iMac sites help build suspense
Before the new iMac home computer from Apple is even available (it's scheduled for release Aug. 15), eager would-be owners have been busy making it the most talked-about new computer in years. Like the new Volkswagen Beetle (which it physically resembles), the iMac has created a stir before ever hitting the street.
Whether one is a Mac fan or not, or even a prospective Mac owner, most of us are curious about the new machine. A holdover from the early days of personal computers, the Apple Macintosh is the last PC that still melds hardware and operating system into a distinct system. (The dominant Windows platform is hardware independent; thus the term "clone" and complete lack of personality in those computers.)
So where to learn about the new, low-priced but still powerful Mac causing all the fuss? The obvious is also one of the most informative: Apple's official iMac site is at http://www.apple.com, then click on the iMac link off the main page. There you can view a Quicktime video promoting the iMac, download Quicktime VR 360-degree images, link to hardware vendors supporting iMac (makers of Universal Serial Bus printers, scanners and joysticks), and get a complete list of technical specifications on the iMac.
Of the independent iMac sites, applelinks.com was the most informative. While it had no dedicated iMac area, applelinks.com still had a lot of iMac news and features as part of its general Apple coverage. You will find info on new software, plus upgrades and patches; a Mac news roundup from the Web (updated every 15 minutes); product reviews; and interesting links, such as to a Macintosh Webcast talk show, the MacTalk Show, and a growing list of iMac-oriented Web sites.
Another independent site, MacCentral. does have a special iMac area set up. This site is updated daily, so there will be more info than when we stopped by in mid-July. Among the links were dealers pre-selling the iMac to the impatient.
iMac2Day has some good links to the latest iMac news on other sites, plus its own message boards and a list of peripherals already announced for the iMac. There's also an online contest where you can win a bunch of iMac-related products, including the grand prize of a brand new iMac itself. Many of the pages on this site were still under construction, though.
iMac iNfo is part of a loosely affiliated group of sites in an iMac ring (including the above iMac2Day, which didn't list the ring on its site thus the term "loosely"); only four sites total so far, but that is sure to increase. There was also an online survey and the usual news links.
For the latest, often-unconfirmed rumors on the iMac, check out MacInTouch . The day we visited, MacInTouch was reporting that Apple was planning a no-returns policy on iMacs unless they were completely dead.
And the most comprehensive set of links and news sources we found belonged to the MacTimes special iMac site: The iMac Channel. This may be an even better starting point than the official Apple site.
Finally, getting back to the VW Beetle-iMac comparison, anyone with an ounce of humor in their bones really should check out Jeremy Wilker's parody of Volkswagen's JettaTrek promotion: BeetleMac..
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