Don't Judge a Computer by its Cover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   It seems computers are becoming more and more crucial toeveryday life. Air traffic controllers and radar that keep ourplanes flying safely, important business presentations andspace exploration are examples of our dependence on computersthat keep the world going. The personal computer for the home,however, has reached the state of a joking manner. Gone arethe days where the elite few were proudly able to boast thatthey owned a computer. The IMac, for instance, has completelydiminished the importance and pride of owning a computer. Itis nothing more than a big, heavy, expensivetoy.

First, the appearance of the IMac is sickening.The five "flavors" make this ma-chine gross and an eyesore.Stores seem to run out of the half decent lime flavor and theconsumer ends up with a red or purple machine. (The newermodel of G3 also falls into this category of disgusting, asthe computer case comes in one transparent greenish-bluecolor.) This awful feature makes the consumer question if thathunk of green plastic and metal was really worth$1,300.

Second, the IMac is not a practical computerfor several reasons. I do not think its 32MB of ram and 233MHzprocessor allow this computer to run programs well. The mouseis nothing to brag about, either. When I tried a demo, I wasnot impressed. I ended up with sore fingers and shocked thatApple would put out such a hazard to their customers. Theround mouse of the IMac should be given a new name, the rat.It is difficult to believe anyone could get used to such athing. Curving your fingers and wrists to use the mouse makesit impossible to point and click. So much for user-friendly!Along with the mouse the keyboard is very difficult to getused to. As I typed I began to wonder if I was typing on anIMac or a stripped powerbook.

If Apple was brave enoughto make the IMac, they should have considered practicalityover cuteness. It is possible to have both. For example, theVW Beetle is cute and will get you from here to there withoutcatching on fire. The Beetle comes with seats, a steeringwheel, four tires, a radio, power windows and locks. Theseseem like basic features and, while the IMac, like the Beetle,will get you from here to there figuratively, it comes withwood blocks for seats, a stick to steer with, four roundstones for tires and a radio and power locks if you're lucky.Macintosh should stick to the basics with a large hard drive,lots of ram and a speedy CD-ROM drive and leave the cutenessbehind.

In my opinion, the IMac, G3's and G4's all fallinto this category of being big, expensive toys. Apple istaking the wrong turns by making too many mistakes and furtherremoving itself from the PC world. Apple should focus oncreating a good solid computer and leave behind thetransparent cases and glittery computers. Even though theIMacs and G3's are cute now, buyers will tire of the grape,lime and strawberry flavors. A stark and cold gray or blackwould stay stylish. If Apple continues to promote theseoutrageous color schemes, it will go bankrupt.

This$1,300 monster called the IMac may be cute, but be aware ofits faults. If you are looking for an expensive toy, then byall means, purchase an IMac. However, if you want somethingwhich is practical and useful get a PC or a cheap computer onEbay - either would perform better than the IMac. I amthoroughly disappointed with Apple and hope they realize theyare creating a product which will be driving away consumersfor years to come.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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