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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS X not what I expected


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JP-ME

 
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I have very recently bought my first Mac..... a Mac Mini. However, without going into a long convoluted story it has had to be returned as a faulty unit and up to now I haven't replaced it but opted for a refund instead.

Now I am a long time Windows user, back as far as 3.1 (please no flame wars) and have suffered some pretty poor iterations over the years. That however has all changed with Windows 7 which most reasonable people acknowledge as a pretty good OS. Now I don't know just what I expected with OS X (save for trumpet fanfares and scantily clad women ) but I have to confess to some disappointment. I recognised a good deal of W7 in the mix but found the UI somewhat dated. The whole look of files and folders appeared to hark back to Windows 98. Now I'm not saying that this in any way affects how the OS performs but it did leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed. When I re-connected my W7 desktop for the first time last night I couldn't help but think - this UI looks a lot more polished.

Am I being unfair or are my observations a fair assessment.
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vansmith

 
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Not necessarily. W7 is a fine iteration of Windows and as many will say, you use the best tool for the job. If W7 meets your needs, by all means use it as your primary OS.

At the same time though, I would note that many features have been shared across the OSes. You recognize a lot of W7 is OS X which may sound odd considering that W7 came out nearly two months after OS X Snow Leopard. This may explain why there are some obvious bits of OS X in W7 such as the taskbar which now very much resembles the dock in OS X.

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6string

 
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Sounds like you're happier with W7 than OS X.... each to their own, and if that's what you're comfortable with, then I think your "switch" back is a good option for you
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Sounds like you know what you want. Nothing wrong with using Windows. It's not for me, but it sounds like it's perfect for you.
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JP-ME

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string View Post
Sounds like you're happier with W7 than OS X.... each to their own, and if that's what you're comfortable with, then I think your "switch" back is a good option for you
Don't get me wrong, I couldn't really fault OS X but I have heard so much about the OS that maybe I found the reality did not quite live up to all the hype, which is true of much of life today. It could be that had I come to OS X a few years back then I really would have been impressed. As it is I think that MS were so stung with the reception that Vista received that they had to really raise their game hence the effort put into Windows 7.
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Have to admit, Win 7 is a polished looking interface. I like it a lot and have a custom built quad core Win 7 box myself. It's not been able to take the place of my lowly 4 yr old C2D Mac as my primary machine though.

edit: You might enjoy reading one of my rants about the couple of fanboys during week 3 of my Mac usage - link.

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JP-ME

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
Not necessarily. W7 is a fine iteration of Windows and as many will say, you use the best tool for the job. If W7 meets your needs, by all means use it as your primary OS.

At the same time though, I would note that many features have been shared across the OSes. You recognize a lot of W7 is OS X which may sound odd considering that W7 came out nearly two months after OS X Snow Leopard. This may explain why there are some obvious bits of OS X in W7 such as the taskbar which now very much resembles the dock in OS X.
I do think that Windows is more configurable from the UI whereas with OS X the user control has been locked down more which means using Terminal. Yes I note the similarities between taskbar and dock.... I like the way taskbar shows apps as thumbnails and do ponder the logic of the traffic light operation in OS X windows.

The thing is I often read in forums such as this or by speaking to people who say - I've just got my first Mac and I'm loving the switch OS X is great. However, when I ask people just what it is they love they enthuse about the hardware but cannot answer what it is the love about OS X. Some can if they've come straight from XP and this I understand.

As I say it might just be me but thought I would offer my first observations of the OS
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A problem many switchers have (at least the one's that complain) is that they actually expect OS X to be Windows without viruses. It's not Windows, plain and simple.

Windows 7 (and even Vista) do have very modern looking GUIs (if by modern, you mean it's crammed with almost every conceivable piece of information you might ever need to see). Saying OS X looks a bit like Win98 though, is a bit much -I think people forget exactly how ancient Win98 actually looks. Let's compare and contrast...

Windows 98



Snow Leopard


...let's be fair now, they're nothing alike.

I actually have no issue with even Windows XP as a functional OS, probably because I have used it every single day for almost 10 years (mostly at work). When moving to a new OS, it is difficult to adjust to new workflow and new visuals. Most people who have used OS X for years, probably hardly ever use the finder to browse for folders - that's why Apple has never 'FTFF' (an inside joke). The iLife apps are better at managing most files, and Spotlight is the best way to find files or documents. I actually find Window 7's 'document libraries' really hard to use... but that's just me!

Stick with what works for you buddy... OS X is now about having every single feature in a taskbar... it's about minimizing workflow steps and keeping things clean.

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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP-ME View Post
Yes I note the similarities between taskbar and dock.... I like the way taskbar shows apps as thumbnails and do ponder the logic of the traffic light operation in OS X windows.
I assume you mean when you mouse over an icon on the Windows taskbar. If so, I'm with you on that one. That's why I was excited to hear about HyperDock which does what you see in W7 with the taskbar somewhat but it is still beta so I'll cut the dev some slack for some issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP-ME View Post
However, when I ask people just what it is they love they enthuse about the hardware but cannot answer what it is the love about OS X. Some can if they've come straight from XP and this I understand.
I can see that. I love the OS more than the hardware (go Unix) but no doubt the hardware is what really pulls in some.

To each their own. Enjoy W7 and if you ever come back to the Mac, we'd be glad to help you transition over.

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JP-ME

 
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Quote:
...let's be fair now, they're nothing alike.
I actually have no issue with even Windows XP as a functional OS, probably because I have used it every single day for almost 10 years (mostly at work). When moving to a new OS, it is difficult to adjust to new workflow and new visuals. Most people who have used OS X for years, probably hardly ever use the finder to browse for folders - that's why Apple has never 'FTFF' (an inside joke). The iLife apps are better at managing most files, and Spotlight is the best way to find files or documents. I actually find Window 7's 'document libraries' really hard to use... but that's just me!

Stick with what works for you buddy... OS X is now about having every single feature in a taskbar... it's about minimizing workflow steps and keeping things clean.
Apologies if you have got the wrong end of the stick, probably my fault for explaining myself badly. I wasn't referring to the Leopard desktop, what I was referring to is the folder/file structure, all those trees. I start at one side and keep clicking and clicking going deeper and deeper until I see the file I was looking for. I'm well aware that I could use Spotlight to find the files but being new to OS X I like to poke around and see what's what and where files and folders reside. That's what I meant by saying it's like going back to Win98 and lets face it if those folders were coloured blue in the screen shot you provided you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Mac folders list. The fonts and folders look so dated, I'm sure they could be brought up to date. I know it doesn't alter the functioning of the OS but I do think that under the hood could do with a bit of polish.

Please don't take offence as I'm not wishing to denigrate OS X but you know sometimes a fresh eye can see things that a regular user may not have thought of or considered before.
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JP-ME

 
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Quote:
To each their own. Enjoy W7 and if you ever come back to the Mac, we'd be glad to help you transition over
Well I haven't really left but I better not go into that suffice to say I like a challenge and getting things to work.
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Pity you had problems with the Mini. Have my own views on the failure of all this minaturisation, particularly hard and optical drives and graphics. If you are more comfortable with Windows by all means enjoy Windows 7.
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Just a note, even Vista and W7 have folders inside folders. Think where the .DLLs are. Hard Drive (C), Windows, System 32 and then some sub folders inside of that.

It really sounds like Windows is for you. OSX will never really win you over I fear.

I bought my first Mac BTW for the OS. Not the pretty case. And yes, I very much like Windows 7 BTW. I just prefer OSX. Sure I can say virus's, Spyware and having to be careful not to get them as a reason, but I find OSX more Intuitive and also more stable.

For Vansmith, of course I could site Stability in Linux/Unix also but feel the interfaces still need some work but they are getting there.

PS: That Windows 98 screen shot above really shocked me. I had forgotten just how old the interface looks! It was nice when it first came out though!
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I tried to like Windows 7. I really did. I was a long-time Windows user up until a few years ago when I tried a PowerBook for kicks and instantly was smitten by OS X. Windows 7 is pretty as far as the Aero Glass look, but at the same time, it's just distracting. And the menus, the Explorer layout… it's just cluttered. OS X has a nice, clean, simplicity to it that lends highly to its usability, though it is hardly perfect (the Finder really could use a few more enhancements). I certainly wouldn't label it as "dated" though. Many of the UI enhancements in Windows 7 don't lend much to its usability IMO… just adds an "oooh ahhh" factor. Oh sure, it's better in some ways than its predecessors, but in others it's a bit of a step back. Once I got past the "Wow!" factor, I realized it was still just annoying to use.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP-ME View Post
Apologies if you have got the wrong end of the stick, probably my fault for explaining myself badly. I wasn't referring to the Leopard desktop, what I was referring to is the folder/file structure, all those trees. I start at one side and keep clicking and clicking going deeper and deeper until I see the file I was looking for.
...and that's different to Windows 7 how? (I have Win 7 BTW). Because of the libraries? You do realize that OS X has had the concept of 'smart folders' for the best part of a decade, yes?

I'm not being defensive or criticizing you, I'm just not sure where you think the difference is. I think most people recognize (even die-hard Windows fans) that Win7 takes its design cues from OS X, not the other way around.

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