Switching to Mac Part 3: The Unboxing

This post is part of a series of posts about switching to a Mac – here are links to all the posts:

Apple I’ll start by saying there are no photos here, and no videos.  Sorry.  I’m sure that’s been done plenty of times before.

I’ve unboxed a pretty good share of new PCs from various makes.  It’s mostly a pleasant enough experience, though there’s usually that big chunk of time at the end removing all the crapware that’s been preinstalled for your convenience.

So, how is opening an iMac different?

Well, the box was quite well designed, with the introductory bits sitting neatly at the top, so you get to them before the computer, but that’s not too unusual.  I was a bit puzzled by one of the little CD-sized packages, which turned out to be a plain black microfibre polishing cloth, with a small embossed Apple logo.  A simple extra, but nice.  Gives you a little message up front that you’ll be wanting to look after this machine, and care for it, rather than just agreeing to lots of EULAs.

The machine itself was heavy.  Especially considering that at the moment, it’s just sitting on a folding table that wobbles rather more than I’d like.  The power cable plugs neatly into the back, and has a ring around it that fits flushly with the back of the machine, to make it look more like a hard-wired cable.  There are a few other sockets, but nothing else was needed to get it going, as my keyboard and mouse were wireless, and it has WiFi built in.

On powering on, the machine seemed to know it should have a wireless keyboard and mouse.  It displayed a couple of diagrams, showing me where to put the batteries in my mouse, and how to switch it on.  Once I’d done that, it found the mouse, and a ‘next’ button appeared.  It found the keyboard without much trouble, though I don’t think it actually explained where to put the batteries and find the power button in that case.  It wasn’t difficult.

I told it what account to set up, and confirmed that I didn’t have another Mac to migrate from, and I was pretty much done.  There are apps preinstalled that I may never use, but it isn’t full of demo versions and crap nobody would ever want.

The main impression I had on having it all set up and running at home, after seeing it in the store, was that it was big.  It didn’t look small in the store, but in our living room, it really looks big.  I guess it’s not long ago that 24″ would have been a pretty impressive size for a TV set for a family to watch from the other side of the room.  Now I’m sitting at a screen that size to work and play.

The odd thing is that if anything, I seem to have more desk space spare than when I was using a small notebook PC.  It’s a big screen, but a small footprint on the desk.  The keyboard is tiny, and when I’m not using them, the keyboard and mouse can both sit on top of the ‘foot’ the machine stands on.  It’s all very neat.

I’ll continue soon with more thoughts on how I’ve settled in to using a Mac after I’d had a bit more time to get used to it.

4 thoughts on “Switching to Mac Part 3: The Unboxing

  1. Well done. I would be surprised if you regret this move. I moved to Macs 4 years ago and wish that I had done it earlier. Out of four people in the house there are now 3 mac owners with a MacBook Pro, Powerbook, iMac 20″ and a Mac Mini. I still support PCs at work though :o(

    Macs may be more expensive, but you get what you pay for in the end!


  2. Welcome to the Mac world. I switched about 6 years ago to the 15″ iMac on the stainless steel arm but 12 months ago got a 24″ Aluminium iMac as well and it occupies hardly any space compared to the previous iMac.

    I notice you have just bought a hard disk as well – I use SuperDuper! from http://www.shirt-pocket.com/ for backup – it does incremental bootable backups so you can have an image of your machine to carry around and use with a third party Mac.

    If you haven’t used Mac OS X and its Aqua interface before you may have some questions – feel free to ask. I assume you have discovered System Preferences and enabled Fast User switching and adjusted your Mouse preferences to your taste.

  3. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the tips. I hadn’t enabled fast user switching, but I have now. It should make it easier if Sam wants a bit of a play – she’s on Windows Vista now.

    I’m using Time Machine for backups at the moment. I don’t have a spare Mac, or know anyone with one, so a bootable backup would be of limited use. Time Machine is so easy that I actually have backups now, though, which is quite an improvement.

    I’ve got DropBox going, which makes for a handy way of making files accessible elsewhere. Now all I need to do is stop playing Age of Empires III for long enough to actually create any files…

  4. Pingback: PigPog » Switching to Mac Part 4: In Use

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