Apple iMac

I have always been a build it myself kind of guy, especially when it came to computers. My first personal computer was an S-100 bus beauty I built, with a 4mhz Z-80 chip, and a fully blown 64 kilobyte memory, CP/M with assembler and compiled basic! I doubt most of the readers here would even know what an S-100 bus is, but at one time, that was pretty much the state of the art.

It is no secret among folks who know me that I really hate Windows, and anything connected with it. In my opinion, Windows itself is a virus that destroys 98% of the computing power of any cpu running it. So, I have been a Unix user, and a Unix systems programmer for decades. Recently, I decided to upgrade my equipment, and took another look at Apple.

The iMac seemed to be everything I want in a computer, with its gorgeous display, quiet no fan operation, dual core cpus, and an OS based on BSD Unix. Perfect.

I have had my iMac for over two months now, and it runs at least 16 hours a day. So far, it has not crashed, and hasn’t needed to reboot. It is rock stable. I wasn’t sure I would like the desktop, as I am used to KDE which is available for any flavor of Unix/Linux. It seemed strange to have only one menu bar, instead of one for every window, but I quickly got used to that, and now it seems quite natural. The dock is another feature that seems natural once I had a day or two working with it.

I opted for the wireless keyboard, and wireless mouse, which connects to the iMac via a Bluetooth connection. I do miss the numeric keypad which the wireless keyboard lacks, but otherwise, it is fine. The mouse and keyboard seem to be very energy sparing also, as I have not had to change any of the batteries yet.

Being an NVU user for web page work, I downloaded Kompozer which is the Apple version of the free html wysiwyg editor, and installed it on the iMac. It has worked perfectly. Also, I installed NeoOffice, which is the free office suite derived from Star Office. Both of these programs are staples that I have installed on all of my computers.

While my overall impression of this machine is very favorable, there are two issues which are not completely satisfactory to me. The first is the fact that I cannot make the iMac recognize my laser printer which is attached to my linux powered tower. This seems to be an issue with CUPS, the Unix print server. At some point, I will upgrade my Linux machine to the same version of CUPS that is installed in the iMac. Perhaps that will solve the problem.

The second nit I have is that the Mac OS-X Leopard install disks that came with the unit are double layer disks, and the copy utility which came with the machine has not been able to make backups. This seems to be a known problem with Leopard, and I hope Apple fixes the DVD writer software soon.

All in all, I have to highly recommend the iMac. I like it so much, I hope one day to have a Mini-Mac just to use as a print server for my printers. Good job Apple!!

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