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An Apple A Day For 30 Years

Hands On With The Intel iMac
I've been a hardcore PowerBook user for as long as I can remember. A few years ago when the 17 inch PowerBook came out, I decided that that was it...no more desktop machine for me. All of the work I've done over the years on IMG has been on a trusty 17 inch PowerBook.

When the Intel iMac came out, however, I couldn't resist. I ordered one about a month after they were announced and have been "testing" on it for the last few weeks. The bottom line...this new iMac is the best computer I've ever used. Here are a few things I love about the new iMacs.

1) First is the sheer speed of the machine. Compared to my 1.5 Ghz G4 PowerBook, this puppy screams speed. Native applications such as iPhoto and Garageband open up super fast and just plain run great. I tried a few games on it like Unreal Tournament 2004 and DOOM 3 and they run fantastic. PowerPC apps are another story but considering what's involved, I'm impressed they run so well. Hats off to Apple.

2) It's quiet. I'm one of those types of computer users that just hates noise. No, seriously, I hate it. I used to own a Dual 800 PowerMac and tore it apart replacing all the fans in it. So when I fired up the iMac and didn't hear any fans running (unlike my Mom's iMac G5), I was really impressed. Even under intensive processing, the fans are super quiet.

3) Front Row is cool. That little remote on the side of the Mac comes in handy when I want to listen to music, or watch a movie while working. Front Row is still a little primitive and basic, so I hope Apple keeps working on it and provides us with true media center capabilities.

4) Built-in iSight. My kids video chat with their grandparents over iChat on a weekly basis. The one thing I hated about the old iSight was that you always had to have it connected to your Mac and stick is somewhere. Kudos to Apple for building it into the MacBook Pro and iMac.

5) iLife 06. Without a doubt the best lifestyle applications available on any computer. Whenever my PC friends see these apps in action, they scream bloody murder.

About the only thing I don't like about the iMac is the mighty mouse. But it is a vast improvement over the previous Apple mouse.

As much as I love the iMac, I'm going to stick with my PowerBook until the 17 inch Intel MacBook Pro comes out. The PowerBook offers one thing that the iMac can't offer; portability. I take it on trips, to the office, to the lu (err, ok, too much information), etc, etc. As soon as this machine comes out, I'll be the first in line to buy it.

Havok Fix?
Being in the position that I am, I'm at times privy to some inside information on what games are coming out, etc. Although I can't tell you folks what game we're talking about, I can tell you that a little issue that has been "wreaking havok" has been partially solved. As many of you know, Havok, the physics engine that the company refuses to license to Mac developers at a reasonable price, has been a pain in the butt for Mac gaming companies. As a result, titles such as Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, Fear, Far Cry, and a host of other Mac games won't be making it to the Mac because of Havok's greed.

One developer, however, has gotten around this issue and it may be possible that in the future more games that use Havok will make it to the Mac. No, this developer has not licensed Havok but come up with a different solution. I wish I could be more specific....but you'll just have to wait for the announcement.

The Rise, The Fall, Then Rise Of An American Icon
On April 1st, 2006, Apple will be celebrating its 30th birthday. Having been a Mac user since 1986, I've stuck with Apple through thick and thin, always having faith in the company that did things differently.

One of my most vivid and powerful memories of Apple was when I picked up a copy of the February 5, 1996 issue of Business Week. The cover read, "The Fall Of An American Icon" and inside the magazine talked about Apple's demise during those years (check out the article here). Michael Spindler was CEO and in addition to massive layoffs, huge quarterly losses, the company was just putting out bad products. I remember thinking at the time...holy cow...Apple is dying.

And then a little miracle happened...Steve happened and things began to turn around. You know the rest of the story. I remember sitting in on his first Macworld Expo Keynote and just being amazed by this man's faith in Apple and the company he helped create.

So to Steve and all the hard working people at Apple...happy birthday. Here's to another 30 years!

Posted on March 30, 2006 at 2:16 pm | 15 Comments

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