A Windows User and His New iMac – Days Eight & Nine

Another two days, another batch of comments, question, thoughts and general pondering…

  • It’s really slick that TextEdit has a built-in spell checker – I’m guessing it’s system-wide in OS X? When I exited TextEdit, it didn’t ask me if I wanted to save the text file I had open. That was convenient for me in this case, but not prompting a user to save a file – and instead overwriting it – could be problematic in some cases
  • The fan in the iMac is starting to bother me a bit. It’s not loud, but it is noticeable when I’m in my office late at night and there’s no music playing. It spins at 1200 RPM when the Mac is idling; at full tile when rendering using Handbrake it hits  a very loud 2747 RPM. The tone of it – that small fan tone – is a bit irksome. I’m sure a big reason why I can hear it more easily than my desktop is because the iMac is much closer to my ears, and my desktop uses bigger, slower RPM fans (I specifically installed multiple ultra-quiet 800rpm fans). I wish Apple had gone the opposite direction with cooling: instead of treating it like a laptop and putting in a tiny, loud-ish fast-spinning fan, they could have taken advantage of the larger chassis space and done something interesting. Water cooling perhaps? It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, more of a slight disappointment and a missed opportunity.

  • And speaking of the fan and overall thermals, while I’m glad I got the 4 Ghz Core i7, the lack of headroom on the thermals explains why the turbo mode is capped at 4.2 Ghz (Intel’s default). No overclocking here, which makes sense given the lack of enhanced cooling. I’m glad at least this is a real desktop CPU with a TDP of 91W and Apple didn’t try to paid the laptop GPU with a laptop CPU. This CPU has some real grunt.
  • I’m surprised the two-finger swipe that works in a browser to go back to the previous page doesn’t also work in a Finder window to move you back up one level. Seems very obvious to me!
  • It’s odd that when you’re in the Finder window, and you drill down into a folder, when you click back to go up a level in the folder, it takes you to the top of the folder vs. your last location (the folder you went down into).
  • When you use Command+Tab to task switch, if you’re on your primary desktop, and you task switch to, say, Chrome and it’s on a virtual desktop, it won’t take you there. That seems odd to me. Oh wait, it’s because I have the Google Play Music widget on my main desktop, so OS X doesn’t know where to take me! Nothing to see here, move along, move along.
  • It’s proving somewhat confusing for me to go from using my Logitech trackpad on my work and personal PC to the Apple trackpad. I’m finding the muscle memory is getting a bit confused – the Logitech trackpad is less accurate when I use it like an Apple trackpad, and the Apple trackpad is physically harder to use when I use it like the Logitech trackpad. Oy vey.
  • Why oh why are all my Chrome Apps back after I deleted them? They’re back in Chrome and my apps list. Evil little things keep coming back…(fixed this finally)
  • It doesn’t matter how powerful or new your computer is, using Lightroom on it will make it feel slow. I have such a love/hate relationship with that program. It works faster than my seven year-old desktop system, yes, but honestly not by that much. What will it take for Lightroom to truly feel FAST? A quantum computer?

New to this series? Start the journey with day one, or go back further to why I wanted to buy a Mac in the first place.

  • 1. Yes, the spell checker is system wide. What, Windows doesn’t have one? 😉

    2. I find the idling fan very quiet, but it might depend on your home setup and how much echo you have, too.

    3. Finder is … not loved enough by Apple. There’s a lot more they could do to make it slicker. There’s a reason Finder alternatives exist (although El Capitan puts in System Integrity Protection, which makes them harder to use).

    4. Now you know why I don’t like browser widgets for music. :/ Alternative: use a different browser just for Play Music, like Safari. That’ll solve the problem.

    5. For Lightroom, are pictures on your NAS? That might affect its performance a bit too.

  • 1) No, but it clearly should. 🙂
    2) Daytime use, with some sound in my home (well, with two kids that’s usually a LOT of sound), the machine is effectively silent. It’s just late at night when all is quiet. Not a big deal.
    3) Yeah, Finder is now my #1 peeve with OS X. There’s just so much…dumb in it.
    4) Good idea!
    5) Nope, all local. It’s just Lightroom that’s slow, not the iMac. 😉