Sometimes Windoze is easier to install stuff on

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Schtibbie, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Schtibbie macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2007
    Just an observation - my wife had no trouble installing Shutterfly software on her work PC (winXP) after an hour of frustratingly trying to install it on the Mac. Now, admittedly, part of the problem was that Shutterfly in their infinite wisdom decided to make the intel version be a separate download. My wife doesn't know Intel from anything, so she got the wrong version.

    But the next part is a problem i've seen with other Mac software. The installer (a .dmg file) ends up putting something that looks like a disk drive on the desktop. WTF? My wife gets confused and tries running that, but it doesn't do anything. She can't delete it either, as it claims to be in use by a .dmg file (or the other way around). It turns out the software is now installed perfectly well but if you want to uninstall it, you won't find it in Applications. No, it has bits of itself in Libraries and also under Applications/Iphoto (crtl-click, open as package, etc. etc.).

    The point is that this was infinitely easier to do (both the install and a subsequent uninstall) on windows. This is not Apple's fault, really, but come ON, developers! Don't assume that Mac users understand unix packages, processor types, etc. They're not all married to computer geeks.
  2. pknz macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2005
    1. You download the file (the correct one), usually a .dmg
    2. You open .dmg, which creates a disk image
    3. You install from disk image
  3. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    its just different style, once u getting used to it, its similar.
  4. Schtibbie thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2007
    Yes - I stand corrected - the disk image (which looked like an extra disk drive to my wife and thus she thought it WAS the software and couldn't be removed) was what did the install. But she didn't believe she could delete it because why would anyone delete a disk drive? I tried "ejecting" it for her, but got some complaint about the .dmg file. Didn't resolve itself until I reset the computer.

    Anyway, my point really was that a non-computer-expert sometimes has a much easier time installing and uninstalling software (and understanding what's happening during such) in windows. Not Apple's fault. I think Mac installers could be simpler. Why leave a disk image? Why have no uninstall program? Why is it that programs that DO manage to show up in Applications sometimes require hunting for other crap elsewhere to delete?

    Yeah, I'll direct these comments to Shutterfly.
  5. Shotgun OS macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2006
    I don't see how it could be easier to install things on Windows. I find it so impossible to install anything quickly in takes like 5 minutes to install a program. :(
  6. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    obviously u can't generally state like that. 5 minutes is way too much for foobar, winamp, or dvdshrink, but too few for photoshop, office, etc.
  7. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    it's not difficult, it's different. the websites for most places include instructions for installing an application in Mac OS X. those instructions usually involve downloading the disk image, opening the disk image, and dragging the application from the disk image to your applications folder.

    if you knew how to do it, it wouldn't be difficult. don't confuse difficulty with lack of knowledge or experience.
  8. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    The .dmg file is simply a downloadable version of a disc. Most apps are drag & drop. You drag them from the drive image to the Applications folder to install, drag them to the Trash to uninstall.

    There's no Registry to make a mess of the entire OS. You're making it harder than there is, because you're looking for a complication that Windows requires that's not needed on a Mac.

    Windows "uninstall" applets rarely get rid of everything, trust me. If a Mac app places stuff in the /Library that really bothers you, just Spotlight it, and trash it, too. No complicated surgery involved.
  9. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Yes... the difference is that it's easy to find the remaining files on Mac OS X. On Windows you'll probably never actually find *all* the files the app left behind, or have to dig around in Regedit for a good while. :D

    DMG drag-n-drop installation really is great (and it doesn't get easier than drag and drop), but it would probably be good if Apple provided some sort of basic explanation of the process, somewhere. I think the problem is that most novice users don't know what a disk image is.
  10. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    .dmg application install is as clean and simple as you can get, I love it! It does take a minute to learn is all, but once you do it's not difficult in the future. I do find that a lot of people never move MSN Messenger into Applications so they always have that drive open but... in the end, it's a much cleaner, easier way to install an App.
  11. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    FWIW, the help that comes on the Mac is pretty good at explaining things. Show you wife how to click on the magnifying glass in the upper-right hand-corner, type the word help, and then double-click on the 'Help Viewer' application.

    I think after you guys spend some time dealing with Mac OS X applications, you'll appreciate how the .DMG disk images you download are verified each time you open them to make sure they're not corrupt (i.e. not a bad download), how you can drag most applications from the .DMG to any location on your Mac and they'll run (or simply run them in the .DMG without dragging them anywhere on your system if you want to test the application before you decided to actually install it).

    You may also end up appreciating (if you end up having more than one Mac in the house) how you can almost always drag an application from one Mac to another Mac (or from one folder to another folder) and it'll work. To you, the app looks like a single icon, but it's really a bunch of different files packaged together so you don't have to worry about them.

    As for uninstalling an application (where you usually just drag it to the trash can) not removing all of your personal preference files, keep in mind that many Windows programs don't remove your preferences from the Windows registry. It's just that most folks don't go rooting thru their registry.

    Installing applications on OS X is a different mindset than Windows, and you're right -- it's not always totally intuitive the first few times. But IMO, there's way more rhyme and reason for why the installation process is what it is on OS X than Windows, where installers have been known to scatter and overwrite .DLL files all over the SYSTEM32 folder amongst other crazy things.

    Attached Files:

  12. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I do wish though that all applications used the same install and uninstall procedures (not a Mac-only problem btw). For example, most only require a drag-and drop to the Applications folder or anywhere you want, and can be uninstalled the same way. Others MUST go in the Applications folder and nowhere else. Still others, such as Photoshop (I think) has its own install application, and requires using the same app to do an uninstall also. And some have an install application and require you to root around for the uninstall application (but not the same app). How is the user supposed to remember all of these details when it comes time to uninstall (now, how do I uninstall this application)?.
  13. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    FWIW, that is not how most Mac applications are installed. As has been mentioned already, most only require a drag and drop operation.
  14. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    Well, the problem here is how Unix (and therefore, OS X) works with disk images. If I understand it correctly, EVERYTHING is a file in Unix. So a "disk image" is just a file that has to be mounted as if it were a REAL drive. I will admit this is a little confusing at first, but I hardly think "mount, drag to app folder, unmount/eject" could be simplified... I have seen some custom disk images that have some fancy folder backgrounds that explain how to drag the app to the applications folder and then eject the disk...perhaps more developers should follow this lead..
  15. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2006
    I also think that Disk Images are so easy to use. At first, when I got my Mac, I had no idea what to make of that disk sitting on my desktop. So the problem really is lack or understanding, as it probably is with any new Mac user. Once you understand the process, it's as simple as it gets!
  16. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Have to disagree. I'll sum up my reasoning in two words: Registry and DLLs (commonly called "dll-hell")

    Best case is Windoze is the same - a single .exe that can be run from anywhere. Best case. It goes downhill in a hurry from there.

    On the Mac - most of the time it's drag & drop to install/uninstall. Very few apps have to be located in the Application folder, but it does happen (I'll agree on that - it should be more consistent).

    Uninstall: If there are support files, they will be located in your Library folder - with a human readable name (either the app name or company or both). Not something like zyzzx.dll. Can't remember a time when deleting support files ever bothered the system or another app. You don't dare remove a DLL unless you're absolutely sure nothing else needs it. Even then - better to leave it.

    Windoze registry is just a mess. Usually, hit & miss to manually remove an application's info.

    There are exceptions, of course - it's still a computer. But, they are very very rare compared to Windoze.

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