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Chapter 5. Meet Your Macintosh > Are There Any Hardware Upgrades You Recommend?

Are There Any Hardware Upgrades You Recommend?

Yes. Although your iMac (or whatever you bought) will work just fine out of the box, there are a few things you may find are worth adding.

  • RAM. If your Mac didn’t come with at least 256 MB of RAM, increase it—Mac OS X likes lots of RAM, and memory prices are relatively low. I’m thinking about adding another 256 MB to my iMac, but it’s not a necessity.

  • Multibutton mouse. Many people will replace the one-button mouse that comes with their Macs with a more “button-rich” mouse from a company such as Macally or Microsoft (yes, Microsoft makes Mac-compatible mice). I’ve played with third-party keyboards, including a Microsoft unit designed specifically to work with Office. It worked fine, and what you use is a matter of personal preference. Right now, I am using the standard Apple keyboard and a Macally trackball. If you like trackballs (as I do), you might also look at the models Kensington sells. Pricey but sweet.

  • Audio and video accessories. Apple’s standard speakers are fine, but I have added a USB volume control (Griffin Technology’s PowerMate, $45, a cool looking silver knob that sits next to the iMac; see Figure 5.4) and an iMic audio connector to my setup. I also bought a Web cam that I am not entirely happy with. There is not (yet) a Mac OS X driver for my beloved Logitech 3000 camera. The only thing I use the camera for is Yahoo instant messaging, but it’s a nice accessory.

    Figure 5.4. Griffin Technology’s PowerMate is an add-on control for your Mac that connects to a USB port. Besides controlling volume and muting your speakers, the device can be used with applications and is especially useful for video editing.

  • iPod. Is an iPod a hardware upgrade? Sure—any reason to buy an iPod works for me.

  • Backup device. Backing up your data is always a smart idea. You should check the section on backups in Chapter 9 to see if you want to invest in some sort of backup device.



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