebuild it overnight, we decided to break down and buy a new machine entirely. For her, instant gratification and instant ability to get work done.
The decision was to go Mac over PC because, well, I don’t feel like supporting it, and we like the unibody design of the iMac over the standard cable mess of disparate pieces. Plus, she already has a Macbook, so it’s not a jump into the deep end.
I should have tipped when Best Buy said they had no 20″ iMacs in stock, in any local stores, but knowing how secretive Apple is, I wonder if even the Apple Store employees knew the new models were less than a week from dropping. We settled on the 24″ model that used to be the third in the lineup; based on the new specs, it’s probably closer to first, slightly more beefy than the low-end 20″ model in the new lineup. Grr.
Still, she loves it to death so far (it’s so fast), and the cinema display is so bright, when I walk away from it, I see spots.
Rather than trying to explain virtualization, I just installed Virtual Box and installed an XP VM. That VM runs about twice as fast as the old native installation of XP did. Sure, not an apples-to-apples comparison, but pretty impressive. The fan is really quiet too; one thing that bugs me about the Macbook is its loud fan. If you’ve held one of those in your lap, you’ll know why. It gets crazy hot after a while, not an ideal thing to keep in your lap.
So, until today, everybody was happy. New computer for the wife, less support agony for me. Win-win.
Of course, now we’ve fallen victim to buying the outgoing model year, which is inevitable, but usually doesn’t happen withing the same week.
I also violated one of my rules by buying the unibody design. I can’t crack it open to do upgrades to keep from buying new gear every couple years. Maybe I can, but it won’t be easy. Maybe I’m wrong.
Then, there’s the dilemma of what to do with the old dinosaur. I had thought it would make good network-attached storage, but aside from the slow processor, it only has about 80 GB of disk space, which is puny compared to the 250 GB I just put in my Macbook, 300 GB in the iMac or the 1 TB backup drive I bought for Time Machine on the iMac.
Wow did I feel old buying a 1 TB disk about the size of a pocket dictionary for less than $200. I remember when Oracle DB broke the 1 TB barrier for database storage. That doesn’t seem that long ago. Cue the nostalgic music and prepare your grouchy “I remember when” stories for the comments.
Anyway, I’ll probably end up reimaging it as an experimental box for Jaunty Jackalop (9.04) or some other O/S, or maybe I’ll give it to the neighbors, keeping the monitor, natch. You can never have too many displays.
So, there’s a lot here, meandering as always. What are your thoughts on any/all of the following:
- New iMacs and updates to Apple’s products
- Old iMacs, Macs in general
- Mac vs. PC, always welcome here 🙂
- Supporting users who want everything “faster”
- Keeping up with current technology and getting out-moded
- Repurposing old gear
- A 1 TB drive for less than $200
- Having an experimental machine for hobby O/S
Find the comments and let us know.