My new iMac

I’m writing this entry from my new iMac, which I bought at Carbon Computing on Tuesday. I’d gone there intending to poke around; my plans changed dramatically once I realized they had the new iMacs in stock.

In the end, I decided to go with a stock configuration, on the grounds that dithering over the build-to-order options was taking up too much time, and the options I was dithering over were ones I could easily live without. Paying extra for a wireless Mighty Mouse is silly when I realize that I hate the Mighty Mouse; better to get a stock, wired Mighty Mouse and replace it at some point in the future. Whether or not I need the extended keyboard is something I will discover in practice. And paying $180 for a more powerful graphics card is foolish if I don’t need it: I need dedicated graphics for digital photography, not high-framerate games.

So I got the third model: 24-inch screen, 2.93-GHz Core 2 Duo, four gigabytes of RAM, 640-gigabyte hard drive, Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics.

Setup yesterday was the most painless Mac-to-Mac changeover I’ve ever had. I used the Time Machine backup from my old computer; within a few hours, other than a few software updates and reauthorizations, my new computer behaved very much like the old one. Only faster — much faster — and with a bigger, brighter screen and smaller keyboard.

This tiny keyboard is going to take some getting used to, not only because of the lack of a numeric keypad, but also because of the chiclet keys and, strangely enough, the presence of a function key at bottom left — I use the control key a lot, both in the terminal and for control-clicking (Mighty Mice suck at the second mouse button thing). Also, the remapping of the Exposé keys. It’s just a matter of relearning muscle memory.

Having four gigs of RAM means I’m able to use Aperture and a browser at the same time without the system resorting to disk swapping. This is good: my workflow requires a lot of programs open at the same time, and two gigs had become, shall we say, insufficient.

All in all, this computer should keep me out of trouble for a while.