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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    How to make the desktop look like ubuntu or windows?
    I used to use windows and then ubuntu (linux) which was great. Now I got a mac. I find the desktop really messy. The windows don't fit the screen when you expand them, and to get things out of the way I have to drag things all over the place! It's really hard to handle.

    1) On windows and ubuntu, if you click to maximise a window, it really maximises it. Ie goes to maximum size. How do I make this OS do that?

    2)
    a) On windows and ubuntu, there is a bar at the bottom, where it shows me all the windows I have open, of all the various programs. It is very helpful! I can visually see, all the time, what windows I have open. And I can easily click on them to bring whichever one to the front.

    b) On ubuntu there is also a button in the bottom left corner to hide all windows to show the desktop.

    c) And on ubuntu you can have multiple desktops going at the same time, and switch from one to another.

    How can I make these things happen on this mac OS?
    Thank you very much!
    Justin

  2. #2

    ambivalent's Avatar
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    1) There is no maximize. period.

    2) a)Not sure- I just keep things minimized so i know where everything is.
    b)On OSX you can do this with Expose...I can't remeber the default settings because mine got messed up but if you go to System Preferences>Dashboard and Expose you can assign 'desktop' to whichever key or mouse button.
    c) I know you can do this with OSX...
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/sho...tiple+desktops

    that might help.
    She figured out that the only way to keep from being frozen was to stay in motion,
    and long ago converted most of her flesh into liquid.
    Now when she smells danger, she spills herself all over, like gasoline, and lights it.

  3. #3

    ToddG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin View Post
    I used to use windows and then ubuntu (linux) which was great. Now I got a mac. I find the desktop really messy. The windows don't fit the screen when you expand them, and to get things out of the way I have to drag things all over the place! It's really hard to handle.
    First rule of switching: acknowledge that you've switched. Mac OS X != Windows. Mac OS X != ubuntu.

    1) On windows and ubuntu, if you click to maximise a window, it really maximises it. Ie goes to maximum size. How do I make this OS do that?
    OS X doesn't have this capability. It's "maximize" feature is more intelligent in that it grows the window to the size needed for the data/application. This usually works out better. There are some windows (like web forums) where you may want the window to be larger. You can click and drag the lower right corner of a window to resize it however you want.

    2)
    a) On windows and ubuntu, there is a bar at the bottom, where it shows me all the windows I have open, of all the various programs. It is very helpful! I can visually see, all the time, what windows I have open. And I can easily click on them to bring whichever one to the front.
    The Dock in Win OS X will put a small black triangle next to any application that is running; you can click on that to bring the application to the front. Also, if you minimize a window, it goes to the Dock and you can see it.

    For fast switching and to see all your open windows, you can also use Expose by pressing F9 on your keyboard. All of your windows are shown in a shrunken size on the screen at once ... whichever window you click will come to the foreground.

    A neat bonus feature, if you press F10, it does the same thing but only to windows of the present application (all of your open Word documents if you're working in Word, for example).

    b) On ubuntu there is also a button in the bottom left corner to hide all windows to show the desktop.
    The hiding works differently, but you can press F11 to hide all windows at once to see the desktop. Press F11 again to bring them back, or F9 as outlined above.

    c) And on ubuntu you can have multiple desktops going at the same time, and switch from one to another.
    There are utilities you can download that will give you this capability in OS X 10.4, and it will also be standard in the upcoming 10.5 "Leopard" OS X.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    More questions re. linux/mac
    Hey Todd thanks. Now it is starting to seem more acceptable! Then one more thing you may be able to advise on - also in ubuntu there is a cool way to see all the applications - they are automatically organised in a tree-like structure. You click on the applications button on the top of the screen, and down comes a menu, eg audio, games, internet, accesories etc. Then clicking (or maybe just going over?) one of those reveals all the programs in that category, etc. So it is easy to find which programs you want, and click to start the app. Easy, compact and fast. Here on mac I only see a huge list of apps with no order. Is there that option as I have explained above?

    Also all the software on ubuntu regularly checks for available updates, automatically. Does that happen on mac?

    And on ubuntu there is no need for any virus protection software. Do we need it here on mac? Or, is it already included? (I just bought this macbook new).
    Thank you very much!
    Justin

  5. #5

    ToddG's Avatar
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    Justin --

    I'm not aware of anything that gives you a "tree view" of applications like that. Someone else might have a better suggestion.

    Whether software checks for available updates is a function of the individual application, not the OS. Mac OS X checks for updates, as do most applications I've seen.

    There is a very long and detailed discussion about anti-virus software in the Switchers section; it's a sticky topic at the top of the list. Suggest you read that to get a more in-depth answer. The easy answer is, "You don't need anti-virus software on your Mac." The more complicated answer is, "It's not a bad idea to have anti-virus software on your Mac." FWIW, I don't run any anti-virus software. BUT, I also back up all my important files weekly.

    Hope this helps. Welcome to Mac!

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Hi Justin,

    For a tree view of applications, you can drag the Applications folder (or any other folder) onto the Dock - you can then right-click (or Cmd-Click) on the folder and its contents will appear, very like the Start Menu. It'll expand out as you go down through the levels.

    Note - if your dock is at the bottom of the screen like mine, it has to go on the right hand side of the seperator bar to work.

  7. #7

    mac57's Avatar
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    Hi Justin, for that tree like structure, you want to get ClassicMenu from http://www.sigsoftware.com/classicmenu. It is shareware, not freeware, but worth every penny. I switched from Linux to Macs about 7 months ago. As a Linux based open source minded person at the time, I was unhappy about paying for ClassicMenu, but you do have to recognize, if you are switching back to commercially based software like Mac OS X, that the model is different. You are switching, and you need to acknowledge that fact.

    As I mentioned above, I switched from Linux to Mac about 7 months ago. At the time I was using Arch Linux and SuSE Linux, and I know EXACTLY what you mean - I was lost with just the Dock and the Applications folder as my application launchers. I hunted around until I found ClassicMenu and have been VERY happy with it. Give it a whirl - it is dead easy to configure, and has lots of clever eye candy as well.
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  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Okay so those F keys are kind of functional, hiding and revealing etc. But how about when you do control H, and the window dissappears. How do you make it reappear then? I don't see it on the dock, and F8 F9 F10 F11 don't bring it back.
    Thanks!
    Justin

  9. #9

    cazabam's Avatar
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    If you make a window disappear with command-H, the entire application disappears. Just click on it in the dock - it will be there. If you grab Onyx there is an option to make hidden applications slightly transparent so you can visually differentiate them.

    Another aside is that command-tab works like alt-tab in other OSs, but it switches between applications rather than windows. Once you have chosen teh application you want, press command-` (that's a backtick) to switch between windows within an app (a bit like alt-f6 in Windows MDI apps).

  10. #10

    Kash's Avatar
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    There was a single mention of multiple desktops, but that thread isn't exactly informative and to be honest, there's really no reason to pay for that software when there are free alternatives available.

    I suggest you check out VirtueDesktops. It is an amazing piece of software. I'm sure it will blow away all concepts of multiple desktops you had in Ubuntu.

    Like others have said, you have switched to Mac OS X. You need to forget about how Ubuntu and Windows did things and learn the Mac way of doing them rather than getting OS X to work like the other two operating systems. The sooner you learn this concept, the less frustrated you will be. Plus, you may just find that the Mac way of doing things is better than the Windows/Ubuntu way :black:

  11. #11

    dan828's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kash View Post
    I'm sure it will blow away all concepts of multiple desktops you had in Ubuntu.
    You've obviously not seen the Compiz/Beryl implimentation of multiple desktops used in Linux. Developed by Novel originally but being actively worked on by other OSS developers. Their spinning cube multi-desktop and wobbly/transparent/sticky windows pretty much blow everything on the market away.

    Demos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELwnG9f7lDM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o17C...elated&search=

  12. #12

    yogi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan828 View Post
    You've obviously not seen the Compiz/Beryl implimentation of multiple desktops used in Linux. Developed by Novel originally but being actively worked on by other OSS developers. Their spinning cube multi-desktop and wobbly/transparent/sticky windows pretty much blow everything on the market away.

    Demos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELwnG9f7lDM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o17C...elated&search=
    YOU'VE obviously not seen Spaces, have you?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y75BYIiHrZE

    FWih multiple desktops, functionality is more important than that 3D cube. That's useless.
    Exposť is there already, the Genie effect sucking windows effect is there already, too. Fast User Switching does the cube thingy.
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  13. #13

    Kash's Avatar
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    Virtue Desktops has a spinning cube too, and has several other options as well on how to switch between desktops. Personally, I find having to drag the cube around would hinder performance rather than increase it as a simple keystroke would allow for.

    Like Yogi said, Mac OS X can do everything else in those videos. And when Leopard is released with Spaces built in, it definitely WILL blow away anything Linux can offer.

  14. #14

    mac57's Avatar
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    and don't forget You Software's YouControl Desktops, which I use. See www.yousoftware.com. It also has the spinning cube effect and several other really nice ones for desktop changing... although I stay with the cube - I really like it. Frankly, I found the full Xgl/Compiz implementation a bit over the top. I know that I could (and did) control these things, but the wobbly menus in particular were really just strange, and kind of annoying.

    As for rest, OS X already has the transparency thing down cold.

    There is a point at which eye candy for its own sake becomes a hinderance to enjoyable use of your computer, not a help. I think the full blown Xgl/ Compiz implemenation, with all the effects turned on, has crossed that line!

    Just my opinion.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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  15. #15

    dan828's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi View Post
    YOU'VE obviously not seen Spaces, have you?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y75BYIiHrZE

    FWih multiple desktops, functionality is more important than that 3D cube. That's useless.
    Exposť is there already, the Genie effect sucking windows effect is there already, too. Fast User Switching does the cube thingy.

    Yes I've seen the demos of that unreleased product. So what? It's not going to be available for six months. The discusion was not about that, however, it was about currently available products, of which VirtueDesktops was mentioned, which was said to "blow away" all implementations in Linux. That is obviously not the case.

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