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The Verge Commemorates 25 Years of the iMac

The Verge writes:

On August 15th, 1998, the iMac hit store shelves. In the 25 years since then, the iMac has been a core product in Apple’s lineup and influenced many other products, both inside and outside the company. Today, we’re celebrating the iMac’s silver anniversary with a series of pieces exploring its design, influence, and future.

The lead piece in this four-article retrospective is Jason Snell’s “How the iMac saved Apple,” a look at the computer world of 1998 and how the iMac provided a much-needed breath of fresh air with its Jony Ive industrial design, insistence on USB, elimination of the floppy drive, and focus on Internet connectivity. The other articles examine the evolution of the iMac design, comment on the importance of the iMac to college students of a certain age, and ask what role the iMac plays in today’s laptop-dominated world.

Tonya and I quickly adopted the 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display when it debuted in 2014, but those Macs’ inability to upgrade past macOS 11 Big Sur eventually forced us to move on (to a 2020 27-inch iMac for me and an M2 Mac mini with Studio Display for Tonya). If any TidBITS reader in Ithaca has a use for a 2014 27-inch iMac (after Tristan uses them for remote access during a late August visit), get in touch.

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Comments About The Verge Commemorates 25 Years of the iMac

Notable Replies

  1. In case you want to continue to use your 2014 iMac you can upgrade it to Ventura using OpenCore Legacy Patcher (Supported Models | OpenCore Legacy Patcher). I used the Patcher to install Mojave on my MacBook Pro Early 2013 and it works really well. The developers are working on Sonoma so perhaps it will work as well.

  2. We, the Apple Corps of Dallas, are proud to remember that Apple allowed our MUG to be the first to introduce the iMac to the computer world! It was done at the Crystal Palace in Dallas! Can’t locate pictures at the moment! Bye R@y

  3. Thanks for the reminder! To be honest, the lack of macOS upgrades is only part of the issue—the Macs are also showing their age in terms of performance as well. The performance is totally fine for someone with basic needs, but we did start to hit the limits in our work.

    Plus, as much as OpenCore Legacy Patcher is a hack of wonder, it can cause problems for apps—I’ve seen developers complaining about unexpected app behavior and the associated support back-and-forths until they realize that the OS was patched and therefore all bets are off. So I see it as great for keeping an older Mac around for fun, but perhaps not ideal for a production machine.

  4. Maybe, @ace, you guys are suffering from the same Apple Silicon issue as I. I’ve found that once you get used to the performance from even a basic M1 in everyday use with no lag, always ready to react to foreground GUI actions, awesome disk i/o, etc. it’s hard to go back to Intel Macs. We have a couple very capable Intel systems around here, but I’m surprised how even just in everyday GUI interaction I can feel a palpable difference between one of those $6k systems and my wife’s inexpensive 1st gen M1 MBA. In my experience, once you go Apple Silicon, it’s really hard to go back.

  5. La la la—I can’t hear you! :hear_no_evil: I’ve managed to avoid most of that since my M1 MacBook Air always feels a little constrained by its small screen, so my 2020 Intel 27-inch iMac with a secondary display is a very different experience.

    But yes, full-on Apple silicon performance, while it quickly becomes the new normal as you use it, is a thing of wonder when you first experience it or compare it against older Intel Macs. One of these years, I’ll figure out the best approach to a new Mac with the screen real estate I want. Maybe the fantasy 32-inch iMac will be available then.

  6. An M2 Mac mini with studio display is a decent option right now. Great performance and 27” retina display. Maybe a bit more expensive than the iMac 27 but not much. I am not sure Apple will make a >24” iMac believing that the separate modules make more sense (and the 27” display is still useful when you need more than the mini).

    Edit: Sorry, I just read your Tidbits post and realized that your wife has exactly the setup I recommended.

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