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A Week on the Mac

18th August 2009

Well its now a couple of weeks into using my shiney new MacBook Pro 15" and I have decided to do an early report on a few things I like / dont like about it. Its not an exhaustive list but just a small rant of my main pleasures / gripes.


The keyboard, I know you can get soft-touch keyboards for PC but I have never tried them before passing them off as "unnecessary" but having used this keyboard for a week now I am a changed man. Just the act of typing on the thing is a pure pleasure! Definately a plus if you are coding on the thing all day ;) One slight negative is that there appear to be some keys missing from it such as the # key and the end and home buttons, not a biggie, im sure there are shortcuts in there somewhere.

exposeThe Expose show all windows feature is great! I have it activated on my middle mouse button right now. Right mouse button show all windows to get an overview of all the windows open then click on the one you want, simple, easy and less confusing that the Windows taskbar in my opinion.

The install / uninstall process. This one took a little bit of getting used to. At first I wasnt sure exactly what was going on, but now I understand that you just drag an application into the "applications" folder to install or drag it out to uninstall its a doddle, much better than Windows' add / remove programs or even worse individual application uninstallers!


Finder. I may not have got it setup totally correctly yet but so far this app has been pissing me off more than any other so far. I dont like the way you delete files and folders from it by either having to drag them to the recycle bin or by having to press cmd & backspace, a simple backspace would have been better. Also copying files to and from folders is frustrating. In windows you select some files hit ctrl & c then select the folder for the files to go to then ctrl & v, do this in mac and your files and folders end up going in the root folder not the one you are navigating. The same goes for making a new folder, you would expect selecting a folder then going file -> new folder would create a new folder in the selected folder, nope, it goes in the root again :(

The cmd key. Why? What is the purpose of having control, alt and cmd? Im slowly getting used to using the cmd key for things such as cmd & w to close windows and tabs and cmd & n to open new things but I dont see why you couldnt just use ctrl for this purpose. Whats more, when I switch back to a windows computer at home I end up getting confused and hitting the alt key all the time :S


The lack of right-click functionality on menu bar items. This is frustrating in some situations, one of the primary being GMarks for firefox. In the morning I like to check a few sites for news and see whats going on in the world. On windows I do this using the GoogleBookmarks plugin for Firefox called Gmarks. I normally right click my "Check Daily" GMarks bookmark folder then select "Open All in Tabs" button. Unfortunately however as you cant rightclick on menu bar items on the Mac you are unable to do this. My only solution so-far for this problem is to fireup parallels and then perform my morning ritual from within windows xp, hardly ideal.