I have had my new iMac for a few months now and I am very pleased with my iMac Lion. While listening to a couple of podcasts during the last week, I have been surprised to hear that there are some people that really don’t like OS X Lion. It has also been a bit of a surprise when there have been statistics produced to say that Lion as an operating system, has been nowhere near as popular as was Snow Leopard. I do have a predilection for liking things that are new and shiny and since I have been using Lion, I have been, just loving it. Not once have I thought to myself, oh my goodness where is Snow Leopard when you need it. So why is it that there are some people that are having an allergic reaction to the latest big cat from Apple?
Bye bye Save As – Hello Duplicate Command
One of the large changes that seems to be affecting some people is the lack of the old Save As command within the applications that have been made compatible with Lion. I didn’t tend to use the Save As command, that often before Lion, which may have made it easier for me to take to the new Duplicate command. Maybe I’m also affected by the fact that at least some of the applications where I could have been likely to use Save As, have not yet been updated to be the Lion format of application. One thing that I am having to remind myself about is, that when I start a new document, I should in fact save it and give it a name right at the very start. I have been finding that I end up with a number of documents that are called Untitled.
A UPS is one of the best iMac accessories
If I was to consult the iMac wiki or the Lion wiki, if there are such things, I would see that one of the benefits with the apps that have been updated to Lion, is that there would be less chance of me losing data. This is because with the new OSX Lion, the documents are continuously being saved, or at least every 5 min. So at the very worst if something does happen, such as the electricity suddenly going off, then I will only lose at most 5 minutes of work. In fact I have experience of this problem, as during the last two weeks my computer has died four times, due to a sudden momentary loss of power. It is because of this that I have bought one of the most important iMac accessories which is a UPS, an uninterruptible power supply. The most well-known name of these UPS units is APC. There were a number of models available, ranging in price from about €70 to around €400 in the places where I looked and I decided to go for one that was approximately mid range. This is because amongst my iMac accessories, I have a Drobo connected, a hard drive for Time Machine, a hard drive toaster in which I have a 2 TB bare hard drive inserted, a speaker system and a powered USB hub. All of these items, plus a router, a gigabit switch and a SIP phone all need good quality electric power and now they do have just that. I am very happy to at last have some peace of mind for when the electric has what’s known as a brown out, or instead has a surge of power. When I installed the new UPS I was also able to take advantage of the situation and make everything really tidy.
The iMac and the Drobo
I have the Drobo connected to the iMac using the iMac FireWire port, which I have found to be a good fast connection. I am very much looking forward to the day when there is a Thunderbolt Drobo available. What I may do then is to buy a new Drobo Thunderbolt capable NAS drive, to backup the Drobo that I already have. In case you don’t know what a Drobo is, it is a NAS drive that is really very flexible in terms of which drives you can put into it. The very best part about using a Drobo is that you have safety built-in through redundancy of the data. What that means is, is that if a drive was to fail in the Drobo, none of the data contained within the Drobo would be lost or affected in any way. The lights on the front of the Drobo would let me know that a drive had died and I would be able to hot swap the dead drive for a new one. Also if I find that I am running out of space on the Drobo, again it will let me know first and I would be able to take out a smaller drive and replace it with a larger one. Depending on the amount of data on the Drobo, I would then have to wait just a number of hours before the date was rebuilt to take account of the extra space available on the new replacement hard drive.
iMac vs PC
As far as I am concerned there is no competition between the iMac and a PC. It would be possible for me to buy a cheap PC, but I would not be able to buy one that would have the same facilities as I have with my iMac. In fact when looking at the price of the previous iMac that I had on my desk, I did a comparison which was like for like in terms of specifications and there was very little price difference indeed. In fact, once I had taken into account other considerations such as the software that came with the iMac, I found that the iMac price was indeed a better value than a PC. Certainly I would not be very happy using a cheap PC and not just because I have grown used to the Mac way of doing things. One thing that could be nice to see on a future iMac, would be the inclusion of an iMac HDMI port. This is because there are monitors that are available now that allow connection through HDMI. Also if you look you will see that the Mac mini does actually include a HDMI port. It is not a big deal though really, as there are two Thunderbolt ports on the iMac 27 inch model and it is not too difficult to be able to get video monitors that have the DVI ports. I already have one extra monitor connected to my iMac and I can see that in the future I will very likely put on another one, so that I have three video screens in front of me. I would have plenty of space to leave room for the Facetime iMac app while I am working on an image in Pixelmator 2.
Personalisation of the iMac
Even though my iMac usually has lots of applications open, I have personalised the iMac by using my own iMac wallpaper. There are a number places online where you can get a wallpaper for iMac, so that when you can see the desktop view, you have an image which will suit your personality and your style. I do quite like the iMac wallpaper which is the view into space that comes as standard, but it is also nice to be able to change the view from time to time. It is very easy to go into the system preferences and you can use some of the iMac wallpapers that come with the system, or you may also use your own photographs from your personal iPhoto library.