The Australian Roads and Maritime Authority (RMS) has retired 1,300 iMac "Sunflower" G4 computers after a whopping 10 years of service. (On the other hand, New Zealand Police have choosen to adopt iPads and iPhones in a $159m deal)
The iMac G4s were deployed in Australian registry offices under the somewhat controversial remit of CIO Greg Carvouni, who axed Microsoft Exchange and implemented Mozilla Firefox, Sun's StarOffice Suite and the Macs. All considered unusual moves for normally conservative goernment departments.
The long lifespand of the iMac computers is a testement to Apple's build quality, because they are still currently in use.
Renai LeMay from Australian website Delimiter says "These iMacs are still being used right now by the RTA. I went into the Sydney CBD RTA registry this afternoon to renew my driving licence (a happy coincidence). I was served by a very polite lady who filled in my details on her sunflower iMac and gave me my new licence. To her right was a string of about a dozen other sunflower iMacs happily being used by staff. A decade after they were deployed. Now that’s what you call return on investment."
IT News from Australia talked to the RMS and reports that: "RMS has not finalised all components but we expect the iMac replacement will be an Acer desktop running two virtual machines - a Linux VM to host the RMS Point of Sale applications and a Windows VM to provide back office functionality such as employee self service. Customer service officers will be able to toggle between sessions".
Of course, running dedicated software to handle registration enquiries doesn't place the same upgrade demands on hardware as other computer uses, but it's still a testament to Apple's build, design and construction that its computers can last such a long time in a corproate environment. We wonder if Acer desktops will manage to last as long.
The iMac G4 is one of Apple's most fondly remembered computers with a 15in LCD display mounted on a adjustable arm, upon its Jony Ive said that it was inspired by the sunflower, hence the nickname. It was also nicknamed the iLamp because of its resemblance to "Luxo Jr", the animated lamp from the early Pixar short film. Apple still makes iMacs, and the current model is available with 21.5 or 27in displays (see: iMac 2012 review).