First review on iMac desktop 20″

This is my first use of iMac aluminum 20″ screen. I “played” with it a bit. This is my opinion.

The look:

  • Pretty
  • Just nice

The hardware

  • Mouse:
    • Need to set the accelerator to maximum, otherwise the journey for my hand is too long for that 20″ screen.
    • Emulated to 2 buttons, need to press Control key and click the mouse together to represent the right button. I like 2-button mouse better.
  • Keyboard: soft enough to type and cute enough to look
  • Monitor: sharp enough and beautiful enough to accommodate my background photo

The software

  • OpenOffice (as I believe in it, and as MS Office is very expensive)
    • To install OpenOffice, first we need to install X11. Insert the provided Mac OS X Install Disc 1, scroll down, choose Optional softwares and tick X11. After installing X11 we can install OpenOffice. I installed the 2.2 one.
    • For printing OpenOffice documents, as my printer is Canon Mp150, first I downloaded the driver from Canon website. However, the printing result of my OpenOffice document was not ok. Then I downloaded and installed gutenprint-5.1.3 so that I had 2 printers on the printer list: MP150 and MP150-gutenprint, but still, the result was not as expected: the black looks rather grey. So my solution was to export my OpenOffice document into PDF, then printed the PDF one using the MP150 one.
    • Another alternative for printing OpenOffice is to use PrintFab, but PrintFab driver is not free and is expensive. I just installed the demo version of it and the printing result seems to be ok, but I will do some more testing later.
    • I also downloaded NeoOffice and used the native driver for mac. The printing result was OK, although a color page using PrintFab looked a bit better.
  • Transfering files using FTP to iMac
    • Need to firstly set System Preferences -> Sharing, and, first I tried “Windows Sharing”, then mapped a drive from my Windows-based laptop to the iMac. The file transferring turned out to be very very slow. I had tried to disable ipv6 as some people had suggested but still got almost similar result: very very slow. Steve and Bill seem to be in cold relationship 🙂
    • Then I tried “FTP Access” instead of “Windows Sharing”. Then using gFtp I transferred files from my Linux to the iMac, and the speed was fast as expected. Steve and Linus look to be in warm relationship 🙂
  • Sharing files between users of the iMac
    • Need to put the shared files into /users/shared directory
    • Is there other way, like setting my directory as shared like that in Windows?
  • Setting root password: here contains the info.
  • SecondLife is OK
    • The picture and the sound of my SecondLife were OK
  • For chatting, I downloaded Adium instead of iChat, because I have yahoo, msn, google talk, and it works as expected.
  • Being curious if Ubuntu can be read, I inserted the 7.04 Live CD and hoped that the live CD worked well. But after a while a blank page with command prompt appeared. But Ubuntu in Vmware Fusion is OK.
  • I think Apple interface is a bit confusing for a first-timer. My wife clicked on Adobe Reader icon at the bottom but could not get it shown. She said that she had clicked it several times but the Adobe Reader still didn’t show up. After a while I checked that actually it showed up and its menu was at the top, the Adobe name appeared next to the blue Apple icon in the menu line. The menu of Mac softwares looks the same: at the top, in all applications. I think a first timer will find it too far to notice, especially in a big screen. We get used to have a software popped out in a new window when it’s first opened.
  • iPhoto: just nice
  • iMovie: just wonderful
  • iDVD: coool

To conclude, for now I like the iMac. There are issues that we need to get familiar with but I find them minor compared to the wonderful look, features and functionalities.

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