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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Computers

So for the past five days, I've been working on the testing Mac - a Mac laptop that I've plugged into my existing monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. This is because my hard drive in my Dell died a horrible death. So, I've been a Mac user for five days, which is long enough to find some new things to like and dislike about the Mac over Windows.

Grumbles:
- clicking once in the browser address bar places the cursor there. I have to click three times to fully highlight the address. On Windows, one click highlights the address, which suits my needs 80% of the time. Triple clicking blows.
- when launching something, Mac takes a guess at what program should open it, and I haven't yet found a work-around if it guesses wrong. This led to a rather comic episode trying to install Yahoo Messenger since it thought the file should be opened by Excel.
- On Amazon, the format offered for their music samples is Real or Windows Media Player. I don't want to have to download Real ever, and WMP is Windows specific.
- I miss the taskbar. I use a lot of different open windows in my normal day and quick, single click switches between them is essential. (On Windows I deselect "Group
Similar Items.)
- Textpad holds on to formatting. I frequently drop text into Notepad on Windows to strip off formatting. I haven't found a way or place to do that on the Mac yet.

Praise:
- Mail.app works really nicely. When idle, it scrolls the Inbox up to show me new mail without scrolling the next time I bring it to focus. When new mail comes in while I'm reading mail, it doesn't steal focus on the one I'm reading to jump to the new mail. Nice.
- The Mac lets me easily work with the laptop screen on or off. If the laptop is open, it shares the workspace across both screens. If the lid is closed, it pushes everything to the external monitor. It just does this with no fuss.

On the plus side, while everyone is fretting over my email, I can't be bothered to care. My work email archive is Gmail. Kevin didn't think he'd be able to get my mail, but was in the end. I think he expected bigger praise for this, but I've been forwarding my work mail to Gmail for a couple of years now, and everything I care about is there. The only thing I can lose is my sent mail.

But possibly more compelling is the switch back. Using the Mac with my Dell keyboard meant that the Windows key behaved like the Apple/Squiggle key on the Mac (which behaves like the Ctrl key on Windows). Today I've been flailing, hitting Windows instead of Ctrl. I also caught myself looking to the top of the screen for the time instead of the bottom.

But now I face the rather daunting and unrewarding task of cleaning up my new hard drive. There's a bunch of stuff that just doesn't need to be there and needs to go away. There's also some duplication because Kevin was having trouble getting data off the drive and my backup wasn't happening properly. I need to clean it all up. Don't wanna.

2 Comments:

  • clicking once in the browser address bar places the cursor there. I have to click three times to fully highlight the address. On Windows, one click highlights the address, which suits my needs 80% of the time. Triple clicking blows.


    You can try cmd-L - that'll select everything in the browser address bar, and that's no clicks. :)


    when launching something, Mac takes a guess at what program should open it, and I haven't yet found a work-around if it guesses wrong. This led to a rather comic episode trying to install Yahoo Messenger since it thought the file should be opened by Excel.


    On the file itself, you should be able to hit cmd-I in the Finder and choose what application (if any) should open the file in question.


    I miss the taskbar. I use a lot of different open windows in my normal day and quick, single click switches between them is essential. (On Windows I deselect "Group
    Similar Items.)


    If all the windows are owned by a single application, click the app icon in the Dock - that'll bring all those windows to the front.


    Textpad holds on to formatting. I frequently drop text into Notepad on Windows to strip off formatting. I haven't found a way or place to do that on the Mac yet.


    You can use TextEdit; it defaults to rich text, but you can set a window to be a plain text document and then paste into that.

    By Blogger Chris, at 4:29 PM  

  • I don't want to have to download Real ever, and WMP is Windows specific.

    Windows Media Components for QuickTime.

    But Windows is better. :-)

    The only thing I can lose is my sent mail.

    And not even that, if you use the Gmail SMTP server.

    my backup wasn't happening properly

    You might want to test it next week!

    By Blogger Michael, at 11:30 PM  

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