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  1. #1


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    What OSX needs to win Windows users
    I am the target poster boy for a Mac convert. I am tired of Msoft, and have a whole extended family of Mac users. I REALLY want to dump Windows and go Mac. In fact I own two macs, an older G5 and a brand new Mac Mini. But I have to say that I am Boot camping into Windows 7 all the time, not because I dislike OSX (I think it is awesome), but because of the little things, the things that a Windows and Linux user (I use both heavily) expect but are not there in OSX.

    Home and End keys. I know this is old hash, but these keys are used heavily by Windows and Linux users to select lines in applications. Triple clicking a line to select it is a poor substitute. It makes your hands leave the keyboard, which is inefficient, and it does not allow partial selecting of a line. I tried to use the keyboard remapping codes, but they have their own problems. OSX needs to have a "native" Windows/Linux keyboard emulation. Not some remapping hack, but something that is native to the OS.

    Another very annoying U.I. decision with OSX is what happens when you hit enter on a selected item. For example, if iDvd is highlighted (selected) in Finder, and you hit the Enter key, the logical thing to do is to launch the application (like Windows and Linux), but OSX goes into edit mode, allowing you to rename the application. 99.99% of the time, a user would rather launch the app than rename it -frustrating.

    I realize that my whinging will seem petty to most long time Mac users, but to long time Windows and Linux users, these are SO annoying. It is the little things that count.

  2. #2

    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    To me Mac seems more like a mouse oriented OS while PC are more keyboard based.

    I can see where you are coming from. It seems to me that you are comfortable with the Windows/Linux so why switch?

  3. #3

    Nicoya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
    To me Mac seems more like a mouse oriented OS while PC are more keyboard based.

    I can see where you are coming from. It seems to me that you are comfortable with the Windows/Linux so why switch?
    I personally think the opposite of this, mostly because I have been used to multi button mice and when i started truly using Macs it came with the awful puck, and one button clear mouse. I like both OSs so I'm whatever on it, but we'll probably never get the best of both in one.

  4. #4

    Big Dan's Avatar
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    There are home and end keys on the full Apple (or other brand) keyboard. I've found that Cmd + Left and Right Arrows work as home and end on the wireless keyboard.

    The biggest change for me originally with the Mac keyboard was that tab only cycles through text input fields where as a PC cycles through all fields, check boxes, buttons, lists, etc. This was easy to change via System Preferences > Keyboard but it still doesn't seem to work the same as the PC.

    As for mice well I've always thought Apple designs horrible mice. You know it's bad when I go out and buy a $10 corded mouse to replace a $70 wireless mouse just so I can middle click with consistency.

    Long story short OS X 'wins' PC users over every day, just look at the switchers hang out. I always wonder how long newly switched people stay with OS X as their primary operating system after the initial 'shiny new toy' effect wears off.

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    I always wonder how long newly switched people stay with OS X as their primary operating system after the initial 'shiny new toy' effect wears off.
    This graph Market share for browsers, operating systems and search engines indicates that use of OS X is steadily climbing and is on the way to reaching the 10% mark, if it hasn't already.

    I think that with Snow Leopard release that this graph will continue to climb.

  6. #6

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    I'm one of those switcher's that does not use keyboard shortcuts. Didn't in Windows, and don't use that many in OS X. I've been infatuated with the mouse since it's arrival. The more I can do with the mouse, one handed, the better. (Not to say I don't know how to get around a system where the mouse isn't functioning.) 2 1/2 years now, I've had only an inkling, which quickly passes, of going back to Windows for my primary personal computing.

    I still love my MBP. It's right up there with the first AMD system at 100Mhz I built and the last P4 system I built and had O'C'd up to 3.9+Ghz on air.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  7. #7

    MacsWork's Avatar
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    Seems like a Linux user should know how to use a keyboard. Ctrl+E and Ctrl+A sound familiar. Ever buy a new PC laptop and have no idea where home, end and delete even are?

    Apple users have been using the cmd or  key to navigate with the keyboard as well as launch applications since the dawn of time. If you poll most windows users they don't know what right clicking is for as a basic function nor do they know that simply using the enter key launches apps and opens folders. They just don't know. What about windows key+L or windows key+M or windows key+E. These seem like really useful shortcuts for windows users who have zero clue.

    People talk about Macs as being simplistic because they are. They give you what you need and take away what 95% of people will not concern themselves with. People like yourself will take the time to learn the OS's specifics and are interested in the tips and tricks to achieve computing nirvana. You are in the 5% category. The 95% isn't missing from the OS it is just a keyboard shortcut or preference change away. Tell me switching to Vista or pre release 7 (Vista 2.0) was simplistic. I use both and can tell you that XP to either of the two required time to figure out where MS was going.

    I work in IT and can tell you that windows users (95% that is) not only don't know how to use their OS, them simply don't care. The same can be said about Mac users though. They just have a chip on their shoulder so they tell you how great it is to be a Mac user yet put them to the test and they can't talk their way out of a wet paper bag. It doesn't make Macs better, but PC users don't do themselves any favors by seeming so uneducated and uninterested.

    That said I am a life long Mac user who simply prefers Macs.

    Mac switchers switch because they want something. Wether that something is to be cool, because they want what someone else has, because they think that all their problems will be solved. What ever it is it is going to present them with the task of comparing. BECAUSE THEY AREN'T THE SAME! If people were to switch to Mac because they were impressed that the keyboard functionality was just like windows I would say great, hope you don't mind that the navigation app is called Finder and not Explorer and that we call it System Preferences and not Control Panels.

    Some people will HATE Macs after a switch. I've seen that too. And some people buy Zunes because they think they will burst into flames.

    End of rant.

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
    It seems to me that you are comfortable with the Windows/Linux so why switch?
    I would switch to Linux as my main home PC, but I have two kids, and so some gaming is required. Also, depending on what hardware you choose, the driver support can be a pita.

    Moving from Windows is more of a moral choice. I don't like how Msoft does business, so I prefer not to use their software. Obviously if am lured back to their OS because of keyboard issues, then my moral standards must not be too high.

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by MacsWork View Post
    Seems like a Linux user should know how to use a keyboard. Ctrl+E and Ctrl+A sound familiar.
    In all the Linux distros I've used, Home and End work just like they do on Windows.

    If you poll most windows users they don't know what right clicking is for as a basic function nor do they know that simply using the enter key launches apps and opens folders.
    That has not been my experience, but I do work in the the tech sector so the users are generally more tech savvy.

    My point is that many power Windows users do find it difficult to switch to Macs. If OSX had a native Windows keyboard mapping it would really help users with the transition.

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzterrier View Post
    My point is that many power Windows users do find it difficult to switch to Macs. If OSX had a native Windows keyboard mapping it would really help users with the transition.
    But then you would have to market your system as...

    OS X 10.x.x! The most advanced operating system in the world (although slightly limited by the fact that we now stick Windows keyboards onto all our Macs so that switchers who can't be bothered to learn a new OS, completely contradicting the point of switching,don't get confused)

    It's a different OS!!!!!!! Of course it's not going to be the same!!!

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    I'm still a fairly recent switcher from Windows PC to Mac. At first, I found myself swapping OS's, but mostly it was for some games (now I primarily just play COD4 which works on OSX).

    I love OSX, but I'll admit, at first, it took a bit of work on my part to not use the Windows (or linux, as I use that too) crutch. I think the biggest problem with people moving to OSX is when they use their previous OS as a crutch and fall back on it because they are more comfortable with it.

    Change isn't easy, but many times it's worth it. This is a situation where a person (the OP in this case) needs to ultimately make the decision to commit to his/her switch to the new OS. OSX is not Windows and there are a lot of differences because of that (I can't even count any more how many posts I've seen on various forums of new switchers complaining about how the windowing works on OSX because they are so used to full screen everything).

    I try to do everything I can in OSX and have managed to not launch my bootcamp partition in weeks (although I have launched my vm of my old windows box because my scanner isn't compatible with OSX and I haven't been able to replace it with the Mac version yet (fujitsu scansnap has 2 versions, a windows version and a mac version - I tried to get my windows version to work on mac, but just doesn't like it) ) - I'm not going to say it's been always easy; but I'm much happier using just OSX (actually so happy, that I went and bought a mini to use at work rather then the windows box work gives to me to use).

    Am I saying OSX is perfect? No. Do I find myself pressing my home key to have it do not what I expect? yes. Does it cause me to launch windows just so I can use a keyboard the way I have learned in the past? no - it just means I need to train myself to do it the way OSX does it.

    Just like people using Linux for the first time after using windows (or DOS for those of us in the game for that long ) for so long - it's got its challenges. There have been so many changes since I started using computers (late late 70's) - one has to be willing to adapt to change (even within a given OS) otherwise that person will always be miserable.

    Just my $0.02 and humble opinion on the issue... I'll shut up now
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  12. #12

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    I'm one of those switcher's that does not use keyboard shortcuts. Didn't in Windows, and don't use that many in OS X. I've been infatuated with the mouse since it's arrival. The more I can do with the mouse, one handed, the better. (Not to say I don't know how to get around a system where the mouse isn't functioning.)
    I know most of the keyboard shortcuts in both Windows and OSX but also tend to use the mouse for most things. Main exception is I have always used CTRL X, C & V a lot and keep the other hand on the mouse to mark the text to copy/cut and paste. In OSX it's Command X, C, V. Close enough. Took me about 5 minutes to get used to using Command instead of CTRL. Every once in a while though when in Windows I tend to go for the ALT instead of Control!

  13. #13

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzterrier View Post
    I am the target poster boy for a Mac convert. I am tired of Msoft, and have a whole extended family of Mac users. I REALLY want to dump Windows and go Mac. In fact I own two macs, an older G5 and a brand new Mac Mini. But I have to say that I am Boot camping into Windows 7 all the time, not because I dislike OSX (I think it is awesome), but because of the little things, the things that a Windows and Linux user (I use both heavily) expect but are not there in OSX.

    Home and End keys. I know this is old hash, but these keys are used heavily by Windows and Linux users to select lines in applications. Triple clicking a line to select it is a poor substitute. It makes your hands leave the keyboard, which is inefficient, and it does not allow partial selecting of a line. I tried to use the keyboard remapping codes, but they have their own problems. OSX needs to have a "native" Windows/Linux keyboard emulation. Not some remapping hack, but something that is native to the OS.
    On my MacBook Pro, the home/end keys are invoked by using the cursor keys in tandem with the Fn key. But as I understand it, the full Mac keyboard also has Home/End keys.

    Another very annoying U.I. decision with OSX is what happens when you hit enter on a selected item. For example, if iDvd is highlighted (selected) in Finder, and you hit the Enter key, the logical thing to do is to launch the application (like Windows and Linux), but OSX goes into edit mode, allowing you to rename the application. 99.99% of the time, a user would rather launch the app than rename it -frustrating.
    FWIW, I agree. But I've gotten into the habit of select => Command+O. Even better, I've recently been using Spotlight as an application launcher. Command+Space, type name of application and hit Return. Try it sometime.

    I was/am a big fan of Windows+R => type application name and go. So, this came pretty naturally to me.

    Of course, working in IT, administering a Windows network, one of my first priorities was to replicate functionality I was used to in Windows on my Mac. Now that I've figured my way around, it's like second nature.

    I realize that my whinging will seem petty to most long time Mac users, but to long time Windows and Linux users, these are SO annoying. It is the little things that count.
    I think you should probably take Linux out of the equation in that statement. For the most part, any GUI aspects of Linux are unoriginal. They were simply made to mimic Windows because that's all the devs have ever known.

    Mac OS has a long history and many of these "eccentricities" are original, non-derivative functionality. When Windows was introduced, Microsoft included their own eccentricities, but since they took dominant marketshare, those eccentricities have become perceived as "the standard".

    So, if you want to switch, my suggestion would be to take your Windows cap off and put your Mac cap on. Because the longer you fight with the habits you've developed over decades of Windows use, the harder things will be for you.

    As a long time Amiga user, this concept is not new to me. For many, many years, I fought with the concept that pressing Shift-backspace did not clear a text field, and that right-clicking to invoke a menu wasn't necessary. Those were traits of the Amiga that weren't present in Windows. It didn't make me think that Windows was inadequate, I just needed to adjust to the new paradigm. When I switched from Windows to Mac (OK, maybe not switched, but added Mac OS X to my OS skills set), I realized that I would have to accept yet another new paradigm.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  14. #14

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    On my MacBook Pro, the home/end keys are invoked by using the cursor keys in tandem with the Fn key. But as I understand it, the full Mac keyboard also has Home/End keys.
    Yes CWA, that is correct. Both my older White keyboard that came with my iMac and my new Full Sized Aluminum one have both Home and End keys.

  15. #15


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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    I always wonder how long newly switched people stay with OS X as their primary operating system after the initial 'shiny new toy' effect wears off.
    I'm a recent convert to OSX. Although I still use Windows XP for work and for a few personal applications, I will stay with OSX as my primary operating system - IMHO OSX just works better overall than Windows.

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