Reviewing Apple iMac, 21.5 inch, OS X El Capitan

The Middle

Here’s an update on the experience of a “switcher” from Windows to an Apple computer. I was happily surprised at how quickly the Apple iMac became productive. So far I am very satisfied with its performance, and have been doing my work on it efficiently.

iCloud

Oops! When I first set iCloud going, it began, by default, to invisibly upload to the cloud every photo and video on my computer. This caused gridlock. For an hour I didn’t realise the cause. When I figured out what was happening, I unchecked every iCloud option, to stop it uploading automatically. I would have thought unchecked would be the sensible default. Perhaps, like Microsoft, Apple assumes that everybody has super-fast broadband.

Wireless Transfers

Use of the cloud proved to be far too slow for multiple file transfers between my iMac and Windows 10. Instead, I set up the Windows 10 notebook to “see” and access folders on the iMac directly, using a local home wireless network, without involving the internet.

TextWrangler

My experience with TextWrangler rates ten out of ten. It even does search and replace on multiple files, and has an excellent menu options for opening and closing files.

PhotoShop

The Apple Store didn’t have any serious photo-editing software, so I purchased PhotoShop Elements with which I am quite familiar. I am delighted with Version 14. The Camera Raw add-on is excellent. There are several other improvements. It runs well on the Apple Mac.

Time Machine

The Time Machine which works with the Time Capsule is really good and easy to use. However, on automatic it jams up our wireless system. So it has to be switched off auto, and started manually at bed time to run during the night. The same applies to Apple Updates. At least Apple makes this very easy to do.

Retina Screen

I am really enjoying working on a larger screen. Also the Retina display, with its very high resolution and beautiful lighting, is a blessing for my old eyes.

My Apple iMac Experience

The beginning

I’ve been working with Windows 10, and all the former Windows since about Windows 98. Since my old Windows notebook is rather too old, I bravely decided to change to Apple. I have a newer small Windows 10 notebook which works fine. So having a big Apple to go with it seemed sensible. For one thing, I could check how Safari and the OS X handled the simplybible.com site.

The Apple Mac I’m now using as my main machine is an iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015). Very nice, however I’m not going to be silly and compare Apple to Microsoft when the computer running Windows is cheap and small and the iMac is well up range.

People say about Apple, “It just works”. Well I doubted that, but I was happy enough to go by the 80/20 rule. If it works 80% of the time and makes me mad 20% of the time, that would be fine. Windows does that. All the computers I’ve ever owned, even my Sinclair ZX81, did that.

So I set the iMac on my desk and started the setup. I was pretty confident because I had just set up an Apple notebook for my wife to replace her Windows Vista. In both setups there were a number of instances where I could have got stuck. It was a very Windows experience.

Setting up the user and admin accounts was awkward, but connecting to wireless was real easy. The keyboard and mouse with the iMac “just worked”. I guess they are bluetooth which, as far as I am concerned, may as well be called voodoo.

I plugged in a USB and dragged a folder to my desktop. The Finder seemed as good as Windows Explorer. One thing I loved at first sight is the old fashioned but sensible drop down menu strip at the top of the screen which reflects the app currently in use.

Installing Apps

Next my attention turned to my two workhorses: a decent text editor and an FTP client. There is no OS X version of the clever Notepad++ so I tried TextWrangler. For a free text editor it is impressive. It wouldn’t launch a file in Safari, but accepted a tiny apple script and now it will. Getting Wrangler to soft word-wrap by default was in the 20% category, but there’s plenty of information available on TextWrangler, so that made me see the light. As for FTP, I was delighted that FileZilla was available for Mac. Downloaded and working in ten minutes. That’s in the 80% category.

So with the needed apps now available to me, I was able to get back to productive work on the website. Writing and marking up a new lesson was a smiley experience. I was also glad to see that Microsoft OneDrive worked for me through Safari, so my Windows notebook can receive new and updated files without messing with USBs.

1.2 Million Page Views 2015

The figures for simplybible.com page views over the last quarter of 2015 continued to be high. For October 137,031; for November 124,822, and for December 106,208 (source Awstats). That is, once again, an average per month of more than 100,000 pageviews. By November 2015, page views for the year had passed one million, and by year’s end reached 1,208,706. We thank the Lord for such interest world wide.

2015 Upgrade

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From January to March 2015, simplybible.com underwent another major upgrade.

  • Achieved 100% mobile usability. (More than half our visitors are on mobile smart phones or small tablets).
  • Reduced the number of external scripts that run before the page displays. Makes pages load more quickly for the user, and management of the scripts is much easier for me the webservant.
  • Reduced the number of image requests for the page by converting images to “sprites” generated from a single image. Makes pages load quicker.
  • Repaired and revised the system of annotations which was failing to operate correctly and was disjointed. It is now a nice simple design, robust and easy to implement.

12th Birthday – simplybible.com

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The simplybible.com website began online 19 December 2002.  It started with 80 pages.  Now, in 2014, it has twenty times as many — 1,600 pages, of which 1,200 are Bible studies.  A lot of work has gone into the site over the 12 years, both in adding new pages and in keeping up with the changes.  Big changes have taken place behind the scenes in the coding of webpages and style sheets.  We have ensured that simplybible.com has been continually revised and upgraded to accommodate these changes.   The more visible changes are in the devices that display webpages, which now range from big wide desktop computer and television screens down to tiny smart phones.  Today, around 70% of people visiting simplybible.com do so on tablets and mobile phones, devices which hardly existed in 2002.

Here’s a snapshot of how simplybible.com looked around 10 years ago.

Snapshot of Home Page June 2004

Snapshot of Home Page June 2004

Bible Lessons in Bislama

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The website now includes lessons written in Bislama (language of Vanuatu)
http://www.simplybible.com.au/dindexBisVa.htm
Yes, olsem wanem? Fastaem mi hop se ol lesen ya bambae i givim yu kakae blong gudhat blong yu. Yu stap fren blong mi. Tankyu tumas from bambae yuyu ridim samting we mi raetim finis.Hemia toktok long Baebol. Nao ol lesen ya i longsaed blong tru God, nem blong hem Jisas Kraes.
Translation: Hello, how are you? May I say that I hope these lessons will give you food for your heart.  You are my friend.  Thank you very much because you will read what I have written.  Here is Bible talk.  The lessons are about the true God whose name is Jesus Christ.

Major Upgrade for simplybible.com.au

 

ip-kangaroo1

 

We have completed a major upgrade of the website (more than 1500 pages).  The upgrade was progressive from January  to September 2014.  It was done behind the scenes with no inconvenience to users.  They would not have been aware of the work in progress.  Some of the changes made are:

  • Heading (including a subheading)  appears in the same place on each page.
  • The social media bar was redesigned and placed under the main nav tabs.
  • Semantic structure (outline) of the pages has been improved.
  • New feature blocks help to highlight important parts of the page.
  • Indexes and lesson lists have been redesigned and made easier to use.
  • Some older series of lessons were reworked and improved.
  • We made a new pagination system for some groups of articles.
  • The site’s ability to respond to various screen sizes was improved.
  • The square theme images at top right of page were improved.
  • The site coding upgraded from XHTML strict to the now standard html5.

Hope you enjoy these improvements.