Thursday, November 10, 2005

New iMac!

Well, folks, it finally arrived on tuesday, 3 1/2 weeks after ordering. Now, a computer at home is a fairly essential bit of kit for most, including myself, so classifying it as a gadget is a bit of a stretch. So I'll talk instead about the gadgets the computer comes equipped with, rather than a blow by blow account of the machine itself.

First, the iSight. It's a tiny camera built in at the top of the screen bezel and kind of reminds me of a miniature HAL staring back at me. Fire up Photo Booth and select one of the distortion filters for true HAL-like vision. It's a tiny mobile phone type lens, so I'm not sure how it measures up against the original iSight. Anyway, mustn't grumble since it came 'free' with the machine. It's also the first step towards the RoTM.

Next the Mighty Mouse. So named because 'A-lot-better-than-any-previous- Apple-attempt-at-a-mouse' Mouse doesn't have quite the same ring. As a mouse it's pretty good. I use a Microsoft Intellipoint Exploder in the office and it's also quite good, after you get used to it's automobile sized proportions. I mean, really, it's like having a Volkswagen Beetle under your right hand. However, I digress.

The gadget nature of the Mighty Mouse should not be underestimated. The device uses the same mouse-shell-as-a-button mechanism of previous Apple mice. The twist is that there is a sensor under the surface that detects which type of 'click' you do. So it's a single button mouse that can differentiate between left and right clicks. Very clever. And very easy to get used to as I have discovered.

The next gadgety bit is the pea-sized scroll ball. I wondered how my finger could exert enough traction to pull round a tiny ball, but the ball requires very little pressure to move it. There is a slight 'grain' to the movement to give it that extra bit of tactileness. The ball also rolls sideways, and if there is a grumble, it's that you can't independently adjust the up/down, left/right sensitivity of the ball. When set to moderate up/down scrolling, sideways scrolling is very slow. Grr. The ball also acts as a button insofar as if you press it to click down the shell of the mouse, the computer sees it as a third button.

Lasty there are the side buttons, or button. You give the mouse a firm squeeze and it activates whatever you configure. By default, it activates dashboard. I like that it takes a firm squeeze - the Explorer's side button activate if you breathe on them meaning I have to disable their functionality.

Call back soon for an update and pics!

No comments: