Original iMac: One of the best computers ever?

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It blew everyone away when Steve Jobs unveiled it in 1998. A computer that was sleek, all-in-one, affordable (for the time), and stylish. I remember when the Bondi Blue iMac first appeared in the computer labs at my school. I was stunned. The first thing I noticed was how beautiful it was. I had never seen a computer that looked that good before – no one had.

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The second thing I notice about it is how quiet it is. That’s because it doesn’t have a CPU fan. It has vents for the heat to escape through. The only sound you hear is the hard drive running, or a CD/DVD if you have one in the drive. In the middle of the CPU vent is a nice, sturdy handle. I’ve always been hesitant to carry it just by the handle alone, but it’s held so far whenever I have. I usually carry it by the handle, and with my other hand underneath it.img_7092

It also runs quite fast. I’ve had Mac OS X 10.3 installed on it before, but when I brought it up from the basement a couple days ago, the hard drive was corrupted, but it was an old hard drive, so I wasn’t too surprised. I got out my iMac OS 9.1 restore disk and created a new, fresh installation of Mac OS 9.1. It runs Mac OS 9.1 really fast. This particular iMac has a 400 MHz G3, and has 256 MB of RAM. I have a 600 MHz iMac, but it’s in a storage unit.

It’s also conveniently compact. It has a high-qualty15″ CRT monitor built in. Although it’s a bit small for a display, it’s just the right size for a compact, all-in-one computer. It makes it easy to transport. No moving the computer and monitor separately. It can display up to 1024 x 768 @ 75 hz.

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The keyboard is nice and compact also, for being a full-size keyboard (featuring a 10-key). It does lack a DEL key, but that’s not a big deal. The keyboard has a built-in USB hub, allowing you to hook up USB devices to the left and right in the back. The single-button hockey puck-style mouse is alright, but it can get turned around in my hand a little bit, making me look at it to reposition it so that the button is facing 12 o’clock. This mouse has always been my least favorite of any mouse just because of that reason.

Another nice thing about it is the speakers. They’re pretty decent, and you don’t have to turn them on, like you do with normal, external speakers.

While this review was mainly about the physical computer itself, it shipped with Mac OS “Classic”. I don’t know what Mac OS version this shipped with, because I got this from a third-party years ago, but the iMac restore CDs it came with was Mac OS 9.1. My biggest complaint about Mac OS Classic is that it’s a pain to get it to talk to non-Macs. I have a Linux computer on my network, and everyone knows Linux is super-compatible with many things, but not with Mac OS Classic. There is third-party software for Mac OS Classic that let you connect to non-Macs, such as MacSSH PPC, but even this is difficult, since I haven’t been able to get this to work, either. The way I’ve mainly transferred files to it was with a USB flash drive. While the OS and software run snappy, surfing the information super-highway is extremely annoying, since almost no sites work correctly on it, and it’s slow. There is a “modern” web browser for it called Classilla, but it’s challenging viewing even basic sites, since the highest resolution is 1024 x 768. But what do you expect? It’s almost 20 years old. For being that old, it’s still impressive.

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In conclusion, it’s snappy, quiet, compact, convenient, and it still works great. It also makes a nice, visually pleasing accent to any room it’s in. I’m not going to lie; my favorite thing about it is its stunning beauty, and that goes for Mac OS Classic as well. But I prefer to not just gaze at it, but use it. There are still people who use Mac OS 9, which means there are still developers out there for it. Just one more testament to its elegance, simplicity, and longevity. I think it holds up as good as any computer possibly could over nearly 20 years, and it would make the perfect compliment to any room.

18 thoughts on “Original iMac: One of the best computers ever?

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    • The last time I used .NET was back when I was getting my programming degree, around 12-14 years ago. I loved Visual Basic 6.0, and disliked the changes in .NET.

      Since then, I have moved away from the extreme expenses, restrictions and proprietary-ness of Microsoft products, and have adopted free open-source software (FOSS), such as Linux (specifically Debian-based distros) as my platform of choice, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (this configuration is known as LAMP), for several reasons.
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      – There is a wealth of support and documentation out there for it, as well as a very knowledgeable and helpful community.
      – It’s open-source, so there are more people working on it and maintaining it, and as a result, it is usually more stable and secure, and patches and updates to vulnerabilities are released quicker than for closed-source proprietary software such as Microsoft products.
      – The internet primarily runs on UNIX, which Linux was modeled after, and has now become synonymous with. This means that there are more open-source servers and web hosts running UNIX/Linux, and they almost definitely have other open-source software such as Apache, various open-source databases, and PHP.
      – PHP has more of a C-like syntax, so it’s possibly more familiar to more programmers as a result, but this is more subjective.
      – You don’t have to worry about licensing issues.
      – Microsoft is famous for having security vulnerabilities. To be fair, Linux has had security vulnerabilities as well (all software does), but Linux can be highly configured and customized to make a hardened system that is generally more difficult to crack. Also, Linux is designed with security and stability in mind; in fact, it’s famous for its stability, and its ability to insert kernel modules and even updating the entire kernel itself, all while running! This is important, because many corporate mainframes have massive databases that must stay online, even during system maintenance. Try doing that with Windows!

      In conclusion, in my own experience, going back almost 20 years, I have changed from being a staunch Microsoft fan to being an Apple fan, to being an absolute advocate of free open-source software, respectively. In my personal opinion, I don’t think there is a single good reason to use Microsoft products.

      The only exception that I see for this is for computer games; those mostly run on Windows, although more games are supporting Linux as time goes on, because, like me, more people are realizing the benefits of Linux and FOSS, so they’re switching to Linux. Even Microsoft Office has had FOSS equivalents that are nearly just as good (OpenOffice.org, Libre Office), for the most part.

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      I hope I was able to help you with my comparisons between Microsoft products and FOSS, despite my long absence from .NET and lack of experience with blogengine.

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    • Thank you very much for your kind words! I appreciate it. I am not getting paid for this blog; I am merely doing this for my own hobby and interests.

    • Thank you very much! I really appreciate it. I have much more subject matter to blog about. The trouble is finding time! lol

      What particular tech interests you the most?

  6. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after
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    • I am sorry to hear about your comment. I will look for it. Did you use the same name for it that you used for this one? I will personally look in the database for it. Anyway, thanks for your kind words!

    • Thank you very much for your compliment and your interest! I’m glad you like it. I have more to write about soon.

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