Since February 2010, I was waiting for Apple to release an update to the iMac, and on January 31 of this year my brand new 27″ iMac arrived — with a broken screen. Thankfully AppleCare got me squared away within a day or so, sent me a free USB SuperDrive for my trouble, and I was in possession of a working one within a few days.
While I was on the phone with AppleCare trying to get everything worked out, I had a few thoughts. First was that even the best phone support kind of sucks. It took more than a couple of hours on the phone and a couple of callbacks to get a DOA machine replaced, a lot of it on hold. To their credit, everyone there was genuinely helpful and understanding of my situation.
The other thought was that there was no reason to be upset about anything since it wouldn’t make it go any faster, and really I had no choice. If they sent me five machines, each more defective than the last, I really have no vector of recourse beyond being a jerk to a customer service representative. I mean, realistically, what am I going to do, start learning C# and order a HP?
These are the sort of thoughts listening to hold music while staring at a broken iMac can apparently spur in me.
The Working Machine
It’s wonderful. I upgraded to a 3.4GHz quad-core i7, 16GB of ram, and a 3TB Fusion Drive. It’s really, really, fast. The last non-portable computer I owned was a dual 1.6 Power Mac G5 I bought used that I’m pretty sure had faulty ram. Since then I’ve owned a white plastic MacBook, the first unibody MacBook Pro, and a 2011 MacBook Air.
I’m excited to have a machine that can run Aperture respectably, and also has a drive large enough to keep my library on. Dropbox and iCloud make keeping everything else in sync easy (mostly Dropbox).
The Two Best Things
Fusion Drive has been completely invisible to me, and since nothing has been slower than on my Air with the SSD, I figure it’s doing what it’s supposed to. I don’t know when we’ll eventually have large, cheap SSD’s, but this feels like a great solution so far. Also, the kind of solution only Apple could easily provide, with their integrated hardware and software.
The screen is noticeably nicer to look at than the 27” LCD Cinema Display I’d been using. Laminating the glass to the LCD improves it just as much as it did with the iPhone. I can’t even remember what I was giving up by them doing this, only that it sounded stupid when I heard it, and that this screen looks awesome.
Something that I think is cool, but that doesn’t really affect me that much is the thinness. When I mentioned ordering it, a couple of non-Mac using people I know had said they it was silly that Apple would bother with making a desktop machine thin (remind me to try and take a dump all over the next thing you drop thousands of dollars on and are excited about).
My response is that they didn’t make the machine crappier in other ways that I can tell, I don’t seem to be paying more for it being thin, and it looks cool when you catch it from the side. Technology surrounds me everyday, and I see no reason why it should be any less designed or beautiful than the chair I sit in, the guitar I strum or the coffee maker on my counter.