Guide to make the MBP13 usable

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by surjavarman, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    This is a morons guide to make the MBP13 usable under OS X (especially lions). It works for other macs too.

    1) First off get BetterTouchTool. This is a god app. The MBP would be a useless chuck of aluminum without it. Then configure a middle mouse button in BTT. Trust me on this! Having a middle mouse button is a killer feature to have on any notebook. It's one of the reasons why'd you want to own a thinkpad.

    2) Get dockview or hyperdock. This will enable aero-peek for your dock. You can finally ditch that dreaded MC (or even expose) which are bunch of time wasting cluster****s anyway. Also unpin everything from your dock except the trashbin and folders. You'd want to use the dock as a taskbar from now on instead of a launcher. Make the dock as small as possible and put it on the left. You'd want to have as much vertical screen estate as possible. DON'T AUTOHIDE IT! Its not good for your workflow. I wish I could disable the menubar too. That is also one of my gripes that I have with os X.

    Aeropeek, BTT and middle mouse button are essential! They should form the backbone of your productivity.

    3) Configure launchpad as a three finger swipe down with BTT. At first I thought launchpad was the most ridiculous idea ever. But since we are not using the dock as a launcher might as well use launchpad. I might look into quicksilver but for now it works. Btw I know that cmd+space still reigns supreme for launching anything. But keyboard shortcuts causes strain and fatigue so we want to avoid that as much as possible.

    4) Adjust the zoom levels down by just a notch. The MBP13 doesn't have a hi-res screen. So might as well make the best of it and pretend that it does. It's better than nothing. Fonts look pixelated as hell but you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the MBA13 and the MBP13.

    5) Don't use fullscreen apps. You'd want to optimize your workflow and using fullscreen apps won't help since they are not consistent at all. They still have tons of bugs, are not optimized and you keep on cycling between desktops&apps and switching back and forth between them to get information. It gets confusing and it just waste your time. Just keep everything on one desktop and maybe have something like itunes open in fullscreen and/or a PDF file. Definitely not more than that or any other program.

    6) I configure three finger swipe up to close apps. Three finger tiptap middle to show desktop. Three finger tiptap right for MC (for emergencies only!). And the top buttons for launching essential apps. I am still optimizing things in BTT though

    Note I still haven't discussed the deeper more complex operations such as moving, copying, deleting files and folders and other complex stuff since I am still learning how to do these things in OS X. This still doesn't make up for a higher res, better screen. Nor does it compensate for better keyboards or tactile feedbacks like thinkpads. Or the weight of the MBP13. But it makes it more bearable than before.
  2. Synergie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Halifax, Canada
    I do slightly different from you with my MBP 13.

    1) I took everything off the dock... it's just a task manager now as you have suggested
    2) I DO autohide my dock though... in fact, I completely hide it altogether so it won't appear accidentally even if I go near the edge of the screen. I use 'Dock Gone' for that.
    3) I replaced my dock with 'Drag Thing'. Completely customizable, can have tabs, and you can even put the trash can and other system functions on it. It shows running processes too! So I don't need my built in dock at all anymore... hence disabling it with Dock Gone. I have it set to autohide as a drawer, so the tabs always show. You can set the location anywhere... even on the top of the screen below the menu bar!
    4) I use Launchpad rarely... but it's only usable with the app 'Launchpad Control' in order to get rid of all the unwanted icons that get dumped on there automatically. I pretty much only use Drag Thing now as my launcher!

    So my suggestions for must have apps are: Drag Thing, Dock Gone, and Launchpad Control
  3. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    I disagree with almost everything.
    1) What do you use a middle mouse button for? By the time you have made a gesture / click for it you could have pressed a button on the keyboard.
    2)Looks ugly and doesn't advance anything, also auto hide is a must as otherwise you are wasting screen space. Only really useful thing you stated is making the dock as small as possible, keeping it as a launcher improves your workflow or atleast mine so I don't know where you are coming from!
    3) Launchpad works for some (Those that are using their 13"ers out and about), keep your icons on your dock and have an applications stack. That is something that actually will help.
    4)So so,
    5)That is true fullscreen is a pain you need to be able to access your dock to launch new programs and switch between windows.
    6) Honestly I find trackpad gestures a pain I prefer hot corners and the obvious 3 fingers up to view all open apps/windows
    In my opinion all these steps by the OP will do is slow you down and limit your workspace.
  4. dsio macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    I second this response.
  5. surjavarman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    1) You use the middle mouse button to open links in new tabs, close tabs instantly, open new windows for apps in dock, close apps in dock. The alternative for all of the above is either right click mouse button and the manually select the option from the list or move your hand over to the keyboard and locate the correct combination of keys. Either one is substantially slower than the middle mouse button.

    2) its not about the looks. Aero peek is there so that you don't have to open MC and search for your windows. And aero peek also allows you to instantly close a window with the middle mouse button just by placing the cursor over it. Its just faster and better than MC for managing windows. I have tried autohide or no autohide both in windows and in os x and ultimately your are just faster without autohide. But you can argue its workflow vs screen real estate.

    3) thats what I did before. but if i just keep the open apps in my dock and the other apps in launchpad then the traveling distances of my cursor are greatly reduced and I don't have to waste time searching for specific icons in the dock compared to when the dock is full of icons from top to bottom. For example if I have 3 windows open in finder, 3 in chromium and I was working in another app. Well if I only use these 3 apps than I don't need the other icons. Those other icons would only increase the traveling time and search for those 3 apps and 9 windows.

    6) Ok but if you just don't have the hardware buttons that located in the vicinity of the trackpad than you don't have any other choice but to use gestures.
  6. shadrap macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2009
    I switched from Windows to Mac recently and I absolutely love the gestures in Lion. I am constantly swiping between Lion and Windows. Using different desktops for example one open for email, one for Windows using a business software, one filling out docs, and another for web surfing. My workflow is great, but with all things to each their own.
  7. mac00l macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    You can access your dock in full screen. Just move your pointer to the edge where your dock is, and then do a one finger swipe in the same direction, then your dock show up.

    While in fullscreen, if your dock is in the bottom then: Move your pointer all the way down, then make a one finger swipe down.

    if it is in the left then: Move your pointer all the way to the left, and then make a one finder swipe to the left.
  8. SavMBP15 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2010
    MBP13 and all other MBP's are completely useable and a great experience with OS X and Lion.
  9. SavMBP15, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011

    SavMBP15 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2010
    Guide to make the MBP13 usable (revised version)

    This is the new & improved morons guide to make the MBP13 usable under OS X (especially lions).
    Btw, it works for other macs too.

    1. Turn on MBP 13
    2. Use OS X (snow leopard or lion)
    3. Enjoy a great user experience

  10. borisiii macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    OP, given your desire for middle-click capability, aero peek, removing items from the dock so it functions like a task bar, screwing around with and removing many multi-touch gestures, fiddling with display settings to imitate reolution independence, shunning desktops and full screen apps, removing great features like mission control, and complaining about the manipulation of files and folders in OS X, it sounds like you would be much happier using Windows.

    You admit you are still learning, so my advice to you is to stop screwing around with your MacBook and learn to use it as intended - you might just find you like it. Otherwise I suggest you sell it, go back to using your thinkpad, and stop trying to force your questionable opinions on others.

    PS do you expect people to take you seriously when you introduce your rant as a "moron's guide"?
  11. makinao macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    You've spent all this time trying desperately to get you MBP to behave like a Thinkpad, and you still don't know how to move, copy, and delete files and folders?
  12. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    I just take it out of box and turn it on. BAM its usable.
  13. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    Guide to being a Troll? There are much better ways to post about a workflow that works for you. Almost everything you mentioned would be counterproductive for everything I do; dictating that these things are necessary and objective is ignorant.

    You could easily sell the MacBook Pro 13 and still have plenty money to buy a ThinkPad T420. I have one for work and it is a great machine.
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    funny. i've been using the mbp 13" for a few months now with no problems. thanks for the advice. i might play around with all of the settings some time when i have some free time, but i am too busy being productive actually doing work :)

    seriously. a moron's guide?

    you seem to have a hideous case of buyer's remorse. i wonder if you wouldn't be better off with a different computer...
  15. ljonesj macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Kingsport TN
    i have used the gestures in snow leopard and lion but i find if i do my carpal tunnel really starts up but i use mouse and the old way of doing things my wrist and my hand dont hurt
  16. Eradik macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    Holy crap! THANK YOU! That kinda bugged me (don't need it often, but sometimes). I had no idea!
  17. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
  18. surjavarman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    I didn't want to play this card but you guys forced me. The community here likes the flame the bejesus out of someone who prefers other brands in some areas over apple. And the community here likes to make claims yet they never back them up.

    All you guys are saying is "your workflow sucks, mines better". Well then why don't you post your workflow so I can check it myself?

    And I am sorry but MC is not the best way to switch to apps and windows. The animation alone takes more than 1 second and then you'd have to find your window in that cluster**** that comes up on screen. And neither is alt+tab the best way cause it doesn't even switch windows. I found a hidden app/windows switcher through BTT and I have assigned that to one of my hotkey gestures. Its the one where it will show the windows of all open apps in your desktop. I use it to complement my "dockbar" but because of the layout of the menu its not that optimal to use. So it actually rarely get used and so whenever I want to switch windows I just go over the icon and pick that specific window that shows up in aero-peek.

    I just can't see how MC is faster than that. Its not.
  19. surjavarman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    I believe you are the troll here. Weren't you the one that said that your panel has a color gamut of more than 70%. And when I asked for your panel number you didn't want to give it to me. So you prevent me from verifying your claims. Thats very low
  20. dsio macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    I'm not actually an Apple fanboy, I don't particularly like the company, I'm just stuck with their gear because most of the other makers have let quality slide too far, and this was what I had to resort to. Having said that, and being a Linux guy up until recently, the one thing Compiz ripped off very early on from OSX (before GNOME 3 stole the rest of the OSX desktop interface) was Expose (now mission control, but who cares).

    It was one of the most useful features the Linux world ever stole, and frankly it still is the backbone of window switching on distros like Fedora for a reason, its brilliant.
  21. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    Check your head.

    Read that aloud and try not to cringe.
  22. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    See OPs post history and it may explain some things. Recall he is worried about efficiency while using a computer primarily laying down, on the couch, or on the toilet. That doesn't necessarily invalidate some points, but regardless of his issues with assuming he is superior to others (fail), bear in mind, this is his own guide, effectively to himself. I suppose it is nice to know he's able to be self-deprecating, no? :) surjavarman - you don't earn the respect of many while slighting others, and it tends to distract from actual discussion. It seems fairly obvious that you haven't yet mastered that one.

    Call out problems (perceived or real) all you want, but in general, inter-mingling insults ('morons guide' = you're writing it for yourself, don't assume anyone else is a moron or it won't irritate people, claims that anyone who doesn't agree isn't 'open', etc.) with possible interesting discussion is just a guarantee to derail actual debate and discussion. If you want discussion, then show respect or you're unlikely to get any.
  23. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011

    I have a wonderful workflow that suits me well, but I will not post it here, because it is all over the forums already if you are interested.

    Seriously. Thank you for the advice about using Lion and the MBP 13. I think it could have been couched in less derisive language myself, but at least you took the time to post. You really do seem to have a lot of buyer's remorse, and I am sorry to see the experience has been so difficult for you. I hope things improve for you.
  24. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida

    I read the OP and thought about posting my setup; some things I agree with; BTT, a dock enhancer, middle click, but after reading the replies and various posts, I think we should let this one go to the wayside.

    There are a plethora of enhancements that can increase productivity 10 fold, however, when posting something like this (I guess directing this at the OP), try to give broader suggestions rather than specific ideas that you like. It's easier for people to get something and work with it and find what they like on their own rather than following what you have and getting frustrated.

    I just got a baseline MBP today and love it; for the most part, I agree that there are some essential apps that make the machine amazing.
  25. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    What do you get out of trying so hard to troll a Mac forum?

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