Sunday, January 10, 2010

iMac part deux

Oh, you guys actually wanted to hear about my experience with the new iMac as a computer, not just as an expensive item in a nondescript brown cardboard box?

I must caveat this post by explaining that my office is by far the coldest room in the house (which is itself a rather drafty residence in the winter months), so I have not spent the time with my new toy as I might have if I could situate it in warmer climes. All the same, I am very excited to teach myself the ways of the Mac, so I'm putting on a brave face despite my chilly toes.

First of all, maximum points are awarded for out-of-the-box simplicity. Since the mouse and keyboard are wireless, and the monitor and machinery come in one sexy package there is but one lead to connect, namely the power cord. Admitted I tore my office apart slightly so I could have an initial hardwire connection to my router, but was quickly able to restore order as setting up a wireless connection was merely a matter of remembering where I kept my WEP key (hot tip: it's printed on the side of the router!!)

Apple products, of course, also score highly on attractiveness, and the new iMac is not exception, not only in terms of the shiningly white hardware but also the fancy graphics they bombard you with when you start up for the first time. If the set up process was blisteringly fast, I confess progress has been much slower after an initial burst of success. I am a lost soul at sea, forever trying to right-click a mouse with only one button (not even one, really, more like half, but oh! what a magic button...). Needless to say this has nothing to do with the limitations of MacOS, so much as my shameful servitude to Microsoft for so many years.

Thankfully, almost every application comes with a tutorial. A video tutorial, no less. The iPhoto tutorial just about blew me away with the potential of the software to bring a little most organization and professionalism to my photography. But before I can even hope to realize that potential, I will have to reconfigure the mental picture I have of how an operating system is built. For example, I was easily able to import a picture from my digital camera's SD card to iPhoto, and then from iPhoto I effortlessly uploaded the picture to Flickr. But when I want to include it in a blog post, I prefer to upload by using the blogger photo tool to browse my hard drive and select the picture. Could I find where the picture had been saved? Of course not! In the end I was lucky enough to find a 'recently imported' folder.

So, there is a lot to learn about how the pieces fit together, but it is making me feel young again to engage my cognitive gears at get to grips with a new technology. but if anyone wants to tell me where the photos do go, or why when I downloaded Skype it exists as a 'disk image' rather than an application, or whether there is a key that does what the 'delete' key on a PC does, or....


  1. If you come across any really specific how-to questions, there's a man in my house who more than likely knows the answer.


  2. Chrisp9:48 AM

    delete key = Hold down function (fn) key and press backspace.
    Home and End (of lines) use Ctrl and Left arrow or right arrow.
    Applications download as disk images. Basically it pretends that you've inserted a disk with that software on. Click on it, it mounts/opens the disk, install the software (usually by dragging it to the applications folder in finder) and then eject / delete the disk.
    No idea about iphoto, as I dont use it.

    Nice post!!
    Have fun

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