We Have Officially Switched

Angela and I got a new iMac a cou­ple of weeks ago for the home office. First of all, I have to admit we feel a lit­tle dumb buy­ing one in light of recent events which are going to suck up all our mon­ey and time before too long. How­ev­er, we real­ly need­ed to get a new PC for the house as well as sim­pli­fy our home office (the fact that I’m about to sell three old com­put­ers on eBay should indi­cate how clunked up the office was). To that end, doing this now rather than this time next year made more sense, and that old com­put­er did­n’t have anoth­er year in it at the pace we were using it (although it will make a great PC for someone).

Unbox­ing our new iMac did­n’t take long: there’s only one cord and three parts (mon­i­tor, key­board, and mouse).

Speak­ing of sell­ing old com­put­ers, I just began run­ning DBAN on my old Dell desk­top. It’s a weird feel­ing for me putting that disc in the dri­ve, know­ing full well the dev­as­ta­tion I’m about to wreak on the hard disk. A bit like tak­ing Lenny out back to show him the “rab­bits.” Any­way, I’ve tak­en my time get­ting every­thing off of that machine and backed-up on our NAS, as well as keep­ing work­ing copies of most stuff on the new Mac. By the way, get­ting e‑mail out of Out­look and onto a mac has to be the most mis­er­able thing to do when “switch­ing.” I spent more time doing that than any oth­er task, and I had two 250 GB dri­ves near­ly full on that machine (I also had a lot of e‑mail, dat­ing back to around 1999).

Any­way, I’ve got Par­al­lels Beta 3 run­ning on the new iMac and that is an awe­some pro­gram. I had installed the old ver­sion I bought and was­n’t too impressed with it run­ning Ubun­tu 6, but after upgrad­ing to the most recent ver­sion I’m com­plete­ly blown away. In full screen mode, it is exact­ly as if you’re run­ning the OS native (although I’ve yet to be able to get it to take advan­tage of bet­ter than 1024x768 screen res­o­lu­tion). I’ve only run Lin­ux so far, but I’ve ordered OEM copies of both Win­dows XP and Vista and I hope to have those installed next month. I’ve heard real­ly good things about it run­ning XP, and quite frankly even though it’s vir­tu­al­iza­tion, it could­n’t be any slow­er than my 3 Ghz P4 had got­ten. Vista is prob­a­bly going to be less-than-stel­lar in Par­al­lels, and I don’t expect a lot of the flashy GUI effects to work. How­ev­er, it will give me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to keep on top of the Win­dows envi­ron­ment for a few more years. It’s pret­ty excit­ing to have four OS’s on one very sleek and ele­gant box. For such large screen, I sud­den­ly have loads more desk space and our tiny office seems just a bit bigger.

port­ing all my old e‑mail is about to make me pull my hair out and trans­fer­ring over 18,000 pho­tos into iPho­to took hours

I’ve been using Pho­to­shop CS3 Beta for the past week on the iMac­Thanks, Trey and Hen­ry for help­ing me use the Beta for more than the ini­tial two-day tri­al. and I have to say, I’m real­ly impressed. First of all, it’s final­ly in Uni­ver­sal Bina­ry so it will run native­ly on the Intel proces­sor. That means it’s insane­ly fast for such a large piece of soft­ware. Pho­to­shop now loads as fast as iPho­to (prob­a­bly faster, con­sid­er­ing my iPho­to library is around 19,350 images). Fea­ture-wise, I’m not exact­ly a pow­er-user, so I don’t notice many dif­fer­ences between the pre­vi­ous CS2 ver­sion and this Beta, though I’m sure that many exist. Also, I was using CS2 on a PC and now I’m on a Mac and I don’t know how sim­i­lar the ver­sions on those two plat­forms were to begin with. Either way, I’m very impressed with the speed of CS3 on this machine. It just feels very light­weight, even though it’s a huge piece of software.

I’ve also been just get­ting used to the dif­fer­ences of being in OS X ver­sus XP. The dif­fer­ences come in both large and small. Large would be the obvi­ous items where as the small were things I nev­er much thought about, such as the dif­fer­ent behav­ior of the home and end keys, which I use often. This, despite the fact that my wife has been using a mac for a year-and-a-half now. How­ev­er, I’ve not run into any huge prob­lems that I could­n’t find solu­tions to yet. For­tu­nate­ly, if when that does hap­pen, a num­ber of my friends and fam­i­ly are pow­er Mac users and I can hope­ful­ly get help from them you (you do read this stuff, don’t you guys?).

I sup­pose this is sort of full cir­cle. Like every oth­er thir­ty-some­thing, the first com­put­er I ever used was an Apple II (Apple ][, what­ev­er). My par­ents had one of the first Mac­in­tosh’s (back when they were called Mac­in­tosh and not just Mac), which like my iMac was a PC-in-a-monitor.

Every­thing old is new again.

Categorized as Geek

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.


  1. Con­grats on the new ‘put­er. Now you just need to install Skype so we can discuss.

  2. Well, one thing that came up in yes­ter­day evening’s Skype call with Jason J was the bright­ness of the screen. In short, the 24″ screen is very bright. Like “I’m start­ing to get headaches” bright. There are dim­ming con­trols, but unfor­tu­nate­ly they pro­duce a faint buzzing sound (some Googling on this seems to indi­cate it’s a prob­lem with­out a good solu­tion and I don’t feel like part­ing with my new iMac for sev­er­al weeks for Apple to send me one that does the same thing).

    One point on the iMac: You’ll save mon­ey on buy­ing a desk lamp. Just open up a large win­dow with a white background.

  3. Glad I could help and grats on the new beauty. 

    As for the headaches, I have a 23″ ACD and it’s bright­ness gave me pains at 1st as well. For me, the solu­tion was to adjust my work­space light­ing as I found that the sharp con­trast from the bright­ness of the screen to the dark­ness of every­thing else was what was hurt­ing my eyes. A 20 watt halo­gen lamp behind the screen and a 40 watt shad­ed light (shad­ed so it does­n’t glare) behind me made things very com­fort­able again.

  4. I fol­lowed your foot­steps Cole­man, and this machine is an ‘Objet Trou­vé’ in the house; with CS3 suite installed, its like its on steroids.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *