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iMac comic

ln m, honeyfields, pqbon, and I got into a long discussion over the aesthetics of the new iMac (with some Powerbook tangents). This comic succinctly summarizes much of our 30 minutes of conversation, right down to the post-it notes.

I would also like to add that IMHO, it looks like the iMac got hit with the stupid stick (I'm sure Jay Leno likes it). I also boldly assert that this is the least user friendly computer design manufactured by any company (including PCs) in the past five years (no easily accessible USB ports, headphone jacks, or power button -- in fact, everything is equally inaccessible).

Any other praise/not-praise?

Comments (4)

kenji:

You know what? I'm going to go ahead and say I like it. It's simple and clean, etc. With a wireless keyboard/mouse, it'll be even cleaner. The last iMac was just as inaccessible, with all the jacks (including the on button) in the back. I don't think this one is any less of a hassle (it's still stupid, yes, they just didn't improve on an already stupid design). The only real problem I foresee is that if you do use a wired mouse/keyboard, it'll be a little weird since it's actually coming off of the back of the screen, and you're not going to get away from having to use a power cord, so no matter what, it's going to have something hanging off that thing.

M Author Profile Page:

As I said on Tuesday night, I actually don't mind the design of it too much. While the desktop footprint is close to the previous generation iMac, I like this design much more than the previous generation. While there isn't a whole lot of embellishment other than the "chin", the design is very simple, very clean, and very appealing.

The stand that the iMac is mounted on is removable, and so it can be attached to other arm-fixtures for work in other environments, which I think is very nice feature to have. While the ports on the back don't make a whole lot of sense (why not the sides?), with a wireless keyboard and mouse, along with an Airport Card, you have a cord minimalist's dream come true.

kwc Author Profile Page:

I don't know why I find this one that much more offensive, but I do. Perhaps its because I find the design to be sterile and devoid of character (unlike the anthropomorphic desk lamp iMac, which also had an added bonus in that the screen was height adjustable). Perhaps its because I strongly wanted to purchase an inexpensive Mac meeting my performance requirements, but find the physical design of this iMac completely unusable -- I wanted the Mac as a computer to interact with my digital devices, and this particular iMac interacts with physical devices poorly.

I think the distinction between this iMac and the desk lamp iMac comes in that this one is meant to be used with the bluetooth keyboard and mouse -- knowing that people would use it with bluetooth keyboards, they should have made extra effort to make it usable in this configuration. The desk lamp iPod hid the USB ports, but it was semi-excusable in that you could use the keyboard hub to plugin a USB flash drive. Seeing as I use a USB flash drive nearly everyday, I find it offensive when a computer makes this action difficult. Headphone jacks I'm slightly more forgiving on -- USB ports I'm not. I have to share files via USB all of the time and I don't want to have to turn around a computer just to plug and unplug it -- that's a design flaw. I also assume that iMac owners are going to have digital cameras with USB transfer cables. It seems to me that the very first thing one will have to do with this iMac is buy a separate USB hub, or, alternately, not purchase the recommended bluetooth kit.

Apple had made a huge mistake with the Ti Powerbooks when then hid the ports in back, a mistake which they corrected with the Al Powerbooks. I just find it mind-boggling that they could repeat the same mistake with the iMacs two generations in a row. Ports are how you interact with a computer physically, and they should be just as easy-to-use as the software on the computer. When you make the ports inaccessible, you decrease the ease with which the computer interacts with other physical devices.

One last note: if they put the ports on the side, this iMac could have been usable in a wall-mountable configuration without losing its ability to interoperate with other devices.

kenji:

I completely agree. I just see the mistakes as carry-overs, rather than new ones.

I think/thought it was stupid before when the ports weren't on the front. I mean, it's not a new concept, people! If Apple intends on marketing this thing as a hub for your digital lifestyle, then it needs to be a little bit more user friendly in that respect. Hell, put the stupid things on the bottom if you want to maintain the symmetry. And I thought about the wall-mount thing and how cool that would have been, and how they messed that up.

Still, for whatever reason, I like it better than the old ones (although I do like the swivel-headed monitor0.

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on September 3, 2004 11:00 AM.

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