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Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Macs For Old -Trying Out Apple's New iMac

On the left - my little MacBook Air. On the right - my iMac Desktop Computer.

Last week I sold two eMac's for $100 each. This one even had a wireless mouse and keyboard. Even at that price they are fully Internet ready with wireless wifi.

I have been buying Macs since 1989 when I paid $2500 for a Mac SE with a 20 MB hard drive. Before that - we bought our first Apple IIc in 1981 for $1500 with no hard drive storage at all. It is truly amazing how the computer performance has increased and the prices have gone down. It has been 3o years since we had our first real computer.

This week I bought Apple's latest desktop the iMac. To differentiate from other iMacs - this one is the first one with Thunderbolt - a new very fast interface. But what truly amazes me is the amount of bang you get for the buck. I bought mine from Amazon - because they discount the price below what Apple charges - they do not charge sales tax - and 2 day shipping is free. From Apple it would cost $1310 delivered. From Amazon it was $1134 total.

So what do you get for $1100. You get a 21 inch wide flat glass color screen. The entire computer is "just the screen." Everything is in that skinny little box. It his a DVD player and recorder. It has a slot that will read your SD-RAM camera chips. It has 4 GB of main memory and a 500 GB storage disk. The keyboard and mouse are completely wireless - they receive signals from the computer by Bluetooth. It has a 2.5 Ghz processor - which means it is very fast. There is also something about a new faster video card for rendering photos and video fast. The Thunderbolt port transfers information to and from external hard drives about 20 times faster.

The new iMac comes with Lion - which is a fancy name for the new System 10.7. This is the latest version of Apple's operating system.

For the last year I have been computing with just a laptop - the MacBook Air. I really like that computer and intend to keep it. It is my travel partner and the computer I use to sit by the pool. The MacBook Air is the smallest fully functional Mac. It weighs about 2 pounds and is about 1/2 inch thick. One of the neatest things about my MacBook Air is that it has no hard drive - it stores all its data on a flash drive - or computer chip. This makes the battery last forever - about 6 hours of use - and also the computer does not waste energy getting hot. This is a real lap saver. The MaCbook Air is about the size and shape of the pad but it has a full physical keyboard. Because of the flash drive - it only stores 64 GB of memory - that is only 3000 times the amount that my original Mac Se stored!

I love having the luxury of having two computers - the desktop for reading full newspaper pages and being able to view and edit pictures in giant size. But I am happy not to have to give up the portability of the little MacBook Air - I called it my Airbook.

To show you how far computers have come and yet how much they have stayed the same - I sold two 10 year old eMac computers for $100 each. These desktops are fully functional computers capable of getting onto the Internet wirelessly with the included Airport wifi card. I bought them on Craigslist at a deep discount and passed some of the saving onto two very happy users.

In review - you can buy the state of the art desktop computer at Apple for $1134 complete. The MacBook Air with discounts can be had for $900. Both are fantastic computers. But if one wants to get into action on the Internet - do email - surf the net - they can buy an eMac for $100.

This is Apple latest wireless keyboard and mouse. They are so small and light.

This picture shows my MacBook Air with the iMac's wireless keyboard on top of it. Keyboards are the same.

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