iMac For Dummies,
Discover tricks to become more efficient
iMac newbies won't want to be without this easy-to-follow companion guide! Mark L. Chambers has been a technical author, computer consultant, BBS sysop, programmer, and hardware technician for more than 30 years. An unabashed Mac enthusiast, he has written more than 30 computer books, most about the Mac. They include MacBook All-in-One For Dummies 2nd Edition and Macs For Seniors For Dummies, 3rd Edition.
iMac For Dummies,
Okay, This Machine Looks Really, Really Weird
IN THIS CHAPTER
Identifying the important parts of your iMac
Locating the right home for your computer
Plugging stuff in and getting hooked up
Playing with your bundled software
Buying additional stuff that you might need
You bought a brand-new iMac or iMac Pro, and there it sits, in the box. Waiting. Waiting for you.
If you're a little nervous about unpacking that shiny aluminum and glass rectangle, I completely understand. Face it: The latest iMacs follow in the footsteps of many revolutionary iMac designs that have come before. In other words, it doesn't look like a computer at all, and that can be a bit disconcerting. And if you're switching from a Windows PC to the Apple universe, you might find yourself floating weightlessly in your office or your living room without a familiar bulky black PC case to anchor yourself - hence, the reluctance you might be feeling.
However, dear reader, let me assure you that you've indeed made the right choice. I commend you! Today's line of Intel iMacs are the fastest, leanest, and easiest-to-use self-contained all-in-one computer ever built. Practically everything's in one shining panel (except for your keyboard and mouse). You have one of the best backlit LED screens on the planet, a super-fast processor, plenty of RAM (memory), and a regular laundry list of the latest technology. Best of all, you don't have to be a techno-nerd to use all that power!
In this chapter, I introduce you to your new dream machine - whether you choose the standard iMac or its powerful big brother, the iMac Pro - and give you an overview of the most important locations within iMac City. I show you how to unpack your new computer, what wires go where, and where your iMac should set up housekeeping. I preview the awesome software that's waiting within that powerful panel. Finally, I list the accessories that help keep both you and your new iMac computing smoothly.
iMac or iMac Pro - That Is the Question
Until recently, the iMac was offered in only a single model, identified by the year it was produced and the size of the screen. With the arrival of the iMac Pro, our venerable computer is now available in two models:
The iMac is the standard home and small-office version, offering enough power for all of the Apple applications I cover in this book - as well as gaming, entry-level photography, music production and video editing work. This is "the iMac for Most Of Us," as I call it, with the right mix of performance and affordability. The iMac also offers two display sizes.
The iMac Pro is the equivalent of a supercar, built for high-end, expensive applications that demand the best performance possible: professional-level video editing, 3D modeling, image editing and other processor-intensive programs. Apple jams plenty of memory and some of today's fastest processors into the iMac Pro. The downside? You're going to pay top dollar for an iMac Pro. Period .
Since both iMac models can run the applications I present later in the book, I won't be differentiating much between the iMac and iMac Pro (except when I'm describing hardware features in this chapter). If you haven't purchased your iMac yet, remember that the standard iMac model offers plenty of performance for the average Mac owner. (That's why I own an iMac!)
Here's a good yardstick for comparing the iMac to the iMac Pro, presented as a Mark's Maxim:
If you need the power of an iMac Pro, you're likely to know that already.
An Introduction to the Beast
The Intel iMac might look like a sculpture straight out of a museum of modern art, but it still sports everything that it needs to function as a computer. In this section, I identify the important stuff that you need to