New Mac User 1st Impressions of OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Skrilla™, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Skrilla™ macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2007
    I have been using OS X on my MacBook at home for a little over 6 weeks now. I have used every version of Windows from 3.1 to Vista. I am a Mac newb, but not a computer newb. I have re-installed Mac OS X twice since I bought the MacBook - just to have a fresh install after trying as many apps as possible and deciding what I like.

    Here are my first impressions:

    Finder - not enough functionality, major room for improvement in this thing.

    GUI - rubish, would be nice if it all looked like iTunes 7. I used to think it looked really nice in screenshots and such, but the first thing I do when I load up the OS is install shapeshifter. Too much inconsistency between apps. I don't care for the rainbow pinwheel or candy cane progress bars either (first thing I do after install windows is install the uxtheme.dll hack so I can get rid of the fisher price gui)

    Dock - hate it, try to hide it, but always end up needing to use it

    Menu Bar - I wish I could auto hide this thing or make the bar/font smaller.

    Maximize - sometimes I want a full screen view, this is not available in most apps unless you drag the window around, which leads me to

    Resize Windows - bottom right corner only, why?!

    Those are some of my negatives, I will post some positives later.
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    If you haven't yet updated iTunes to 7.1 you can use Uno otherwise you'll need to wait for a new version.
  3. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Sounds like you hate OS X. Do you regret your purchase?

    What are your thoughts on Vista?
  4. ksgant macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    You do know you can just drag the apps you've tried out to the trash to uninstall them right? I can't understand why you had to reinstall OS X twice...did it get corrupted?

    True enough, but I'd be interested in hearing what exactly it was you were peeved at with the Finder. Also, there are many many shortcuts and things to get around the Finder. Try looking at for some tips.'s a non issue for me. I don't install anything to hack what it looks like as I like the look...and of course it's hardly a "fisher price gui" since just about all the UI hacks in Windows and Linux seem to want to get that "OSX" look. Also, it's interesting to see you use the uxtheme.dll when all you have to do in XP is just turn off all the effects and go back to a very sparse Win95 UI. Don't know how to place either like UI eye candy or you hate it....reading that part still doesn't make that clear. The consistency part I can see...but again, doesn't effect how I work.

    I hide the Dock and never have to use it. Ever. Look into Quicksilver, yes it's a 3rd party App, but it's free and very powerful. VERY powerful. I never saw anything like it in the Windows world...but there has to be something like it there. There has to be.

    Sorry, that's part of being a Mac. That's where all the applications have their menus, they're not embedded into the application window like in Windows. I like it this way, but I can see you coming from the Windows world how this would be kind of a pain.

    What you call a criticism is what I call a major feature. This is what I HATED about Windows. I like how the Mac expands to only show what is in the window...NOT full screen. If I wanted it full screen I'll pull it out to full screen thank you very much. But again, you're used to it one way, we're used to it another.

    Always has been like that. But I agree with you, wish I could resize from any edge or corner of a window. I don't see this changing though.
  5. Skrilla™ thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2007
    Now for my positives:

    Dashboard - really neat app, widgets/gadgets or whatever have been done before, but I like how they are hidden until you want them. It's nice to see a few bits of info at once w/o even starting up a browser or other apps.

    Expose - I love this thing, although I only use the 'all windows' and 'show desktop' features. So much better than cycling through apps w/ :apple: + tab

    Preview - no need for Adobe PDF reader ;)

    Animations - very slick subtle animations in this OS

    Watching Videos - w/ quicktime or other apps, I like how the video stays very clear as you move the window around or transition from windowed view to full screen view (screen does not go black, simply transitions to fill the screen)

    No OK - Don't have to press OK for every little option!

    System Preferences - very neat and organized

    Ctrl + scroll = zoom - don't use this often, but it is neat :)
  6. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    It seems to me that you have a hard time letting go of the frame of mind established by Windows. OSX is not Windows, and there is no reason to expect that it will behave exactly like Windows. All the problems you described seem to stem from your want that OSX performs exactly like Windows.
    The only problem i agree with you is the UI inconsistency, but that is an extremely minor issue for me, as all of the programs still do exactly what i want them and need them to do, looks of the whole program come in a second place to that.
  7. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I think the guy raises some good points ... after all, if OS X were perfect, we wouldn't all be waiting eagerly for Leopard, would we?

    I switched right around the time that OS X came out and have never regretted it (although it's pretty clear now that Jobs was lying to us for years about PPC performance versus Intel ... buyer beware.) I bought a copy of Vista this week to use with Parallels ... not bad at all. It's expensive, but other than that, I don't understand all the whining about it. As David Pogue has noted, voice commands in particular are miles ahead of anything Apple has done.

    So I think it's healthy to hear the views from a Windows regular. No OS is perfect and OS X isn't better than all flavors of Windows in every instance, it's just better overall.
  8. Skrilla™ thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2007
    I do not regret my purchase. I think the MacBook is a very nice piece of hardware and I have the option of using OS X / Windows / Linux.

    Although I do not think that OS X merits the amount of hoopla it gets. It is a very nice operating system (way beyond any flavor of Linux I have used). It is not vastly superior to Windows like many fanboys would have you believe. Don't get me wrong, I do not hate it, I like it but I was expecting a little more. Windows does some things better and OS X does some things better.

    Sometimes I bring work home with me, I tried out some office suites for Mac and I hated them. OOo was awful and so was the MS Office 2004. I really can't use these things if I want to get something done. I also use my BlackBerry to connect to the internet as a modem - can't do that in OS X either. Other than that, I use OS X for everything while I am at home.

    I have not used Vista that much, but I like what I have seen so far. The GUI is really slick. Didn't mess with the sidebar, in fact I turned it off. I really need to mess w/ it some more.

    Some of my complaints have nothing to do with Windows, it is what I am used to seeing most versions of Linux.
  9. ksgant macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Well, to be fair, when the PPC performance versus Intel was being touted, it WAS superior to what Intel had to offer. But then IBM started dragging their heels, which helped Intel catch up and show a VERY promising roadmap with their processors. It was frustrating to see the lack of innovation the PPC roadmap had to the time that is. Later, after it was too late, IBM started showing what it could do and it looked intriguing. But again, it was too late.
  10. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    What i was trying to say is that some of the problems mentioned are a direct result of the adjustment to Windows. I never stated that either system is better or worse.
    If you are going to switch operating systems you have to accept the fact that there will be diferences. Certain things will not be the same. Clicking the green orb on the left side of your screen will not make the entire window maximised, programs are not in a menu form like on Windows, rather they are in the dock... All im trying to say is that the problem here is that the Windows usage paradigms are being projected onto OSX, which will definitevely end in dissapointment as the two operating systems are not the same.
  11. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Funny. Most of the stuff you like about OSX I don't and most of the stuff you hate, I like. Different strokes. One of the things I really like about OSX is that it is Unix underneath. Makes for a more stable platform. GUIs are OK, I guess but all more or less the same these days although I find OSX to be smoother and more logical than XP (not tried Vista yet).
  12. matttrick macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    you know, i think alot of the problem with OS X is the hype around it that the users seem to create. Some, not all, mac users seem to have this air of superiority about them. They talk about windows\prorams crashing like OS X doesnt.

    I started using OS X with high expectations and was initially let down. then I started to look at it as a different OS, not a superior one, and I enjoy it. I also have to remember things about windows that bother me, but I am so used to that they are considered non issues anymore.

    But overall, the lack of maximization is really my biggest peve. Its not that its a different feature, its plain stupid. Also the size of those buttons are way too small. Other than that I have no major complaints.
  13. osirisX macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    You should look into PathFinder. It's Finder on crack.
  14. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    OS X isn't set up like windows, nor should it be. Personally, I find maximizing windows to be ridiculous and a waste of space and productivity.
  15. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2006
    Well, I moved to OSX for a bunch of technical reasons but
    I would like to say that life is easier with small freebies
    like Quicksilver and VirtueDesktops. If you are still
    using Dock (or even your mouse) to do stuff, try to
    get acquainted to these apps.
  16. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2006
    I hope I won't turn this into a thread about PPC vs Intel, but I think it's important to say that PPC is significantly better than Pentium in almost all cases. Note that Apple only started using Intel processors with the new, improved processors that are consistently better than anything AMD or IBM (or Freescale) is producing.

    Also, I've always found it sort of frustrating when Windows users say that Windows doesn't crash more than OS X or "wasn't that annoying." As someone who switched to a modern Mac just this year, and constantly uses PCs and Macs, I can honestly say Windows is almost insanely frustrating to use for me. It crashes, slows down for no reason, and just does not work well. I've experienced this on every PC I've ever used, so it just blows my mind that some people are able to use Windows without tearing their hair out.
  17. McGarvels macrumors 6502


    Nov 10, 2006
    Irvine, CA

    yeah, light years ahead...

    had to play devil's advocate.
  18. amnesiak macrumors member


    Oct 13, 2006
    i think you can use a blackberry on osx as a modem.. try looking here

  19. FieroNate macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2001
    East Coast USA

    I think there are a few things about OS X that bug me as a long time Mac user forced to use XP for a little bit. One of the major things is the lack of view options, XP clearly gives more view options for looking at files, I like that, though I am fine with Apple's options, I think they should add more to help any switchers adapt. Another thing I found that I didn't like was that in Windows I can right click a file in save or open screens within apps and can access all the normal right click menus (rename for instance). In OS X this isn't the case. It would also be nice to have an eject menu in the menu bar. And for MS office I'd like to have the option to have menu bars in each window so I can have Word open on one monitor and Excel in another. Other then that I think OS Xs work flow is much better. For instance OS X remembers what window view style I like, and it also remembers the style that I used last (specifically in open and save boxes), additionally it remembers where I am in the file system (though this IS application specific). I love the drag and drop between various apps. I can easily drag a web address to an AIM window without using cut and paste as I do on XP. I personalyl can't stand the start bar its a nusance. As a long time mac user I used to make a little sub menu back in the OS 9 days that I would put my common apps in and documents on. This way I didn't have to dig through the hard drive. I find the start bar cumbersome, sure every program is there but I don't often use every program and for me pictures are quicker then words (if this weren't the case we'd be using DOS or Unix command lines rather then GUIs). So to me the idea of putting only the things I need in the dock is awesome, I probably have at least 40-50 programs in my dock (on my desktop and laptop) and only very rarely do I have to access a program that isn't there. When I do I simply click on the finder and use the GO menu to goto Applications or Utilities. I also have my Finder setup to display a new Finder window if none are open, it allows me complete access to anything on the system. To me this work flow is far more efficient then minimizing a maximized window (caugh caugh insert Office app name here), and then having to open My computer just to see what drives are there (not to mention no know the real name of the disk). I think apple really did well on that, a few improvements are in order but they did real well. The only thing I can think of that would be nice is a little command line to just type the command in. I only started to seriously consider that after doing serious CAD programs where 90% of the time you're on the keyboard to access things.

    So all in all I give OS X a few points on windows for not giving me headaches and for being pleasing to look at, work flow and overall good design. Windows isn't far behind these days except maybe in their OS kernel stability. If only MS would switch to a unix based kernel the world would be happier as the OSs would converge to being a simple GUI choice as is the case on the somewhat under developed Linux platforms.

    As an addition I'd like to add that OS X also allows you to open more then one file at once from both the finder and the open windows. To me this often saves me seconds, and over a day those seconds reduce my stress level. Additionally on the work flow list, right out of the box I can take screen shots (apple shift 3 and apple shift 4) which I can directly import into any document i'm working with (they are saved as png files). This makes typing up reports a breeze or working with any type of document quick, no third party tools needed. Additionally out of the box Apple lets you print to PDF, which means even on Mac only programs I can output a clean file to someone via e-mail and they can print a WSWIG copy. Can't do that on windows with tools (at least on XP, not sure about Vista).
  20. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2004
    Nagoya, Japan
    Admittedly, if you like Linux with its infinite flexibility and poor usability, you will have complaints about OS X. I'm in the camp that finds OS X to be superior to Linux and Windows in 99% of cases. Let me touch on a few of your issues to give you another point of view.

    It's true that some of the 3D candy-like goodness that dazzled Mac users 5 years ago is wearing off. Leopard will most likely refine the look further, if not introduce a whole new one.

    That said, most complaints about inconsistency in the Mac GUI are misplaced, I think. It's actually quite helpful for different applications to have different looks; you get a more immediate sense of what each program is in Exposé, for example. The important thing is that in spite of the diverse GUI styles, controls, buttons, toolbars, etc. are very consistent in behaviour. Compare this to Linux, where your QT apps and GTK apps and Java apps have totally different behaviours; or to Windows, where a typical program has all kinds of buttons that look the same but function differently, or look different and function the same.

    The Dock is the brilliance of the OS X desktop, just like the Start Menu/Taskbar is Windows's chief fault. Windows takes the idea that an icon represents an application, and completely muddies it up. You have multiple icons for the same app on the desktop, in the start menu, in the task bar (if running), in the quick-launch bar, and in the system tray. Why can't you just have one icon in one consistent place that is useful for all your interaction with that app? With the dock, you can. OS X unifies all these functions — app launching, task switching, file dragging, status information — into a single icon in your dock, as it should be.

    If you must have a secondary means of launching apps, drag your Applications folder to the dock.

    This is not the maximize button. It's the Zoom button. It makes your window exactly the right size for its contents, assuming the app is correctly designed. This function is direly missing in Windows; why on earth would you want to maximize a window, unless it has an enormous amount of data you need to see all at once?

    Because of the zoom button, I never need to maximize a window, and I almost never need to resize one manually. I think the fact that Windows users always work in full-screen mode, and Mac users rarely do, says something about how good of a windowed interface those two OSes are.
  21. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    I do agree Vista's UI is in same level with OSX, Xp's isn't as good as OSX/Vista's.

    But, I don't like iTunes UI at all.

    maximum of a windows is really weird, I agree with you on this. some ppl say OSX maximum the window to fit the content, which in my opinion, is non-sense, each website may have different width, how can Safari ID which size is "fit"? Especially in reality, it never resize to what I want, or expect.

    Finder need some improvement, yes

    Dock, I actually like it, otherwise, its more difficult to access all apps u have on the computer.

    I would like apple consider your personal preference, but also consider my, and other ppl's personal preferences, they can put option there, and you can disable it if you don't like it. Lacking an option isn't a good solution to solve personal preference problem. Can't ask everybody to have same taste as ourselves, right?
  22. FieroNate macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2001
    East Coast USA
    I think if we are to argue about the maximize button why not add one more button up there? there are very rare instances where I'd like a maximize button, but for web pages safari does a pretty decent job figuring out how big the web pages are, though some web designers do a poor job of controling width of their pages.

    The one major complaint I have with iTunes and Mail is that organizing smart lists is tough, I end up with a long list of them, I wish I could make smart lists to organize my smart lists.

    I really disagree that accessing your apps is harder in OS X. I think it is much easier. The ones you need are on the dock (if you manage to figure out how to put them there) and the ones you occasionaly use are 3 clicks away (4 if they are in a sub folder), I really see no problem here with OS X. It makes much more sense to not have to visually display and filter through all the programs that are installed that you barely use. This saves on system resources. Which I think is the big reason NOT to cater to everyone. Once you start catering to everyone things become bloated and the system uses a ton of resources. Apple could add some more PC like features, just like it could be said that MS could add more Apple like features. I'd be willing to bet that some of them are copy protected/patented. But then again if our goal is to make them the same why not do so, and put all this Mac/Windows BS asside. I think there are distinct advantages to competition and the two OSs. The fact that there is so much debate is a good thing (provided companies are listening to any of it). I also think the fact that so many windows users are actually quoting whats wrong with OS X is a big step. About 2 years ago it was rare to run into a windows user who had actually used OS X before bashing it (at least in my travels). At least now the windows people have some valid complaints, though I think they need to get over the idea of complicated OSs. Many people are so closed minded they see Windows as the only computer. They compare OS X and Linux to windows as if windows was some standard. As a long time Mac user I am continuously evaluating OSs, and I keep coming back to OS X. Linux is nice, its cheap, but the GUI needs work and they haven't gotten the installers right, Windows is fine if you have a good IT department and if the software is decently written (much of it isn't in my experience, hence programs crash unexpededly etc..) Sure I can have a box that can run every program, but I'd much rather have one that runs a few well and has quality. A good example is the new MacPro. Sure its not the fastest (but close to it). But show me one company who has a clean case inside, I don't know of any. If you run the hard numbers you'll find out that price wise Macs are on par with PCs... but in order to do that you need to factor in a few specifics, like usage, and performance/speed. I've argued many times with people and the results are always the same... no conclusion.

    Not to get off topic but to me the fact that a Windows guy is using OS X at all says something. It says either they are open minded or sick of windows or maybe just bored. Either way they are using OS X, maybe their views of windows will change maybe not but either way its a good thing in my book.

  23. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    yes, why not :), thats exactly my complain, give users an option, would satisfy everyone.

    page width? for exapmle, goto, the width is probably 800px, to washingtonpost, its 1024px, would safari resize to 800 or 1024px then? I don't think their web designer is doing "poorly", W3C has no standard to say how wide a page must be, or is there?

    You do observed an important truth, Mac has many switchers recently, and listen to their (including me) complain, might not be a bad thing, there will be many things traditional mac user never thought of, never realized, or never cared, but new users always have different personal preferences, OSX, obviously now need to face more users with all kinds of different ideas and requirements. Its just the way it is. And I hope apple will listen and act to meet their (including me) resaonable needs. Rather than demanding users to get used to apple's "style".
  24. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    This is really embarrasing but 10 years of mac usuage and this is the first time I've noticed this :eek: I blame Apple for not including a scroll wheel for all these years ;)
  25. matttrick macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    i dont care what you find it. it is absolutely poor design to not have it as an option. how would it harm you if it was an option? exactly it wouldnt. it is not a difficult thing to acheive and many people find it useful. I know OS X isn't windows, but there is style, and then there is just plain bad design.

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