Below info was extracted from different section and placed into this section. Thus, hoping to help others as well...
To buy an Apple iMac for Skype and other home user tasks???
Deciding on which iMac model is like deciding which size of engine one needs in their vehicle. For example, does one need a 4 (i3), 6 (i5) or 8 (i7) cylinder engine? If only doing typical home user tasks (re: file, print, surfing, downloading, itunes and NO games), I would recommend the iMac model with i5 processor. Vision a mid size sedan with 6 cylinder engine. The 2010s (CPU upgrade) and 2011s (base model) use the i5 processors. IMO, the i7 for "typical home user" tasks is over kill. It's like having a V8 engine inside a little Chev Sunfire 2 door sports car. Many say buying refurbushed iMacs (from online Apple store) is a great way to save dollars. I recommend many folks buy refurbished (from Apple online store) as well. They deliver directly to your front door as well. Many say the refurbished iMacs are manually tested several times - to ensure they are properly rebuilt. For Apple USA Refurbish online store, surf: store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac
Not too sure if iMac will work "flawlessly" with Skype service. Haven't tried it myself. As a suggestion, register (free registration) on MacRumors forum ( forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=91 ) and ask these iMac experienced folks how an iMac can communicate with a Windows machine using Skype Service. I'm sure they can tell you lots of configuration and user experienc tips. Based on Skype web site ( www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/on-your-computer/macosx/ ), an iMac can run the Skype Service, and communicate with other Skype clients (PC or Mac based). But, Skype Premium does appear to have a monthly fee. Not too sure if Skype `free service` works with the iMac platforms.
For an iMac, I would recommend buying 3rd party iglasses software with your future iMac as well. This software allows you to adjust iMac's iSight Camera / videocam settings. And if you want, one can distort the image as well. For more details, surf: ecamm.com/mac/iglasses/ If wondering, I used their free 7 day trial and really liked their iglasses software. Especially to increase my iMac's camera brightness - due to lack of lighting within my dark basement. iMac OSX doesn't come with videocam software - to allow fine tune adjustements.
To buy the iMac 21.5" or larger 27" screen size model? This is personal choice - based on desk space limitations and other factors. If wondering, I have the 2010 iMac 21.5" (i3 - 3.2 GHZ - 1 TB drive) model and find it fits my family's typical home user needs great. And, I've yet to see its CPU being pushed above 40% load. For your needs and to allow longer life span, the i5 CPU model would be a better choice. Minimum 1 TB drive is a good size internal HDD as well. Attach 1 TB drive (which can be purchased at much lower cost from your local computer stores) for Time Machine backups is a good choice as well. Apple often charges too much for external HDD drives. If / when you do get an external HDD (for manual or automatic backups), do get the FireWire 800 port HDD model. FireWire800 ports transfer more data compared to usb 2.0 connected external drives. And if you can afford it, get the external 2 TB HDD drive. The external HDD drive is for backups should always be 2x larger than its internal drive. Perhaps the saved $200 from buying refurbished can be used to buy a 2 TB external HDD for automatic backups and 2x2 RAM upgrade??? Your call....
Also.... Do keep in mind the new iMac models will be released in April / May (????). Not too sure what features the future iMac designs will include. Perhaps USB 3.0, perhaps affordable SSD option, perhaps different screen size???? Not too sure. But if into new things, one might want to wait for the new models to be released. Then, decide to buy 2012 or Refurbished 2011 stock.
If you do buy the 2010 or 2011 models "now", it will probably come with OSX Lion. For Lion, I hear it runs best with 6+ GBs of RAM (memory). If your future iMac with Lion comes within only 4 GBs of ram, simply order 2 x 2 GBs of memory from OWC ( eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac ). One can buy online and they delivery to your front door as well. Buying 3rd party RAM upgrade is 1/2 the cost of buying from Apple online store. If wondering, my iMac uses SL (Snnow Lepard) OS and it does better on 4 GBs of RAM (compared to Lion OS). If wondering, I will buy 2x2 GBs RAM upgrade (@ $25-$30 range) for my iMac soon as well. Thus, having total of 8 GBs RAM - for my typical home user tasks. For Lion, I'd recommend 8 GBs of RAM as well. Yes. Lion runs with 4 GBs ram. But, I keep reading that Lion runs much better with 8 GBs of RAM.
You're the best for iMac help, Spike! I don't know what I'd do without your knowledge, just wish you lived around the corner from me so you could hop over and set it all up for me, . Or maybe one of the kids, seems they probably know how to do what I need, too.
Many computer "techies" will explain that Mac OS and Windows 7 is like comparing American English and British English. The "core" terminology and concepts are the same. re: Each has applications, each has user data files, each can download, each uses simular hardware (like keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, internal HDDs, external HDDs (for backups), same portable USB sticks) and same USB cables / hubs as well. They each uses simular GUIs (Graphical User Interface) of Desktop icons and "drill downs" for navigation as well. From a high level view, both platforms are 80%-90% the same (from a usage view). Thus, one only needs to learn that 10%-20% difference - on each platform. My wife and kids love our iMac. Its Multimedia strength for pictures, movies, music is amazing. Clear, fast and easy to use. They are glad we have an iMac 21.5" - for their school work and pictures.
And I agree. My wife and son can make our mid 2010 iMac dance on its corner edge with ease (well, almost - LOL!!!). They could easily configure your future iMac for you. As a suggestion... Focus on 1 x application every other week and learn it inside and out. After that application (like Pages for Word Processing) is mastered, move onto the next application. By the end of 6-8 months, you'll have the iMac applications mastered as well.... Especially since you are already comfortable with the iMac platform.
. I am planning to buy an Apple iMac. The information you mentioned in this post about Apple iMac is very helpful for me. I found this post very informative. Its really glad to being here. Thanks.. ______________________________
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Just thought I'd finish what we started about the imac. I did end up buying one in April, and I'm loving it. It's so much faster than my old iMac, . I got a 2011 new one with a 21.5 " screen and don't feel like I'm missing anything by not getting the 27". I don't watch movies on here, anyway.