New iMacs Have Arrived!!!

iMacYesterday I wrote in my blog that Apple is coming out with revised iMacs.  I thought that they were going to come out tomorrow; because Tuesdays is when Apple usually releases their new products.  Well, they released the iMacs today with bump increases only.  As I mentioned yesterday I was hoping that they would include a Blu-ray drive.  But, they did not, I guess I will have to wait for the next refresh.  Generally when there is a bump in hardware, and not a significant upgrade that means the next round will have the upgrades.  As for the iMacs being released today, it might mean that Apple has another new product lined up for tomorrow.  We will see what Apple has in store for us.

Looking at the line-up it appears that pricing has not changed for the three different models of iMacs.  However, it appears that Apple has introduced a new 24-inch iMac, it sports the following specs:
3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
500GB hard drive
8x double-layer
SuperDrive
NVIDIA GeForce 8800
GS with 512MB memory
Ships: 1-3 business days
$2199.00
These specs come directly from Apple’s online Store.  For more information click here.

With these specifications it appears Apple is looking at the gamer market.  This is the first time I have seen a NVIDIA video card in an iMac.  You generally find these cards in the Mac Pros.  If Apple is doing this, I say good for them.  The more they open their products to gamers, or non gamers only means more market growth for them.

New iMacs

product-20inIs it that time of year again for new iMacs. According to macrumors.com retailers have received new part numbers for the refreshed iMacs, and we might see them as early as Monday or Tuesday. I’m betting Apple will release them on Tuesday, since this is when they usually releases new products. It appears that the refreshed iMacs will have a bump in processor, memory, and hard drive capacity. I personally would like to see a Blu-ray drive in the new iMacs. I believe Apple has stayed on the side lines through the whole Blu-ray Vs HD-DVD hoop-la. Well, since the studios have chosen a platform, I would think Apple would implement the next generation optical drive, since they are part of the Blu-ray consortium. Another indicator towards Blu-ray on the Macs is the new Toast 9 with Blu-ray burning capabilities. The previous version also included this feature, but it was not promoted in ads as the new version is. We will see come Tuesday if these rumors are true, or just a rumor.

Apple TV Take 2

apple-tvI bought my Apple TV last year when it first came out. Yeah I am an early adopter. After seeing what it could do I had to have it. I was tired of connecting my iPod to my TV every time I wanted to watch something from iTunes. At the time Apple called the Apple TV their hobby. I guess because the iPhone was coming out the same year, they were focusing much of their attention and marketing towards the iPhone. Critics had their own take on it. They wanted it to be a TiVo, DVD Player, and purchase content from the iTunes Store directly from the Apple TV. The first two I really could do without, since I have those devices it seemed a bit redundant to me. However, to purchase content from the iTunes Store would be a great feature. I had hoped they would have that ability when they released the very first update to the Apple TV. Consequently, they did not, but they added YouTube videos that could be watched directly on your TV. They were headed in the right direction, slow as it might have been, but it was a start.

Then at Macworld 2008 Steve Jobs introduced Apple TV Take 2. When I first heard it about, I thought to myself I better sell my current Apple TV so that I could get the new one. But, Steve had an ace up his sleeve. All the current owners of the Apple TV were able to download Take 2 as an update, and have the same features and capabilities as the new ones that were going to be sold. Now with Take 2 you could purchase content directly from the iTunes Store, and also rent movies in Hi-Def and Standard Def. This is what most of us have been waiting for. When the update was made available I downloaded it, and I instantly started to rent movies. The Hi-Def movies look great on my LG 47″ 1080P LCD TV, and the 5.1 surround sound is also excellent. I did notice every now and then a small pop in the audio, or glitch in the video. Otherwise this is a great alternative to having to go the video store to rent movies. It’s even better than using NetFlix or Blockbuster Online. Because when you are done watching the movie it deletes itself.

The one thing that I and pretty much everyone would like to see Apple do is increase the viewing time once the movie has started. Currently you have 30 days to watch the movie once it is downloaded; which I think is great. However, once you start the movie you have 24 hours to complete watching it. This is great if you don’t have children or a busy schedule, but if you do it really doesn’t allow enough time for viewing. This really affects the HD rented movies, and not the Standard Def movies. The Standard Def movies can be transferred to you iPod or computer, so that you can continue watching the movie from where you left off.

The iTunes store has been a great resource for my wife and I when our Satellite Receiver decides to glitch and not record our TV shows. Two weeks in a row our Satellite Receiver failed to record Jericho. So, I went to the Apple TV located Jericho under TV Shows, and within 20 seconds my wife and I were watching the TV Show with no commercials or fast forwarding. It was great. What makes it even better is that when I opened iTunes on my iMac it automatically synced the downloaded shows onto my computer. This is why I love Apple products. They work seemlessly with one another. Apple TV Take 2, receives 2 thumbs up from me.

AppleCare Tech Support

applecareOn Thursday I was not able to get my iPod Touch to be seen in iTunes. I tried the normal troubleshooting steps to get the iPod to be seen in iTunes, but nothing seemed to work. The night before I updated iTunes on all three of my Macs, so I thought the issue was related to the update. I tried my wife’s iPod on my Mac, and it came up fine in iTunes. At this point I realize it must be my iPod, and not my Mac or iTunes. As a last resort I plug my iPod Touch into my wife’s Mac, and it connected to iTunes, so I was able to put my Podcasts on my iPod.

When I got to work I plugged my iPod into my MacBook and my Dell; consequently, my iPod would not connect to either of my computers. When I got home I contacted AppleCare Tech Support to see if they would be able to reset the iPod Touch. I tried several different ways, and none of them seemed to work. The technician I spoke with had me go through some of the steps I had done earlier in the day. When it still did not work, he had me perform a hard reset. Then he had me plug in the iPod and connect it to my Mac. Viola, iTunes saw my iPod Touch. I had to restore it. So I ran the restore, and everything was going fine. I was then prompted that the restore was successful, and that the iPod is restarting. Unfortunately, it got stuck again, an it would not come up in iTunes. The AppleCare technician deemed the iPod to be inoperable. He said that I can take the iPod Touch to my local Apple Store, and that they would replace it with a new iPod. I asked him if its refurb or a new iPod that they will replace it with. The technician reassured me that they would replace it with a new iPod. I told him that would be great. I was never a big fan of refurbbed electronics. Well, after my call was over I made an appointment for Saturday with the Genius Bar to have them look at my iPod Touch, and then replace the unit.

I went on Saturday to the Apple Store. I got there about a half an hour early. I was expecting to wait till my appointment, but they took me within a couple of minutes. The woman at the Genius Bar looked at my iPod Touch, and she tried to get it to work on her MacBook. Unfortunately, she to was unable to get it to be seen in iTunes. So, she said that she could replace it with a new iPod Touch. She scanned in the old iPod, and then the new iPod. She had me sign a warranty exchange sheet, and I was on my merry way with a new working iPod Touch. The best part of all of this is when I brought it home. I connected the iPod Touch to my iMac, and I was able to restore the applications that I purchased in January. Even better I was able to even have all the data from my notes restored as well. From beginning to end I had a great experience from the AppleCare support call to working with the Genius at the Apple Store. I wish I could say I had this great of an experience with other comapnies that sell and support computers and electronics. Today Apple receives an A++ from me for service and support.