When you have spent most of your life in the technology world, using aging equipment takes some patience. Since late 2004, new Macs have been few and far between.
After I bought an aluminum Powerbook in August 2004 not much more than a month from my Apple exit, and a well out of date Dual G5 in December 2004, my only new Mac was a white MacBook in July 2006.
I was actually doing pretty well until this summer since my wife and I had upgraded our laptops in February with Windows 7 based I7 and I5 systems.
While they weren't Macs, they were very reliable and the two of them cost less than one nice Mac laptop.
This fall, I started a new project involving CAD, Movies, and pictures. I developed the prototype of my real estate services using my G5, our MacBook, and my HP I7 laptop. I tried hard to find what I needed in software in the Windows world, but I ended up being very disappointed with my choices.
Ideally I guess what I really needed was a 2D version of Google Sketchup. When it came to crunch time, I fell back on my 26 years experience as a Mac user and started using MacDraft PE. I also went back to Dreamweaver. I could not do what I wanted to do in RapidWeaver, and I had a little bad taste in my mouth from some Rapidweaver file corruption issues when I moved files from one blog to another so I didn't try very hard.
Once I figured out the software, it was pretty clear that I needed to do my project all on one machine and that machine needed to be an iMac. With twenty years at Apple, I still have a few good connections so I managed to order a new I5 iMac with a small discount.
While I really wanted the I7, I think the I5 will handle everything that I have planned. Of course since I took delivery of my new system last week, rumors of Apple introducing new computers will likely turn out to be true.
Actually whatever hardware comes out will not cause me a lot of concern. After all, the dual G5 which I bought in December 2004 was already out of date when I got it even though it had just been introduced in late spring of 2004. That dual G5 still has a screen on my desktop along with an old 2004 Dell running Ubuntu Linux.
My impressions of the I5 iMac are mostly positive. The huge screen almost overwhelms my desktop, but I suspect that I will get used to that over time. So far I really like the magic mouse, the clarity of the screen, the power of the processor, the side SDHD card slot but not its location, and especially the 4 Gigs of RAM.
All those elements make what I was trying to do a lot easier. iPhoto works much better now with all the extra memory.
I did not care for the tiny wireless keyboard so I switched to a standard aluminum one that I had in my closet. I added a cable extender so that I could reach the USB ports on the back of the machine.
The migration to the new iMac went almost flawlessly. I chose to migrate my MacBook instead of my Dual G5. I did not want to fill up the hard drive of my new machine, and my dual G5 already has a second terabyte drive running time machine.
I did have a moment of panic when I realized that I did not have a firewire cable with the right ends. However, I bought a LaCie drive this summer. It has just about every interface under the sun, so I was able to use it as a bridge from a standard firewire port to the new ones on the iMac.
My migration went almost flawlessly. It did hang at the network setting part. I ended up restarting the iMac and going through the setup again as a different user. Then I could sign in fine with my migrated information. I always like to have a couple of users anyway. So far I have only found one application that lost its serial number, and that is my ancient Omnigraffle. My printers even worked.
The iMac does not boot quite as fast as I thought it might, but it is still plenty fast.
I sense in my heart that Apple has moved on to things iPhone and iPad, but I hear this next event is labeled "Back to the Mac," so I will be happy if there is another operating system in the cards even if it is months away.
It is a nice to be a beneficiary of the Mac ecosphere. The combination of people, software, and hardware make this a great place to get your job done as long as you can stay away from the platform bigots on both sides. It is even nicer to be a member of the Mac world and have updated hardware.
Last Friday after a presentation that I delivered using Keynote at our local board of Realtors®, someone from the audience walked up to me and wanted to see the connector I had used to get to the projector. The Realtor® from the audience had just bought a Mac. That's a hopeful sign that Apple's hardware will penetrate some areas that have remained Windows centric in spite of hardware and software that make the job of a Realtor® easier.
Our real estate firm is unbelievably still running on Windows XP. I often joke that it is faster to drive home, check something on one of my cable modem based systems than it is to wait for an answer off their DSL based XP systems, but they keep chugging along.
People often ask how life is outside of Apple. In my particular case, it is much nicer and certainly healthier. There is life after a career at Apple.
Six years ago when I bought that dual G5 PowerMac, we weren't even living at the beach, and I was still wounded from my Apple exit. Now over 50 lbs lighter than when I left Apple, I feel better, sleep great, and look forward to great fall of fishing this week which hopefully will kickoff this week.
My office with the iMac overlooks the White Oak River. Today while it is well past the middle of October, the windows are open and a mild fall breeze is flowing through the room. It is warm enough that shorts and tee shirt are all that I needed on my two boat rides to Swansboro yesterday.
The weather was so good earlier this afternoon that I interrupted writing of this post to ride over to the beach and go for a walk with my wife and our daughter who was visiting from the DC area.
As I get more familiar with the iMac, I will write up my experiences.