New iMac desktop workstation takes shape

Posted on by Mike Evans

The new iMac arrived right on cue early Monday morning and it was soon installed and running¹. After using the 24in Cinema Display alongside my 11in MacBook Air and MacBook Pro over the past year I’ve become addicted to lots of screen real-estate. Now I’ve got it in spades with a 27in-screen computer and the Cinema Display in tandem.

I have two desks in my study, one facing a blank wall and the other, a narrower affair under a south-facing window. It’s built-in furniture so there was no chance of moving it. But it does have the big advantage of being long—long enough to take computer, monitor, iPad in dock and various peripherals. I know placing a computer under a sunny window isn’t ideal, but I’ll just have to make full use of the venetian blind. Since this is England, we don’t have to struggle with sunshine every day, though.

Here’s what you see:

  1. iPad 2 on iPad dock, connected to a 10w power unit (rather than a USB port). I reviewed the iPad Dock here.
  2. Bowers & Wilkins mm-1 speakers (the right-hand unit is unfortunately hidden behind the Cinema Display). These speakers are ideal for the desktop. They sound great and they’re self-contained without the need for a large base unit under the desk.
  3. iPhone 4 in Piel Frama’s Magnum leather case.
  4. The new 27in iMac—the fastest 3.4GHz processor, a modest upgrade in memory from 4 to 8GB, no SSD drive.
  5. Apple Wireless keyboard linked to the LMP Bluetooth Keypad which I absolutely love. To the right is the Apple Magic Trackpad (but not physically connected to the keyboard/keypad unit).
  6. Moshi USB and Firewire hub which manages a strong performance without the need for an external power source.
  7. Apple Magic Mouse
  8. Black egg-shaped remote control for the B&W mm-1 speakers.
  9. Apple 24-in Cinema Display, a bit long in the tooth but still pristine and perfectly functional.
  10. Hidden behind the Cinema Display is an Elgato Eyetv Diversity USB stick with dual tuners (responsible for the television picture on the monitor).
  11. To the far right is a glimpse of my trusty old Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner which is the hub of my paperless-office GTD system.

I’m very pleased with the new set up, especially by not having to stare at a blank wall. The desk is only 27in deep (must be a magic number) and is just about big enough to accommodate such a large screen. Now to get down to some real work. 


¹ Set up wasn’t as straightforward as expected because I had decided to use Migration Assistant to import the data from my old 13in MacBook Pro, which I sold six weeks ago. Unfortunately I also imported some problems I’d been experiencing on the old computer involving MobileMe and eventually traced to a corrupt SSD. Precisely the same problems with MobileMe happened on the new iMac and I couldn’t solve the problem. I reinstalled the OS and then migrated from the MacBook Air, which continues to work perfectly. Migration Assistant is a great boon but it can have its downside when you have had problems with your old machine. I wrote about the earlier problems here.

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