After the disaster with the eMac this morning we discussed the options and decided that since the Mac runs all our important IT stuff like the e-mail, we couldn’t go very long without having it replaced. Whilst it is annoying that it happened when it did, that is what the emergency fund is for!
Anyway, our last Mac had been bought in a sale at PC World. However PC World usually has a pretty limited range, and although they do have some staff who know Macs, most don’t. However, taking a look at the Apple site, I found that they had recently opened a third UK Apple Store, located in Bluewater. Whilst it is further away as the crow flies than the big store in London, Bluewater is easily accessible from the M25, and so is a lot easier, and cheaper to get to. Beth did suggest that maybe she should come along in her hooded top, but decided maybe not…
So, I set off towards the M25. Thankfully all the jams were going in the other direction, so it took only about 90 minutes to get there. I hadn’t ever been to Bluewater, so it was rather a surprise when I got there. The shopping centre is basically built at the bottom of a great big hole in the ground (a former quarry), and consists of buildings in the centre surrounded by car parks. Inside it is much the same as any shopping mall, just big!
Anyway, I knew the store was on the Upper Mall, so walked around until I found an escalator, and went up. I then ended up doing almost a full circuit of the Upper Mall, as for some reason the Apple Store wasn’t listed on the mall directory. Typically, it turned out that the Apple Store was almost level with the place I came in, and unlike the London store didn’t have a board hung outside, only a large Apple logo above the door.
The store is a lot smaller than the London store, but still has the same range crammed in, and also still is massively popular. Eventually I found an assistant, and decided on my new Mac.
Having discussed it with Beth, we had decided not to get a new eMac, but instead to go for the G5 equiped iMac, which as long term readers of the blog will know I’ve been coveting for a year or so. Anyway, I put my money down for the middle of the range, 17 inch screen iMac with SuperDrive, which unlike Evesham two weeks ago, I could take home on the spot.
Once home, I then took advantage of one of the other nice things about a Mac, the migration wizard that I mentioned when I did the Tiger upgrade. If you’ve ever bought a new PC, you’ll know what a hassle it is moving over – whilst there is a files and settings wizard, you’re having to reinstall all the applications. Microsoft seriously need to take lessons from Apple over this – all I had to do was plug a firewire cable between the two computers, boot the old Mac into a special mode, and turn on the new Mac. It then comes up with a list of everything on the old Mac, and transfers it to the new in about an hour. All my apps, complete with settings and registration details were transferred, with only a hiccup with Missing Sync, and not having a printer driver for our laser printer on the new machine.
Bear in mind that I am still steadily installing stuff on the new laptop I got last week, and yet the Mac is up and running.
The new box is much slimmer and lighter than the eMac, and is basically like a slightly chunky flat screen monitor. Very nice looking, and a fabulous screen. Speed wise the G5 streaks along compared to the old G4 in the eMac, making some of the newer games with which the eMac struggled a lot better. Noise wise it is quieter than the eMac, which due to the CRT needed a massive fan to keep it cool. The iMac fans change speed depending on what the machine is doing, which is slightly unnerving at first. All in all, whilst it’s nowhere near the spec of Howard’s monster Mac, it’s definitely a nice machine.