Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘iMac’

Preferring Separates Over the iMac ➝

David Sparks:

I have received many emails and messages from listeners and Labs members wanting to get a large iMac and asking how long they will have to wait. Based on this reporting, my answer will be, “Don’t wait; it’s not coming.”

I used to be a large iMac guy. I owned several of them over the years. If they released one today, I would not be interested. I’ve found I prefer the new world of separate computers and displays. My current display (a Pro Display XDR) has now worked with three different Macs. While there’s a higher cost going in, I think the math works out over time. Moreover, you can avoid that higher cost if you buy a non-Apple display.

My second Mac ever was a 20-inch iMac purchased in 2008. I loved it. And since then I’ve convinced two family members to purchase iMacs as well. But today, I wouldn’t recommend them. They just don’t have the versatility long-term when compared to the alternatives.

My recommendation for almost anyone that wants a desktop Mac now is to get a Mac Mini and an external display. You could get a Mac Studio or a Mac Pro, but if you’re the kind of person that needs the additional performance or connectivity, you already know that the Mac Mini isn’t enough for you.

In terms of displays, the Studio Display is an excellent option, but I think it’s far too expensive for most users. And I’m the oddball that doesn’t think larger displays are all they’re cracked up to be. My first thought would be to look at Dell’s offerings for displays. They tend to have decent specs for the price and generally rank well in reviews. But I’d have to do a bit more research to know for sure if that’s still a safe bet.

The beauty of a setup like this, though, is that you can continue to use the display for many years longer than Apple would support the iMac. When it’s time to upgrade you can just buy another Mac Mini and drop it into your existing setup.

And on the other side you’ll have a Mac Mini that you can use as a home server, hand down to a family member, or resell. It can be connected to a TV, used as a headless computer, or just about anything you can think of. Mac Minis take up almost no room and can be used in environments where an iMac just wouldn’t work.

➝ Source: macsparky.com

Macintosh Garden, Celebrating Macintosh Abandonware ➝

Macintosh Garden:

Software featured on the Macintosh Garden have been discontinued by their publishers and are no longer commercially available. The Macintosh Garden aims to preserve these treasures for future generations, providing documentation and downloads of the original files.

I’m planning to setup my old 2008 iMac with Snow Leopard or Mountain Lion (I haven’t decided which yet). I’m going to install a bunch of software on it that runs locally and then disconnect it from the internet entirely. This will provide a more controlled environment for my son when he starts toying with computing in a few years.

He can play some games, use some creative and productivity apps, and my wife and I don’t have to worry about what he’ll find in a web browser.

Macintosh Garden seems like it’ll be an invaluable resource for the software I install.

➝ Source: macintoshgarden.org

Unnecessarily Thin ➝

Riccardo Mori, on the new M1 iMacs:

You may say, Sometimes things are just designed to look cool, and that’s okay, I guess. I think it’s a philosophy that works best with objects that aren’t everyday tools, but that’s me.

But even with some past Apple computers where it was clear that the primary purpose of their design was to look different and distinguishable from other PCs (think of the iMac G3 or the first colourful clamshell iBooks, or the Power Mac G3 Blue & White, and the following generations of Power Macs), there was at least one element in that design that made it also practical and smart. A common denominator of all those past Macs I’ve mentioned was their handles. All those machines had smartly integrated handles to lift and move them around. There was more of course, but even this small detail was enough to give their design a certain depth and purpose. These new iMacs are as razor-thin as their design is razor-shallow.

Apple’s hardware designs have been hit and miss for me lately. The new iMac is definitely more in the miss category. I’m just unconvinced that the thinness of the design is worth the compromises necessary to achieve it.

➝ Source: morrick.me

Josh Ginter’s Thoughts on Apple’s Spring Loaded Event ➝

A good read. I especially enjoyed his discussion of the new M1-powered iMac. And I’m glad I’m not the only one that appreciates the silver model.

➝ Source: thenewsprint.co

M1 iMac

The iMac earns the distinction of being the first Mac in the lineup to be completely redesigned in the M1 era. This new iteration comes in seven colors, which is the first time the iMac has been available with colored housing since the G3 models in the late 90s and early 2000s.

I think the silver is actually the most attractive of the bunch. It’s possible I might change my tune after seeing them in person, though. I get the feeling the press shots and videos don’t really give a great impression of what they look like in real life — the colors all seems so pastel on the front. But it is worth noting, aside from the pink model in the audio testing room, the only models shown in the workspace behind the presenter were silver.

Before we get too much further, though, let’s address the elephant in the room. What is the deal with the chin? It’s been a part of the iMac design since 2004, but it’s not necessary anymore. Apple can build a sufficiently thin iMac with the computer components fully behind the display. Why won’t they do so? I can’t think of a single good reason not to.

Though, they have managed to give the iMac a much larger display — a 24-inch, 4.5K display — without increasing the overall size of the device too much. It has an anti-reflective coating on the glass and True Tone support. I’ve never been a fan of True Tone and disable it on all my devices, but I expect I’m in the minority with this.

They’ve improved the camera with a larger, 1080p sensor. I’m glad they’re finally making improvements on this front. They should have started years ago. And I hope this is just the beginning of a trend which will bring better front-facing cameras to the entire Mac lineup.

They’ve introduced a new, proprietary power cable with this model. It’s magnetic and allows them to add an Ethernet port on the power brick. It’s a little disappointing that the power supply isn’t integrated into the iMac anymore. And the proprietary cable is a little lame — it was kind of nice on previous models that you could plug in just about any standard three-pronged power cable and it would just work.

Moving Ethernet to the power brick is kind-of neat. Although, I always thought they would do something like this for laptops. The existence of USB-C and Thunderbolt seems like that would have been a bit easier to develop — since the cable is already capable of so much. Just imagine a power brick with an SD card reader, a couple of USB-A ports, a couple of USB-C ports, and HDMI. A lot of people would be really excited about a product like that.

Alongside the iMac, Apple introduce color matching accessories — Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard. The standard keyboard features more rounded corners and some new keys — most notably a lock button and an emoji key. But there is a second keyboard model that features Touch ID on the lock button.

My work laptop — a 13-inch MacBook Pro features Touch ID and I love it. Most of the time my Watch is used to unlock, but the times when I’m not wearing my watch, the Touch ID sensor is clutch. Although we all know that the inevitable introduction of Face ID is going to be where it’s at, Touch ID is a welcomed addition.

The M1 iMac is available to order April 30 and starts shipping in the latter half of May. The base model starts at $1299 and is available in four colors — blue, green, pink, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage, two Thunderbolt ports, and the standard Magic Keyboard.

The higher end model starts at $1499, also comes in yellow, orange, and purple, adds two USB-C ports, an additional GPU core, the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, and Ethernet on the power adapter.

Despite my qualms about the chin and color options, these seem like excellent devices. And I do appreciate the return of color, even if I personally prefer the silver model. And it does have me excited about the future of the Mac. What will come to the Mac Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 27-inch iMacs? What is Apple capable of when they really put the peddle to the floor with their own chips?

Apple Plans Redesigned iMac, New Mac Pro, Smaller Mac Pro, Cheaper Monitor ➝

Mark Gurman, on the smaller Mac Pro:

The second version, however, will use Apple’s own processors and be less than half the size of the current Mac Pro. The design will feature a mostly aluminum exterior and could invoke nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube, a short-lived smaller version of the Power Mac, an earlier iteration of the Mac Pro.

It’s just a rumor. And there isn’t much to go on aside from it being smaller than the current Mac Pro. But if it’s also lower cost — in the realm of the entry-level 2010-era Mac Pro — I’m going to be very interested.

➝ Source: bloomberg.com

Laptop-Less ➝

David Sparks has made the decision to go laptop-less and I wish I could do the same. But unfortunately, due to recent career opportunities, I don’t think I’ll be moving away from portable Macs anytime soon.

My hope was to purchase a 27-inch iMac to serve as our home server and occasional workstation for Mac-specific tasks and then use my iPad as my primary machine. But I’m going to need a Mac to run certain applications in the near future that just aren’t available on iOS.

It looks like I’ll stick it out with my current, aging MacBook Air until Apple refreshes their lineup in the next month or so. At that point I’ll have to decide which machine with a terrible keyboard I’m willing to use.

Apple’s Hardware Updates for This Fall ➝

Ming-Chi Kuo expects three new iPhone models, two new iPad Pros, a Mac Mini refresh, updates to Apple’s laptop line, iMac display improvements, and Apple Watch offerings with larger displays.