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MacBytes
May 26, 2005, 11:22 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Ground Rules for the Windows-Macintosh War (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050526122214)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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CallMeCookie
May 26, 2005, 11:56 AM
Can someone copy paste ? I dont have a subscription and I dun want one either :s

Gasu E.
May 26, 2005, 12:13 PM
FROM THE DESK OF DAVID POGUE
Ground Rules for the Windows-Macintosh War
By DAVID POGUE

Published: May 26, 2005

<copyright material deleted, sorry!> :(

munkle
May 26, 2005, 12:15 PM
Last week, I wrote about some of the changes Microsoft has in store for the next version of Windows, which is slated for the end of 2006. Interestingly, very few of you responded to that column, probably because so much may change in the next 19 months.

But a few of you fired off diatribes about how I'm either a Microsoft "shill" or an Apple "apologist" (or maybe it was the other way around). It's not just me, either; it's a running sardonic joke among tech columnists that you can't even USE the word "Apple" or "Microsoft" without getting hate mail from somebody or other.

It's kind of amazing that various extremists could find the same column too pro-Microsoft AND too pro-Apple. But hey--that's the nature of ideological soldiers, whether they're in the conservative-liberal war, the evolutionist-creationist war or the Hummer-Prius war.

The Mac-Windows war, though, is especially pointless, protracted, and winnerless. There will always be people on each side who are every bit as rabid and un-convincible as those in any other religious war.

Still, I'd like to suggest, as a starting point of civility, a few pointers for participants in the O.S. war. Consider it one man's version of, "Can't we all just get along?"

1. Hate something for its failings, not for its success.

It's totally fine to criticize something because of its flaws--to hate Windows because it's bloated and cryptic, for example, or the iPod because it's too easily scratched. But condemning something just because it's the dominant product is just sour grapes. Arguments along the lines of "I hate Bill Gates because he's rich" or "I hate the iPod because everyone has one" add nothing to the dialogue.

2. No condemning something until you've tried it.

If everyone abided by this idea, about 95 percent of all the Windows-Macintosh diatribes would evaporate overnight. But here it is: If you haven't tried something, then you really have no basis to comment.

3. Execution matters.

I'm so tired of reading discussions like this: Person A: "I love Mac OS X Tiger! That Spotlight thing is so cool: press a keystroke, type a few letters, and get an instantaneous listing every file, folder and program containing that text."

Person B: "You pathetic loser! It's called hard-drive indexing, and Windows XP has had it from Day One." Of course, the truth is that Windows Indexing Service is to Spotlight as Thomas the Tank Engine is to a bullet train. In Indexing Service, you can't search with a single keystroke, the speed is nothing like Spotlight's, you can't search for metadata (115 kinds of secondary information, like music genre, Photoshop layer names, camera settings in digital photos, etc.), the index isn't updated in real time as you create or delete documents, and so on.

It goes the other way, too. "I love how Windows XP lets me delete or rename files right in the Open or Save dialog boxes."

"What's the big deal? On the Mac, we just switch to the desktop and delete or rename things there."

Sorry, but that's just not as good as being able to do it within the dialog boxes.

The bottom line: How well something works and how elegantly it's been built is also relevant to the "which is better" discussion.

4. Don't make grandiose purchasing plans by guessing on technology's future.

This pointer is directed exclusively at Mac-bashers, particularly the ones on the nation's boards of education.

If you decide to standardize on Windows across all schools, fine. But make sure you have legitimate reasons like economics or the need to run some Windows-only software suite.

"We want the kids to learn what they'll one day use in the business world," however, is NOT a good reason. If you think you know what anyone will be using in 2020 (when today's first graders will graduate from college), you must have a heck of a magical crystal ball.

Truth is, by 2020, no operating system will look anything like it does today. By 2020, we may well be using holography or tablets or glorified cellphones instead of computers. Claiming to know what company's operating system today's kids will be using when they graduate college, or how that software will work, is nonsense.

5. Consider that they may have a point.

Neither side's members should be allowed to cover their ears and sing "Blah blah blah!" at the top of their lungs when they hear an argument that could rock their worldview. As long as the points are factual, fair and substantive, you should consider them.

Remember: Apple and Microsoft routinely play O.S. leapfrog and regularly adopt each other's feature ideas; eventually, aficionados in both camps will enjoy similar enhancements to the computing experience. As we carry on the never-ending debate, try to generate more light and less heat. Only then can we discover what aspects of system software are truly valuable, and thereby usher them into existence for everyone to enjoy.

For future reference BugMeNot (http://bugmenot.com) is a useful tool :)


Edit: beaten to it!

Yvan256
May 26, 2005, 12:29 PM
"I love how Windows XP lets me delete or rename files right in the Open or Save dialog boxes."

"What's the big deal? On the Mac, we just switch to the desktop and delete or rename things there."

Sorry, but that's just not as good as being able to do it within the dialog boxes.

Indeed, that's the thing that bugs me the most about OS X at the moment, along with some other inconsistencies about dialog boxes (most involving files). Does Tiger "fixes" that?

iGary
May 26, 2005, 12:33 PM
Indeed, that's the thing that bugs me the most about OS X at the moment, along with some other inconsistencies about dialog boxes (most involving files). Does Tiger "fixes" that?

I really admire David Pogue, he's just a really good no-nonsense writer.

Applespider
May 26, 2005, 12:36 PM
I think point 2 is the best one. Don't criticise unless you've used both. Although I think I might add 'unless you've used both to do similar tasks on similar hardware and current OS'

iGary
May 26, 2005, 12:38 PM
I think point 2 is the best one. Don't criticise unless you've used both. Although I think I might add 'unless you've used both to do similar tasks on similar hardware and current OS'

It is the best point. I've used both and I hate using Windows, a good portion of Windows user have never used OS X.

Mitthrawnuruodo
May 26, 2005, 12:39 PM
Indeed, that's the thing that bugs me the most about OS X at the moment, along with some other inconsistencies about dialog boxes (most involving files). Does Tiger "fixes" that?
Nope... still has to rename from Finder...

Still, this doesn't bother me at all, so it's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned... ;)

mkrishnan
May 26, 2005, 12:42 PM
Indeed, that's the thing that bugs me the most about OS X at the moment, along with some other inconsistencies about dialog boxes (most involving files). Does Tiger "fixes" that?

Nope. :( (EDIT: Beaten to it, but I did want to add, I really do like this feature. Need one OS that can do this as in Windows, and allows you to change the filename of an open file and have the opening program handle the change correctly, like in OS X....)

Nice article, although the point that you shouldn't criticize unless you've used both will weed an awful lot of people out of the pro-windows ranks! :rolleyes:

noel4r
May 26, 2005, 12:43 PM
Indeed, that's the thing that bugs me the most about OS X at the moment, along with some other inconsistencies about dialog boxes (most involving files). Does Tiger "fixes" that?

Another thing that bugs me about OS X is, since I'm a keyboard user, not having the ability to delete a file by pressing the delete key. It's so much easier than dragging the file to the Trash or right clicking a file.

Applespider
May 26, 2005, 12:46 PM
Another thing that bugs me about OS X is, since I'm a keyboard user, not having the ability to delete a file by pressing the delete key. It's so much easier than dragging the file to the Trash or right clicking a file.

You can delete pressing Command and Delete rather than dragging or right clicking.

copperpipe
May 26, 2005, 12:53 PM
and you can delete stuff from your keyboard

noel4r
May 26, 2005, 01:05 PM
Just goes to show how much I still need to learn about OS X.

Applespider
May 26, 2005, 01:19 PM
Just goes to show how much I still need to learn about OS X.

There are a lot of nifty tricks in OS X that aren't well documented; I think I learned most of them from hanging around here. Those 'command', 'option', 'control' keys can be very very useful if you're a keyboard junkie...

Here's a useful list of shortcuts (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459) ; glancing through there are things that I don't think I've used yet either! And it's missing the v useful ones - Command Control D dictionary shortcut from 10.4 and the Option Escape while typing to see a list of words - perhaps since they only work in Cocoa apps

fabsgwu
May 26, 2005, 01:28 PM
There are a lot of nifty tricks in OS X that aren't well documented; I think I learned most of them from hanging around here. Those 'command', 'option', 'control' keys can be very very useful if you're a keyboard junkie...

Here's a useful list of shortcuts (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459) ; glancing through there are things that I don't think I've used yet either! And it's missing the v useful ones - Command Control D dictionary shortcut from 10.4 and the Option Escape while typing to see a list of words - perhaps since they only work in Cocoa apps

You can also modify shortcuts in the "Keyboard and Mouse" system preferences.

James Philp
May 26, 2005, 01:32 PM
Another thing that bugs me about OS X is, since I'm a keyboard user, not having the ability to delete a file by pressing the delete key. It's so much easier than dragging the file to the Trash or right clicking a file.
does apple-delete not work for you? I use that all the time?

James Philp
May 26, 2005, 01:37 PM
Here's a useful list of shortcuts (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459) ; \
That's a damn good list! It's amazing what you can find on the apple site!
One of David Pogue's books on Tiger is highly recommended by me to all but the most experienced Mac user. (Meaning one that uses applescript & automator regularly). His Tiger book should be out soon, and I still may buy it even tough I have the 10.2 and 10.3 versions already - it's amazing how much can be different!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0596009410/qid=1117132606/sr=8-2/ref=pd_csp_2/104-6339872-2163147?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

aristotle1990
May 26, 2005, 03:11 PM
yeah yeah this is all good except that MSFT SUCKS and i hate them and bill gates cuz he is rich and i never want to use windows ever ever os x is better windows SUCKS!!!!!! :mad:

iMeowbot
May 26, 2005, 03:37 PM
yeah yeah this is all good except that MSFT SUCKS and i hate them and bill gates cuz he is rich and i never want to use windows ever ever os x is better windows SUCKS!!!!!! :mad:
Granted, but on the other hand Macs can't connect to the Internet or run Excel. They're toys and only good for graphics. ;)

mkrishnan
May 26, 2005, 03:58 PM
Granted, but on the other hand Macs can't connect to the Internet or run Excel. They're toys and only good for graphics. ;)

Oooh, don't hate me because I'm beautiful, said the iBook! :p

hob
May 26, 2005, 04:22 PM
I never thought I'd say this, but after using Windows all my 19 years on this earth... I think that Viruses are my only major complaint with Windows! It's not a bad operating system, it's just not as great as OS X. OS X thinks the same way I think. I knew I loved it the first time I sat down, loaded up Internet Explorer (Safari wasn't out back then) highlighted a bunch of text and dragged it straight onto the desktop, where it made it into a text file!! :cool:

feakbeak
May 26, 2005, 04:54 PM
Great article with valid points.

The ability to delete and rename files from within Save/Open dialog boxes in Windows is awesome. I often create new folders when using the Save dialog. It's not too difficult to go back to the Finder on OS X, but it is one of those nice usability things that Mac apologists so often rave about. Also, it is good to learn that Command + Delete will put a file in the Trash. Is there a keyboard shortcut to bypass the Trash can? In Windows you can Shift + Delete to instantly delete a file, bypassing the Recyle Bin, does OS X have something like this as well?

Also, Windows Explorer and Apple's Finder are notorious for being problematic. Windows Explorer seems to crash more often than Finder, but when Finder hangs up I am not always successful at force quitting and restarting it. In Windows there is an option to run each folder window as a separate process of explorer.exe - that way if one process crashes the rest of the explorer stuff is fine, such as your desktop and other folder windows. Is there a way to do the same thing for Finder?

I really enjoy using both OSes and I get irritated when people are completely on one side of the fence and are unwilling to hear rational arguments. I can still do more in Windows because I am so familiar with it. I've always enjoyed using OS X and the more little tricks I learn the more I like it. That keyboard shortcut list will certainly come in handy!

wrldwzrd89
May 26, 2005, 05:09 PM
Great article with valid points.

The ability to delete and rename files from within Save/Open dialog boxes in Windows is awesome. I often create new folders when using the Save dialog. It's not too difficult to go back to the Finder on OS X, but it is one of those nice usability things that Mac apologists so often rave about. Also, it is good to learn that Command + Delete will put a file in the Trash. Is there a keyboard shortcut to bypass the Trash can? In Windows you can Shift + Delete to instantly delete a file, bypassing the Recyle Bin, does OS X have something like this as well?

Also, Windows Explorer and Apple's Finder are notorious for being problematic. Windows Explorer seems to crash more often than Finder, but when Finder hangs up I am not always successful at force quitting and restarting it. In Windows there is an option to run each folder window as a separate process of explorer.exe - that way if one process crashes the rest of the explorer stuff is fine, such as your desktop and other folder windows. Is there a way to do the same thing for Finder?

I really enjoy using both OSes and I get irritated when people are completely on one side of the fence and are unwilling to hear rational arguments. I can still do more in Windows because I am so familiar with it. I've always enjoyed using OS X and the more little tricks I learn the more I like it. That keyboard shortcut list will certainly come in handy!
Interesting...I've never had any of these issues - either in Windows or Mac OS X. I don't use any of those options you mention on my Windows box, either - it seems to work just fine with the defaults. I also don't know of any ways to do the things you mentioned in Mac OS X.

feakbeak
May 26, 2005, 05:25 PM
Interesting...I've never had any of these issues - either in Windows or Mac OS X. I don't use any of those options you mention on my Windows box, either - it seems to work just fine with the defaults. I also don't know of any ways to do the things you mentioned in Mac OS X.I may have overstated my Explorer/Finder issues. I'm not having them hang up/crash on me on a daily or even weekly basis. I have a hang up or crash maybe once every month or two. That's often enough to be problematic in my mind. Especially because when explorer crashes in Windows your desktop doesn't always come back! :eek: Changing that setting to have each instance run in a separate process takes care of that problem - unless, of course, the explorer process running your desktop crashes. That is why I was wondering if there was some equivalent setting for Finder in OS X. I've had it hang up twice on me so far and both times I couldn't restart it successfully and had to perform a hard reboot. Perhaps there are some tricks that would spare me from the hard reboot but I tried everything I know (Cmd+Opt+Esc to force quit, right-click on Finder Dock item and try to force-quit/restart) and nothing worked. Is there anything else that can be attempted when this happens?

Applespider
May 26, 2005, 05:28 PM
The ability to delete and rename files from within Save/Open dialog boxes in Windows is awesome. I often create new folders when using the Save dialog. It's not too difficult to go back to the Finder on OS X, but it is one of those nice usability things that Mac apologists so often rave about.

Not sure from the above whether you know that you can create and name new folders when using an OS X Save Dialogue or whether in Windows you usually create new folders and move other files at the same time.

In case it's the former, if you click the blue button (with the downwards triangle) next to the file name field in the Save Dialogue, the window will expand to a more Finder-like view. At the bottom of the window, you'll see a 'New Folder' button. Course, you still can't delete/rename/rearrange older folders/files.

shamino
May 26, 2005, 05:29 PM
The ability to delete and rename files from within Save/Open dialog boxes in Windows is awesome.
I guess this is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I don't like it. Creating folders is very useful, but deletion and renaming? No, I think it has the potential to create more problems than it solves.
Also, it is good to learn that Command + Delete will put a file in the Trash. Is there a keyboard shortcut to bypass the Trash can? In Windows you can Shift + Delete to instantly delete a file, bypassing the Recyle Bin, does OS X have something like this as well?
Not built-in. Mac OS also doesn't have a built-in facility to automatically purge documents from the trash (as Windows does - you set a maximum size and stuff auto-deletes from the recyle bin when it fills up.)

But there are third-party tools to to both. I use a shareware utility called Compost (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/23510) to do this. It lets you specify criteria for auto-deleting stuff from the trash (maximum size, maximum age, etc), and provides a context-menu to let you immediately-delete (bypassing the trash) and empty the trash for a single disk volume (without emptying it for them all.)

(In the interests of full disclosure, I'm friends with the author of Compost. But I'd recommend it even if I wasn't. It's a really useful utility.)
Also, Windows Explorer and Apple's Finder are notorious for being problematic. Windows Explorer seems to crash more often than Finder, but when Finder hangs up I am not always successful at force quitting and restarting it.
Odd, I've rarely had either crash on me.

I've found that when the Finder "hangs" it's not really hung, but is waiting for a file-system event that is taking too long. Typically this happens if I'm accessing a remote disk volume over a flaky network connection, although it (much more rarely) happens on other kinds of volumes.
I really enjoy using both OSes and I get irritated when people are completely on one side of the fence and are unwilling to hear rational arguments.
Here, we agree completely.

I've used so many different systems and desktops over the years (DOS explorer (Windows 1.x and 2.x), File Manager, Win95-XP, OS/2 1.x, OS/2 2.x, MacOS 6-10.3, KDE, Gnome, CDE, SunView, OpenLook, IRIX, etc.) that I can identify good and bad parts of everything.

I personally happen to prefer the Mac desktop, but the Windows one has a number of features I'd really like Apple to integrate (like the trash management I had to install Compost to get).

One thing I wish Microsoft would do is remember icon positions when the screen changes resolution. I put my icons on the right side of the screen (the same place the Mac puts them). If I switch to a lower resolution (often because a game did it) and then switch back, the icons end up somewhere in the middle of the screen - forcing me to put them back.

IMO, it would be better for the system to move the icons to preserve the relative positions. For instance, an icon that is 80% from the left edge and 30% from the top edge would remain positioned at 80%/30% after a resolution change, no matter what the new resolution might be. I think OS/2 did this (it's been a while, so I don't remember for sure.) Windows definitely does not.

Fender2112
May 26, 2005, 05:37 PM
Indeed, that's the thing that bugs me the most about OS X at the moment, along with some other inconsistencies about dialog boxes (most involving files). Does Tiger "fixes" that?

Maybe I'm missing something, but I've always been able to rename a file from the "Save" dialog, even change where to save it.

mkrishnan
May 26, 2005, 05:42 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but I've always been able to rename a file from the "Save" dialog, even change where to save it.

He means a file other than the file you're trying to save. So you're trying to save a file as "New test output.doc" but there's already a "New test output.doc" there, so you rename the latter file "Old test output.doc" and then go ahead and save your new file under the intended name -- all from the save dialog. I don't think that works in OS X. Just a for instance.

feakbeak
May 26, 2005, 05:56 PM
Not sure from the above whether you know that you can create and name new folders when using an OS X Save Dialogue or whether in Windows you usually create new folders and move other files at the same time.

In case it's the former, if you click the blue button (with the downwards triangle) next to the file name field in the Save Dialogue, the window will expand to a more Finder-like view. At the bottom of the window, you'll see a 'New Folder' button. Course, you still can't delete/rename/rearrange older folders/files.I'm an idiot. I'm so used to right-clicking for these things, I never noticed the New Folder button down there. That will help a lot, although I sometimes rename files when saving, like the example that mkrishnan gave. Thanks for pointing out the obvious to me. :o

feakbeak
May 26, 2005, 06:05 PM
One thing I wish Microsoft would do is remember icon positions when the screen changes resolution. I put my icons on the right side of the screen (the same place the Mac puts them). If I switch to a lower resolution (often because a game did it) and then switch back, the icons end up somewhere in the middle of the screen - forcing me to put them back.

IMO, it would be better for the system to move the icons to preserve the relative positions. For instance, an icon that is 80% from the left edge and 30% from the top edge would remain positioned at 80%/30% after a resolution change, no matter what the new resolution might be. I think OS/2 did this (it's been a while, so I don't remember for sure.) Windows definitely does not.Yes, this is so annoying! I don't change my resolution often and the games I play don't cause me issues with moving my desktop icons. However, I use the Remote Desktop utility built into Windows XP Pro nearly every day and I run it at a lower resolution than my normal setting - the moving icons drive me crazy.

Speaking of Remote Desktop, I really wish Apple included a trimmed down version of RD in OS X like Windows does. The Windows version is essentially a watered down version of Terminal Server. Plus Microsoft offers Remote Desktop Client for other OSes, such as OS X which is very nice. I often connect to my home PC from work and wish I could do the same for my Mac. I know many recommend VNC and I have been meaning to take it for a spin, but the last time I used VNC on PC the performance was not nearly as good as Microsoft's RDC. Maybe I'll setup VNC for my Mac tonight... something to do as the weather isn't very nice here this evening.

mkrishnan
May 26, 2005, 06:08 PM
I'm an idiot. I'm so used to right-clicking for these things, I never noticed the New Folder button down there. That will help a lot, although I sometimes rename files when saving, like the example that mkrishnan gave. Thanks for pointing out the obvious to me. :o

This made me think of another, though, actually, that's always bugged me. There's no way to make open/save dialogs only show folders and the filetype of interest. At best you can grey out other filetypes. Office is especially lax/insane with this, because it considers everything an ok file type for every office app... (although it does ask if you want to launch the right app!).

Oh, and I wish the services menu worked better... there's almost no place you can use any of it. They keep implementing the services and no one picks up the other end of the line. Like the Mail send to is always greyed out. :( But that's not pro-Win since Win also doesn't have this. It's just such a great idea from NeXT I wish it worked. :(

mad jew
May 26, 2005, 06:48 PM
Oh, and I wish the services menu worked better... there's almost no place you can use any of it. They keep implementing the services and no one picks up the other end of the line. Like the Mail send to is always greyed out. :( But that's not pro-Win since Win also doesn't have this. It's just such a great idea from NeXT I wish it worked. :(


Hmm... I can send stuff I select in Safari from the Services menu. But that's not the point. I agree with you in that the developers really should try to take advantage of more of these menus. With a bit of practice, it could end up being quite a time-saver.

mkrishnan
May 26, 2005, 06:57 PM
Hmm... I can send stuff I select in Safari from the Services menu. But that's not the point. I agree with you in that the developers really should try to take advantage of more of these menus. With a bit of practice, it could end up being quite a time-saver.

Hmmm, yeah, you're right. It does seem to. And iTunes seems to support Mail at least in its services too. What's really weird though...iPhoto doesn't even *have* a services menu on my computer! (iPhoto 5.0.2 and 10.4.1). :eek: Now in iPhoto it would be mad useful. Although iPhoto has its share menu. Dragging to the dock works great, though. The two methods seem to complement each other. It's too bad.... It'd be really neat if you could drag an object to an app on the dock and it popped up options of different things you could do with it in that app. :D

Qunchuy
May 26, 2005, 10:18 PM
"I love how Windows XP lets me delete or rename files right in the Open or Save dialog boxes."

"What's the big deal? On the Mac, we just switch to the desktop and delete or rename things there."

Sorry, but that's just not as good as being able to do it within the dialog boxes.
Am I the only one who finds Windows' behavior here undesirable? I can't begin to count the number of times I've had to help people find files they accidentally deleted or named something like "k" while they were trying to save their newly created document.

feakbeak
May 26, 2005, 10:49 PM
Am I the only one who finds Windows' behavior here undesirable? I can't begin to count the number of times I've had to help people find files they accidentally deleted or named something like "k" while they were trying to save their newly created document.I'm sorry, but if someone cannot save a file within Windows without renaming and deleting stuff, they shouldn't be using a computer.

The imagery in my head when reading this post was of one of those infomercials... say for a new mop and they show some poor idiot using a "conventional" mop and they're knocking everything over and splashing water everywhere - it's so difficult - but with the new "SuperMop" everything is easy and you simply can't **** it up! :D

mainstreetmark
May 27, 2005, 03:26 PM
[nevermind]