This past weekend my wife purchased her/our first Mac! She got the 24″ 2.66Ghz iMac. Being the tech savy (sic) guy I am I of course had to set it all up to work the way she works, install parallels, boot camp, our network stuff, etc. I must say my initial reaction to the Mac is that I’m very impressed. The screen is huge, bright and everything looks great!
After going through the very short setup routine on first boot, it found all the network servers and workstations on the network. I did have to point it to our network printer, but it automatically selected the proper driver for our device once I put in the IP Address While configuring everything the learning curve wasn’t too steep, especially compared to if you were moving to linux from windows. I guess I had the most problems getting used to the universal menu at the top depending on what application you have in the foreground. Talking about whatever application… this thing is a multitasking dream. It just begs you to open up and do several things at once, scatter things all over the desktop and all the while it doesn’t skip a beat.
I setup Parallels, installed Windows on it and then had a question on whether or not you could use the same activation key between the Parallels version and Boot Camp version of windows, so I filled out the form to speak to an Apple Expert, once I clicked the submit button my phone rang (before the form could finish submitting), after a hold of about 2 minutes (maybe) I had someone on the line. I asked my question and he walked me through the Boot Camp setup, which took about 40 minutes. He answered all of my questions and showed me a couple of other things. The support I received is second to none that I’ve ever encountered. As for using the same activation key, I just used the Boot Camp partition as the Parallels drive, no activation required once windows is activated in one place or the other
I also installed Firefox with no problems, except that .dmg file. I couldn’t figure out why it kept showing a mount on the desktop whenever I launched Firefox. So, after some messing around I figured out that I wasn’t supposed to run Firefox from the .dmg file. So, I deleted that .dmg file, went through the installation process again and used the little “Copy to Applications” dialog widget that pops up and that solved that problem. Same thing for Open Office. Now I’m pretty sure that I didn’t have to go through the download of firefox again, but I just didn’t know any other way to start over, guess it’s part of being a Mac newbie. I’ve probably got 2 versions of Firefox stashed away somewhere now and just don’t realize it :-/
We also purchased a 1TB external Seagate drive to be her Time Machine drive. This was very easy to setup once I hooked it to the iMac. I was wanting to use it as a Network Storage Area by connecting it to my router, but upon trying to set that up I found out the utility that you must use to use the drive, the manufacturer doesn’t make a version of it for Mac, not to mention that only one machine can use it at once, so I just connected it right to the iMac
I also imported all of our pictures into iPhoto which went off without a hitch and it kept the folder names as the album names. We haven’t had a chance to mess with the pictures in iPhoto yet, but we’ll have plenty of time in the future to mess with that. As for importing stuff, I was also able to move all of my wifes’s old “My Documents” contents over with no problems, I just can’t figure out how to move her bookmarks over, she doesn’t keep that many so we may just have to recreate those manually.
Overall, my impression of the Mac is a good one. I’m wanting one for myself now but that’ll have to wait a while. Everything I’ve tried to do, I’ve been able to figure it out without much help or having to lookup too many things. I did have to lookup how to mount an external partition at login, but that’s not too difficult. I guess my biggest difficulty is getting used to the keyboard. The hot keys I’m used to using for windows (copy, cut, paste) seem to be there for the most part, but it just figuring out the difference in terminology on the keys (Command, Option, Control, Fn). From my initial experience I’m thinking this was a great buy, the prices have come down enough for a much better machine that cost about the same amount as a middle of the road PC based laptop, which she doesn’t travel for business and doesn’t really need a laptop, so this fits the bill. Now, I just need to find an excuse to go play with it some more