Pros User-friendly PC running a Unix-based OS is a dream. Hardware is gorgeous.
Cons OS X should make better use of unix groups
Summary I just bought my first Mac, the 20-inch G5 (as my buddy put it, if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly). It's running OS X Tiger, and I didn't add any options except for the Apple Care support (mostly out of squeamishness that if my monitor goes, my PC goes with it). Our previous PC was a circa 2000, 800MHz Compaq running Windows ME of all things, so we were due to be impressed. I've long been a Microsoft OS hater (I primarily use Unix (Solaris) and Linux (SuSE) at work). I have a couple of friends with Macs, and seeing that OS X is Unix-based lit a fire in my belly. Once I decided to finally go and spend some money to replace our 4.5-year-old relic PC, I figured it was high time I put my money where my mouth is, and made the "switch".
Reading reviews of the previous G5 iMac configuration, it sure looked like Apple made amends by rolling in so many previously optional components (wireless, more RAM, GigEthernet), with a $100 price cut to boot. Though I don't have a wireless router at home, I brought my laptop home from work and was able to immediately (and I mean immediately) connect through my iMac as a proxy and hit the internet. Wanting to password-protect the connection, I figured out how to do this in about 20 seconds. This seems to be a recurring theme with this thing--when you decide you want to do something, you type it into spotlight and just do it. The spotlight feature is literally going to change the way I use a computer.
I have a laundry list of things to do which I haven't gotten around to yet, like hooking up my video camera (which may require a RAM boost) and getting all my photos imported from our old PC. I really like that my wife will be able to use this in all the ways she needs to, while I can do the sysadmin thing on the side as needed. While Unix is in no way a prereq for using a Mac, I think it will come in useful as time goes by. I should get my wife to write a review here for her side of the story, though!
The only disappointment I've had is with the overly protective hiding of the user and group configurations. When you create a new user, the system creates a new group with the same name and with that user as the only member. This entirely defeats the purpose of having groups. I'd like to keep separate logons for my wife, myself, and our daughter, with all of our preferences, email accounts, bookmarks, etc. But I'd like for us to be able to share certain things (like music) with defined subsets of the family (things for just the adults, things for just the kids, things for both). An easy way to do this would be with group permissions, creating different groups for "parents" and "family". But there's no obvious way to do this, and the Unix backdoor is much different than what I'd do in Linux or Solaris. Probably something I should submit to Apple support, to see if they have any suggestions.
But this is really a minor quibble. On the whole, I've been able to make use of the Unix aspects right out of the box (e.g. for file manipulation and running an X Server to connect to other Unix machines). It's great being able to fall back on that stuff when it's needed.
All in all, I'd say that if you're a Unix/Linux user, even a power user, you should absolutely throw away your Windows PC (or even shelf your Linux PC) and get a Mac. It's got all the advantages of a well-maintained, popular, and complete OS, with a Unix core that will give you warm and fuzzies. If you don't even know what Unix is, you'll have a different experience, but judging from other user reviews I've read, you'll still be much happier than you ever were on a PC.
Pros FAST! No viruses, no spyware, no hassles, beautiful display, easy to use, did i mention FAST?
Cons None that i can see. I got rid of the apple mouse for a two-button Logitech one just because i'm used to it.
Summary This computer rules. I've been a PC guy all my life and recently bought an iBook G4. I loved it so much that i decided to get an iMac because my desktop was just falling apart from age and hassles with viruses/spyware/etc. I couldn't have made a better choice.
This computer is simple to use right out of the box. All the peripherals hooked up immediately without any hassles. I love the USB ports on both the monitor and the keyboard. The display is just astonishingly bright and crisp, and i'm very picky about what i look at.
The Tiger OS is the best thing since teenage sex. It blows Windows away for usability and speed. I can't say enough good things about it.
If you're a PC guy like i used to be, get this iMac. You'll never look back. I will never buy another PC again as long as Apple keeps making products like this.
"I just took delivery of my new iMac G5 20-inch and I have yet to tap all of it's potential, but WOW!"on by Richard Hastings
Pros The 20" widescreen display is wonderful for viewing several windows at once, and it doesn't make me go blind! The power and speed easily outdo my old G4 PowerMac.
Cons I haven't found any cons yet!
Summary My new iMac was ordered with the optional wireless mouse and I also upgraded to 2 gigs of ram and a 400 gig harddrive. This has increased my internet connection speed from around 450 kbps to *****! Awesome download speeds!
All this and in much less space on my desk than my old G4.
I also opted for the Applecare package. I felt that with the considerable investment I was already making it was well worth the money.
The 20 inch LCD display is bright and crystal clear and wonderful for looking at several windows at once. It also doesen't make me go blind like my old display used to after only 12 or 14 hours. There may be a downside to this as I'm now spending even more time in one session on the computer.
The unit is a bit pricey but when you compare the usual reliability of Macs to the average Windows PC (no, this is not a slam at the sieve-like Windows technology (ok, maybe it is)) the lack of costly down-time will quickly make up for the price difference!
All-in-all I am a very happy camper!
Pros Design, easy to use, easy to set up, great for small work areas, clutter free
Cons Haven't found one yet
Summary Whenever you tell a fellow PC user that you're switching to MAC, they usually say "But it's a PC world!" Well, the number one selling vehicle in the country is a pickup truck. Does that mean I should go buy another one, or, opt for a BMW instead? The iMac G5 compared to Windows is a Bimmer next to an F-150. The 20 inch widescreen is brilliant, the ergonomics are perfect, the graphics are far superior to what the Gates Gang offers, the wireless mouse and keyboard make the computer look just too simple and streamlined on a computer desk to be believed. I've been using my G5 for about a month now and still find more unique things about the operation almost every time I log on. I advise anyone who's thinking about making the switch from PC to MAC to definately GO FOR IT! Using it, compared to my old Windows 2000, is like the difference between just commuting to work on the freeway or taking a scenic cruise up the coast on vacation. I'd advise spending the few hundred extra bucks and upgrade to the maximum RAM and memory, wireless keyboard and mouse and 20 inch screen. What you'll get is a MAC that you'll just want to be in front of, that works beautifully and will be state of the art for the next decade. It's fabulous in every way (and just about ZERO worm and virus worries!!) and the operation is not that much different from a PC that you may be used to and it's much more user friendly!! Try it, you'll never be sorry.
Pros Display and video/photo capabilities. 2 Internet sessions side by side
Cons One button mouse impossible to get used to
Summary I would highly recommend. This was a halo purchase after great experience with my iPod. Went to ask a question about my iPod left with a G5.This monitor is unbelievable. The resolution is so detailed I can't get over just looking at it.