Before and After
Two years ago I replaced my PowerBook G4 of three years with a MacBook Pro with a 17-inch screen. My MBP has served me well and I intend to continue to use it when I am traveling or need to use Windows 7.
Antes / Before
Yes, I did tidy up the desk prior to installing its replacement.
After at least ten years of using a laptop, I thought I would go back to a desktop. Many times I run out of screen real-estate and am forced to use “Spaces”, Apple’s term for virtual screens. So I was looking for an all-in-one desktop with a big screen.
I decided on an iMac with a 27-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT active-matrix liquid crystal display. (That’s a mouthful!) Now I have plenty of space to have several windows visible at the same time. The 2560-by-1440 pixel, widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, display has a 1000:1 contrast ratio plus in-plane switching (IPS) display technology. This improves the viewing angles as compared to traditional displays. My MacBook Pro has a glossy screen and I haven’t had problems with reflections. (My “office” faces north so there is little direct sunlight.)
Apple offers two processors for the iMac: a 2.66GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor or 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. I went for the faster processor. The processor is not much faster than my portable, but with four cores in can multiprocess better.
The iMac has 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 memory standard, with support of up to 16GB. More memory means you can run more applications simultaneously without memory “swapping”. I decided to upgrade to 8GB of memory. I was surprised to see that when just having a browser and mail client active, what I consider “idle mode”, consumed 2.7GB. That’s more than the 2GB my laptop has!
The standard hard disk for the iMac has a Serial 7200-rpm ATA hard drive of 1TB. One can can optionally choose a 2TB drive. Currently I use 150GB on my MacBook Pro, which doesn’t sound like much until you realize the drive is only 200GB and I have a partition for Windows 7. Seriously I have been putting things off for worry about running out disk space. Ahora no hay problema. I also purchased a Western Digital 1.5TB disk drive for back-up. I use both Apple’s Time Machine and binary copy types of back-ups. Each has its advantages. The drive has FireWire 800 plus USB 2.0 connections. The Firewire protocol supports faster transfer rates than USB. (Currently there are no USB 3 drives available here.)
Después / After
My docking station for my iPod touch is sitting in front of the iMac.
On the right is the WD 1.5TB disk drive. On the left is a picture of Ruben and me.
Setting up the iMac was very easy. The first screen that is presented is your choice of language to use. (You can change this later.) Compare this to Windows 7 which only offered castellano and does not allow the system language to be changed later. Very annoying when you have a multi-lingual household whose members prefers to use their mother tongue.
The system set-up procedure allow you to transfer all the applications, settings, and users from another Mac or hard disk. It took about an hour to copy over 75GB of data using a FireWire 800 connection. Once that was done, it asked to have the system to be registered at Apple. Since all the networking information had been transferred, it knew the router name and WPA2 password to use and the iMac connected to their server with no problem. And sure enough, when I logged in, my desktop had all the icons that my laptop did (except the disk names were different.)
I have been busy making sure that everything is working as expected and so far haven’t encountered a single problem. I had more trouble with my Windows 7 installation (upgrade from Vista), which did not preserve things such as network settings forcing me to run a “wizard” in order to use my WiFi network. As you have have guessed, I don’t like “surprises” like this,
And in case you are wondering, I ordered the iMac on my birthday to celebrate becoming a “senior citizen”.