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Apple iMac M9285B/A

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4 Reviews
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  • Not much space for upgrading
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    4 Reviews
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    • More +
      02.10.2008 17:18
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      Definitely an improvement from my Windows XP Dell PC

      It was with reluctance that I first joined that Mac 'club'. I had had experience with Macs about ten years ago at school - the old black and white monitors and more inferior features to the PC. I always regarded Apple users as having a rather geeky, fanboy image. Then of course there were the famous problems regarding the Mac's incompatibility with popular software. But things have moved on from there and the modern iMac has a lot going for it.

      One of the principal attractions of getting a Mac was that they are less prone to virus, spyware etc. than Windows PCs. There are various theories about this, from Windows' massive market share in comparison with other operating systems making it a much more attractive target (why target a OS with less than 10 per cent market share?), security holes in the Windows software, to many hackers having a personal vendetta against Bill Gates and Microsoft and the tremendous power they hold over the computer software market. Whatever the reason, Macs do seem to be less vulnerable to security issues. This is borne out by my own experience. My Dell PC used to run like a snail and crashed regularly, and this may have been due to viruses or other malware. I did run anti-virus software but then you have the cost of the updates, and even the freeware could slow your system to a crawl. I had a bad experience where my PC had to be repaired due to malware or some other 'bug' and many programs just failed to work after it e.g. AutoUpdate and Google Earth. My Mac has only crashed a handful of times in a year by contrast and runs faster. With Macs you don't have this problem because there is generally no need for anti-virus, and although anti-virus software is available for the Mac, it is not widely used or seen as necessary. One analogy (possibly exaggerated!) for getting anti-virus software for a Mac is walking around town wearing a hard-helmet, just in case you are hit by a piece of space junk from the sky!

      Even when programs do get infected on Macs, they aren't prone to spreading around other software on the computer, in contrast with the PC where a virus can destroy the whole system. The Mac operating system, Mac OS X, does come with its own firewall though and is less intrusive than my previous firewall for PC, McAfee.

      Another appeal of the iMac was its design. It is a kind of desktop/laptop hybrid and suits my own needs very well, I have a bone condition where sometimes sitting at a desk for a long period of time can cause pain, and sometimes I can't do it at all. It is portable around the house - I am writing this relaxing in front of the TV just now instead of at my desk. This came without many of the disadvantages of a laptop - principally the higher cost for lower specifications. The monitor is excellent quality, very crisp with more vibrant colour than my old LCD monitor (not the one that ccame with the Dell PC).

      Macs are now more compatible with software than before, although there are exceptions to this which I will note in a moment. Microsoft Office is available for the Mac and I haven't noticed any difference between that and the Windows version. This was a big selling point because Word, Excel et. al are ubiquitous and I use them at work, so I didn't really want to learn a new format, and taking work home could have been a nightmare! All major programs can usually be used on a Mac and popular file formats are supported - I transferred most of my old PC hard drive to the mac and picture, word processing, video, audio files have all been supported. The one notable exception to this is .exe files, I haven't managed to find an easy way to do this yet although a quick google shows it is possible. This hasn't been too much of a problem though as my .exe files were all small programs like downloaded games. Which brings me to another disadvantage - PC games usually aren't Mac-compatible. I only played a couple of games on my PC, preferring console gaming, but if you are a PC gamer then this would obviously be a major turn-off. There are ways around this - you can now run Windows on a Mac, for instance - but if you are a dedicated gamer, the PC is still very much king. There is also free software called Flip4Mac which converts Windows Media files (.wmv) to Quicktime format for the Mac. It doesn't play DRM-protected content though which can be annoying. There are free programs available to use MSN on the Mac.

      I do like the desktop design on the Mac, but something like Windows taskbar would be useful, so that open programs are only a 'click' away. The quickest way to find open programs on Mac is to minimise them and click them on the dock, but this is still one click more than with Windows. Mac mice could also benefit from a two-button mouse, as the right mouse button is used a lot nowadays. You can emulate the right-mouse button by pressing Ctrl and clicking the mouse, but again this is double the work of Windows.

      The slogan of Mac adverts used to be 'it just works' and in my experience that is very much true. My all-in-one printer and digital camera have worked without the original drivers, and the iPhoto software for photo-editing is excellent. It also automatically uploads the videos from my digital camera. You can edit those clips, or perhaps ones you've downloaded, into your own iMovie. This is the easiest program involving editing movie clips I've ever used, and I'm definitely no expert. Best of all, this is all free with Mac OS X! Other great extras include Dashboard, which can bring up local weather, stock markets and even flight information amongst much more, literally at the click of a mouse (just click the scroll button), Garageband, a free music-making software and a stylish-looking chess game and a built-in, high-res webcam. As with the monitor, the colour output of the webcam is very good. It also has AirPort Extreme wireless internet built-in, although you will of course need a wireless modem or router.

      So overall I am very pleased with my decision to go for a Mac. It has been more reliable than the PC - much less seems to go wrong with it. Some programs not working can still be a nuisance, but this is getting better all the time and is more than made up for by the features available with the computer and its ease-of-use. The transition from PC to Mac is pretty seamless nowadays and I use both, Mac at home and PC at work. But now I would consider myself very much part of the Mac club!

      Tech specs

      Mac OS X v. 10.4.11

      Processor 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

      Memory 512 MB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

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      • More +
        02.09.2008 13:44

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        Get one!

        Brilliant buy. I've always been a huge fan of Apple and this was my 4th apple product. Superb computer, great for everything. Really powerful too, lots of space for all your files. SO easy to use, which is something Apple do very well. Not to mention the build quality. It is quite outstanding. So far ahead of every other computer company. Comes with OS X 10.5, or better known as Leopard. Leopard is Apple's new operating system and makes your whole experience better. Easy to use and really good looking too.Trust me you'll love the new Apple iMac. We're talking a 1GHz processor as standard,! That can easily be incresed to 2Ghz! Incredible. 256GB of RAM as standard, again can be increased easily. Happy days :) So get down to your nearest Apple shop and pick up the new iMac. Trust me you won't be disappointed! Good work Steve Jobs and the Apple team! Nifty price tag too. ;)

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      • More +
        06.06.2008 16:16
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        Buy it today!

        Best buy I ever made! I have always been a PC user and had little contact with Mac's, so it was a big jump of faith... ( and cash ). Since owning this great bit of technology I would never go back to PC.

        I can only talk about the iMac as I have not used any others but to start, it is stylish.. man it looks good, it is almost an investment in art! Secondly, it feels good, there are on flimsy switches, trays, buttons no miles of cable, no ugly tower to contend with. Thirdly the sowftware available seems to have been made by people that care! I mean all the design packages that I use are so smooth easy and can take masses of information.

        I could go on.. but for anyone thinking about buying one.. think no longer buy it! Its cirtainly a well worth investment, the only thing I would advise is if you can afford go for the biggest screen you can buy.

        For those tech peps I beefed my Mac to 1024 RAM, and left the 2G memory as I thought that would be sufficiant - which it has so far, it also has 3.06 GHz intel core? not to sure what that does! but seems to work :)

        Good luck!

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        • More +
          27.01.2005 21:27
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          • "Not much space for upgrading"

          The iMac G4 was the first real breakthrough in aestheticly pleasing design for computers. Before the iMac, we had grey boxes humming away in the corner, hidden in computer cabinets and kept out of sight. This wonderful, outrageously attractive system would be placed on your sitting room table if you had the choice - it is simply a timeless, chic, creative collectable!

          As I have mentioned in many of my reviews, I study Interactive Media Design. We do a lot of work using Apple Mac hardware. We have two studios fully stocked with iMacs, eMacs, Power Books, Power PC's G5's - you name it we've got it! The studio we primarily work in is stocked with 20 or so of these reliable babies which are great fun to use and totally useful at the same time. Its ideal for creative users, Apple software is designed with creative people in mind, the hardware is designed to stand up to the mix of media that creative people throw at it too. The iMac G4, on top of this, is highly inspirational: it's unusual pod design, fully swivel and tilting screen panel etc - it's simply a pleasure to use and puts some fun into working!

          As with all modern Apple hardware it is up to the job, handling audio and video streams slowly but surely (bearing in mind these machines do vary from 700MHz to 1.2MHz), obviously the higher spec computer you have, the better its performance will be. The high points of this particular Mac is its functionality: you have readily available USB and Firewire ports, easy access to the rear - no reaching round the back of a bulky tower under the desk. It's clean, clear, simple to use, easy to set up - a classic computer. I'm considering getting one simply for collecting. It will be remembered and looked back upon as an icon in art of the future.

          The iMac is perhaps not as functionable as the eMac or the newer Macs but it certainly does make up for that in looks. They are light, 15"/17" widescreen TFT monitors, in total weighing approximately 10-10.5kg! Another beauty of the iMac is that it is complete: you don't have to go out and buy a monitor as you would if you purchased a PowerPC G5.

          Apple themselves don't sell these any more (afaik), there are a few select stores who will stock them but really the only way to pick up a (very cheap) G4 is to have a look on eBay. Most sell for around £400-500 (watch out for postage costs though).

          I have no horror stories on this system I'm affraid, the same goes for every Mac I've ever used... They are truly reliable, functional, fun and moderately cheap! Windows machines - now thats a different story!

          oOoOoOo

          Basic Specs (for a 1.25GHz)
          Processor- Motorola PowerPC G4 1.25 GHz
          RAM installed- 256 MB DDR SDRAM
          Cache size - type- 256 KB L2 cache
          Hard drive- 80 GB Standard
          CD / DVD drive- CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo IDE
          Monitor type - technology - form factor- LCD display TFT active matrix
          Diagonal size (inches)- 17 in
          Viewable screen size- 17
          Video RAM installed- 64 MB
          Graphics processor- NVidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
          Audio output - Integrated Sound card
          Form factor-- All-in-one
          Dimensions (W x D x H) - 16.7 in x 10.6 in x 13 in
          Weight- 22.9 lbs
          Built-in devices- Antenna, Display, Speaker, Microphone
          OS provided- Apple MacOS X 10.2

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          Manufacturers Description:
          iMac is, quite simply, an outrageously attractive, surprisingly affordable, and extraordinarily easy-to-set-up-and-use system. It comes fully loaded, but brings along none of the hassle you might associate with the word "computer". Get ready for the excitement of swift, simple Internet access - your passport to a world of information. And playing so richly detailed game, you actually feel like you are in another world. Consider the fact that iMac delivers significantly more power than you would expect from a computer at such a great price. Whether you are a first-time computer user or a highly experienced one, iMac, with its powerful, state-of-the-art features and simplicity of setup and operation, is the ideal choice. It will let you do the things you want to do with a computer, and many things you may only have dreamt about.

          oOoOoOo

          Thanks for reading my review on the Apple iMac G4. Please feel free to leave any comments!

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