I came home today to find a large box waiting for me; it's my new iMac G5! This is the 20" intel dual core version and it's absolutely stunning. Now I must admit that this is my first Apple computer. My first computer was a Texas Instruments TI 99/4A (complete with the Extended Basic cartridge). My second computer was a Commodore 128. After that it's been PCs, PS/2s. and more PCs. But now I own a Mac and I'm glad I do. This computer is a pleasing to look at and fun to use. But the thing that's most amazing thus far is how easy it is to use evening for scenarios that I thought would be considered "advanced". It took less than 15 minutes from the minute I started opening the box till I was browsing the Web on my wireless LAN. I then decided to go all out and attempt to connect to my home file server to get to my music and photos. Now this is a task I don't take lightly. Every single time I try to do this with a new or newly reinstalled Windows computer it never works the first time. I typically have to do hacks like use the server's IP address or put an entry in the hosts file. Of course I expected it to be doubly hard on a Mac because I've never used one of these before and, well, it's a Mac so how could it possibly be easier to talk to a Windows server than from a Windows PC? Well, I fumbled along until I found the help, I searched for connecting to Windows PCs and I found a sequence of 3 steps that supposedly end in seeing the Windows PC and its shares. Oddly enough, I followed those steps and there was my home server and its shares right there on my Mac! That's just amazing. Next, I decided to try and connect my cell phone and my wife's cell phone to the Mac using Bluetooth. Painlessly, everything worked the first time. This machine brings new meaning to the words "it just works". I put in The Matrix DVD and fiddled around with the iPod-shaped remote control. The 10' UI is smooth and clean and video playback on the 20" screen makes for a great viewing experience. But the built-in speakers are weak and have poor bass. Guess I need to buy a nicer pair of speakers. Then my kids came and we played with the photo booth app. This is a little app that lets you take pictures with the built-in camera and apply one of about 20 silly effects. The app has a clever trick to make up for poor lighting: It uses the massive 20" LCD as a flash turning it bright white for a second while the camera takes a picture. My kids loved playing around and making silly faces. We then took the pictures into iPhoto and made a slideshow with transitions and music. Took two minutes and turned out great. Wow. Best of all, there are absolutely no wires except for the power cord (my wife is really impressed by that). I want to keep it clean so I'll look for a pair of wireless speakers. I'm looking forward to learning more about Mac OS/X and using it for all sorts of fun projects.