Why I don't recommend Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ChrisH3677, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2003
    Victoria, Australia
    edit: I'm not gunna change what I've written, coz that would make all the respondents look silly. So, for anyone who hasn't read this yet I'll just say:
    I apologize for tone of this post - I should have edited it a bit more. It's been a tough weekend. I shouldn't have been posting at all. But to those who responded constructively - thanks, it helped.
    I should have titled it "Have any other switchers struggled with..." and left out everything about not recommending Macs.

    I've been working in the IT industry in the DOS/Windows world for many years. Last August after wanting a Mac for nearly 20 years, I finally switched.

    One of the things I was really looking forward to was the legendary ease of use.

    hahahahahahahaha. Boy are Apple having a lend of themselves!!

    Yeah - maybe it's user-friendly for a computer newbie, but for a switcher, I found it quite a steep learning curve, and still struggle with some things.

    I was stunned to find OSX had no context sensitive help. In most Windows programs, you would be able to right-click on most any screen element and get help on that item.

    For some reason, Apple must arrogantly assume their software is too good for that. Sorry Apple. it aint. In OSX it's trial and error i.e. "I wonder what happens if I click this thingy here...."

    Things I've struggled with....
    - No context sensitive help
    - having the application menu separate from the application window (ie anchored the top of the screen)
    - the messy install/uninstall procedure. Why should a user need to know where programs are installed? And then how to find them???
    - no programs menu (Apple assume that all the programs you'll ever want to use, you'll keep in the dock. pfft!!!)
    - the "My Computer" type file navigation. Most Windows users prefer Explorer
    - No Apply and Cancel buttons in preference screens!!!!!!!!!!!! That one really amazes me.
    - different keyboard shortcuts (esp the copy, cut, paste, undo keys)

    I run an IT department and am often asked by users to recommend a computer for them at home. I assess their requirements hoping there is something they want to do that the Mac excels in. But there isn't. They just wanna surf the net, do some word processing and take work home occasionally. So I've never recommended a Mac - even tho they can do all those things on a Mac - because I don't want them having to struggle with the same learning curve I did. I don't want to become their home help desk.

    I love OSX (for it's looks and stability), but as I say, I can't recommend it to Joe Averages coz of things like the above list. (I do tell all my peers they should be using Macs - but they off course just laugh and re-adjust their blinkers)

    The whole software compatibility issue runs a distant second as a reason not to switch.

    I know OSX is evolving so I hope before long these things will change.
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    What?? How is this messy!!!?!? Go into Applications and delete it!! That is where ALL of the programs are stored! In Windows, deleting the program file does NOT necessarily delete the program. C drive, program files, etc. - how is THAT any easier?? Not all programs can be removed with the install/uninstall utility.
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    "So I've never recommended a Mac"

    "I do tell all my peers they should be using Macs"

  4. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2001
    Europe (EU)
    Ok. Would be nice to have it, but generally the help system is really good.

    Much cleaner that way.

    Huh? Because you'd like to be in control where the app is installed?! Besides, it's the same thing on Windows machines, where you have to select a path.
    And how to find the apps is really not that difficult when you just selected the location yourself. And if you didn't it's the applications folder by default.

    Uhm...yes. No problem.
    But you DO know, that you can e.g. have an entire folder in your dock?!

    When you display the folders in columns you basically have an Explorer-like view.

    What for? When you select a new setting it's automatically activated (except for networking prefs) and if you want to change it back, then just do it, man.

    Apple INVENTED these shortcuts that where later copied by MS. You're not seriously blaming Apple for that, are you? Besides, it's really not that difficult to hit the Apple key instead of control.
  5. AssassinOfGates macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    A cardboard box.
    As for the different shortcut keys, they're close enough. Ctrl, Cmd, big difference. I actually appreciate Apple's layout b/c you have a 3rd modifier key. Help is not that far... its called the help key or the command-?. Some appps actually have a help button, like network. And let's not forget the help menu. As for cancel and apply... I don't see why'd you need em, but here they are (sorry about the dark skin):

    Attached Files:

  6. albeik macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2003
    Marlborough, MA, USA
    Same here...

    As a switcher I found myself to learn things differently, mainly because I was used to the windows environment. However, it took me less than a week to figure out the ins and outs of panther. Not sure why your struggling!? If you excel in windows, mac shouldn't be that hard, especially if you now unix.

    Sure, I did notice that. It would've been nice for the mac to have something similar. but again, is it really hard to figure out what an icon means (assuming your taking about the finder).

    - would've been a plus
    - that is one thing that I thought was great! I have more valuble space! becuase I will be using only ONE menu at a time. having to explorer windows beside each other with their menus is really a waste!
    - i am not sure how u came up with this. Mac's lack of "windows" install/uninstall with registry association is to me a god-blessing. you can drag your application ANYWHERe u want, and it would run fine... u don't want it, then drag it to the bin.
    - "Applications is always on the left of your finder" or you can just drag the application folder to the dock -- holding the mouse button will show a menu of your applications. In windows you will have to go to Start->programs everytime though...
    - "Most Windows users prefer Explorer" ?? thats like saying most bmw drivers prefer bmw cars!! (though, explorer != bmw) not sure whats ur argument here
    - some do and some not (like windows) sure would've liked it when changing backgrounds...
    - is it? what applications are u using? its the same over here...

    Sure. Just remember that is still from your point of view and from your experience. Statistically not justifiable.

    Can you give us more details?

    the mac is evolving and will continue, i hope too! :)
  7. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    -whenever you open an app, you can access help for that app at the top menu, I dont see how thats a problem.
    -application menu is perfect at the top of the screen, it remains at the same place for evry app..so thats a good feature according to me.
    -messy install/uninstall procedure!!! what you talkin bout man!!! you used windows..you should know better :D
    -programs menu, there is a dock, a sidebar in the findermenu, what else can one need...
    -my comp, type navigation..that may be your personal prefernce..the column view is very good .
    -who needs apply cancel buttons..extra click.!!!
    -different keyboard shortcuts...that wont take much long getting used to...

    SO...congratulations for your mac, and you would absolutely start recommending it to everyone within 2 weeks . i bet ;) so then we would see pst from you 'why i recommend macs to evryone' and you would state your original reasons.. :D
  8. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Well, there you go. Proof that I have wasted a goodly portion of my life.
    I only have one thing to say on this: I know this IT guy (I'm one too). His name is Sam and he's quite nice. He has the ear of a fair number of people, who look to him for sound networking/computing advice. So what's the problem? The guy is an idiot, who couldn't spell "cat" if you spot him the "C" and "A". Now since the issues that this poster brings up in defending his rather strong belief that Macs aren't very good and he can't recommend them, and those facts have been proven to be based on a real lack of understanding, it can be extrapolated out that this guy ain't worth the time to refute. And that's been my experience in the PC-centric world: Self-proclaimed know-it-all's, who have an ear based on the "gosh, you're a computer whiz?" scenario, pushing information that's faulty at best.
    Let it rest.
    Meanwhile, I'm going back to being incredibly productive.
  9. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    If you really don't like Macs, I'll be more than happy to take your PowerBook.
  10. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Oh my goodness, Mac OS has some differences to Windows. If word gets out to the general public there will be riots and murders. Holy crap!

    Relax. If you're more comfortable using Windows, then by all means use Windows.
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I'm not sure if you thought switching would yield the same environment that you left. Surely, you knew that some things would be different.

    That's personal taste - not a reason something doesn't work well.
  12. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    DC Metropolitan Area
    You can't handle using a different key modifier for cut/copy/paste?

    How in the world are you employed in the computer industry?
  13. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    Maybe he should install VPC and then feel at home and still have the best of both worlds. Lets see Windows come up with VMAC!!!!!
  14. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Drag the Applications folder to your dock. Click on the folder on dock and hold your mouse button down. See, all your programs can be accessed from the Dock. For the most recent apps, go to the Apple menu and go to Recent Items.

    Pass Apple your comments on their Support page because they may add the feature on the next upgrade.

    I have watched few PC users with a few years of experience with Windows on a Mac. They actually don't understand why it has to be different than Windows. Everything has to work just like Windows.
  15. ChrisH3677 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2003
    Victoria, Australia
    As expected, mostly blinkered responses. And flames of course. Sad. Doesn't help anyone.

    Narrow minded defensiveness is one of the biggest obstacles to getting the Mac better accepted - and always has been.

    You try and tell Mac users what you don't like, and they just put their blinkered narrow minds on and flame you.

    You try to tell Windows users what's so good about the Mac, and they just put their blinkered narrow minds on and flame you.

    To Les Kern who thought it especially important to get personal. You've got no idea. If you really need me to rub your nose in it, keep up your personal attacks.

    There's two things I do want to expand on...
    - Context sensitive help means not having to fire up help and search for what something does - you just click and it's there.
    - In Windows, you run an install program and at the end have a link in your programs menu. In OSX some programs will install in the Application folder and others you have to open a compressed file and you have to manually drag and drop its contents to the Applications folder. Then in both case, you navigate to the Apps folder to run it. If you run it often use the "Keep in dock" option. Yes you can also drag the apps folder to the Dock for quicker access. Some Windows installers ask too many questions, but in the main, the Windows approach is much tidier and more user friendly.

    (Both Windows and OSX could benefit from a program menu based on application categories. I use DockDockDock a Dock switcher, as my application launcher and I've categorized all my apps - eg music, utilities, development, graphics, office, internet etc etc)

    I can see the benefits of some things in OSX I've had problems with (eg the application menu) but they still do present a learning curve - altho I do wonder if I'm too experienced in Windows... and maybe the Joe Averages would grasp these things quicker.

    I wouldn't go back to Windows if you paid me because the other benefits of Macs (eg robustness, reliability, many other user-friendly things etc) outweigh these issues, so I am prepared to learn all these quirks and differences and get so used to it that I too will flame someone one day for daring to suggest some things are difficult.
  16. ChrisH3677 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2003
    Victoria, Australia
    I can handle it fine but when I am doing support on people's PCs its embarrassing pressing alt-c and wondering why it's not working! :D
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    I would, but I'm too busy laughing at the thread right now. [​IMG]

  18. ChrisH3677 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2003
    Victoria, Australia
    Thanks BornAgainMac. It's nice to see someone can respond rationally.

    You are right too. There are some things I don't understand can't be more like Windows to make the transition easier (eg context help, not having to dig into folders to find newly installed applications, and maybe some others), but I shouldn't have put the Application Menu in that original list.

    Apple and MS do nick ideas from each other (MS more so). Apple though tends to take something and make it better - eg the command-tab between applications. MS has had that for years but never given it any extra functionality, such as Apple have done - esp in Panther. (Correct me if I''m wrong - OS9 didn't have it did it?)
  19. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    I have been seeing this debate for over 15 years now ever since I switched in '88. In the Graphics world MACs dominate and have even been used extensively to produce PC commercials (magine that!). I am now in my industry forced to use both platforms, and have been for many years. I use WIN 2K and OS 9.2.2 and OS X, and I think the one with the narrow minded blinkers on is the one who posted this in the first place. Having experience in both worlds and needing to know both platforms in a very demanding production environment has only helped me come to the conclusion that the only thing good about the trash can in WIN is to put the OS in it and FLUSH!!!
  20. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Okay, that's just uncalled for. No personal insults. That's not the purpose of these forums. Read the rules so you don't get banned.

    I didn't know you could drag the Applications folder to the Dock - see, everyone learns from discussion.

    There may be a learning curve for Pro windows users who know the minute ins and outs - but for most basic computer users - I still think that OSX is a little more intuitive.

    The learning curve going from Mac --->> Windows must be 10x worse!!
  21. crackpip macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    I'm not saying flames are necessary, but when you post a note with a bunch of osx flaws which are really just differences between windows and osx, that's what happens. I'm not saying osx is perfect. It's not. But IMO everyone of your complaints is actually something I dislike about windows. Windows is so full of terrible UI design that you get used to it. Then everything else feels like its poorly done. In a few years, I'd like to see some productivity studies done again. The last showed people familiar with Macs were more productive than people familiar with PCs, but they were done before osx.

    In general, context sensitive items are considered poor UI design, since the user must figure out what the context was to get back to a previous option or menu item. Sometimes it can be rather irritating trying to find out why a certain menu item is greyed out or is missing.

    I wouldn't say tidier, but it is more uniform in the Windows world. Most of this stems from hiding what is really going on from the user, which in turn comes from the myriad of places files (.dll's etc.) for an app are placed in windows. Personally, I think all software designers should use the drag and drop method unless they specifically need to install files into other places. Most apps are completely self-contained, only generating a pref file in the Library. You can put the app wherever you want.

    I'd totally recommend Launchbar as an app launcher. It is such a sweet application. You use a keyboard shortcut to activate, then type in a few letters of the app's name and hit return.

    Also, welcome to the mac world. It'll take some time to get used to things, but I think you'll find it very rewarding. Although, now you'll be a user in a platform that is always being threatened. Right now, I'm having to argue against people who feel that Macs are luxury items that don't have much of a place in an academic research computing environment despite the fact that, for my case, they are superior in almost every way, including price. This is what sucks about being a mac user-- having to justify your choice all the time. Oh, and dealing with IT people who think they are above supporting macs.

  22. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    If you need help on a program simply click the Help menu on the top of the screen. It will tell you anything you need to know about the program you have open. Also hit the help button on your keyboard. I'm not sure if the PB's do have it but if its there it can bring up help on a program.
  23. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    You can drag any folder, app, even the Main HD or other partioned HDs to the dock and have it there to open instantly.
  24. spookz macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2004
    that was an eye opener for me in my move to mac (not quite complete tho). loved it! i always liked the little self contained windows apps. single exe's that generate nothing more than a reg /ini file. now.... nothing but bloat

    ps; you can move the app to another dir and still retain prefs unlike win progs.
  25. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Oh man, those Bananas always crack me up. Keep up the good work.

    And about the original post: To every man his own.

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