Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows X

“I am writing these words on the most elegant desktop computer I’ve ever used, a computer that is not only uncommonly beautiful but fast and powerful, virus-free and surprisingly affordable,” Walter S. Mossberg writes for The Wall Street Journal. “This machine takes up no more space on a desk than a flat-panel monitor. In fact, the entire computer is contained behind a flat-panel screen in a space just 2 inches thick — thinner than most flat-panel monitors alone.”

“Yet it houses one of the most advanced processors on the market; a roomy hard disk; a CD or DVD recorder; wired or wireless Internet connectivity; and a full complement of ports and connectors,” Mossberg writes. “I’m talking about Apple Computer’s new iMac G5 desktop, which starts at $1,299 for a model with a 17-inch wide-screen display, and rises to $1,899 for a version with a massive 20-inch wide-screen display. It’s another design coup by Apple.”

Mossberg writes, “In my tests, the iMac G5 performed flawlessly and speedily. It worked perfectly on my broadband Internet connection, via my home Wi-Fi network, even though the network is powered by gear from Linksys, not Apple. It was easily able to transfer files over the network to and from Windows computers and other Macs. I installed Microsoft Office for the Mac, and it handled that perfectly. The G5 processor made the new iMac significantly faster at key tasks than my Apple PowerBook laptop, which runs on the older G4 processor [and] the new iMac actually costs less than comparable Windows machines.”

Mossberg writes, “The iMac has some less tangible advantages, too. It has a better, more modern operating system than Windows XP. It comes with a free suite of photo, video and music programs that can’t be matched on Windows. And it frees users from the worry and expense of battling viruses and spyware, because there has never been a successful virus targeting the Mac operating system, and there is little or no spyware for the Mac. The many thousands of viruses and spyware programs that afflict Windows can’t run on, or harm, Macs. The iMac G5 is another winner from Apple. It’s a computer that’s a real pleasure, not a hassle, to use.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Beautiful, just beautiful. Another gem from Walt! He’s really shining the spotlight on the mediocrity of Wintel vs. the superiority of the Apple Macintosh way. In the last few years, as Apple has been producing great products and distancing themselves from Microsoft, Walt has been writing mostly about Apple’s successes. But, Walt just writes the truth and if Apple messes up, Walt, as he has in the past, would write about that, too.

For those who don’t know: Walt Mossberg is the author and creator of the weekly Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal, which has appeared every Thursday since 1991. Newsweek magazine calls Mr. Mossberg “the most powerful arbiter of consumer tastes in the computer world today.” Time magazine calls him “the most influential computer journalist.” And Rolling Stone calls him “the most powerful columnist in technology.”

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg: ‘The single most effective way to avoid viruses and spyware is to simply chuck Windows altogether and buy an Apple Macintosh’ – September 16, 2004
Mossberg: ‘MSN Music is no match for iTunes – yet’ – September 02, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
Mossberg: Sony Walkman ‘laborious, weak, lousy, confusing, stinks’ vs. Apple iPod – July 28, 2004
Mossberg likes Apple’s Airport Express, but bemoans lack of remote control – July 22, 2004
Mossberg: Roxio’s Easy Media Creator 7 ‘significantly inferior’ to Apple’s iLife – June 25, 2004
The Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg: ‘iPod mini a gorgeous device, a winner’ – February 11, 2004
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg: Apple GarageBand a ‘terrific tool, another feather in Apple’s cap’ – February 04, 2004
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg: Apple’s iChat/iSight teleconferencing ‘vastly better than any other I’ve tried’ – August 13, 2003
Walt Mossberg: ’17-inch PowerBook a great choice and another design win for Apple’ – April 03, 2003


  1. Never a virus on a Mac? That’s just wrong, as I have personally worked on a Mac anti-virus project in 90-91, and I suspect mine wasn’t the last. But never mind such ancient history.

    I developed for Macs in the 87-91 timeframe, and then for lots of Unix-like systems and Windoze in equal measure. When years later I had to help a clueless friend set up her new G-something (running OS 9.x), I was disgusted by the user experience – the system seemed to have undergone no evolution in the decade since I used it last, and felt maddeningly clumsy and unhelpful.

    A former Mac enthusiast and developer, I positively hated this new Mac experience. Hated it. I felt that whatever years of ridicule received by the Mac at the hands of the Windoze crowd were well-deserved.

    OS 10 is a completely different story, of course, but even here the accolades are not entirely Apple’s. The outstanding quality of FreeBSD is responsible for a lot of the robustness now attributable to OS 10. But that’s under the hood. The new UI layer is most excellent.. probably the best currently available anywhere. Together with a FreeBSD core, a very potent combination. I am almost tempted to get a Mac just for the eye candy, but I am too content with the current Linux and BSD options running on cheap fast Athlons.

    My point, to which I am getting so long-windedly, is this: IMHO, though early on the Mac was relatively excellent, since the time of Linux desktop maturation and the advent of NT, and until the arrival of OS 10, Mac was the least attractive choice – crappiest OS, expensive, no appreciable market/software/developer share.

    Yet, during this dark span of years, the Mac zealots continued to foam at the mouth just as they did in 1990, when Mac was clearly superior to MS Windows (and when X-windows was not within the reach of the general public). This, IMHO, was pure ditto-head bullshit, altogether divorced from reality.

    Now, though, with the advent of OS 10, the praise Mac gets is once again deserved, and newspaper hacks can once again endure no pangs of conscience having produced their largely clue-free adulations.

    It’s too bad it took so damn long for Mac to get here – and amusing that this required the scavenging of FreeBSD – but I hope Mac sticks around in the years to come.

  2. olde-tymer,

    I appreciated your intelligent and enlightening article.

    Although I’m a bit of an old-timer myself (56), I’m a relative newboy in the Mac-community. I bought my first Mac (iMac G3) in ’98 and am now on my second (iMac G4) and saving up for the third.
    Your post forced me to recognize myself as one of those ‘Mac zealots’ who defended ‘the cause’ at all costs – sometimes on flimsy ground and often to the point of bigotry.
    It’s a sort of fortress mentality which easily developes when people are confronted with overwhelming odds ( in this case the MS Imperium )
    As a computer layman myself, which you’re obviously not, I’d like to hear your opinion on whether the ‘current Linux and BSD’ is an acceptably alternative for the average computer user.
    Is it as user-friendly as OSX combined with the Mac software (e.g. iLife)?
    Why do you write ‘scavenging of FreeBSD’? Wasn’t it a wise decision to use BSD as the basis and give it an attractive interface?

  3. Charko,

    I think the switch to a FreeBSD-derived core was a brilliant move. My mention of the scavenging was to promote recognition of the BSD-family projects’ long and respected history, lest the lay folk think FreeBSD is some weekend diversion cooked up in Cupertino.

    As far as Linux / BSD on the desktop, I believe a curious and attentive non-technical person can manage it. It is no longer the “guru-only” thing it had arguably been in the past.

    Would I recommend it as the default choice for a smooth worry-free experience for someone who just wants to browse and email and do multimedia and worry about nothing else? Probably not. I suspect it is still best used by a hobbyist / someone technically interested, but it is much more accessible than before.

    (An excellent thing to do for the Linux-curious would be to boot their machine from a “live” CD-ROM distribution, which does not touch or need a hard drive to run, such as Knoppix. Knoppix has a PPC version as well as the default x86 one, AFAIK.

    I like to have such a CD handy for those times when fate should throw me into some lab with old NT boxes, so I can whip it (the CD ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> out and boot Linux before the gag reflex overpowers me. )

    I haven’t played much with OS 10, nor do I know what the current situation in the Mac world is with software availability and the availability of emulators to run Linux or BSD packages… but if either or both of these bases are covered, I suspect there is no need for a current OS 10 user to consider anything else. I don’t think a more polished and integrated user experience is to be had presently.

    Personally, some years ago I made a decision to choose open-source software whenever possible, even when more hassle is involved, and specifically to avoid Microsoft’s offerings, and this has worked out quite nicely given that my focus is development and server administration.

    Having enjoyed the freedoms (and low cost) of open-source, I am not at all eager to pay a vendor for an OS and basic software kit, in addition to needing PPC hardware. But OS 10 is the one temptation I had in years – it looks that good.

    Maybe I’ll steer the wife toward getting a Mac to replace her old laptop.. and then I can use it at night when no one’s looking. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. “nor do I know what the current situation in the Mac world is with software availability and the availability of emulators to run Linux or BSD packages… but if either or both of these bases are covered”

    They are. Both Fink and DarwinPorts features more than 2k packages ported to OS X. Fink is a debian based package manager. Have a look at:

    Also, our in-house sw, built for Linux, is being ported to OS X and major applications we use now run native on OS X.

  5. hi,
    i am doing some research on i-mac. i was wonderign if any of you guys can tell me how would you as a marketer promote the i-mac to prospective consumers in the comign years. i myself use an i-mac and convinced it is better than any other machine i have used.


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