Archive for the ‘Macintosh’ Category

Apple iMac G5 review

Posted: March 18, 2006 in Macintosh

Yeah, yeah I know. You can’t get as much work done on a Mac as you get done on Windows. Totally different microprocessor architecture and the fact that it was always meant for the well heeled due to its astronomical pricing as compared to its Windows counterparts. But one look at the form and all this just fades into insignificance. Price be damned! Today I’ll be reviewing my friends Dads Apple iMac G5 who is a professional photographer and has been using Macs since er.. a long time.(imagine when a kid of like 13 sees a computer like the Tangerine!!!!)

I admit he had this Mac since some 6 or so months and there have 2 developments to it. Why the time gap you ask??? Cos I wasn’t bitten by the reviewing bug back then. Enough crap talk lets get on with the review already.

Looks

Steve Jobs (Stevie, if you will) has always kept his company at the forefront of design and the most jaw dropping designs usually come from his stables. And more often than not, they look sexy all the time. Even when they are not working!
This one’s no exception. Its got clean yet sophisticated looks. The whole CPU, the DVD-RW are integrated right into that 2 inch thick LCD panel!!! I know u fell of your chair. Relax, drink some water and start reading the review again.

Hardware

IPB Image

It’s got a 2GHz proccy with a bus speed of 667MHz and 2GB (!) of RAM. Also a 250GB HDD to store all your data.
There is also a DVD-RW that literally supports all DVD formats. DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, dual layer media. Smart.

IPB Image

And the things got an ATI Radeon 9600 chipset! Very much necessary for that slick looking interface (we’ll come to that later).
On the connectivity front its got USB 2.0, Firewire, AirPort Express. Bluetooth & Infrared. I had no problems in pairing my cell phone with the Mac (Techtree.com had reported that the LG M4410 had a problem with connecting with PC’s. No such antics here). Also there is a stereo speaker

OS and Interface
This beauty is based on Mac OS 10.4.4 and the interface is visually very appealing. The way the icons dance in the side bar, the way a window minimizes. All of them are very slick. Also from this version on Apple employed widgets for different apps and uses. There was a small commotion when it was launched saying that it could be an entry point for a hacker. But all that doesn’t matter much when you launch a widget from the Dashboard. There is a ripple kinda effect when you launch it and when u minimize or close it. Looks delicious for an effects starved Windows XP user like me.
Also the dock is damn useful, but you can get an almost similar for Windows, courtesy MobyDock or something similar. BTW it’ll show the whole video preview tucked away smartly in the sidebar.
Here is a screenshot

IPB Image

Performance
This is what the Macs are famous for; hardware that works so well when integrated together that they would give Bill Gates and co. fair bouts of insomnia. The only Windows comparable app I could fire up was Photoshop CS2 and so I did. And it was pretty fast for a 2Gig proccy. Plugins and all.
The library of games too is very small for the Mac’s, and hence I couldn’t test the ATI Radeon to its full potential.
But to be fair to the Mac, if it were possible to install Windows over this piece of sexy machinery, I am sure it would have easily humbled a few 2.2 – 2.4Gig processors(Any Benchmarks around?? i'd love to put it to test again). Its that good.

Final Verdict
This is one helluva machine if all your work involves is Photoshopping and playing around with MS Office files. It may be pricey but then , hey, exclusivity is priceless, innit?

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iPod Shuffle Review

Posted: November 8, 2005 in Macintosh

K.I.S.S. Before you jump to any conclusions, let me tell you that maybe this is Apple’s policy when it comes to iPods. It is “Keep It Simple Stupid?. And more often than not this policy works. How about a little drift? Remember the BMW 7 Series that had the iDrive. It was absolutely horrid and required you to have the brain of someone out of the MIT. Joking of course, but you get the picture. Customers were very angry with all the complexity involved. This kills the brand value to quite an extent.
That’s where Apple steps in, not to simplify the iDrive in BMW’s but to revolutionize the way we listen to music. I held the iPod Shuffle in my hands and was just like an oversized piece of candy. Yet so majestic and clean and I just don’t believe how I can keep ranting about a thing that has just 3 buttons and a switch! That’s called Apple magic!

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Design
Absolutely clean, simple and intuitive. (Duh, Apples always are!). Easily turns heads. Even Dad, who isn’t such a technophile (a technophobe if you will, hates inflation), could easily operate it. And this was the first time he operated a flash based music player. Speaks volumes about the guys at Apple who just wanna keep it simple. Very easy to make something complex and screw it all up. Not so easy to make it simple. That’s a job for the elites.

Build Quality
Feels nice to hold. Its feather light at just 22gms (!). And it snugly fits in your palm. Plus they have a neck string which also doubles up as a cover to the USB port. You can sling it on to your neck and you can hardly feel the weight. Ironic when you are playing “Heavy Metal? on the Pod.

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“The? Click wheel
It’s just like the ones on the bigger iPods and it has just been made smaller. Although it feels mildly tacky (that’s because you just don’t feel you have clicked on the larger ones) in this application, it’s very good and offers good tactile feedback. I’m loving it.

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Sound Quality
Do you need me to tell you that the music qualities of iPods are just awesome? The earphones provided are better than anything I have ever heard before. Crisp and smooth. Close your eyes and you’d be mistaken that you are in the Sea of Tranquility. I tried listening to almost all sorts of genres and it is just unbelievable how you keep listening to new beats because other players just won’t play some minute sounds.
I was testing a 512MB iPod Shuffle so at around 4MB per song you should be able to add 100+ songs. So 200 of your favorites could go in the bigger 1GB model.

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Features and performance
Er… it can play music. That’s all. Plus it’ll double up as your data companion. Oh, yes there are 2 play modes. “Serial? and “shuffle?. Plus a LED that tells you about how much juice it’s left with until the next recharge, which is 6-8 hrs of non stop music btw.
On the downside, there is no screen! At this price I do expect it to also have goodies like an FM receiver and a voice recorder thrown in for good measure. A chewed apple logo and a cool design don’t keep everybody happy. Though my friend who loaned his Shuffle to me for some time, said the screen is not really necessary. Maybe he’s memorized the play list and worked out the algorithm to the shuffling thingy. Yeah, right.
Oi Apple, the next time you guys are on an update spree, remember to add a screen on this new fixation of mine.
Also iTunes sucks. Why didn’t they just allow us to drag and drop files from the computer?? But hell no, we choose, it converts, it sends and then and only then will I hear the song from the Shuffle.

Affirmative!
+Its an iPod!
+Light & Tiny!
+Very good sound quality
+Good battery life

Negative
-Expensive
-No screen
-1GB max capacity
-No FM radio, voice recorder
-iTunes (Friend calls it “suck age?)

Price
7000 for the 512MB version (just missed a heartbeat)

Conclusion
Not exactly VFM and there are other players that have more than twice the features but having an iPod is great flaunt value. Awesome sound quality too. So it’s a wrap.
Tell me what you thought about the review. Anything I missed out on?