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My first week as a Mac user

posted 2006 // osx, work // 0

This was my first week in my new job and on an iMac. I was looking forward to trying out OSX, I’ve seen OSX grow in popularity over the last year or two in the development community, a lot of the screen casts are done on Macs.

I was told by others in the office that I’d be sold on Mac within the first day or two because “its much better than Windows”. After a week on it though I still find OSX gets in the way. I find myself using the keyboard more on OSX than Windows. My biggest gripes about the platform:

  1. Where have the HOME, END, PAGE UP, PAGE DOWN and INSERT keys gone? What are these useless keys in their place?
  2. I now have MORE keys to press to select a line of code and remove/cut/copy it. Apple + Shift + Left arrow to select (if at the start) and then Apple+C. Windows is just Shift + END and CTRL+C.
  3. Everything in Mac OSX is Apple + this, Apple + that, well not in a Terminal, you wanna kill that process? That’ll be CTRL+C, you wanna use Nano, that’s the CTRL key again.
  4. I miss not having a Taskbar
  5. I like to maximize my windows – this is not the done thing on OSX. The “+” button appears to be random/useless at resizing your app. Double click the app title bar – minimizes to dock :(
  6. I’d like to resize my app window, MORE mouse clicks required, lets move the window left a bit first then go the bottom right corner to resize.
  7. Minimise an app, then try to Apple + TAB to restore it back to the foreground – where is it? Still hiding in the dock.
  8. Close all open windows of an application – ALT+TAB, it’s still in the app list – wtf? Select it, nothing… oh it’s in the top menu – I have to Apple+Q or Exit from the menu.
  9. My mighty mouse might look cool but I keep right clicking in Firefox bring up the popup, or jumping to Dashboard/Expose accidentally when I want to left click.
  10. bbEdit’s comparision isn’t as good as Examdiff
  11. bbEdit’s multi-file search is slow compared to UltraEdit on Windows
  12. No Regex Coach on Mac :(
  13. I prefer Outlook to Apple Mail
  14. Who really needs 16 function keys?

So half of those are about the hardware interface – can I change to a regular USB keyboard and mouse on Mac? Does the Windows key map to the Apple key?

There are some things I like about OSX though:

  1. Expose is useful and is a saving grace for not having a Taskbar
  2. Apple Mail junk filters are good.
  3. It’s nice to be able to jump into bash at the push of a button, Windows command prompt sucks by comparison.
  4. Dashboard is handy for quickly getting to Calculator
  5. Quicksilver is cool, I’ve got to get into the habit of using it though!
  6. Interface is cleaner – drag and drop is more common place than Windows apps. Mac Office looks very Microsoft, lots of toolbars and buttons which is out of place compared to most other Mac apps.
  7. Interface looks cool – novelty fades quickly though

At the moment for me OSX is just another platform and I’d still take Windows through choice.


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