The New iMac: Here Comes the Curmudgeon…

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

(By Dr. Will.. no, not Dr. Will Miller)

Yes, that’s an SAT word that you’d never thought would pop up again. Anyway, just a few quick nit-picking thoughts about the new iMac:

Who wants to watch DVD-Video on their 15″ screen? The idea sounds “fine and dandy” at first until you actually do it. As cool as the concept is for the first fifteen minutes of “The Matrix,” it doesn’t take too long to realize that S-Video Out to your big screen television is the only way to go when you get to and past Scene 29.

As far as we know, Apple will ship the new iMacs with the standard Apple USB Keyboard and hockey-puck mouse. “Mice Vertigo” (new phrase?) is not cool at all. Call this a shameless plug and link, but our friends at Contour Design have a killer mouse (“UniMouse Gets More Than Two Thumbs Up“). Buy one and say crazy Dr. Will (not Miller) sent ya.

Apple’s Tech Specs page for the iMac is comparing a 400 MHz iMac with the ATI Rage 128 VR AGP 2X to a 500 MHz Celeron-based PC with the ATI Rage Pro AGP 2X. Note the difference in graphics chipsets, as illustrated in italics. Even though the ATI Rage Pro chipset is connected via AGP to the Celeron-based PC, regardless of processor type or speed, the Rage Pro chipset cannot keep up. ATI Rage 128 chipset will flatten any member of the ATI Rage Pro family, anytime anyplace. Was the Celeron-based PC of equal price to the iMac? What about the Quake 3 settings? I’d like to see the fine tiny print. Is this an unfair comparison? If so, shame on you, Apple. As in the words of Judge Judy, “don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

AirPort wireless networking is cool but real-world usage in a desktop machine that will likely stay grounded to a power supply doesn’t get very far past the “cool concept stage” for most people. But of course, most people aren’t Macintosh users. For those of you who have sworn off tripping over another Ethernet cable or rewiring the house for 100 Megabit Ethernet, you’ll really dig AirPort networking. If you’re planning to carry all 35 pounds of that iMac-lovin’ to the living room every other day, get an iBook or PowerBook for goodness sakes.

Gonna have to upgrade to 128 MB of RAM for Quake III: Arena. Close your eyes, pull out your credit card, hand it to the cashier, and smile until the bill comes a month later (note the rising RAM prices…).

Otherwise these new iMacs are solid and are guaranteed to sell well if Apple can put some marketing might behind these bad boys. I would get one myself if I can somehow shake these [American] football gambling debts… go Eagles!

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