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Mac melancholy

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3 problems with the iMac

The iMac is crap.

Every upgrade brings a decrease in basic functionality....

My iMac is a piece of crap. This makes me sad.

• The mouse factory-shipped with my (April 2009) iMac is ergonomically horrible, its design form-over-function. Its two main buttons are implicit and "hidden," activated by pressing either the left or the right side of the front of the mouse onto the work-surface. This means that the user must grasp the mouse underneath the chassis whilst lifting it, in order to keep the left "button" pressed, in any case in which a drag-and-drop action requires more than one motion. This is, of course, is often necessary.

This mouse has a multiplicity of features, including the pair of buttons on the sides which enable any one of the various customizable actions — but you have to squeeze the two sides of the mouse to perform this action. You have have to squeeze the sides of the mouse when lifting it for a two-motion drag-and-drop — which means that these two buttons must be disabled. Thus, they are useless after first being a nuissance.

It's ludicrous. One must disable a luxury feature to be able to lift the mouse off a surface by gripping it rather tightly in a motion that is awkward and, ergonomically, potentially harmful on repetition.

• The factory-issued abbreviated keyboard lacks the page-up, page-down buttons. This is contemptuous.

Navigating pages without page-up and page-down is awkward. The "work-around" requires a different set of two-key combinations for every application. (Even different browswers, for example, require different keyboard shortcut combos.) Memorization of these adaptations is complicated by the fact that if one is trying to use the machine to write for the internet, one must normally switch between a text-editor and at least one browser.

I bought an iMac in April 2009, after ten years of being away from Apple. The demise of Windows XP and the availability of only Vista forced me to do so. People whom I respect tell me that the iMac is a good machine, but I've been disappointed.

I sold this machine when I left Ireland in May of 2011, and returned to Windows in my native United States.

The writing process, too, suffers from the concentration-eroding effect of disgust.

• The machine re-dates files randomly. This is a kick in the balls. The practical implications are enormous.

• Any work-method based upon cycling through a folder by reference to most-recent modification is unreliable, at best.

• There is no way to refer with any confidence to the date of the creation of any item.

The iMac that I bought in April of 2009 decided that dozens of photographs were taken Wednesday, 31 December, 2003. I didn't even have a digital camera then — and I wasn't in Ireland, as depicted in many of these images.

The capricious and apparently-random date-stamping of material is a flaw that is unforgivable.
Whatever else this computer is, it's not a serious writing machine.