Apple iMac and new 80Gig iPod ordered. About a week until they are shipped – cannot wait! New iTunes also out today that looks a lot slicker and introduces…gapless playback – at last. Get downloading!
Finally saw the Mac Mini in the flesh last night (cheers Graeme) and it was very impressive. The first thing that strikes you is the size – it really is small. Certainly a lot smaller than the standard Shuttle pc cases that have been doing the rounds for the last 18 months or so. When switching the Mini on you get a nasty sound playing (like a chime) which was slightly disappointing but then the second impressive feature hits home – it makes no noise. When up close you can hear a small noise and certainly when the superdrive is accessed it makes a din but in normal operation….silence.
The Mac OS itself looks jaw dropping. Through the 17inch TFT the OS looked amazing. It initially was quite confusing compared to the Windows OS but I’m sure after a few days it will feel normal. The speed was also impressive – the Safari web browser opening quickly and displaying web pages with ease. iTunes opened in a comparable time to my pc as did Photoshop – this really is a great machine for under Â£400.
After 40mins the third impressive feature hit home – the case of the Mini was still cool to touch. This was partly down to the aluminium case but is still tantamount to great design and the careful selection of components. The overall impression is of a good personal computer that will definitely meet anyone’s needs as long as they aren’t a gamer. I still maintain that this hooked up to a plasma/lcd tv would be a great way of browsing the net/checking e-mails from the sofa. If I had a plasma I would be buying one without hesitation – as I have a pc (and no plasma) I’ll be leaving it on the shelf but make envious glances from time to time.
Some nice new announcements from Apple. The most interesting for me is the Mac Mini. Looks just like an Apple product should, and would look great as a pc for the living room. However price is an issue as for the spec you get and by the time you add in decent ram and wireless options your looking at over Â£600. However it’s still very tempting if your looking for a second machine. And if you’ve got a pc and want to share your keyboard, mouse and monitor with your new mini, buy this.
The iPod Shuffle is Apple’s new flash player. The design is good, if a little long, and weighs less than an ounce (22.1 grams). Price also seems reasonable. However the market is flooded with flash players so it’ll be interesting to see long term how this performs. Pity we didn’t see anything in the way of a video playing iPod or even a wireless one. Maybe later in the year?
No doubt blogs and gadget sites will be going gaga over these products today and tomorrow. There’s a lot of Apple love out there. There’s also too many of these. Enjoy.
The new iMac was announced today. Underwhelming is my initial reaction. Isn’t this a desktop laptop? In fact, isn’t this one of the tablet pc’s that have failed to take off? And whats with the nasty row of sockets at the back of the machine? That won’t look too tidy on a desk. But of course, order the wireless keyboard, mouse and bluetooth adaptor for Â£70 (got to love those optional extra’s) to get that wirefree look. Doh!
The design is also the least radical of the latest Apple products. In fact it looks fairly…tame. Still want an Apple laptop though. Maybe next year!
The PC arrived on Thursday, although not without a wee mix-up. I got a Glasgow Uni machine and they got mine. But Dell and TNT got the mix-up sorted by mid-afternoon – bravo. I unpacked it and faced another little problem – it wouldn’t start. Boo. All was not lost – the Dell has four lights on the back – the first two were amber. Checked the manual – memory problem. Probably unseated slightly during transit so I opened the case. Wow. The case swings open on a hinge which is really smart – what got me was the size of the heatsink and chimney that the Intel uses. Massive. I removed and replaced the memory – pressed the power button and all was well – I took some photo’s while the case was open which can be found here. While the case was opened I fitted the firewire card from the old machine as the Dell comes with 8 USB2 ports but no firewire which the iPod needs. Clicked the case shut (no screws here thank you very much) and I was away. Got the Windows formalities out the way. Impressions – very fast.
Got the XP security downloads started and I thought I would need to dig out the Nortons disk before I did anything else but the Dell comes with a 90 day trial of McAfee which is a really good idea. No need for a firewall as I’ve got a hardware one on the router. Next was Firefox – don’t trust IE. Loading times were superb. The last test was gaming. Battlefield Vietnam looked amazing and didn’t stutter once. Joy!
Since then I’ve been installing all the hardware I’ve got and also some software – not too much. Trying to avoid the clutter that I had on the old machine but thats really delaying the inevitable. I’m also glad that I stayed away from a Creative Audigy card. The onboard sound is pucker 5.1 and all I need. There’s also a strong chance that it’s less buggy than the Creative drivers.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the Dell. Easy to maintain, fast and a tad less noisy than my old machine – it fair churns out some heat though. Last positive note – no blue screens….yet.