6 months of the iMac

It’s now 6 months since I got my iMac. So what do I think of it?

The most important fact is that nothing major has gone wrong (yet, as if that’s not tempting fate). I still occassionally get my ” and my @ the wrong way round, as I still use a Windows PC frequently, and it took a while to find the # key. The operating system itself has been stable, though there was an issue with stacks in the dock losing their icons and text labels when fanned out. Since 10.5.2 that doesn’t seem to have happened though.

Getting on with the application software has been easy. Initially Safari would sometimes hang when shutting down the Mac, but that appears to have gone away too. iPhoto, iTunes, and even iMovie have been a breeze to use.

One thing that has disappointed me is that the scroll ball on the mouse gets clogged surprisingly easy. It can be cleaned by wiping it while the mouse is upside down, but this is a monthly occurence for me. When I ordered the iMac I was quite conscious of the fact that I was ordering the entry-level iMac, with a 250GB hard disk and only 1GB RAM. Sometimes I need more memory, especially when I have 30-40 tabs open in Safari, and especially when using VMWare Fusion.

On the subject of VMware Fusion, I bought and paid for it to use Windows with, to save rebooting and using Bootcamp. Fusion has been great, though I have been using it less and less for Windows. Instead I’ve had several instances of FreeBSD running (simultaneously) with no issues (other than needing more memory). A 4GB RAM upgrade may be on the cards…

During the last 6 months I’ve come across several things which have surprised me with their ease:

  • Mounting, creating and burning ISO images is easy.
  • Printer setup consisted of attaching the printer (a HP LaserJet 2550n) to the network, and turning it on. The printer icon is actually a picture of my printer, which sounds trivial, but makes things easier when you have several printers installed.
  • Downloading a gzipped Postscript document resulted in it automatically being gunzipped and converted to PDF, then opened in Preview.
  • Preview is far faster at opening PDFs than Adobe Reader.

The only thing I can think of that has disappointed me is that Finder can only read FTP folders – it can’t write to them.

So what do I think of it so far? Well my father’s PC broke recently (hardware failure), and he’s now a Mac user…

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