By Ralph Thomas

The New Workhorse- iMac 2013 Thin Computer! Wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. Style, Class, Function – For Those Who Think Different. Computer is built into the thin and very large screen!

This is a little article about how important it is to watch technology as it develops and how I lost my way on how software is obtained when my old iMac crashed. Over the last couple of years, I have been very busy updating web sites and integrating those sites into social media and other forms of online marketing. It’s a lot of time consuming but fun work. I have always had a business mind set of throwing a whole bunch of stuff up on the wall to see what works and what doesn’t.  After you learn what does, you focus on that. I’m not sure if this way of looking at doing business works for every type of business but it has worked for me for many decades. I have also tried to always make sure we are focused on the latest technology and stay ahead of competition when it comes to that. I blinked and missed some fundamental new technology and a major mega change in the way things in the computer world work. But what the heck! I have been at this since I was in my 20’s and I’m now in my 60’s. It’s sort of scary! A few weeks ago, we were in the Apple store in Austin as Barbara had dropped her iPhone and broke the face and needed a new one anyway. She had been running around with the cracked iPhone for several months. The first thing I noticed in the Apple store I found strange! They had very little boxed software for sale like all computer stores have had for decades. While we were there, I thought to myself that since my dog had chewed up the cord that makes my backup drive work with my old iMac, I had better get a new backup hard drive.  Just had this feeing that my iMac was about to crash and burn. It was getting old-beyond it’s years and starting to run slow. Over the last ten years, I have learned to stay the heck out of the Apple store unless I really need something and have  actually been avoiding both the store and the web site as buying Apple this or that is worse with me than  gambling is with those in Gambler’s Anonymous. I purchased a Lacie portable Trigibyte drive that was powered by the USB port, Barbara’s iPhone and refrained myself from looking at new notebooks, iPods and iPads. Not only that, I certainly didn’t want to look at those newer, thinner, meaner and faster iMacs. Mine was over five years old but I was determined to get at least another year out of it.  As you will see in a few minutes, that game plan didn’t work out too well!

That night when we got home I easily backed up my data on my old iMac. Sure enough the next day, that old iMac crashed and burned! She was gone. I was not very surprised. As much time as I spend on it I had actually been surprised it had lasted as long as it had. I just wore the machine out from use. I had to go get another one. Actually I was excited as I always am when it comes to upgrading a computer  as the new iMac was going to be faster and better! I was in a hurry so I wasn’t watching the specs that close. When I got home, I powered up and set up the new 27 inch screen iMac. It came with a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard. “This is not good,” I thought to myself as these wireless input things take batteries, the batteries go out and you have to replace them all the time. Not only that, there is always a connection problem to get them to work after a while.  More work! But what the heck! I always have an extra keyboard and mouse in case one goes out to keep the computer down time to a minimum. Can not tell you how many times I spilled coffee or  iced tea on a keyboard or had one of the keys stop functioning. Once I got the new thin iMac up and running and set up, I was ready to start installing a shelf full of expensive software I keep in my office in their original box with serial numbers and all that stuff like I had done several dozen times before.  In the past, this usually took many hours as I use Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Office and a bunch of other expensive software programs. All of the sudden I was in a rage as this new iMac had no CD rom/DVD drive. Who ever heard of such a thing. I had no way to load all the software I used onto this new computer I needed to get set up and get set up fast! I texted my son Cody and he remarked well, most software today you just download off the Internet. Then I recalled that I had noticed that the Apple Computer Store had very little boxed software for sale on their shelves. That was all fine but I did not want to have to purchase all this software over again that I had been using for years as the total cost of all that software was a whole lot more than what the new iMac costs.  So I go to the Adobe website which is the software company that had the bulk of the expensive software I use. I had blinked and didn’t notice that a few years ago, the way you buy software has not only changed, but the cost of the software has come down. Now they have what they call  “The Creative Cloud”  and for thirty some odd dollars a month you obtain access to all of their expensive software and download them off the Internet. In about 30 minutes I had the majority of what I needed and all of the new Adobe software updates. HAY! Technology has come a long way baby! This process sort of reminded me of when Steve Jobs released the first iMac many moons ago in different colors. Those iMacs had no floppy disk drive and I was stunned.

The Very First Apple MacPlus- Changed Computing Forever! NAIS computer now on display in the Spy And Private-Eye Museum.

I will never forget the day a friend walked into my office and asked my if I had seen the new Apple Computers that were really desktop publishing machines that printed to something called a laserwriter printer. He went on to explain a new type of print shop chain had just opened in Austin called Alpha Graphics that featured rental time on these new Apple Macintosh Computers for $15.00 an hour. I was highly intrigued on what this friend was talking about! We ran off to eat lunch and then ran over to this new print shop called Alpha Graphics. The place was packed! They had six Macintosh computers along the side wall of the front of the print shop with chairs for each machine. Every one of them was being used. There was a a line of four or five people waiting to get on one. I waited about 30 minutes and got my turn at these new computers. Wham! I was instantly sold on them.  A week later, I managed to procure an Apple credit card and had a MacPlus, a laserprinter and software in my office. It set me back about $8,000 but I was able to make payments on it through the Apple credit card plan which worked much like a conventional credit card where you made -not-so-easy monthly payments. These new computers  had little floppy disk drives. I had an internal floppy disk drive and an external floppy disk drive on this first set up. You would load your software on one drive and save your work to the second drive. It wasn’t long until I started to understand what a hard drive was so you would not have to overwork these floppy disk drives so everything could be stored on one. I made double and triple monthly payments on this machine to get it payed off fast. I had no idea that I was going to end up upgrading to the sum total of over 25 different Apple computers over the years and end up with an Apple Newton, Apple iPods, iPads, iPhones, notebooks and a huge assortment of accessories.

You have to understand that at the time I had obtained the first MacPlus, there was no such thing as the Internet as we know it today. I had a modem for the computer and was on Leroy Cook’s ION (Investigator’s Online Network) and an online service called Compuserve. Basically, all you could do was send and receive text messages to others on the networks but it was state of the art at the time. Apple computer plodded along and kept releasing faster and better computers and I kept buying them. The First Macintosh Plus I purchased was soon out of date. There was the Apple Macintosh SE, The First Apple Notebook Computer, The Newton Hand-held Computer and on and on.


NAIS MacPortable -Forerunner Of Today’s Laptop Computers, 1989! Another charge on the Easy payment Apple Credit Card- Price: $6,500- Weight: 15.8 lbs. -Can Still recall the sore back from carrying it! On display in the Spy And Private-Eye Museum.

I was fearful that if I didn’t get these upgrades I would become out of date and a dinosaur.  For A while,  Apple Computer lost it’s way when some top executives forced out the founder and driving force of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs; out of the company. It wasn’t until her came back as it’s temporary CEO and reinvented Apple Computer with the first iMac, that Apple got back on track. Prior to Steve Jobs coming back, Apple was about ready to go under.


NAIS Apple SE Computer, Early 1980’s. Now On Display In The Spy And Private-Eye Museum.

Instead, With Steve Jobs running things again, he turned Apple Computer into one of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world. I miss him. Just like the first iMac had no floppy disk drive, I now  understand which the new iMac has no CD/DVD drive. About the time the first iMac came out, the Internet started exploding all over the place. Joe Seanor, who started the PI Mall asked me if I wanted to be part of that and place stuff for sale inside the mall. We didn’t know if if would work or not but we did that and have been doing that every since.

When Steve Jobs Was Forced Out Of Apple Computer, They Lost Their Way And Was Close To Going Under. When Steve Jobs Came Back, He Turned Apple Computer Into One Of The Largest And Most Profitable US Corporations In American History

I myself have never really understood why some people use Windows. The Apple graphical user interface was out before Windows and many still claim that the first Windows operating system was a cheap copycat of the Apple OS. I remember trying out the first versions of Windows in the computer stores and wondered why anyone would want to use something that was so clunky. I guess it was the pricing. Apple computers and software was expensive, computers with Windows was not. So I think the typical cheaper-squeeker mentality in the consumer market place took over. Today, I think that has all changed and the Apple OS market share continues to grow while the growth of the Windows market share goes the other way. Someday, I’m hopeful everyone will use a Mac! And Nope-  I have no stock in Apple Computer (but wish I would have!) -have no relatives that work there -(but wish I did) – I’m just a fan and hardcore user of Apple Computers. They think different which is what I have always done!  And yes- we have some Windows based computers and I have used them. My feelings on them is the same now as when the first Windows version came out which is — why would anyone want to use it when there is Apple!


The Swivel iMac! Now a relic from just a few moons ago. This iMac was very cool and functional. It kept the thinking outside of the box for Apple and was a big hit in the days before Steve Jobs figured computer parts where small enough to build the iMac computer right into the computer screen with an even smaller footprint as today’s iMac is!

And there is one more thing I have to say!  I write like I talk- people like it and understand it. It might not be grammatically correct but I don’t mean 2- B  because I think differently! I think therefore iMac!  If you want to be an English teacher  go get a job at a school.


Today’s very THIN iMac with the computer built right into the screen.

I WILL CLOSE with ten computer technology Tips I think you should know from 30 years of hard knocks.

1) ALWAYS back your work up! Hard drives always crash. It’s not a matter of if, only a matter of when!
2) READ about new computer technology at least  every few months.
3) What’s State-Of-The Art right now, will soon be out of date.
4) If you say I’ll wait for the next model, you will never get a new computer because there will always be a new one coming.
5) Get more Ram than you think you need.
6) Get a much bigger hard drive then you think you need.
7) Get to know a computer repair techy- you’ll need one sooner or later.
8) Get computer virus software, you will need it and it’s not a matter of if only when.
9) The internet, Facebook, and email is NOT private so don’t think that it is.
10) If  you are in the market for a new computer for God’s sake get a Mac and stop getting that cheaper-squeeker junk!


Mac Pro- it’s going to get smaller, faster and better!

Now then! What’s NeXT for Apple Computer? The MacPro of course! Due out later this year. You have to see what’s coming so click here.

-Ralph Thomas, Round Rock, Texas

About securityteknews
Ralph Thomas is author of over 32 books on various aspects of conducting investigations, founder and director of The National Association Of Investigative Specialists,CEO of Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc, The Spy Exchange And Security Center and SpyTek Wholesale Imports. Thomas is a member of the Executive Security Council of Griffith Colson Intelligence Service, a private intelligence agency. Thomas's latest project is NAIStv on the Griffith Media TV Network. He has also developed A Native American Store in Georgetown Texas called Tribal Impressions. You can review his person home page off of: http://www.pimall.com/thomas

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