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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Deterrents to iMac Purchase


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MarkOlsen

 
Member Since: Apr 23, 2012
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I don't know if I would really count as a switcher because I have an old MacBook, but I am considering replacing my Dell desktop with an iMac. There are several reasons why switching to an iMac for my desktop is an appealing idea, and it seems like the upcoming model would be a good time to jump back into the Apple world, if it does indeed feature a non-reflective screen, which I find preferable to the shiny displays Apple has been sporting. However, I do have some reservations about buying a new Mac, and I'd like to get just a little bit of feedback on my complaints.

Much of my trepidation stems from the direction that Apple has taken over the past few years. I think my favorite Apple machine was the eMate (not sure how many people remember that green thing); maybe its nostalgia for my youth, but I remember it feeling study and usable, yet somehow innovative and fun. That was more or less the opinion I had of Apple as a company as well. I don't get that opinion any more. Now Apple feels like a gadget company that markets to hipsters.

So how does this translate to an actual purchase decision? Well, I want to buy a computer for serious work, not a 27" iPad. I'm torn between seeing Apple as a company that makes high-quality, compact, attractive computers, and the image of Apple as a fashion-over-substance company committed to invading every aspect of human life with some additional toy, while simultaneously eradicating the concept of personal computing.

And this isn't even to mention the "Big Brother" complex Apple seems to have developed. Another troubling thing to me is the integration of "the cloud" into everything (which frankly is feeling forced at this point); from what I understand, Mountain Lion is supposed to require to user log into iCloud when turning on his computer (please, correct me if I'm wrong on this point). This bothers me because, presumably, if I get a new iMac, it will come with the newest OS installed, and I really don't have any interest in iCloud integration. Of course, more troublesome than the actual issue of iCloud itself is that Apple can just force compliance on all new users (if I am correct in the understanding that this is required of all Mountain Lion users).

So really my concern is this: I want a computer which will allow me to work, at a desk, using a mouse, and saving my files on my own hard drive, and while I suspect that this will still be possible on a 2012 iMac, I get the feeling that this is exactly the sort of thinking that Apple sees as a problem for their master plan, and is therefore scheduled for elimination. While I still think that Apple makes compact machines that offer performance and efficiency with innovative designs, I'm not sure if I can really jump on board with a company which I find more disgusting with each passing year.

PCs, despite their disadvantages, seem to offer a bit more freedom, while Macs demand conformity -- this wasn't so much of a problem back when Apple was known for high-end computers that were often associated with education and graphic design, but as they slowly morph into the manufacturing front for iTunes/App Store, I'm not sure if I'm willing to fall in line.
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J.Fo

 
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[F]rom what I understand, Mountain Lion is supposed to require to user log into iCloud when turning on his computer (please, correct me if I'm wrong on this point).
Totally wrong. Nothing forces you to use iCloud in Mountain Lion.

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So really my concern is this: I want a computer which will allow me to work, at a desk, using a mouse, and saving my files on my own hard drive...
And these are all things you will be able to do with a new iMac under Mountain Lion.

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I get the feeling that this is exactly the sort of thinking that Apple sees as a problem for their master plan, and is therefore scheduled for elimination.
I don't think that's the case at all. Yes, iCloud integration is going to be a major part of Apple's plans moving forward, but this is also the case with pretty much every major technology company. Apple seems to be heading toward a future where we continue to use native apps on our devices, with cloud-based services keeping them all in sync across different devices. You'll still be able to save all your data on a local hard drive  and there are many reasons why this is preferable at this point versus saving to the cloud but the cloud stuff is there if you want to use it.

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While I still think that Apple makes compact machines that offer performance and efficiency with innovative designs, I'm not sure if I can really jump on board with a company which I find more disgusting with each passing year.
So, you have an entire post in which you lay out why you don't want an iMac. Can you give us any reasons why you do want one?

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chas_m

 
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Have fun with Windows. I'm sure they will NEVER do any of the things you've outlined in your (completely wrongheaded) post.
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TBABill

 
Member Since: Apr 05, 2012
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If you truly find Apple to be disgusting as you described in your post, have you considered switching your allegiance? You can buy a quality PC and run Linux on it, giving you the freedom to choose in just about every way imaginable. Conversely, if you really enjoy using Mac products and believe in the benefits they offer, learning more about the most current offerings would help you decide if they truly offer what you want. I get the impression you may misunderstand iCloud in terms of what its purpose is and how you can use it to your advantage (or not use it at all), but there are similar cloud offerings from many services and even other operating systems (Ubuntu One comes to mind) and none force you to use them.
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Ghost Rider

 
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Welcome mr Mark Olsen like you my first memories of an apple computers was a long time ago with the 2E and I have been a PC user since 97. Although having very good luck with my PCs through the years I always wanted to go back to Apple for stability reasons and for a good comp to do music and video editing on.

I went with an IMac not too long ago and loving it. My poor old Sony Vaio is sad sitting in my closet but I found a new love in my life and I doubt I will go back to a PC.

Newbie of the year 2011
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MarkOlsen

 
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Thank you for the responses.

To answer the question as to why I would want a Mac (given my distaste for Apple's new direction): Apple does a few things that no other company seems to get right, for example, the all-in-one. The iMac is an all-in-one that actually offers some real computing power and a decent-looking screen. By contrast, most other computer brands tend to produce plastic machines with low performance specs, all paired with a cheap TN screen. The iMac is very possibly the best all-in-one computer on the market at the moment.

Something tells me that if I get an iMac, I will feel very much like Ghost Rider: I loved my old Apple computers, and I'll love my new Mac, though possibly for different reasons.

Thanks to J.Fo for correcting me on the iCloud integration in Mountain Lion. Based on some of the early reviews I got the impression that signing up for iCloud was mandatory.

The problem with Apple is that if you dislike their approach to something, you don't really have any option; there is this tendency to see the future as predetermined: this is the future, if you disagree, you are wrong. I've always liked Apple computers (even when I bought a Dell), but it just seems to me like Apple is leaning more and more away from computers, and becoming something entirely new. I'm sure people will rave about their new iTVs and will want all their media delivered, managed, and stored by some kind of huge Apple conglomerate, but I'm just wanting a decent desktop computer.
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mrplow

 
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The problem with Apple is that if you dislike their approach to something, you don't really have any option; there is this tendency to see the future as predetermined: this is the future, if you disagree, you are wrong. I've always liked Apple computers (even when I bought a Dell), but it just seems to me like Apple is leaning more and more away from computers, and becoming something entirely new. I'm sure people will rave about their new iTVs and will want all their media delivered, managed, and stored by some kind of huge Apple conglomerate, but I'm just wanting a decent desktop computer.
I wouldn't get bogged down in this and I disagree with your first sentence. True, there are instances where it's better to do something the way it was designed. In many cases this can be the best way and sometimes opens you up to thinking about things from another angle. I do, however, believe that that the designed approach doesn't always suit an individuals style, requirement or workflow.
But that's OK. There are always alternatives. You do have options.
Whether that's a Finder replacement, adding your own content into iTunes, using Microsoft products, using yahoo mail etc etc.
I had two MacBooks before buying an iMac. I also had a self-built mid-range gaming PC.
The choice to spend nearly 2000 on an iMac was a big one, but not one I regret for a minute. The screen is unsurpassed, the design and build quality superb. The eco-system and software is excellent. Do I do everything 'the Apple way' no. Do I try to, mostly.

Throw the tin-foil hat away and look again at the iMac. As a desktop computer does it do everything you need it to do? Does it do it better than it's competition? If you're answering no to either of questions then it's not the right fit for you.

All imho.

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MarkOlsen

 
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Just for clarification: I suspect that my saying, "you don't really have an option," seemed a bit to broad a statement. I was more generally referring Apple's approach to hardware rather than software. For example, the classic case of BluRay. Even though, considering the Apple iPhone prior to jail-breaking, one might think that the idea of Apple-approved software only might be appealing to Apple.

While I might be painting the image of Apple in somewhat disparaging light, I hardly think that this is really in tin-foil hat territory: Apple has shifted its focus to more gadget-like devices, and Apple is clearly trying to stake out some territory in the media-provider industry.

As for the iMac, I'm still leaning toward buying one. I suspect that my concerns stem from not knowing what the 2012 refresh will be like, and given the chatter online, I can't help but think that it will be another step toward something like a big iPad, rather than a traditional desktop. I actually suspect that it will not be all that different from the 2011 iMac, but all the "Well, that's where it is all headed anyway" comments have started to get to me.
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Oneironaut

 
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Please don't be fooled by iOS devices. The iMac is far from a big iPad, though many iOS features have been implemented in OS X. My four-year-old Macbook Pro is more of computer than my old Windows desktop was and I still get plenty of use out of it. It encodes video many hours a day every day and is still as fast as the day I got it.

Macs integrate with iPads, iPods and iCloud very nicely, but you're not forced to use any of them.

If you're really bent on customizing your hardware, it can be done on most things on an iMac, but it won't be easy or covered by Apple. There are sites like iFixit that shows you how to upgrade some parts if you're really that determined. For the most part though, you probably won't need to replace or upgrade anything other than the RAM. They're designed to work well with the hardware they have. If you want a Mac with ultimate expandability, get a Mac Pro. In any case, by the time you really need to upgrade something like graphics or HDD, you will probably want a newer model anyway. Macs hold their value pretty well, and even if an older model no longer suits your needs, it will definitely suit someone else's. Selling it shouldn't be a problem, then you can put that money towards a newer one.

Aside from Blu-Ray, I can't think of any ways that Apple is restricting. People think of their iOS standards, but again, a Mac isn't an iDevice. There is a really great developer community out there making tons of great third party applications you can customize your Mac with.

You'll only know after using a Mac, so just go for it, buy it and get the hang of it. Apple isn't bamboozling people into buying their products... people love to use products that work well, look great and do exactly what they want with a minimum of fuss. I resisted getting a Mac until I absolutely had to for work. I was an Apple-flaming Windows user. Now I can't imagine ever making Windows my primary OS again!
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J.Fo

 
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Even though, considering the Apple iPhone prior to jail-breaking, one might think that the idea of Apple-approved software only might be appealing to Apple.
It also appeals to anyone who doesn't want to have to worry about installing malware on their phones and tablets.

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Apple has shifted its focus to more gadget-like devices
The way I see it, Apple has not transformed into some gadget company. It's that the face of computing has changed. It's no longer dominated by traditional laptop and desktop machines, but by these smaller, more portable, more personal devices like the iPad and the iPhone. Welcome to the post-PC world.

Here's a thought: Buy the iMac and install Windows on it via Boot Camp. Then you can have the awesome hardware, but don't have to put up with Apple's oppressive ways if you don't like them.

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