2 1/2 years as a Mac user

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
After almost 2 1/2 of using Mac (started by buying the MacMini weeks after it was first announced), I've found there are features that are indispensable, and others that are sorely lacking from other OS's. I had previously used Windows and three different Linux distros at home.



The Good:



1. Some brilliant keyboard shortcuts that I can't find anywhere else, including Command-comma (get Preferences for application). I can't live without Command-Q (quit app) and Command-W (close window or tab).

2. Command-tab (cycle through whole applications) and Command-tilde (cycle through windows within an application) is much cleaner and more intuitive than Windows' and Linux's Alt-tab to cycle through all Windows. Also, the ordering of the applications make more sense, as less frequently used open applications are further behind the queue than frequently used open applications.

3. The menubar makes more sense at the top, since it makes the application windows more compact. Only one menu is on the screen at the time, and it's 100% crystal clear which is the active application if I have multiple windows open. Also well {Application name} > About makes far more sense than Help > About. The Apple menu is a nice touch in that it remains constant irrespective of the application that's running.

4. Expose. When I have alt-tab-itis, it's my second most preferred way to cycle through applications and windows.

5. Dashboard. I use it every morning to see the weather, read Dilbert, look up addresses, and to see my resource usage.

6. Quicksilver. Gives you full keyboard access to all applications and files. You can configure quick launch keys (ex Command-F1 to open Firefox).

7. The Mighty Mouse. I like "left-clicking" with my whole hand instead of just my index finger. I also like to to squeeze to access Expose.

8. No applications suddenly jump to the forefront when you're working on something else. If a program wishes to get my attention, it'll cause the Dock icon to bounce up and down. Windows insists on switching to that application as I'm typing something elsewhere.

9. Integrated OS-wide services, such as the Addressbook, Dictionary, spell-checker, etc. All Cocoa apps remember and make use of my localized preferences (Canadian locale settings and Canadian English spelling).

10. Drag-and-drop installer system. No dependency hell as all application files are within a single folder (with exceptions like Apple apps and NeoOffice, among others).



The Bad:



1. Apple's annoying habit of tying new releases of Java to new releases of OS X and making their Java versions over a year behind Sun's.

2. No apt-get style package download and management system (this is my major pet peeve about Mac). MacPorts packages are too far behind and not extensive enough.

3. Lack of a lightweight free Office suite with a lightweight spreadsheet (although KOffice 2.0 should run on Mac).

4. Lack of games. (why can't more game publishers use OpenGL?)

5. Lack of keyboard shortcuts like invoking the right-click context menu, invoke the screensaver, "maximizing" a window, opening a Finder window etc. Also, keyboard shortcuts configurability is limited compared to GNOME.

6. Bottom-right-hand corner drag to expand window (yeah, I'm still annoyed about that).

7. Lack of underlined letters on options in the menubar and on dialogs. Carbon apps don't let me interact with a promt menu (ex Yes No Cancel) with the keyboard.

8. Firefox is too slow, RAM hungry and ugly on Mac. Unfortunately the alternatives are too feature-poor (Safari and Camino), so I'm stuck with it.

9. Mail in-window search box doesn't behave as well as Thunderbird (but Thunderbird is written in Carbon, which means that I'm stuck with 2), so I use Mail instead).

10. Finder sucks (granted, I do like the column view for some things). There's no New > File feature. I hope it's fixed and Cocoa-fied in Leopard.



Anyway, all in all, I'm so satisfied with OS X that I wouldn't be able to switch unless a Linux distro could emulate most of the functionality is good points 1-10. Still, I'm not 100% satisfied either.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,223moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    Anyway, all in all, I'm so satisfied with OS X that I wouldn't be able to switch unless a Linux distro could emulate most of the functionality is good points 1-10. Still, I'm not 100% satisfied either.



    That's similar to how I feel. I think OS X is better than Windows and Linux but it has enough bad points to put people off.



    I love the unix core and that it's the only unix system with a usable interface IMO.

    I like the package distribution method of open dmg, drag, drop, delete.

    I like the quiet machines.



    I don't like:

    that OS X is slow to load programs.

    having no customization like themes.

    lack of games and other software packages.

    bottom corner resize either.

    stupid graphics drivers they can never seem to get right these days.

    that the hardware lineup is so limited.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    feartecfeartec Posts: 119member
    I agree. I got a MAC roughly 7-12 months ago after attempting to be a BSD user, and I am very glad I have done it, but at the same time there are issues. Mine that are most annoying have to be:



    The only thing that isn't provided on Free ware (which is awesome for OS X) is games, GET ON IT Apple, hold PC viruses for ransom, I don't care. That is the only way you will ever get massive users, kid gamers are who dictate what the family will buy who has little knowledge of computers.



    Lower MacBook prices will entice buyers 800 bucks for a base model will not kill you, Apple once again, GET ON IT.



    The Governmental sector. Billions to be made, and they use essentially the same system SUN computers are filling the role of. This platform can do everything, rather than having multiple computers for multiple functions, once again Apple, GET ON IT.



    There are always little things, but with more users come more ideas and more sckrilla($$$).



    MAC's rule and I will never switch however, there isn't a better platform out there.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Im a 1.5 year Mac user and I used to be die-hard Windows but there isn't much about Macs that I don't like. I can agree with most of the previous points listed, but I can refute some too. There is a shortcut to invoke Finder window when Finder is selected, its CMD+Up. That brings up a new home view Finder window.



    Also, I agree with Feartec that the kid gamers are the ones that dictate which type of computers the family uses. Hell, I left home a year ago (I'm 19) and what did my mom do as soon as I left? She bought two new Dells. I demanded she return them (they were about 1200 each) and I got a deal on two iMac 20"s from a friend who works at an Apple Store for 1000 each. Now my whole family uses macs and it's because of me.



    I disagree that Apple should cater to the lower end. It's just something they have never done under Steve Jobs and it's something that makes Macs look worse. Apple tries to give the best user experience and that costs more money. You slash off a few hundred dollars and the user experience goes down because the machine that person just bought only has 512mb of RAM. Not worth it. Apple's image is one of superior computing, not mediocre. Let's face it, OS X kinda requires a bit more hardware-wise than does XP.



    I don't know what Apple could do to entice game makers to make native OS X games but they do have something like 12 Billion dollars sitting around because of such high margins. Maybe a billion to EA and a billion to ID to bump in the right direction? I definitely see games as another major catalyst for switchers.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Apple shouldn't kill the MacMini. It's how I got started. For an affordable investment, I was able to try OS X and then upgrade when I had committed to the platform. Without a low-end MacMini, they'll get less switchers.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jtrwallace View Post


    Im a 1.5 year Mac user and I used to be die-hard Windows but there isn't much about Macs that I don't like. I can agree with most of the previous points listed, but I can refute some too. There is a shortcut to invoke Finder window when Finder is selected, its CMD+Up. That brings up a new home view Finder window.



    Also, I agree with Feartec that the kid gamers are the ones that dictate which type of computers the family uses. Hell, I left home a year ago (I'm 19) and what did my mom do as soon as I left? She bought two new Dells. I demanded she return them (they were about 1200 each) and I got a deal on two iMac 20"s from a friend who works at an Apple Store for 1000 each. Now my whole family uses macs and it's because of me.



    I disagree that Apple should cater to the lower end. It's just something they have never done under Steve Jobs and it's something that makes Macs look worse. Apple tries to give the best user experience and that costs more money. You slash off a few hundred dollars and the user experience goes down because the machine that person just bought only has 512mb of RAM. Not worth it. Apple's image is one of superior computing, not mediocre. Let's face it, OS X kinda requires a bit more hardware-wise than does XP.



    I don't know what Apple could do to entice game makers to make native OS X games but they do have something like 12 Billion dollars sitting around because of such high margins. Maybe a billion to EA and a billion to ID to bump in the right direction? I definitely see games as another major catalyst for switchers.



  • Reply 5 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    I hate the Mac, PC's running Windows are a much better choice.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I hate the Mac, PC's running Windows are a much better choice.



    Care to explain why you like Windows so much better? Examples, please.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,616member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    Care to explain why you like Windows so much better? Examples, please.



    It was a joke! Look at my post count
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    It was a joke! Look at my post count



    You could have been a Microsoft troll that posted a lot
  • Reply 9 of 18
    feartecfeartec Posts: 119member
    JavaCowboy \tApple shouldn't kill the MacMini. It's how I got started. For an affordable investment, I was able to try OS X and then upgrade when I had committed to the platform. Without a low-end MacMini, they'll get less switchers.





    I agree JavaCowboy, the MAC Mini is a great invention, I am planning on using it for a home theater computer for my old man trying to get him in on the wave of brilliance, and I think it will really be the only way I could ever afford to do so. The Mini was a great idea, and if they managed to make a MAC Super Mini or something along those lines I know people would take a liking to it. What else can you hook up to a TV aside from Apple TV with a browsing capability?
  • Reply 10 of 18
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    Apple's done a wonderful job with OS X and with Leopard the trend continues.



    I'd like to see more games as well and I think you will. While OpenGL 1.4-2.1 doesn't sound like a big jump the imporant thing that changed was increasing the scope of what OGL can do with Shaders. Developers can now code to more of OpenGL and deliver good product. Nividia is a strong OGL proponent so I expect that we'll see DirectX lose a bit of share to OGL as developers get keen with the new toys.





    OS X has really proven a couple of things.



    1. Unix can be powerful AND look good.

    2. Cocoa does indeed allow for rapid application development.

    3. Apple is willing to take a hit in the present day (Quartz rendering) in order to prepare for the future when hardware catches up

    4. Apple deftly uses Open Source when the time is right and gives back (Safari, Zero Conf, CalDAV)



    I want to see Apple assign shortcuts to more functions. I want to see Universal Access expanded and modern support for voice recognition. By iPhone version 3 I should be able to dicate informal messaged into my phone. I want the inkwell technology to continue to improve so that if Apple wants to deliver a tablet someday they have voice input and pen based input use.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,281member
    Sorry, but being a Debian user from custom kernels to the system levels there is no need for Apt-Get/Dpkg in OS X's mpkg format.



    As a Sid user I check dependencies and other updates constantly.



    OS X is not a Linux Community operating system that has a hierarchy of authorized developers to manage packages for Apple.



    I do miss the option of purging any lingering files that some developers leave behind due to not bundling their package in one .app folder structure thus not guaranteeing when I drop the folder into the trash all the dylibs, executable and data resources are solely in the trash as well.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Please, people, it's "Mac", not "MAC", for the ten thousand and 9th time!!!



    Mac is the abbreviation of Macintosh. MAC means: http://www.auditmypc.com/acronym/MAC.asp
  • Reply 13 of 18
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    They left out Military Airlift Command.



    The use of the all-caps "MAC" is a good way to tell PC trolls. As soon as I see that, I discount pretty much everything else in the post.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    feartecfeartec Posts: 119member
    Jesus, the second someone discounts everything for 2 characters, I discount everything they say. Funny
  • Reply 15 of 18
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 614member
    Here is one of the best Keyboard shorcut fixers



    http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/menumaster
  • Reply 16 of 18
    debenmdebenm Posts: 99member
    new finder shortcuts are abundant...



    command+shift+h = home

    command+shift+a = apps

    command+shift+u = utilities

    command+n = new finder window

    command+up = new finder window



    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459
  • Reply 17 of 18
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    You want the best shortcut ever?



    In any Cocoa application (like Textedit), pressing control+t will flip letters on either side of the cursor. Type "teh," stick the cursor between the "e" and the "h," and press control+t?it becomes "the."
  • Reply 18 of 18
    I switched a month ago and feel similarly. Another huge positive, basically the reason I went with a Macbook Pro, is it runs pro-audio apps incredibly smoothly. While PCs have caught up in terms of basic stability, you'd be shocked at what a nightmare it can be to record a few tracks of audio - any number of antivirus and background processes can interfere and create showstopping gaps in the audio signal.



    The only additional negative I'd add is that iPhoto is really a generation or two behind Picasa, Google's free (PC and Linux only) photo organizer. I really hope that iLife 07' is more than boring refresh, because between high quality freeware PC stuff and webware apps, Apple's really lost a lot of their lead in the consumer-friendly multimedia app category they once dominated.
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