Comments after using OS X for six weeks

Discussion in 'macOS' started by junkster, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. junkster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #1
    I bought a MacBook in November (2GHz Core 2 Duo). I've owned Macs before, but not since the OS X switch. I've also been using Windows since the original Windows 95 days. Some comments:

    1. Apps are significantly slower to load under OS X. On lower spec Windows PCs, Firefox and gvim load in about half a second when nothing is cached yet. Under OS X, Firefox takes ~5 seconds to start. Gvim takes ~3.5 seconds.

    2. The dock is maddening. I initially liked it and wondered what all the fuss was about, but now I understand. It takes up valuable real estate, and things I'm working on tend to go behind it. So I turned on auto-hiding for the doc, but I have the same problem. When the cursor hits the edge of the screen, up pops the dock. I tend to use spotlight for launching most apps (Command-Space + part of name + Command-Enter), but the dock is the only way to see what apps are open and to see the trash. The magnification feature is nice, but glitchy when combined with auto-hide: docks pops up in normal size, then jumps to magnified view. What alternatives to the dock are there?

    3. A minor nit, but it really bothers me: The Preview window should be centered, not always in the upper left corner. OS X Preview is more flexible, but Windows Image Viewer is more pleasant to use.

    4. Great consistency on keyboard shortcuts, at least so far.

    5. The Command-3 view for Finder windows is wonderful. That's what I use most of the time, because it's easy to navigate entirely with the keyboard.

    6. I still have a problem with accidentally leaving apps running. I used to have the same problem with my old Power Mac. I tend to close the last window of an app, but not close it, so when I unhide the doc I see all these apps runnning. I never have this issue using Windows.

    7. CD/DVD burning is clunky. There's no way to say "erase this disc and burn new data to it" in one step? Under raw Windows, this may not be possible either, because every Dell I've used comes with a nice third party program that handles it well.

    8. Lest it sound like I'm nit picking too much, the raw capabilities of OS X are wonderful. Getting UNIX utilities out of the box--spectacular.
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    2. I like the dock, it's so much better than the taskbar under windows, you can also make it really small so it's a similar size to the taskbar if you want.

    7. Disk Utility may be able to help, otherwise you'll need toast.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    With (6), you may be on to something...

    Why does anyone need to open and close Firefox repeatedly? Just leave it running. If it's dead in the background, and you need the resources, it will page-out. There's no need to keep loading and quitting applications (even on Windows).

    Relatedly, why does one need to reboot their computer more often than once every week or two?
     
  4. habiton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    #4
    Relatedly, why does one need to reboot their computer more often than once every week or two?[/QUOTE]

    That is why i hate my IBM laptop. If i let it go a couple days without rebooting or shuttin down, it becomes so painstakingly slow! I leave my mac running for a few weeks before restarting or shutting it down, and it runs just as smoothly on day 20 as it did on day 1 :)
     
  5. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #5
    Your App's open in under 5 seconds? thats awesome... my C2D MBP 17" is a dog. Well not now since it's been running awhile. But after a restart or a shutdown. I usually wait close to around 40 seconds. Hop on Mail, Hop on
     
  6. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #6
    Firefox in weird in OS X.

    When I'm VNC'ed remotely into my Mac and kick off FireFox for the first time, because of the delay in VNC screen refreshes, you can see FireFox briefly open another window and do some stuff before it starts loading.

    Is that an OS issue or a "how the app was written by the developers" issue?
     
  7. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    2. Quicksilver is muchbetter than spotlight for an app launcher.Take all your apps off the dock, so it is just finder and trash, make it real small, then you can see the open applications as the ones on the dock. On my MB I have the dock on the left hand side.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    How do you handle the Windows task bar? You should be able to shrink your dock down to about the size of that.

    Command-Tab is another way to see which applications are open. Hold Command and keep pressing Tab to cycle thru the applications. When you land on an application you want to close, hit Q.
     
  9. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #9
    If you like nsvigating with the keyboard, you can use Command, Tab to view, cycle through, and close apps. It's similar to Alt-Tab on Windows, but cycyles through apps instread of Windows.

    1. Press and hold the Command Key (Apple Key): View open apps
    2. While holding the command key, tap Tab to cycle through apps
    3. While holding the command key, press Q to quit the currently highlighted app (I use this all the time to quickly close all those apps I leave open all the time).

    I put my app bar on the right where it seems to get in the way less for me.
     
  10. Snide macrumors 6502a

    Snide

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #10

    Command Tab (especially Tiger version) is the single best OS X shortcut of
    all time. It shows all the running apps in a large strip across the screen,
    and shrinks to fit when a bunch of apps are running. You can quit apps by
    keeping the Command key held down and pressing Q (Command Q). Also,
    if you hit the tilde key (above tab key), you can cycle backwards through
    the apps.

    Compare this to Alt Tab in Windows XP - you get all open apps and open windows.
    Try it with a bunch of browser windows open and you will see how much it sucks.

    FWIW, I am so spoiled by Expose' (especially F10), that it really sucks
    when I have to search the Windows taskbar to find the window I want in an app.

    Welcome to Mac OS X! :)
     
  11. clintob macrumors 6502

    clintob

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #11
    Just my two cents here, but coming from a long time user of both machines (although, in fairness, a HUGE Mac lover because of what has become, over the years, a mind-numbingly long list of reasons):

    Very important... how much RAM is in your MacBook? I have actually never encountered a program that loads slower on any of my Macs than on my PCs with two exceptions:
    1) Trying to load Apps when your RAM is at or near capacity. OS X runs differently than Windows (thank goodness) and it eats RAM a lot more liberally. Get yourself at least 1GB, and if you do any kind of reasonably intensive work, get 2GB+.
    2) Non Intel-native apps. I don't know the deal with Gvim, but keep in mind that many applications, although they will run on your Intel Mac, aren't yet natively coded for it so there will be some lag time. This will be a thing of the past in 2007 for sure, but in the meantime, the RAM I spoke of makes a world of difference.

    Now this is the one that gets me all the time. I don't understand why people get angry at the dock... especially Windows users?!? Have you forgotten than Windows has a dock too, and you can't hide it?? The sole difference between the two is that Apple gives you the option to hide/show your dock, and adds magnification to it. You're right that hide/show is a little irritating, so just make your dock the same as your windows taskbar. Drag it down as small as it can be while still somewhat readable (this should be pretty small... you'd be surprised what you can get used to) and then turn off magnification. Tada... it's a taskbar! (you can also dock it on the side of the page instead of the bottom if you prefer - just as a side note)

    Again, this is an inherent difference in the way OS X and Windows are constructed. While this was a problem in Windows (because running apps eat resources), OS X is constructed such that unused Apps do not take system resources away from the ones you're using currently. If you open an App, use it for a while, close all the windows, and then move on to something else without quitting, it will merely fade into the background and eventually the system resources it was using will be re-allocated. This is actually even more efficiently done if you get in the habit of "hiding" applications (Apple+H). Hiding actually releases certain system resources immediately so they are readily available to other apps without quitting. Best of both worlds.

    This much is true, or at least for any burning task that's not a straight data/audio burn to a blank disc (that much is just drag and drop). Disk Utility does a great job handling many of these tasks, but it's somewhat non-intuitive. However, as you said, this isn't a Windows/Mac thing since as you point out you used a third-party software on your Dell that got the job done. Get yourself a copy a copy of Toast 7. It will do anything you can possibly imagine wanting to do with CD/DVD burning.

    And finally... enjoy your Mac! Of course there's a learning curve for OS X if you've never used it, and there are some minor annoyances you'll have to put up with while the switch to Intel is completed and software providers catch up, but all in all OS X is a far superior OS, and the Mac hardware/integration is more seemless and intuitive than Windows could ever dream to be.
     
  12. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #12
    #1. I noticed when I downloaded Firefox 2.0, the Mac version is 3 times larger than the Windows version. And when installed, Firefox is twice the size of Safari. Safari loads in no time.

    #6. Command+Q is your friend. You can even Command+Q to quit programs while Command+Tabbing through open applications.
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    I just don't understand people who complain like this about the dock... when the Windows Task Bar is exactly the same thing - even worse because it stretches the entire width of the screen.

    You know, you can resize the dock. Also, instead of launching apps with Spotlight (every time I hear someone say that I want to cry for their suffering) - you might like to try draggin your Applications folder (or any other folder) to the Dock. Then, you can right click on it to get a listing of all it's contents (sortof like the Start menu - but more like the old Apple Menu from Mac OS 9). It is a feature built-into Mac OS X for this very purpose:

    Picture 1.jpg

    You'll notice that both my Applications folder and Documents folder are in there.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    FWIW, you can hide the taskbar under Windows, Start==>Control Panel==>Taskbar and Start Menu==>Auto Hide and show the taskbar.
     
  15. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #15
    But it still takes up the entire width of the screen. Also, the indicators of running programs take up far more horizontal space than the Mac dock. It's outrageously wasteful... just like having a menubar inside every single window - even inactive ones.

    That's how Macs have always worked. The menu is treated as another window, which is why there is only one of them. Of course you've never had this "issue" running Windows - it's not an issue with Mac OS X it's just that you're not used to it. I can say the same thing about Windows - I hate having to close a dozen windows to quit something instead of just hitting a (single) key command or choosing Quit. I also hate having to relaunch an app if I accidently close the last window.
     
  16. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #16
    for #1, yes
    but after I suffer the slowness of linux on my pc (it might be due to the fact that i put it on the edge of the harddisk), OSX is quite quick.
    again, i agree with u, although OSX itself response quicker than windows (right click menu, etc) the apps run slower.
    for #6, right now i always goto dock, right click the button and choose "quit". lol
     
  17. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #17
    I've had the same experience. I had an old iBook G3. Tiger wasn't too snappy. "Hmm, I'll install Linux." Well, the screen resources weren't used as well, the functionality was lacking, and the overall speed was considerably lower. Hmmph. So I reinstalled OS X.

    (Lest anyone snipe: I used Linux exclusively from 1999 to 2004, and OS X mostly since then. I know about FVWM, Fluxbox, Windowmaker, and other light window managers. Linux was still slower unless I used DirectFB for my display, and that was so difficult to configure on an iBook (and so short on features) that it wasn't worth it. XDirectFB no longer works on anything, last I tried)
     
  18. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #18
    Amazingly, I always have the identical experience every time I feel like trying Linux on something.
     
  19. Excursions macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    #19
    I also have my applications folder in my dock and use it in combination with spotlight to launch apps. However, you should not be so quick to put down app launching with spotlight as I find it to be faster most of the time than using the app folder in the dock. Especially with a laptop where a few key strokes are usually much faster than navigating with the trackpad. Try it sometime (one thing to note is that after a restart spotlight is quite slow the first time you search for something but after that I find it very fast).
     
  20. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #20
    I've had some fantastic experiences with Linux. Gentoo, for instance, is incredible. Linux is an unparalleled server operating system for sheer capability, reliability, and performance. FreeBSD is awesome too, but their hardware support (particularly for Apple hardware) isn't as good.

    I'll cheerfully recommend a Linux to anyone wanting to learn more about server administration or the UNIX guts of OS X. It's a fantastic hobby to have. But to me, it's still a nightmare on the desktop. The lack of integration and consistency is difficult to deal with. The GPL/BSD philosophies are awesome, but the constant competition and changing requirements/etc means it's unlikely you'll be using the same program for anything for longer than a year. Projects constantly start up, progress, are abandoned, reclaimed, rejuvenated, and so forth.

    Of course, that's more a problem with the desktop apps than the CLI apps, which have been steady for years for the most part... but it's still a problem. I like buying an Apple and having a damn fine OS and damn fine apps that all work seamlessly together. And if I buy or download a third-party app (like DEVONthink), I know it'll work seamlessly with all of my other applications. Even Comic Life can sync to iWeb, use your iSight, take images from your iPhoto library, and so forth.

    Linux's power (staggering as it is) just isn't worth all the extra steps and frustration of using it as a desktop.

    [/grotesquely off-topic]
     
  21. junkster thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #21
    2GB. I switch back and forth between several Windows PCs and my MacBook all the time, and Firefox and GVim are significantly slower to start on the MB. I have a few other cross-platform apps and have the same issue. The MB smokes the other machines in every other way.

    I've verified that I'm not using PPC code :)
     
  22. seanf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    This is a known issue and OS X performance improvements are planned for Firefox 3 (Gran Paradiso)

    The Mac version is a Universal Binary, so the package will contain both an Intel and PowerPC version of the software.

    Sean :)
     
  23. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #23
    there are more reasons for that, even the optimized intel version is 17MB.
    also there might be difference when compressing the package, i know windows package is compressed with 7-zip format, which has higher compression ratio.
     
  24. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #24
    But I would have though that it would install just the Intel version if you have an Intel processor right? In my applications folder, Firefox is 50 mb while Safari is 21 mb.
     
  25. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #25
    safari utilized webkit framework, which is in a different location

    and also, theoretically safari should be smaller since it came from KHTML which is smaller than gecko.
     

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