More Proof of New iMac Speed Gains.


As I mentioned in a previous post, the overall performance of the latest iMac is amazing given what was considered top of the line just two years ago. A MacNN article points out how the iMac 2.8 GHz Extreme falls just shy of a current Xserve Quad-Core Xeon 2.0GHz. Pretty impressive stuff. Further, the article states:

“the top-end Mid-2007 iMac is faster than the Power Mac G5 (Late 2005) with two dual-core G5 processors at 2.5 GHz”

As in my previous article, this thing is easily besting a Quad-Core 2.5GHz PowerMac from less than two years ago! Wow.

My first post from the new iMac.

To be honest, I’ve been so busy with the new iMac (it arrived a day early) that I have nothing to post.

I’m primarily posting to ensure I will have no problems using Firefox Mac with Blogger (Safari doesn’t work with Blogger at all, on the Mac or PC).

I’ll post details on the machine in the coming days. From the box to the Internet was less than 15 minutes. As of right now I’ve imported my 2,700 photos and already got them all categorized into 55 iPhone Events. I’ve imported my 7,000 songs, as well as my movies and TV shows, into iTunes. Got all my email working fine and imported my contacts from a CSV file created in Outlook. Imported my bookmarks with no issue.

Only software I’ve installed is Firefox and Graphic Converter. I used to use GC when I had a Mac before (I use PolyView on the PC) and didn’t hesitate to get it again now that I’m back in the Mac fold.

This screen is gorgeous and I love the glossy. I already knew that from one of my laptops having it. Reflection is rarely a problem and the beautiful, richer colors make it superior to the matte screens in my opinion. I also love the iMac’s keyboard. It’s quiet and has a firm touch. My old keyboard was huge, however, so I need to adjust my thumb reaching for the space key.

I need to call it a day. The best news of all is that my daughter is in her Summer dance recital this weekend (in seven dances) so I will have a boatload of photos and video to find out just how the new iPhoto and iMovie really stack up. I can already tell you I love editing in iPhoto’s full screen mode.

Wow! Apple really lowered the price for a high-end iMac.

The new iMac has arrived, as expected. It’s thinner and, in my opinion, much better looking.

I always felt the white frame around the screen was a bit of a distraction, but now the chassis is aluminum, and there’s a beautiful black border around the screen. This not only looks great but also hides the built-in camera and microphone for an even smoother, cleaner finish.

So I ordered the 24″ with the 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme.

For those of you who’ve paid attention to my blog, you know that I currently have no Macs in the house (well, the iPhone). There are two laptops with XP Pro and XP Home. I know XP well, Vista doesn’t even remotely interest me, so I’m going back to the Mac after an absence.

I’ve held off ordering to see what the iMac upgrade would bring, and am glad I did. The prices have fallen considerably. It’s not just the base price of the 24″ being $1,799 to the old model’s $1,999. That initial $200 savings gets even larger when you start adding on items.

Consider that the old 24″ iMac had no “upscale” model to start with, so if you wanted it “maxed out” you had to:

  • upgrade the processor to 2.33 GHz,
  • upgrade memory from 1 to 2GB,
  • upgrade the hard drive from 250 to, in my case, 750GB,
  • upgrade the graphics card from a 128MB model to to a 256MB model, and
  • add a wireless keyboard and mouse for $59 each.

Starting from that $1,999 base model, the resulting machine was close to $2,900, and included no additional software, tax, or shipping.

By comparison, the new iMac has an upscale model for $2,299 that already includes:

  • the max processor (2.8GHz),
  • 2GB memory,
  • a 500GB drive (so the upgrade to 750GB is less expensive),
  • the max graphics card, and
  • the wireless mouse is just $20, the keyboard just $30.

My entire package, including iWork ’08, a year’s subscription to .Mac, tax and expedited shipping, is less than $2,900. We’re talking many hundreds of dollars saved on a system that’s dramatically improved in all areas, with software (iLife ’08) that’s dramatically improved as well.

Yes, this is the “transition” Tim Cook spoke of on the 3Q analysts call a couple weeks ago. No question these will not bring in the margins of the old models. On the other hand, they ought to sell a ton of them, and I’m one of the first buyers.

The only bad news is the Extreme models have a five-week delay; my ship date is slated for 9/12.

I have no doubt there will be some Mac fans unimpressed by today’s announcements. Maybe you should run my XP boxes for a while. 🙂 Seriously, as I monitored the presentation today I was hopeful for another hard drive bay or maybe a replaceable graphics card in the iMac. However, with up to 1TB of storage available, and a respectable graphics card already in place, one has to wonder just how much is supposed to be available for a “consumer” machine? When you consider all the improvements for hundreds of dollars less, at some point you just need to STFU and enjoy it.

[UPDATE:] From playing around on the Apple Store website I found the cause for delay is the wireless keyboard. If I remove that from an order then the estimated ship date is 3-5 days instead of weeks. I need a wireless keyboard, but not necessarily immediately. I’ll have to dwell on this and maybe call Apple tomorrow to change the order, getting the regular keyboard initially and ordering the wireless separately.

I’m back. A quick look at some events this past week.

Well, I’m back from the “out of town” portion of my vacation. I still have a few days off and some projects planned at home, but I’ll get to blogging as well. For my first post since coming back I’ll highlight some of the stuff that went on while I was gone. This is stuff I may have written complete posts about had I been here.

If you’re wondering why the The Street’s Scott Moritz’ garbage about iPhone production being cut back — and the resulting drop in Apple stock — is not in my list, it’s because it was covered so much elsewhere. Besides, most of the coverage ends with the sentiment that they wonder why Moritz has a job, or why The Street isn’t worried about its reputation. In my opinion the reason is simple: The Street and Moritz are doing exactly what they set out to do. Indeed, it’s difficult to think otherwise when the story had such huge implications but was published on the flimsiest of evidence. I’m sure we’ll see more of this, so get used to it.

OK, on to other stuff that occurred in my absence…

Apple to introduce new iMacs (and new Macs?) on August 7.
A special media event related solely to Macs, not iPods or iPhones. Is this the long-awaited refresh (and remodel) on the iMac line? Sure. Will it also include new versions of iLife and iWork? Maybe. But what else? I’ve seen others talk of a new MacBook Pro line, or at least a MacBook Pro ultra portable.

Personally, I think if Apple wants to knock our socks off — and really see sales spike — it would be with a new “headless” iMac. In other words, expand their computer quadrant to allow a slot between the consumer (iMac) and the professional (Mac Pro) desktop models. If Apple introduces such a machine, and prices it in line with what an expandable consumer machine should cost (something they did not do with the G4 cube), there’s a 100% chance I will buy one that very day.

AT&T and eMusic ink an OTA deal.
Now you can get your obscure music for six times as much! This announcement almost made me laugh when I read it, though it may not be the dumbest mobile music deal that went down this week (see below).

I love music, and I love eMusic. I’ve been a member for a year and a half and get 40 songs a month for $10. For the rocket scientists among you, that’s 25 cents a song. A quarter. Two bits. Yes, it’s all Indie stuff, and most people will not find the music they want here. For me, since I love all kinds of music, I have no issue with this and always seem to find stuff every month. Even so, it’s primarily worth it because each song is only 25 cents. But now, thanks to AT&T and eMusic, I can get those same songs for $1.50 each. This is a deal? I can’t believe any self-respecting eMusic subscriber would go for this at all. And if you’re not a subscriber, then you’re just gonna wonder where all the music is since you can’t find all the hot songs.

Look guys, if you must charge a premium for OTA downloads (not worth it, in my opinion), than make them 50 cents each. $1.50? No.

DOS was stolen. Who knew?
Paterson was foolish to even challenge this. Does this really even need further comment?

Info Week misses again on “eleventh hour” Apple patches for iPhone.
You gotta love Info Week. Apple releases an iPhone update, but IW says it’s really just a quick rush to avoid being slammed at Black Hat. Is there anybody who didn’t know Apple would be slammed at Black Hat regardless? So Apple should now hold off on patches, releasing them only at times when they might take less perceived heat? Oh brother. The only thing that should be held back is Info Week’s Mac coverage.

Thurrott almost impressed with iTunes sales of three billion.
Paul says it’s “big news” (of course) but then as usual knocks Apple for their success. What I really love is his slamming iTunes’ “lousy” 128K AAC format. Paul doesn’t seem to understand that not all 128K encoding formats are created equal. That 128K AAC file is on par with eMusic’s 192K MP3 file.

Oh, and Paul doesn’t “prefer” the AAC format anyway. Well, yes, Paul, I can see where a Microsoft apologist would prefer things stay the same as much as possible, but the fact is AAC was developed as the successor to MP3 (it is, after all, MP4) and has specific advantages over the older format. I’m just glad Paul can “live with” AAC nonetheless.

AC/DC goes the wrong way.
It’s not just the labels with their heads up their ass. Some bands’ skulls are positioned firmly up their rectal cavities as well. If AC/DC got all their money up front, more power to them, and Verizon will be taking a bath. No one, not even the most die-hard AC/DC fan, is going to select his phone and carrier based solely on the availability of 18 albums. And you have to buy them as complete albums! (This bit alone is likely why iTunes would have no part of the deal.) Morons. I buy albums most of the time, but am in the minority. An entire generation is coming up that sees no benefit from an album whatsoever, and who can blame them?

If AC/DC is getting their money as a percentage of sales, then they’re screwed. There won’t be any, boys. Not enough to matter. It’s P2P for you, just like it is now. You shoulda gone with singles as well as albums, and used the guy that’s selling songs at the clip of one BILLION every six months. Smaller piece of a larger pie, and all that.

Microsoft asks Mac users to try iWork instead of Office.
If iWork makes Pages a bit more Word processor friendly (it’s already layout-happy), and adds a decent Spreadsheet module, is there any doubt this will get people to consider a switch? They’d need some decent interoperability, but that shouldn’t be too hard (and even Microsoft never gets it right all the time). While it can be argued Office will benefit very little from being a Universal application, it’s revealing that Microsoft is the last major player to the game if only because it exposes their MBU for what it really is: A shell.

There are many Mac users looking to go Microsoft-free. Office was one of the few bullets left in Microsoft’s Mac gun, why shoot blanks now? Stupid. If you need Office for work, just consider it one of those Windows applications you need Boot Camp for until iWork (or neoOffice) can fill that role.

Mary Jo Foley thinks Windows home server has mass appeal.
Yes, because I know my friends are always asking me about when they can get their own server and setup their own storage networks, file sharing, and print server functionality. They constantly express their desire for a new PC running more Windows software. Something that’s $800, perhaps, that they’ll need to configure, and then try to hide in a corner of a room while training their ears to ignore the sound.

I don’t know who supplies what Mary Jo is smoking, but it must be some good shit. The truth is, Mary Jo, the best home server available today is called the Airport Extreme. Plug it in and set it up as your WiFi and firewall, then plug in a USB disk (or disks), and a USB (or Ethernet) printer, and all of these items are seen on your network (Macs and PCs) without configuration. The thing is tiny, quiet, and inexpensive.

If there is a market in the home for a file/print server, this is it. Microsoft’s mindset that every tech issue requires yet another PC running yet another variant of Windows is part of their problem, and why they can’t come up with solutions anybody really wants.

Enough for now. It’s good to be back.