My super-duper, ultra beefed-up iMac arrived yesterday. Since I don't currently have anyplace to put her, the as-yet nameless computer will be living on an end table, with a footstool for a seat.
I am already a disciple of the Cult of Mac, being totally in love with its practicality, stability, and integrated nature. But this 24" iMac is simply the most gorgeous thing, its design both elegant and forgettable; even when I'm crouched over on a footstool using it I manage to forget that the computer is even there. Except that I'm using a Dorothy Parker anthology as a mousepad, which makes the user interface a bit clunky at times.
Anyway, I was shocked when I launched Safari...and I was suddenly connected to the internet! The computer isn't even HOOKED UP to the internet yet, at least not via tangible wire. And then I realized: this sneaky little computer was detecting and using somebody ELSE'S wireless network. In fact I have SIX wireless networks to choose from in my menu.
Being new to such things I'm not sure how common this is, or if etiquette (or threat of legal action) dictates I don't steal a bit of their bandwidth until I resolve my "two computers, one modem" issues. Is it bad to do some web browsing on somebody else's network...and can they tell when I'm doing it?
I couldn't take the computer home without buying ONE game, so I paid the usual hugely-expensive price for a Mac conversion ($75) and bought "The Sims 2." I was terribly addicted to the original version and I'm once again amazed at the study that goes into these games. Whenever one of my Sims does a characteristic finger-snapping habit I just about go into "simulation ecstasy." I'm also thrilled the way that the Sims respond subtly to other Sims in their vicinity, turning their heads slightly to look at them now and then. It is, more than ever, like watching actual humans engaged in day-to-day activity, albeit humans who need to be told when to go to the bathroom.
The most useful enhancement to this version that I've found so far is the ability to greet and dismiss visitors as a group, instead of marching up to each one individually and wasting precious energy. It also seems that the "needs" decay a little less rapidly, which keeps you from getting into an exhaustion cycle when it's time for a party.
As thrilled as I am with the new "aspirations and fears" model, it does seem like there are too many collapsible menus, as though the old streamlined interface has bloated a bit.
Still, it's certainly a fun game, and it will be even better once I've downloaded some additional custom content. I hope it's no longer necessary to edit each mesh by hand in order to make it Mac compatible!