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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Sun went down / lookin' like the eye of god / behind icy mist / and stark bare trees
— Bruce Cockburn, How I Spent My Fall Vacation
September 1, 2004
New iMac

Apple has finally introduced the new G5 iMac, and this is a beautiful machine; maybe too beautiful.

I never really liked the old iMac; I liked it more in person than I did in pictures, but it still never grew on me. The half globe base always kind of looked odd, and the arm that suspended the screen was - well - unattractive.

This new machine is beautiful; taking styling cues from the current line of PowerBooks and the iPod, it’s basically a wide screen with a thin frame and integrated speakers on the front. Media drives are all accessed along the side of the machine while ports line up on the back.

The problem is this thing is so beautiful no one’s ever going to want to plug anything in, and Apple hasn’t done anything to help you avoid having too. WiFi’s not included (but can be added) and neither is Bluetooth.

Take a look at these pictures which are all being taken with Apple’s wireless keyboard and mouse, the better to keep the computer looking sleek and refined. The problem is that for you to do that you need to add a Bluetooth module. Careful cable routing might work, but this is still a work of art that shouldn’t suffer from the indignity of having cables attached.

Despite this, if I were buying today this would be my poison. No doubt. I’d just make sure to buy the Bluetooth module and the wireless keyboard and mouse, adding about $300 to the price of the thing.

addendum

Matthew Ingram at the Globe and Mail has posted his thoughts on the iMac, with an emphasis on a couple of points. The first is that iTunes/iPod is great, but not enough to make up for the reduction in computer sales. The second is that Dell will probably introduce a cheaper computer with a faster chip.

Phooey on the last point, Matt. I’m an aggressive Mac booster, but not an agressive Mac seller. While I’m happy to install and configure Macs as much as I can, I rarely push friends to buy them - instead, I let them make their own decision.

The perception that PCs are faster is a red herring: while they may be technically faster, every single person I know with a PC complains that their machine is too slow within months of buying it.

In contrast, every single person I’ve switched to a Mac since the release of OS X and the virtual elimination of system crashes has loved it, even 3 years later.

So that Dell machine may be slightly faster, but trust me: that iMac is a much smarter purchase. You’ll be happier for longer, and what could be better than having a smile on you face?

Posted by skooter at 9:22 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

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