Back on Mac (finally)

For the past few years, we’ve had a mixed household of Windows (the primary family computer) and Mac (my son’s G3 iBook).   I’m a big Mac fan, while my wife has an “I don’t care what it is as long as it does what I want it to do” approach to computers (and technology in general).  When the PC finally reached end of life (due to being 5 years old and seemingly permanently infected with Ad/Spy Ware), I convinced her that we really needed a Mac.  There are lots of arguments to be made for Mac vs. Windows (which I won’t go into here), but it came down to:  “Will we have all those pop-ups?” and “Will this one last for 5 years?”
While I was tempted to get the MacMini, when I added up all the other stuff I would need to get to have what I wanted it turned out that the G5 iMac was really the way to go.  Picked up the 20″ at the local (Edison, NJ) Apple Store along with a couple of accessories (Protection Plan, Virtual PC, some blank DVD-R’s) and took it home to set up.  What a joy:
  • Open the box.
  • Take the packing material off the top.
  • Pull it out of the box.
  • Hook up keyboard, mouse to the keyboard, power cable.
  • Turn it on.
It’s going to be harder than that to disassemble and put away the PC and all the stuff that goes with it.
Plugged in the LAN cable, had a connection.  Ran Software Update.  Very smooth.
To install iLife ’05 (which came as a “drop-in” disc set) and Virtual PC I needed to upgrade the RAM.  Forgot to get that at Apple Store, but picked it up locally at Circuit City.  Installing the RAM chip was a snap, though if my wife had seen me standing over the iMac with the back cover removed she may have freaked out a bit. 
iLife went in without a hitch, as did Virtual PC.  I installed both WinXP (for a couple of key apps we have) and Win98 (for the old games that the kids haven’t been able to use since we upgraded to XP), process was very smooth in both cases.  I set up the Windows folders as shares, connected from the iMac and transferred all the key files and data (like the iTunes library).  Most tedious part was running the Windows Update.  The emulated hardware on the PC side shows up as a 550+ MHz pentium with 265K of RAM.  Works better/faster than the PC we replaced.  Like getting three computers in one!
The only real problem I’ve come across is installation of some OS9 apps in the Classic environment.  As far as I can tell, Panther (OS X 10.3.7) doesn’t support/allow installation and booting from OS9, it only provides “Classic environment.”  For the most part this is working fine, but a couple of apps haven’t installed properly because of security access issues.
Only one thing left to figure out before I can just start playing:  how best to pull in audio through line-input to capture old cassettes, etc.
p.s.  This is my first post via e-mail.  Depending on how much work it needs before being publishable, I will likely be doing this more often.  So much more convenient when you can post off-line.  (Don’t know why I haven’t tried it before….)