Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

Mac attack

My G5 came a day earlier than expected! Apple bumped me from two-day shipping to priority overnight, perhaps because they were just shipping within the state. Fortunately, boyziggy was already borrowing a van for other business and so we were able to get it home last night.

The box was beautiful (see Mark Morford's SF Chronicle column on Apple packaging), but this machine is heavy! In contrast to the relatively lightweight monitor that came earlier, I could barely carry the box from my office down the hall to the lobby. Ziggy dragged it up the stairs to our apartment while I sat in the van with the blinkers on (I do wish we had our own parking space, but I refuse to pay $175/month for the privilege).

I love the way the monitor integrates with the computer. It doesn't need a separate power cord or any controls to adjust the display (except a brightness button, which just opens the corresponding setting on the computer). I plugged the monitor into the Mac and the keyboard into one of the two USB ports on the monitor. Then I touched the flat power button on the monitor, which glowed and started up not only the monitor, but the computer too!

The keyboard and optical mouse work fine and integrate nicely with the monitor visually. I can't deal with a one button mouse though, so I have a Kensington Expert Mouse trackball on order. One other annoyance is that you have to use the keyboard eject key to open the SuperDrive (CD-RW/DVD-R) tray. The tray itself looks pretty flimsy too. But otherwise the whole setup is quite elegant, even though all the ventilation holes cause people to compare the machine to a cheese grater.

I copied over most of my files, but didn't have the energy to reinstall applications, so I decided to power down for the night. Normally you're supposed to shut down from the Apple menu, but on my G4 I can power down using the switch on the keyboard, so I thought I'd try that with the switch on the monitor. The clock stopped and the mouse froze, but the power remained on. I tried using the power button on the computer itself. Then the fans kicked in.

This big tall heavy box has nine fans to keep it cool. It was perfectly quiet while I was copying files, but after the attempted shutdown, this scary box started generating so much wind that I thought it was going to take off or blow up. I remembered reading something about this situation on Macintouch, but I was too tired and frazzled to look it up on my other computer. I consulted the manual, pressed and held the power button for a few seconds, and finally got it turned off. Later I turned it back on and shut down from the Apple menu just to insure I didn't break the silly thing.

I should finish setting everything up tonight. Ziggy will inherit my G4, and thus hopefully be converted to the Macintosh Way.

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