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Friday, October 30 Front Page >> Random Rants >> Thinking about going 100% Apple, Part Two

Mar 04, 2008, 2:05pm

I bought an iMac, and I'm totally surprised how much I've taken to it. In part one of this three part reviewthingermajg, I talked about nagging problems I have with the Mac platform. In this part, I'll talk about those "neutral" things - not great, but not deal breaking either.

The Neutral Stuff

Here's things about coming from a PC to a Mac that aren't terrible, but not great either. Annoyances, minor issues, etc.

NTFS - Windows XP's chosen file formatting system - Apple can only read to them, not read/write. Bit of a PITA there. I have a couple of "spare" portable Passport drives from Western Digital - the kind that just run off of USB bus power - that I mainly manage my huge libraries of photographs on, and while the Macs can read these NTFS formatted discs, it can't write to them. And it won't format them as FAT32 either (neither will Windows because they're 80gb and 160gb); Apparently, OSX used to have a FAT32 formatting option, but it's not in Disk Utilities under 10.5.2. Apple's own HFTS (I think that's what it is called) is not recognized by Windows either. Minor issue (I eventually used a third party app to format the drives as FAT32 partitions) but a pain nonetheless.

Wireless keyboard is missing keys - I really miss having a number pad on my keyboard. I wish Apple's BT keyboard came in a 101-style key layout, basically a mirror of the wired keyboard, but wireless. Minor issue.

8x only on the "Superdrive" - should be called the pokeydrive. I can't believe this day and age the Mac's built in DVD burner is still only 24x/8x/4x for CD/DVD/DVD-RW speeds. I have two $45 DVD burners in my PC that burn at 16x and 18x. What the FUCK, Apple? (okay, saying the French word for "seal" is a bit excessive, but what the fuck). Where's the Blu-Ray, Apple?

Games - Actually, I'm not even sure why I listed this, I'm not a "PC Gamer", haven't been since the days of Starcraft. But that said, the gaming situation on the Mac is horrible. Everyone knows it. The machines just can't come close to doing what PCs can do with games, and on top of that, there are no super-hot good games for the Mac, as far as I can see.

Finder - this one may move to the "good" column in time. I'm just so used to using Windows Explorer for file management, it's hard to get used to the Finder's way of doing things. I especially miss "right click and drag" that I do on the PC to move files. And why doesn't selecting files and hitting the delete key actually delete files? Why must you only drag files to the trash can, or right click and choose "Move files to Trash"?

Video Card: I have a kick ass nvidia GeForce 8600GTS in my desktop Windows PC - lightning quick. Runs Quake 15 or something. 512mb memory. It's own cooling system. Causes cancer, then cures it. It looks like a monster. Inside the iMac? Well, there's a Radeon card : a not too indecent ATI Radeon 2600 "HD" with 256mb of zippy video memory, which is an upgrade over the base 2400 Radeon with 128mb of memory in the base iMac, but it cannot be further upgraded. This is an at-best $90 video card.

Can't poke around. This is tied in with the previous point - the iMac is "all in one", and other than being able to add memory, you can't do anything with it. You can put a bigger hard drive in it. You can't change video cards. You can't install eSATA drives. You can't add an internal card reader. You can't upgrade the "SuperDooper" drive. I will probably miss this ability. If something dies, the system dies. For this reason alone, I bought AppleCare for $300 more.

That's pretty much it for the neutral stuff. The last part of this article, up in a day or so, is all the good stuff, and the real reasons why I may go "all Mac" someday.

3 comments | reply

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