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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?" :)

Just not getting it...


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Doug@pobox.com
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I got a new Macbook Pro today. First impressions are that the OS X interface is cumbersome and hard to use. I haven't been using it long enough to be able to objectively point out everything I am having an issue with, but here's what I can clearly express.

1. Page down - Why doesn't page down actually do a page down function? Page down does a scroll down. You can use ctrl-page down to get a page down, but why do I have to press extra keys to make what's labelled as the page down key, actually perform a page down operation?

2. I'm used to using alt-tab in windows to switch between app. OS X has the Apple-tab key but it only switches between apps, and it doesn't let you switch to the windows within apps. How can I do this? If I have 5 web pages open in Safari, and several other apps with windows open, how can I quickly switch to any of them?

3. The terminal application doesn't have the Lucida Console font available. Is this just a matter of downloading it from somewhere?

4. I use yahoo personals and sometimes when I see (a nice looking girl online), I'll click on the 'IM me' link, which on windows will open a chat window controlled from Yahoo Instant Messenger. On OS X it does nothing at all, eventhough Yahoo IM is running.

5. I tried to watch some movie trailers tonight on movies.yahoo.com and got told that I didn't have a plugin for application/x-mplayer2. In windows IE already has the plugin installed and Firefox will go download it. On OS X, Safari just gives up and firefox _tries_ to download it but fails.

6. I'm having real trouble gettng use to the widescreen format. Sure, the resolution is 1440x900, but 900 isn't a whole lot and it is generally just very annoying to have such a small amount of y-axis real-estate.

7. The default VPN client has no option to not use the default gateway on a remote network. For security purposes, our VPN doesn't let traffic out into the general internet.This means that when you are connected via a VPN, you can only access the VPN network and not the general internet. You have to continuously connect and disconnect to the VPN to get internet access. That's REALLY irritating.

8. The window close, minimise and maximise buttons are SOOO small that it takes me several seconds to focus on them. I can see myself getting RSI from this.

9. Because of the way that the apps work, it makes it really hard to know which ones are in focus. You have to continuously look up the top menu bar to work it out.

10. When I downloaded Yahoo IM today, the install was completely confusing. It said to drag the icon to the Applications folder and then click it to continue. Did it mean I should do that via the file windows? Because you could also drag the Yahoo smiley face within the same window to what appeared to be the Applications window. I still don't know how I got it installed. I've been involved with computers for 24 years, since I was 10 years old. I'm a systems engineer and a unix admin, so this stuff should not be that hard.

11. Just generally speaking, most of the applications seem to completely disregard screen real-estate, ie they take up a LOT. I'm amazed at how much of the screen Yahoo IM consumes when it's up.

I've only had the notebook since this morning and already have all these issues. I'd really like to get over them. I don't want to have thrown $2,000 down the toilet.

Doug.
Doug@pobox.com
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Oh, one more thing I just remembered.

I started to configure the standard mail client and realised there was no option to 'leave mail on the server'. Every mail client since the beginning of time has had an option not to delete mail from the server after it has downloaded it. If the mail OS X client sucks and I want to use something else (and download the email again), well I can't...
baggss

 
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To put this bluntly, OSX is not Windows. Stop trying to do things the Windows way and learn how Mac OSX actually works. You bothered to shell out the $$$$ for the machine, it would be a shame if you were unable to open your mind enough to actually give it a chance. Give it some time, don't expect to unlearn all of your Windows ways in 1 day.


eric

 
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you're going to get a TON of responses.

mainly, keep this in mind (i went though a lot of the same stuff as a windows power user/switcher):

use it for a while - don't think about windows - don't try to compare - you will get used to it - you will end up enjoying most of it - you will almost certainly still like some windows' ways of doing things better


i can answer a couple specifically:

2) i think it's the tilde (don't have a mac keyboard in front of me right now).
apple+tab = swap apps
apple+tilde = swap within app
works pretty nice actually.

5) you may need to download the flip4mac plug in for quicktime.

6) this will be pretty easy to get used to, you'll probably find yourself making more use of the horizontal space without even realizing it.

8) and 9) again, before you know it, you'll have this down.

10) this works so much easier than windows - just takes some realigning of the grey matter to make it click. all you typically need to do when opening a new apps dmg file is to drag the icon for it to your apps folder. that's it. really.
i've sometimes made folders in the apps folder to hold an app and it's doco, but that's not necessary.
and remember, "eject" the dmg file (top left of your finder window) or you won't be able to delete it from your desktop (or empty the trash - one or the other, can't remember).

11) true. that's one of the things i don't like about itunes actually. you'll either get used to it, or find a different app.
for chatting try adium - great program!


also, check these out:

unison - great newsreader/binary downloader if you need that sort of thing.

onyx - excellent maintenance tool, great for cache maintenance and tweaking preferences

delocalizer - will free up a couple gigs of space by removing extra language support if you don't need it (i recovered about 2.8Gb).


good luck with your new mac!
Doug@pobox.com
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Can you explain to me how having to press two keys to perform the function labelled on the key is better?

Thanks for you reply, but you haven't addressed my questions. Some of them may be related to me unlearning winows. However, some of them very much appear to be shortcomings of OS X. I'm just quite confused, because I thought OS X was supposed to be the ants-pants of GUI's.

Here's another issue I just had. I downloaded and installed drivers for my Logitech webcam. The installer won't install until you acknowledge the fact that the system will reboot after you have completed the installation. After the installation is complete, the system reboots. On windows, you can choose to install and reboot later. How is the OSX approach better?

I'm also getting pretty annoyed at having to scroll everything cuz of the 900 y-axis resolution, combined with the fact I can't just press Page Down.
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threads were merged - removed duplicate info.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug@pobox.com View Post
I'm also getting pretty annoyed at having to scroll everything cuz of the 900 y-axis resolution, combined with the fact I can't just press Page Down.
have you tried function[fn]+page dn?
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No, I'm not going to explain, I'll leave that to others. It certainly sounds like you have already taken it into your head to dislike OSX because you don't understand it. I will simply reiterate what I have already said. Give OSX some time and don't don't dismiss it or question everything just because it is different from what you are use to. If you are simply going to gripe because it's not just like Windows, then you have just wasted $2000.


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Double posting is considered to a form of SPAM in this forum. Please post your topic in one forum only.

I would recommend reading the forum rules before you post further.


Doug@pobox.com
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I;m griping because two keystrokes is always worse than two, no matter what the operating system is, and getting RSI from trying to click on the teeny little window control buttons is also always bad.
Doug@pobox.com
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Which would you consider to be a more appropriate forum? Exactly what criteria should I use in making my determination?
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page down key goes down one page at a time like it should, it does not go to the bottom. what it does is you see what you can see on the webpage you are looking at, hit the pagedown key and it shows you the 'page' that is right below it.

command tab is designed to go between applications, command ~ is designed to go within windows of an application. this is because your application only opens once so your alt tab thing wont work. in windows you are basically re-launching the application again, in osx another safari window is just another window within the application, hope that makes sense

3. the font in Terminal is a problem? i dont follow this one

4. you probably dont have something set up right because i can click links on myspace profiles or whatever to talk to a friend and it works great with the program, Adium X

5. find the program flip 4 mac, should solve many of your problems re: this one

8. you will get used to it, and remember keyboard shortcuts are quicker, command+w to close window, command+q to quit the program, command + m to minimize

10. come on man, "drag and drop = installation" how confusing is that? you drag the yahoo im icon into your applications folder. and then the disk image made it even easier for you by providing a link to your applications folder so all you had to do was drag the icon an inch or two and then BAM! it is installed.....i dont know how a systems engineer can mess up drag and drop

11. complain to yahoo about it taking uptoo much space man, that is not os x's fault....if you want a window to be smaller resize it

long story short: you are not using windows anymore, windows will be different from osx which will be different from Debian which will be different from ubuntu which will be different from Suse...it will take some getting used to, and most of your issues seem to stem from the fact that you want your computer to act like your windows machine. if you really need a windows machine than maybe a mac was not the choice for you. if you find me to be a little rude remember that you also did not take the time to become used to something that is completely new to you and just start complaining about all these thinigs. get used to it and enjoy it, or dont get used to it and send it back

-chris

MoTM honor roll...
when?
i dont remember
Doug@pobox.com
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coach, page down does not page down. It scrolls down.

Yes, the font in terminal is a problem. It's hard to read. On CRT or Putty for windows, the Lucida console font is available. I guess thats's because it's installed in Windows. I'd like to know how I can get the font so I can use it in terminal. I don't think there was a vt100 font there.

Yep, the drag and drop was completely confusing. As I said, it was not clear if I was supposed to drag the Yahoo face into the folder icon INSIDE the install app, OR drag the yahoo icon to the applications folder via the file system interface. I tried both, and after clicking the yahoo icon in the applications folder, the SAME install window kept popping up. The firefox install was also confusing and I somehow managed to break it. When I opened it, it spat out an assert error and died. I eventually got it working somehow. Btw, Firefox has crashed on me 3 times tonight.

It isn't just Yahoo IM that's takes up a lot of screen space. All the applications seem to.

I'll check into the rest of your suggestions, thanks.

Eric, oops sorry, yes, it's func + page down that performs the page down, not ctrl-page down. I still don't understand why PAGE DOWN doesn't.... page down!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug@pobox.com View Post
1. Page down - Why doesn't page down actually do a page down function? Page down does a scroll down. You can use ctrl-page down to get a page down, but why do I have to press extra keys to make what's labelled as the page down key, actually perform a page down operation?
It's the down arrow key; page down is the ctrl function. You may notice there are no other arrow keys on your keyboard ... clue. It's like the comma button has a less-than sign on it; you need to understand what the key does by default, and what it does when you press other keys at the same time.

Quote:
2. I'm used to using alt-tab in windows to switch between app. OS X has the Apple-tab key but it only switches between apps, and it doesn't let you switch to the windows within apps. How can I do this? If I have 5 web pages open in Safari, and several other apps with windows open, how can I quickly switch to any of them?
First, try Expose ... just hit F9 and you'll see all your open windows at once. Click the one you want and it wil move to the front.

If you don't like that, you use apple-tab to switch between aps and apple-tilde (the key to the left of the number "1" key) to switch between windows within an app. It doesn't work exactly like Windows.

Quote:
5. I tried to watch some movie trailers tonight on movies.yahoo.com and got told that I didn't have a plugin for application/x-mplayer2. In windows IE already has the plugin installed and Firefox will go download it. On OS X, Safari just gives up and firefox _tries_ to download it but fails.
Get flip4mac, which is the way to watch Windows video files on a Mac. It's free and you should be able to find it easily by doing a search here or on Google.

Quote:
6. I'm having real trouble gettng use to the widescreen format. Sure, the resolution is 1440x900, but 900 isn't a whole lot and it is generally just very annoying to have such a small amount of y-axis real-estate.
This has nothing to do with the Mac OS X interface, and a similar height screen is not likely to have a higher resolution so you're not getting less real estate. I have a Dell with a 15" widescreen working at 1920x1200 resolution and everything appears painfully small. Try changing your font sizes and icon sizes, perhaps?

Also, you gain a little real estate because unlike in WinXP, your app windows don't all use their own discrete repetitive menu bars ... you just have the one menu bar across the top that always shows you which app is active.

Quote:
8. The window close, minimise and maximise buttons are SOOO small that it takes me several seconds to focus on them. I can see myself getting RSI from this.
They're bigger than the default launch button icons on a Windows taskbar (the little program buttons you can put to the right of the START button) for the same resolution screen. They're almost identical in size to the default minimize, maximize, close buttons in Windows operating at the same resolution.

Quote:
9. Because of the way that the apps work, it makes it really hard to know which ones are in focus. You have to continuously look up the top menu bar to work it out.
I haven't experienced this problem. But yes, the menu bar always tells you which app is active.

Quote:
10. When I downloaded Yahoo IM today, the install was completely confusing. It said to drag the icon to the Applications folder and then click it to continue. Did it mean I should do that via the file windows? Because you could also drag the Yahoo smiley face within the same window to what appeared to be the Applications window. I still don't know how I got it installed. I've been involved with computers for 24 years, since I was 10 years old. I'm a systems engineer and a unix admin, so this stuff should not be that hard.
I've been involved with computers for 27 years, every since I was 9 so neener-neener. And the install/uninstall routine on a Mac is incredibly simple. I think you're just trying to find a higher level of complication because that's what you're used to. In OS X, you drag the app to the application folder. Period. Done.

Quote:
11. Just generally speaking, most of the applications seem to completely disregard screen real-estate, ie they take up a LOT. I'm amazed at how much of the screen Yahoo IM consumes when it's up.
Again, this is not a Mac OS X interface issue ... this is a software design issue. If someone writes an app that requires a lot of real estate, all you can do is resize the window (which Mac OS X let's you do). Remember that if you put two fingers on the trackpad of your MBP, you can scroll up, down, right, or left just by moving your fingers.

Quote:
I've only had the notebook since this morning and already have all these issues. I'd really like to get over them. I don't want to have thrown $2,000 down the toilet.
So after maybe one day of working with a new OS you expect to be as comfortable and competent as you are with the systems you've been using for years?

I made the switch about three weeks ago. Took me a solid two or three days before I really felt comfortable within Max OS X. Now, WinXP seems clunky.

Others have said it and so will I ... your complaints mostly revolve around "Mac OS X isn't identical to WinXP." Well, you're right and if you want WinXP then you should stick with WinXP. Mac OS X isn't the same.

But don't get too comfortable with WinXP; Vista is coming soon and by all accounts, it's a kludged clone of -- yup you guessed it -- Mac OS X.

And when I say clone I mean clone.

In all seriousness, good luck with the switch if you want to switch. If you don't really want to switch and feel stuck with a $2,000 computer, send me a PM and I'll take it off your hands for $200. At least you'll recoup 10%.
Doug@pobox.com
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Todd,

Ok. I see your point. So the page down key is actually the arrow down key. Would it have been so hard to color code the function and 'page' word with the same color to indicate an association that required both be pressed together? That's a pretty standard pc/notebook feature. C'mon. Be realistic. How is someone supposed to know 'function' has to be pressed at the same time without some sort of visual connection between them?

I'll try Expose. Why do I need to install extra apps though to bring OS X to the same level of functionality as Windows?

Some manufacturers, like Dell and Sony, make 15" screens with SXGA+ resolution. This is 1440x1050, and it works wonderfully.

The minimise, maximise and close window buttons may be the same size, buf you look closely, you will see that because they are round, rather than square, they are smaller and harder to click on. I still think they are smaller on OS X than windows anyway.

The screen real-estate is an issue with OS X. It's not just yahoo that takes up a lot of screen space. The OS X apps themselves to do, and when you only have 900 vertical pixels, you need all the space you can get. How can I make my desktop icons smaller? Is there a way to do that?

As I said, the install is not simple. It was NOT clear to me if I was supposed to drag the icon within the yahoo app or drag the icon with the file system. All it said was to the drag the file. It didn't say how to do it, yet gave you multiple ways to do it. I didn't know which way was the correct one.

I also did not realise that OS X does not automatically reorder icons inside a folder. The yahoo icon was there, but because it was way off to the right for some reason, I didn't notice it was there.

I don't agree that my complaints revolve around me saying that OS X isn't identical to Win XP. I was under the impression that OS X would just work out of the box, but when you add up stuff like firefox crashing, the vpn client not being able to skip the remote default gateway, the mail client not giving the option to leave mail on the server (Windows Outlook expres does), links inside safari not opening up yahoo chat, it's disappointing.

Performing the equivalent operations on windows did not require the assistance of a forum to get it working, so why should it require such assistance for OS X?

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