Thoughts on The New iMacs

I didn’t watch Apple’s online event yesterday, preferring instead to digest the blogging that followed. The announcement of the new 24-inch M1-powered iMacs in multiple colours is what piqued my interest. My initial reaction is that it may not be what I would upgrade to, but it would be perfect for my Mum as an eventual replacement for her 2014 21.5-inch iMac.

The lack of USB-A ports will require some cable replacements, and perhaps a new USB hub, but otherwise wouldn’t be a dealbreaker. The absence of the SD card slot won’t matter much, as Mum has never used the one on her Mac and I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I’ve needed to plug in an SD card to mine.

The things that hold me back from considering these new Macs aren’t what you might expect. Since I no longer had a need to run virtual machines, I could probably get by just fine with 16GB of memory. And the folks at Rogue Amoeba had already sorted out their various audio apps for the M1 Macs.

The big question mark, for me, is how well Second Life will run on the M1 iMac and Big Sur. Since Apple announced several years ago that they’re deprecating, but not removing, OpenGL support in macOS, I know that Linden Lab have been evaluating how to address this. In theory, Rosetta 2 should allow me to continue accessing Second Life using my current viewer app, but I don’t know for certain if that’ll be the case.

In any case, my current 2017 27-inch iMac should be good for several more years yet, so it’s not a pressing concern.

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