I picked up some new hardware on Friday evening to replace an aging iMac. I'm impressed, perhaps more than I though I'd be. Having been spoiled with a Dual-G5 for quite awhile now I didn't know if the iMac would really stack up. So far it's great.

A few tips. First, get Apple Care for $119 and then go down to your local Frys or other electronics store and buy 1GB of RAM for $89. You'll end up with 1.5 GB of RAM and an extended warranty for roughly the same price as Apple's $200.

The Mighty Mouse is much more impressive than I thought in the few times I've tried it in the store. It's still sitting beside my Logitech trackball much longer than any previous Apple mouse would (even being plugged in is pretty amazing by my historic standards of Apple mouse loathing).

Another new tool Front Row is also better than I expected. However it has an annoying habit of not communicating well with iTunes. Really it doesn't handle errors in iTunes well. If something causes a dialogue to pop up (say iTunes upgrade available) Front Row will sometimes appear to hang. It is still responsive and upon exiting you'll find iTunes awaiting your response. However, the remote control works even when iTunes or Front Row aren't frontmost. So it's a nice music controller for those of us who are nearly always listening to our music collections.

Another great piece of hardware is the Canopus ADVC-110. A few months ago after an electrical storm my Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge gave up the ghost. At its best the Hollywood was temperamental. Often after some length of time changing cables, power cycling and good fortune it would usually work. On the other hand the ADVC-110 starts working immediately and doesn't seem to stop. Not needing its own power is a nice bonus as well.