Mac to the Future

I started using the Mac in 1985. I used Macs as my primary computers for the next twenty years or so. Then around 2006, I switched and started using a Dell laptop as my main computer. I kept my Powerbook, of course. It was a pretty stylish piece of machinery when it was new, but I used it mainly for testing and for doing reviews for Macworld. Occasionally I borrowed my daughter’s newer iBook. I spent most of my days in Windows.

Anyway, I’ve known for a long time that my Dell Latitude D820 was due to retire and lately it’s been exhibiting some signs of old age. For the last year I’ve been shopping for my next machine. I fully expected I’d be buying a new Dell or HP machine running Windows 7. And I was looking forward to it.

Enter the iMac

Well, didn’t happen. I’m typing this post in Google Chrome running in Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) on a brand-new 21.5″ iMac. The fact that I want to keep writing for Macworld played a part in my decision. The fact that I can run Windows 7 on this iMac was also a factor. And perhaps I missed the Mac OS just a little bit.

My new iMac

The two most important pieces of software to my photographic work—Adobe Lightroom 3 and DxO Optics Pro—both have enlightened licensing policies that allow me to run the software one 1 PC and/or 1 Mac, so I will be able to transfer all of my photos to the iMac and get back to work in no time. [ADDENDUM a few hours later: Well, by “no time,” I mean a fairly large number of hours, apparently. I’m copying my Lightroom library right now, from the Dell laptop to an external 750GB drive. Looks like it’s got about 4 hours to go….]

Strangely familiar

As I said, until just a few years ago, I was a Mac user since forever and even when the PC became my primary machine, I never stopped using my Mac OS computer. I won’t stop using my PC now, but the iMac will be my primary machine.

The new display is wonderful—big, clear, bright. I am able to push it back and work comfortably without wearing my computer glasses, which is sweet.

The iMac’s keyboard is diminutive, in fact, it’s absurdly compact. But the touch is very good and I’m getting used to the size and the lack of an extended numeric keypad. (I have USB keypads here that I can add.)

The iMac also comes with a “Magic Mouse.” I got a “Mighty Mouse” some years ago directly from Steve Jobs himself. Well, I was attending the Macworld expo at the Moscone Convention Center in New York City as a member of the press (really), so I was there with The Steven and about 5000 of his (other) closest personal friends. Anyway, at the end of his keynote, Steve did his famous “Oh, just one more thing” schtick. The one more thing was the new Apple mouse, called the Mighty Mouse. After insisting that a mouse should have just 1 button for years while people scoffed, Apple released a two-button mouse—that had just one button, or rather, no buttons at all. (It was sensitive to which side you clicked on. Brilliant, actually.) Anyway, after telling us all about how wonderful it was, Steve told us we’d find one taped to the underside of our folding chairs. I turned sideways to see 5000 people (85% of them male) bend over and reach under their chairs. (Okay, I was doing it too.) Anyway, now I have a Magic Mouse, which is even better. And look, ma, no cords!

I don’t care that much about computers any more. Actually, much of the time, I hate computers. But I don’t expect to hate this one too much.

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