For the past few months, I’ve been wanting a Mac. I made myself wait, however, because the new shiny “Leopard” operating system was about to come out. I figured, might as well buy it when that comes out. Secretly I was hoping this would delay the purchase indefinitely.
That is not what happened.
I stopped by the Mac store on my birthday (the 27th, for those of you that are bad friends or random strangers) and took a little poking around with Leopard. After about 10 minutes, I felt compelled to purchase a new iMac. So I did.
Of course I couldn’t get out with a few accessories – specifically, a free after rebate printer, and a small-yet-expensive box of AppleCare which, despite just being an extended warranty, had a CD inside of it. I am not sure why.
The Mac is undeniably beautiful. There is exactly one cable involved, the power cable. That’s it. You plug that in and hit power and you’re using a Mac.
The startup process is beautiful. The first thing that happened was a screen popped up instructing me how to put batteries into my mouse and turn it on. Once I did so, it walked me through pairing it (I had to click a button). Then I did the same thing with the keyboard. Simple. I was struck with the fact that my mom could completely set up this computer – from plugging it in to even getting the wireless mouse and keyboard up and running. The only thing she’d have needed help with was lifting it up onto her desk.
After startup a welcome video plays, saying “Welcome” in a whole bunch of languages. It plays full screen and looks sharp. I wish I knew how to play it again. This video is Apple’s version of the new car smell. It works. You can watch it right here, but it’s not the same. Even if you made it full screen, and had a 24″ display at home, you’re missing out on how perfectly crisp it is.
By comparison, this is Vista’s welcome screen, and looking at it depresses me.
(Note that the Vista useless welcome screen comes up every time you boot until you uncheck that stupid box at the bottom; make sure you do that upon your first boot. The Welcome Center is completely useless).
(Taking a break to watch the Leopard welcome video again)
After that, you… oh wait. That’s it. The Mac is up and running. I believe one step did involve selecting my wireless network.
On Vista, I would have had to boot the Vista DVD and reinstall (because the OEM would have put a ton of crap I don’t want on the PC). After re-installing the OS, I’d have to disable that Welcome screen again. Then, I’d have to break out a really long Ethernet cable so I can download a Wireless driver. After rebooting, I would be able to get on my wireless network, get rid of the long Ethernet cable, and then FINALLY I could download my display driver so I could increase the screen resolution from 800×600.
Using a Mac is pure pleasure. Everything works so well, and so quickly. The new features are spectacular, and even better are all the small things that they tweaked because, well, people wanted them better. And everything is great, right out of the box.
There’s a lot of stuff I hadn’t ever even used, because I’ve only used Macs at work. Front Row is awesome; it’s what Windows Media Center should be and it’s included (and they even throw in a nice remote). It makes me want to buy a Mac Mini to hook up to my TV. It’s so simple but works so well.
The new “Spaces” feature is something you can get utilities to already do, but it’s again, done so simply and so well. The awesome thing is I can dedicate an entire space to a full-screen Remote Desktop session to my PC, so it’s like my Mac is my PC, too.
I’m stopping by Best Buy tonight to pick up an external hard drive – I can’t wait to get Time Machine up and running. I’ve been extremely lax with backing up in the past, and now I won’t have to even think about it.
Well, I need to stop writing about this because I sound like a 9 year old girl who was just invited to an Alice in Wonderland party, so. Adieu.