Julie’s Gadget Diary – Goodbye iMac, You Will be Missed

The title of this post didn’t make you think I was leaving Apple and going back to Windows, did it? It will be a cold day in … when that happens. ;) No folks, I’m still happy to be an Apple addict. But I’m bidding farewell to my 27″ iMac, because I’m trading it in for credit at Powermax.com. Although it’s still in prefect working order, it’s only a few weeks away from turning 3yrs old. Powermax is giving me a really good price for it, so I thought I should take advantage while I can. What will I use the credit for? 

My first thought was to use the credit on a 27″ cinema display. However, I changed my mind for two reasons. One reason is that if I was going to buy a cinema display, I’d want one with Thunderbolt. The only problem is that my Macbook Air doesn’t have Thunderbolt. But it wasn’t till I was talking to Rob about this idea that he made me realize how crazy and frivolous it would be to spend almost a grand on a monitor. He was completely right…

Now I’ve decided to take the trade in value for my iMac and just sit on it for awhile. My plan is to use my 2yr old 13″ Macbook Air as my main computer and wait awhile to use that credit to upgrade to a Macbook Pro or another Macbook Air with a retina display (hopefully) sometime next year. At that time, I’ll trade it in to Powermax too. The nice thing is that Powermax allows you to save your credit for up to one year. I’ve traded an iMac and a Macbook Pro to them before and have always had a good experience dealing with them.

I spent Sunday afternoon copying all my data off the iMac and on to an external drive. When I unplugged the iMac last night and boxed it up, it marked the end of an era for me. It will be the first time since I started using computers, that I won’t be using a desktop as my main machine. Back in the day I always had Windows desktops… mainly ones I had built myself. But in 2005, I switched to Apple and have been using an iMac since that time. I’ve had a Macbook Air for 2 yrs that I mainly used on the couch and on vacations. But now it’s going to be my one and only machine.

Going from a 27″ display down to a 13″ display is definitely going to require some adjustment. Luckily, I have 2 small USB monitors that I can use when I need extra screen space while working at my desk.

I just need a dock of some sort to give me some extra powered USB ports and Ethernet jack. Maybe this one from BookEndz would do the trick. Anyone have any experience with it? I know I’ll still want to use the MBA for couch surfing, so I need something to make it less annoying to unplug various cables when I want to grab it and go.

I think I’ll get along just fine with the MBA as my main computer and will probably wonder why I didn’t make the switch from desktop to laptop years ago.

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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Smythe Richbourg August 20, 2012, 5:07 pm

    I’ve just made the opposite move. I bought my first PowerBook in 1990 (140 – with 8 MB RAM and an 80 MG hard drive! Added a 14.4 modem. What a screamer!), and, due to the past two years’ experience with my iPad, have decided to replace my current MacBook Pro with a – you guessed it – 27″ iMac! Upgrading to the new iPad made that move seem much more sensible, so I just got the iMac this past weekend.

    Lovin’ it!

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  • Julie August 20, 2012, 5:22 pm

    @Smythe Congrats on the iMac. They are wonderful computers. I think I’ll be using my iPad more now. I’ll leave it by the couch to take over the tasks I was using my MBA for… mainly email and surfing while watching TV.

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  • Jackie Cheng August 20, 2012, 5:48 pm

    My main computer that I use daily now is my mid-2011 Macbook Air 11″. Love it for the extreme portability. Also I just ordered a fully loaded Macbook Pro Retina. Cost an arm, a leg and a kidney but I still can’t wait for it to get here…any day now…woohoo.

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  • Julie August 20, 2012, 5:54 pm

    @Jackie The 11″ MBA is popular. Dave Rees has one and Janet has been using her daughter’s for awhile and has been whining to me that she doesn’t want to give it back to her once school starts ;) I’m not sure I could make do with an 11″ display. Maybe if it was a retina display…

    Tonight is the first night that I’m not using the iMac (the UPS guy just picked it up) and the first thing I’m noticing is how quiet it is in my office. I always bragged about how quiet the iMac was, but my MBA doesn’t make any sound at all. I love it :)

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  • anson August 20, 2012, 6:46 pm

    i’ve been using a mid’11-inch upspecc’d MBA as well… Although the new 15″ retina pros look sexy- i find them still too big to be truly “portable”.
    A 13″ MBA-retina would hit the sweatspot ;)

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  • dave August 20, 2012, 9:26 pm

    I just bought a maxed out retina and thunderbolt display. I know you don’t have thunderbolt in your MBA, but the thunderbolt display acts as a doc via thunderbolt cable and magsafe adapter that connects your laptop to the display. Your ethernet, usb, firewire, and so on are all on the back of the display so no other cables need to be connected to your laptop. Further more you can use this as a dual monitor set up and have the added convenience of essentially having a desktop and laptop all in one without having to move files. I am loving it.

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  • JoeC August 20, 2012, 10:51 pm

    Julie – Tell me more about what USB monitors work well with the Mac Air. Thanks!

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  • P Lie August 20, 2012, 11:36 pm

    I’m thinking of buying a 21.5″ or a 27″ iMac, but I’m torn between waiting for the Retina Display iMac (which would probably come next year) and buying the new iMac (without Retina) which would probably released next month. I’m a med student, currently on my first year (I started in early August). Do you think I should buy the 21.5″ or 27″ iMac? And with or without Retina display? Thanks!

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  • Julie August 21, 2012, 7:23 am

    @dave yes, that’s exactly why I was first thinking of getting one :) I want all those features. But since I’m not upgrading my MBA right now to a model with Thunderbolt, I’m going to wait. For awhile. If I can. :)

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  • Julie August 21, 2012, 7:25 am

    @JoeC I can’t tell you yet because I don’t have a powered USB hub. Haven’t needed one in years. The two USB monitors that I reviewed with my iMac are:
    http://the-gadgeteer.com/2012/06/16/aoc-e1649fwu-led-usb-16-monitor-review/
    http://the-gadgeteer.com/2012/03/19/lenovo-thinkvision-lt1421-14-lcd-monitor-with-plastic-cover-review/

    @P Lie Go with the 27″ and I wouldn’t wait for the retina version. The iMac’s display is stellar as is.

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  • Rob Tillotson August 21, 2012, 10:08 am

    @PLie Expecting a Retina iMac next year is probably *very* overoptimistic, considering that LCD manufacturing is currently good enough to just barely make the 15″ quad-density panel affordable in quantities big enough to ship with a single, high end laptop model. The 27″ iMac is already a 2560×1440 IPS panel which is pretty much as good as it gets in the LCD display world today so just buy one and enjoy it…

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  • Yaniv C August 21, 2012, 5:52 pm

    G-d I wish I Knew what all the hub bub was.
    I own a MacBook Air and an iPad and an iPhone… I dont use any of them. I wish I did… or could. Every time I go to use the MBA I get so frustrated I feel like skinning an apple (hehehe funny). It makes absolutely no sense to me. My cousin is a rabid apple fan. “You can multi touch and pinch and zoom” … ” then use the gestures to switch desktops and …..” wtf?!?!
    Dude, Mouse, click, action, click, done.
    I know I know… its intuitive! No it isn’t….. its learned. “Only the nipple is intuitive. Everything else is learned.” – Bruce Ediger: This is 100% true.
    For now Im sticking ot my Win 7, Android phone and tablet… and when Microsoft Surface comes out…Ill be first in line :)

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  • Bob DeLoyd August 24, 2012, 4:29 am

    @Yaniv C
    Though I agree with you on some of what you mentioned, your delivery of it was a bit juvenile.
    Yes, you have fallen into a lair of Appleheads (and very nice ones at that) in this post, but let them have their fun.
    I have a MacBook, Newton, iPod Touch, iPad, iMac, and my favorite the ClamShell!!! They all still work fine :)
    But, mostly I’ve used throughout my computer life is Microsoft’s OS… DOS when it first came out, 95 , 98, 98SE, ME, 2000Pro, XP, and Win7… I like it; it works for me, as OSX whatever works for them. As I read your comment I felt a little uncomfortable :(

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  • Yaniv C August 24, 2012, 8:53 am

    @Bob really? Uncomfortable? Hmmmm. Well that was not my intention at all.
    Just in wonder of the… for lack of better words… zombie following apple has created.
    In actuality its rather amazing. Its obvious apple hit the bulls eye with iPhone, however I am truly awed at the loyalty any of their products generate, whether warranted or not, simply because of the moniker on the backside. Then again isn’t that how JLo got famous lol.
    Either way it was not my intention to insult anyone, I’m a software engineer by trade and I more than anyone know that bells and whistles are the users true joy.

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  • chocolateschips August 24, 2012, 9:02 am

    All this Apple rumors are driving me crazy. I will (definitely) buy iPad mini. But I’m torn between 21.5″ and 27″ iMac. The 27″ is a little bit big for my relatively small bedroom. But the specs between the 21.5″ and the 27″ have some big difference. I seriously need some advices!

    P.S. Should I change my iPhone 4 to iPhone 5?

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