David Stewart wrote to let me know that Apple wants to hear from people like me. Here is what I wrote to them, which counts as a summary of the story so far, except with fewer mice:
You ask on your website for PC users who are considering buying a Mac, or who have just bought their first Mac, to get in touch.
I've just bought an iMac; I've been a (satisfied) PC user for a decade. I bought it because we bought a digital video camera just before Christmas and were having trouble finding a PC based DV editing solution. With the iMac, from a standing start, it took only a few hours to edit down an hour of DV tape and create a fine DVD of short movies of my kids. Using a cheap DV editing package on the PC, it took much longer to edit a quarter of the tape; the resulting movie showed clear quality degradation from the original (with no hints as to how to correct it), and of course no DVD. I appreciate there may be a limited audience interested in movies of my darling babies, but it works for me. This was what the iMac was bought for, and it entirely justifies itself on that alone.
The iMac is being added to my existing PC network; I'm not finding that entirely easy. I work, and have kids, and a social life, and charity and other commitments, and the tinkering with the computer time has to fit in around all of those things. So although I've had it for a couple of weeks now, I still don't have a printer directly connected, and I can't print across the network. I need to take an evening to just spend futzing about with the printers, working out what setup will suit us best. There are several other things like that; where I just need to take some time to get things straightened out, and it might take a few months to find the time.
Although the iMac's good in lots of ways, there are things I'm finding it hard to find a substitute for -- most notably, Agent, the combined newsreader and e-mail programme I use. I also haven't yet worked out what the Mac text editor for me is. There's no great hurry for finding solutions here. My husband and I replace a computer every two years or so. We have a desktop each, and a laptop each, and now an iMac; so if we started now it would be nearly a decade before we switched over to Macs completely. Few PC applications have no Mac equivalent at all.
We might be seduced by the Mac side of the Force. There are many, many things that are better about the iMac; I like the way that things tend to work well and in obvious ways, without having to fret about them. And of course it's beautiful and well-made. Even simple things such as having a log-in screen with little pictures of the four of us delight me; even non-reading kids can log in to their own tailor-made desktop.
I worried slightly about non-upgradability before buying the machine, eventually concluding that I had spent enough time lying on the floor with a screwdriver in my hand upgrading dusty PCs, and I wouldn't actually miss it. We shall see.
It is already clear that I am not about to adjust to a mouse with no scroll wheel. Please make a beautiful optical mouse with buttons and a wheel.
I'm writing a weblog specifically about my experiences with the iMac, and the process of migration. It's at http://www.kittywompus.com/macadamia/. You're very welcome to go and look at it.
I'm entirely happy to answer other questions.
In other news, the mice were very noisy the other day. I eventually realised that this was because they were excavating a second mousehole, this time in the study. Greedy little beggars. I couldn't get at the underside of the storage unit they were invading, so I've shoved a half-inch thick piece of chipboard over where I think the hole must be. It appears to have stopped them for the time being.
I did my other standard mouse rant to Dr Plokta, who was over here helping me work on 'A Bijou Ploktette', the mini-fanzine we're handing out at Helicon, and the website for our convention in June. This one doesn't involve fur, or holes, at all, and runs something like this. Microsoft made the best mouse ever with the first version of the Intellimouse with Intellieye. I have always liked their asymmetric Intellimice, despite being left-handed, but they've discontinued them. Now I still have to pay extraordinary amounts of money to buy an MS optical mouse, and it isn't even the right shape. Dr P listened to this, and being obsessed with Ebay at present, suggested I go and look. There was the exact mouse I'm after, with one bid on it at a fiver, auction ending four hours later. I eventually got it for a little over £10. I must do this more often.
I also had a specially stressful day on Friday, undergoing a 'written exercise' as part of an attempt to get promoted at work. Now, I write complex material for a living. Do it all the time. But they led me into a little room, gave me a range of background papers, and asked me to write a concise but thorough report about a whole range of issues. The UI was dreadful, consisting of a 'pen' and multiple sheets of 'paper'. I can't begin to describe how primitive this system is. My normal writing technique was useless, as I struggled with these paragraphs that I couldn't shift around the page, and infelicitous sentences that I couldn't sharpen up afterwards. Put my problems with getting used to the iMac into perspective, let me tell you.
1:20:23 AM comment