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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

OS X: My experience so far


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I've been using Windows for years. Since 3.1, actually. I've never worked on a Mac before this quarter at college. I've had the opportunity to work on them extensively, and so far, I H AT E them. HATE HATE HATE. This thread is NOT to flame, it's just one man's honest opinion after working on them for two months. If any regular users have tips on how to deal with my issues below, please share, so my experience using a Mac can be much less frustrating than what I've been dealing with so far. Maybe it's because I just am not used to it and don't know how to work it and am too used to Windows, but here are some things that annoy me:

- On Windows, if I want to resize a window, I drag from any edge (top, bottom, either side, any corner) and get it done. On OS X, it seems like the only way to do it is to drag the bottom right corner, then I have to move the whole window, then drag from that corner again. Maybe there's some button to hold down or something, but I haven't found a way to do it. To me, that isn't intuitive. That's obnoxious.

- On Windows, if I hit the X on a window, it's closed. Shut down. Gone. On a Mac, if I hit the orange minus button, it gets minimized. Great. If I hit the red X button, it...doesn't close!? It just gets minimized? What is that. What's the difference then between the orange minus button and the red x button then? I have to hit command Q or something, or File>Close...seriously? How is that intuitive and not annoying?

- If I want to get straight to my desktop on Windows, I hit the desktop button in the taskbar. Simple. On Mac, I haven't found a way to do this. I have to minimize every window that's open. That's tedious, especially when I have a dozen windows open.

- This is just personal taste, but on Windows everything looks different. Apps have their own look and feel to them, with different colors and such. On OS X, everything is bland and the same. Same grey ugly title bar thing at the top of the screen. Some people like the unified look, I personally think it's bland and terribly dull. Windows seems to have a lot more flavor to it.

- With Windows, I feel like I have more viewing space of a page or window if I maximize it. With the Mac's Dock, I feel like I'm losing some window real estate. Maximized windows have the doc below it, and a bunch of extra space around the sides of the dock shownig the desktop. Nit picky, but it annoys me.

- If I want to scroll around a page, I can middle click the mouse scroll wheel on Windows and move the mouse up or down. On a Mac, doing this brings some sort of app picking program. I can hold down Command then middle click, but that seems annoying to me, like one more tiny extra step.

- On a Windows based PC, if you want to open the CD trey, hit the little button on the tower. The Mac Pros we've been using don't have this. You have to hit a key on the keyboard. That's annoying to me, for this reason: plenty of times I've wanted to open the CD tray without a keyboard, but I can't do this on a Mac, at least the ones we have. Does the OS have to be loaded and the keyboard drivers initialized for that button to work? Seems kind of like a possible point of failure. I don't feel like I have more control over the drive by having some software coded button on a keyboard to open it. I prefer the little button, and the lights on it as well. There are no lights on the towers we use. There's just some mysterious little door. On a Windows PC, I know the drive is working because I can see the lights blinking. If the button on the Mac keyboard breaks, or some software glitch breaks it or something, how can I get to that CD tray? It just kind of makes me uncomfortable, which brings me to another point:

- I don't feel like I have complete control over the OS with a Mac. I feel locked out of stuff. Sure, there's the terminal, but I still feel very restricted. In Windows, if I want to edit the registry or whatever, it's super easy to do (for better or worse). I feel like OS X is too locked down

- Office for Mac is HORRIBLE. It feels very "light weight" compared to the PC version, like a lot of features are gone. I realize this is 100% MS' fault, but I don't like it, and I don't like how it's setup. I have some extra flukey box that floats around for editing things like font, size, etc. I like how the Windows Office has the stuff set up top. Again, that's a personal thing, I know, but I hate using Office for Mac.

In my opinion, OS X just feels REALLY annoying, and absolutely NOT intuitive. Things that make sense to me in Windows, and things I would naturally do there, just won't work on a Mac, and it feels like a lot of really really simple stuff takes at least one or two extra steps to do on a Mac. To me, Windows is the easy, more powerful, intuitive OS, and not OS X. Now when you look at Windows 7, IMO, it blows away OS X. The aero peek function, the window shake thing, the dragging of the windows off to the side to make them fill half the screen for side by side viewing, all these things work together to make W7 so much better than OS X, or any other previous version of Windows.
What are everyone else's personal expereinces with this OS (OS X)? Any other thoughts, irritations, etc?


EDIT: A couple of other annoyances:

- When alt-tabbing, individual windows aren't shown. If I have 3 firefox windows, it won't show them, or the contents, and alt-tabbing to a minimized window doesn't bring it up! WTF?

- Folders on the Dock aren't labeled...why? This goes along with what I said earlier, but the Dock is too big and gangly, it takes up too much space. I can make it smaller, or auto hide it...but that's just irritating. I don't want to mouse over it to pop it up to see what's on it. Some windows, for example from Firefox, show up to the right of the Dock, and then one is under the main Firefox app on the "permanent" side of the Dock. Ugh...

- WHY or why is the menu bar seperated at the top of the screen, away from the window? This wastes screen real estate, and just annoys the mess out of me.

Can anyone help me out here? Is there some secret to enjoying a Mac? Are there any fixes for my problems? Anything you can tell me to help me along, or bring me some peace and zen when working with OS X?
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Oh it's one of those threads. >_>"

Stop trying to make a Mac into Windows and your problems are solved. It's a different OS and therefore you should get over your Windows mind set and just go with the flow.

If you can't you can always go back to Windows.

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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What do you mean "one of those"? I know it's not Windows. I'm trying to adjust here, and I've come for some help from some pros that have been using it for a while for help adjusting. If you're going to be elitist about it and tell me to just deal with it, then save your posts and don't waste anyone's time. I'm trying to get help, and that sort of elite "Apple" attitude that I've heard so much stinks - I'm trying to switch and make my way around the OS, but you sure as heck aren't helping a novice user.
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I will tell you this in all honesty, you want OSX to be Windows. It's not. No Mac OS has ever been or works exactly like Windows. Sorry and it will never be.

If all the above (except for a very few that have ways around them) is what you want, stick with Windows and a Windows machine.

I have been running Windows since 3.0 and OSX since 10.2 side by side with XP and can use both equally well. Both are very different in some ways but I much prefer the Mac OS way most of the time.

Like I said above, most of your complaints are the way OSX works. Either you adapt and learn a new way to do things or stick with Windows. Some other users here will probably show you a way around a few of the things that upset you, but with most I feel you will never be happy.

And this is not a put down to you, but me telling you what I feel is the truth. Not trying to hurt or bash you either.
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it's not windows. Trying to make it so will only be an exercise in frustration. The secret to enjoying it? Accepting that. Many of the things you complain about have been a part of the OS since before Windows, changing that would seriously irritate many more users than it would placate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post

- On Windows, if I want to resize a window, I drag from any edge (top, bottom, either side, any corner) and get it done. On OS X, it seems like the only way to do it is to drag the bottom right corner, then I have to move the whole window, then drag from that corner again. Maybe there's some button to hold down or something, but I haven't found a way to do it. To me, that isn't intuitive. That's obnoxious.
That is correct, that's how it's been since 1984. It's perfectly intuitive to those of us who used a windowing OS prior to windows being released.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
- On Windows, if I hit the X on a window, it's closed. Shut down. Gone. On a Mac, if I hit the orange minus button, it gets minimized. Great. If I hit the red X button, it...doesn't close!? It just gets minimized? WTF is that. What's the difference then between the orange minus button and the red x button then? I have to hit command Q or something, or File>Close...seriously? How is that intuitive and not annoying?
So you're complaining because it does not match the learned behavior from a previous OS? Clicking on a red x isn't really intuitive either, and to be honest.. in the past caused programmatic issues within windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
- If I want to get straight to my desktop on Windows, I hit the desktop button in the taskbar. Simple. On Mac, I haven't found a way to do this. I have to minimize every window that's open. That's tedious, especially when I have a dozen windows open.
fn -f11


Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
- With Windows, I feel like I have more viewing space of a page or window if I maximize it. With the Mac's Dock, I feel like I'm losing some window real estate. Maximized windows have the doc below it, and a bunch of extra space around the sides of the dock shownig the desktop. Nit picky, but it annoys me.
so minimize the doc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
- If I want to scroll around a page, I can middle click the mouse scroll wheel on Windows and move the mouse up or down. On a Mac, doing this brings some sort of app picking program. I can hold down Command then middle click, but that seems annoying to me, like one more tiny extra step.
this is a setting, scrolling on the wheel works just fine for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
- I don't feel like I have complete control over the OS with a Mac. I feel locked out of stuff. Sure, there's the terminal, but I still feel very restricted. In Windows, if I want to edit the registry or whatever, it's super easy to do (for better or worse). I feel like OS X is too locked down
There is no registry in OS X, or in Linux, or in any version of Unix out there.. or to be honest any other OS I've ever worked with.. all the way up to big iron mainframe OS's (Tandem OS, z/OS etc). You don't feel like you have the control because you don't know it as well. That's all. You can open up that terminal and modify config files and configuration databases to your hearts content. It's all about know what you're doing. The registry is hardly user friendly, intuitive or even efficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
- Office for Mac is HORRIBLE. It feels very "light weight" compared to the PC version, like a lot of features are gone. I realize this is 100% MS' fault, but I don't like it, and I don't like how it's setup. I have some extra flukey box that floats around for editing things like font, size, etc. I like how the Windows Office has the stuff set up top. Again, that's a personal thing, I know, but I hate using Office for Mac.
Agreed, Microsoft screwed up office when they wrote office 08. They dumped support for macros on it too.. this was the plan for the next windows version, good thing Mac users complained about it so intently eh?

So in conclusion.. if you want to be seriously irritated... try an old window manager like Open Windows, you'd blow a gasket

mike
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If things won't work the same way, then fine...just tell me that. Maybe I can adjust to it, but right now, I don't KNOW that things are different that way. I don't know that things just wont' work the same ways. I don't know -not- to expect some experience similar to Windows, since I've never worked on a Mac before the past 2 months. Does that make sense?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
What do you mean "one of those"? I know it's not Windows. I'm trying to adjust here, and I've come for some help from some pros that have been using it for a while for help adjusting. If you're going to be elitist about it and tell me to just deal with it, then save your posts and don't waste anyone's time. I'm trying to get help, and that sort of elite "Apple" attitude that I've heard so much stinks - I'm trying to switch and make my way around the OS, but you sure as heck aren't helping a novice user.
It is what it is. I'm not trying to be an elitest. You can't make the Mac OS into something it's not. It's not going to be function or do things like the way Windows does.

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
If things won't work the same way, then fine...just tell me that. Maybe I can adjust to it, but right now, I don't KNOW that things are different that way. I don't know that things just wont' work the same ways. I don't know -not- to expect some experience similar to Windows, since I've never worked on a Mac before the past 2 months. Does that make sense?
I'm hoping that my above reply helps in that some. It's different and does require some adjusting. Neither is really inherently good or bad and to be honest, I have irritations with both OS's...

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Can anyone explain the difference between the red X and the orange - ? Do they do different things? Looks the same to me, what am I missing?
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the red X closes the current window, the orange one minimizes it to the dock

BTW, one thing I will HIGHLY recommend is playing with the keyboard shortcuts, it makes dealing with OS X extremely efficient (and actually pretty intuitive once you get the command and option difference)

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1343

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Originally Posted by Delete View Post
Can anyone explain the difference between the red X and the orange - ? Do they do different things? Looks the same to me, what am I missing?
Orange Minimize Window

Red Close Window but not application.

If you minimize, all your info is still in the window just like in Windows. If you close, it's all gone. Native Applications included in OSX mostly close the window but keep the application running, but there are some that totally terminate when you hit the Red X.

If you want to totally quit running an application, you can right click in the dock on the app and click Quit, Click on the Application name in the Tool Bar up top and on quit of hold the Apple Key and press Q.
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I can deal with different ways for things. My frustration mostly stems from not knowing how to do certain things at all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delete View Post
I can deal with different ways for things. My frustration mostly stems from not knowing how to do certain things at all.
That, we can help with

and really do understand.

Oh cept for that mighty mouse thing.. I hate that thing with a passion, so I can't help you. Got a problem with a logitech mouse on a mac, I can help!

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I have the iPhone (still rockin' the 1st generation) and LOVE the heck out of that! Light years ahead of anything else on the market. If I could only apply that to their large, desktop OS I'd be set...!
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When you realize your not fighting spies and virus's anymore and system crashes and being asked for permission or send reports to MS you will see the light.
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