Okay I switched, are you happy now?

A couple of weeks ago, I backed up all my data to the cloud and then turned off my PC. One day I’ll turn it on again, but it will be to format it, reinstall it and give it to my mom. For you see, I have switched to The Mac, something readers of this blog — tech savvies you might call at least some of them — have been clamoring for for a decade.

aboutthismac

So yes. I switched to The Mac, and I’ve found a setup I’m happy with. Yes, I said it, I’m very happy with The Mac. Go on, have your moment. No, please, point at me and laugh because it took me so long to “see the light”. Remind me how long I criticized the OS, the ecosystem and the mere culture of The Mac. Get it out of your system.

But why did I switch? In short: the commandline. In my dayjob, I need to know Linux. Which is pretty much like Unix. Which is pretty much what’s at the core of OSX. Which means, if I’m on this ecosystem, there’s less to learn — and that which I do learn has broader applicability in what I do today. Because webdesigners should code.

Now then. Here’s what I had to do to tweak the system to be satisfying for an ex-Windows user:

  • Enable form element tabbing. System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > “All controls”. I can’t believe this is not enabled by default.
  • Install Cinch. It’s on the Mac App Store, and it does what “Aero Snap” does on Windows 7. It’s the closest to fullscreen I can get. Update: there’s also “Better Snap Tool” from the App Store.
  • Move the dock to the right side of the screen and make it auto-hide. It makes it less jumpy there as compared to the bottom, and whenever I need to drag a file into an app or the trash, the distance to drag is short.
  • Install ClipMenu. It does what CLCL does for Windows, i.e. it’s a clipboard manager. My clipboard history shortcut is ALT + V.
  • Install CloudApp. Windows users, see: FluffyApp.
  • Configure the screensaver to require a password, and create a shortcut to the screensaver in the dock so I can quickly lock the computer if I have to leave for a moment. Update: Today I use Alfred app to invoke the “Screensaver” command as opposed to a dock shortcut.
  • Learn the shortcots CMD + L for “locationbar” in browsers, ALT + Left for “move caret to previous word” and CMD + Left is the equivalent of “Home” (these shortcuts work in the other direction as well, ALT + Right and CMD + Right). Also CMD + H for “hide current window” — which is almost as useful as the “minimize” feature is useless.
  • Remove the CMD + ALT + Space and CMD + Space shortcuts for Spotlight, and remap Spotlight to CMD + $ (on a Danish keyboard, $ is the button right below escape). Yeah I’ve been recommended AlfredApp. I’ll get to it, but for now Spotlight is fine. Update: I now use Alfred, with the same suggested shortcut remapping.
  • Configure the hot corners: bottom left is desktop, top right is Exposé. Update: today I don’t use the hot corners anymore, I use F3 for Expose, and CMD + F3 for Desktop.

Stuff that still bugs me to no end:

  • No fullscreen feature and a totally inconsistent stoplight behavior. Yep, Cinch in combination with CMD + H gives me the window management I need, but I really think it’s embarrassing for a modern operating system that all three core window management buttons are near useless.
  • The selection model is so broken, George W. Bush’s anthropomorphized foreign policy took a look at it and said DAAAYM!
  • I can only resize a window in the bottom right corner. Combine this with a dock that pops out when you don’t want it, and you’ve got a recipe for headaches. I hear this is fixed in the next OSX, but as they said when Krusty the Clown retired: “Why now? Why not ten years ago?” Update: Fixed in Lion/Mountain Lion.
  • The topmost filemenu feels so dated. Why not make it a context toolbar instead of a labyrinth of dropdown menus? When was the list time you clicked “Window > Minimize”? Be honest.

Yup. Have your say.

Responses to “Okay I switched, are you happy now?”

  1. No laughing or pointing here friend. I hate the windows for a number of reasons, but I acknowledge that it is the perfect OS for a large percentage of the world.

    What you say about the underlying kernel is true, and I am glad that it was this that pushed you over to the mac side, and not something less interesting. I look forward to more of your thoughts on the mac, especially when Lion hits later this year.

    Welcome!

  2. matthew says:

    And I hear Lion fixes your drag-any-edge-of-a-window woes (And im sure I saw an extension for Snow Leopard too) – not sure how Ill manage with it though.

    You COULD have a hot corner to activate the screen saver (annoys the hell out of me tho)

    • Joen says:

      And I hear Lion fixes your drag-any-edge-of-a-window woes (And im sure I saw an extension for Snow Leopard too) – not sure how Ill manage with it though.

      Manage WITH it? Would you prefer it remain as is?

      You COULD have a hot corner to activate the screen saver (annoys the hell out of me tho)

      Tried that for a brief period and ended up having to enter the password all the time due to my loose cannon hands. I invoke Exposé enough times accidentally. The dock shortcut works great for me.

      • matthew says:

        Manage WITH it? Would you prefer it remain as is?

        What can I say, Im used to it and the idea of dragging any edge of the window just seems a bit weird. Im sure Ill get used to it again. OS 9 -> OS X was a MASSIVE leap.

        I second Sparrow

        As for price comparisons, its been said plently before – Apple just plain doesnt go for that lower market.

        You might be able to argue that spec for spec Apples have lower spec for same priced PCs (I cant say) but then you have to factor in the additional software to remove or add and the fact that Apple have a slower hardware update cycle than PC manufactures so will generally be a bit behind.

        They last for years though, my 4 1/2 year old rev 2 MacBook Pro and even older Powerbook are still going strong

      • Joen says:

        What can I say, Im used to it and the idea of dragging any edge of the window just seems a bit weird. Im sure Ill get used to it again. OS 9 -> OS X was a MASSIVE leap.

        Weirdness. I hear the Lion implementation is pretty visually indistinct, though — will you try to actually disable it?

      • matthew says:

        Weirdness. I hear the Lion implementation is pretty visually indistinct, though — will you try to actually disable it?

        Probably not, Ill see how it goes. If I end up dragging instead of scolling or whatever I might turn it off.

        Id compare some of these ‘deficiencies’ in OS features between Win & Mac to maybe using a prime lens on a camera. As many photographers will know, you loose the convenience of zooming and so have to walk back and forward – but that deficiency forces you to think more about whats in frame and take better photos.

        Just forces me to have better window management :/

      • Joen says:

        Probably not, Ill see how it goes. If I end up dragging instead of scolling or whatever I might turn it off.

        If they implement it badly sure it’ll suck. But Windows users have that cake and eat it too.

        Id compare some of these ‘deficiencies’ in OS features between Win & Mac to maybe using a prime lens on a camera. As many photographers will know, you loose the convenience of zooming and so have to walk back and forward – but that deficiency forces you to think more about whats in frame and take better photos.

        Just forces me to have better window management :/

        Yeah I don’t know — sounds like a bad excuse for bad usability. Some of these deficiencies don’t exist in iOS, for instance, so clearly they can do things differently.

      • matthew says:

        Yeah I don’t know — sounds like a bad excuse for bad usability. Some of these deficiencies don’t exist in iOS, for instance, so clearly they can do things differently.

        point taken. for the record, I love my prime lens and use it the most, despite having to walk back and forward

  3. Jonas says:

    I am in a similar situation as you apparently were a short while ago: I am pretty happy with Windows and the way my Windows installation is set up. But I need to get more used to working with the Unix command line and wish I could use more of the tools available there. Buying a Mac has crossed my mind more than once but the price, but my dislike for the Mac OS X UI (c.f. fullscreen) and their hardware (Apple keyboards and touchpads just aren’t made for me) have made me stick with Dell & Windows.

    My solution right now is to use Cygwin. Did you try that? I realize Cygwin is a limited attempt to bring a Unix style command line to Windows – but in daily life, what does Mac OS X provide you in terms of command line features that Cygwin doesn’t?

    • Joen says:

      Buying a Mac has crossed my mind more than once but the price, but my dislike for the Mac OS X UI (c.f. fullscreen)

      Both great reasons.

      Price-wise, the Macs are expensive. Oh goodness I feel a rant coming on. I will try to limit this.

      Okay, the PC market, they’re in a bad place. Prices have fallen so much that margins are paperthin. Which means Dell, Acer and others install bloatware to increase the margins. Which makes the experience suck way more. Which further crushes the percieved value of a PC, lowering the margins further.

      Microsoft is desperately trying to turn around this trend, with their signature PC line. But a signature PC has to be more expensive than a bloatware Dell PC in order for the margins to make sense. And because of the percieved drop in value due to the mere existence of bloatware PCs makes a lot of users then go “if I have to pay that much for a PC, I might as well get a Mac” — since Macs are percieved as premium.

      It’s a sticky situation, and I’m not saying that Macs are necessarily worth that premium. I’m just saying that at least SOME of that premium is warranted by the lack of chasing margins.

      (Apple keyboards and touchpads just aren’t made for me) have made me stick with Dell & Windows

      With regards to keyboards, I always thought Apple made awesome keyboards — it was the keyboard layout that bugged me. I thought I couldn’t learn to use CMD + C instead of Ctrl + C. But as it turns out, that is just a matter of getting used to the different way of doing things. And in programming JavaScript, I’ve come to prefer the location of {} and [] on the Mac keyboard. As for the trackpad — I loathe trackpads even on PCs, so I just bring a mouse.

      My solution right now is to use Cygwin. Did you try that? I realize Cygwin is a limited attempt to bring a Unix style command line to Windows – but in daily life, what does Mac OS X provide you in terms of command line features that Cygwin doesn’t?

      No, I haven’t tried Cygwin, but it’s more than that, though. The fact that the Unix runs deep in the OS means I can put my SSH private key in the .ssh folder and that’s where apps that use it will look for it. That drastically simplifies some usecases.

      To be clear, the best is probably to switch to Ubuntu, but there are apps I need that aren’t on the real Linux.

    • Youdaman says:

      Jonas, Cygwin is a fine solution. Another is using Putty and WinSCP to connect to Linux servers and playing there. There’s a whole bunch of free Linux/Unix servers out there. One I found back in the day that lets you create a free shell account is: http://freeshell.org/ — does what it says on the tin :) I’m quite happy staying in Windows because I’m a gamer as well as a web developer, and I’ve managed to set things up quite nicely so that I can work locally (with a nice Windows Apache/MySQL setup) and transfer sites to Linux servers without the need for any black magic. I did use Linux-only for a number of years, and that definitely helped hone my skills, but you don’t need to switch to Mac to learn *nix. In fact it’s not even proper *nix on a Mac (if you ask Linux/Unix afficianados — not Mac users) :P

      • Joen says:

        I’m quite happy staying in Windows because I’m a gamer as well as a web developer

        Right, good point. Should’ve noted that while do play the occasional game, I suffer from 3D motion sickness which leaves me with downloadable top-down or sideways PS3 titles.

        did use Linux-only for a number of years, and that definitely helped hone my skills, but you don’t need to switch to Mac to learn *nix. In fact it’s not even proper *nix on a Mac (if you ask Linux/Unix afficianados — not Mac users)

        Of course if your skills are already leet, my particular reason for switching doesn’t apply, and I can certainly understand why you have no reason to switch. Very fair point.

  4. BWAAAAAAAhahahahaahaaaaaahaaaahaaaaaBBWWWAAaaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaahahahahaa…Haaaah…Haaa… Ha. Hehe… Phew. Heh.

    /me sits down.

    Oh dear, hehe, oh… heh…

    Alright, alright, I got it out of my system. Phew, I’m getting old.

    I’ve got nothing more to add really. Have you gotten used to the way Finder overwrites folders rather than merging them? Oh, and try Divvy. It’s like Cinch, but better.

    • Joen says:

      Alright, alright, I got it out of my system. Phew, I’m getting old.

      Hah! If I didn’t get this reply from you, I’d assume you were a pod-person. Pun not intended (making a movie reference).

      I’ve got nothing more to add really. Have you gotten used to the way Finder overwrites folders rather than merging them? Oh, and try Divvy. It’s like Cinch, but better.

      Haven’t gotten used to the merging thing, no. Ack, I gotta keep that in mind! Jeez!

      And yes I tried divvy, but it’s too many clicks for what I need. Then again, on a multi monitor setup, the “drag to left edge” suddenly became less useful. Perhaps Divvy helps there.

  5. Daniel says:

    I recommend trying out:

    Witch – Window Switcher
    Available on the App Store and here: http://manytricks.com/witch/

    Adium – Multi-protocol IM
    http://adium.im/

    Sparrow – Mail client (Perfect with Gmail)
    Available on the App Store

    • Joen says:

      Witch – Window Switcher
      Available on the App Store and here: http://manytricks.com/witch/

      Ooh, neat!

      Adium – Multi-protocol IM
      http://adium.im/

      Got it, though I’m pondering switching to iChat because all I use is Jabber. Thoughts?

      Sparrow – Mail client (Perfect with Gmail)
      Available on the App Store

      I’m too much of a Gmail web-interface user to switch to anything else at this point.

  6. Trick to Divvy is setting up keyboard shortcuts.

  7. I’m using iChat for Gtalk, works well.

    • Joen says:

      I’m using iChat for Gtalk, works well.

      Any reasons why I should be using it over Adium in my particular use-case?

  8. matthew says:

    Im quite intrigued by the hidden scroll bars in Lion, my immediate reaction is “Ack no!” but Im hoping Itll work well.

  9. Chris says:

    Finally…

    Eventually we’ll get you to stop fighting with the OS. Everything you think is wrong isn’t. It’s just different than what you’re used to. That problem you have with the selection method, used to bug the crap out of me too. Then I got used to it. Until you mentioned it again I’d completely forgotten it was something people thought of as being an issue.

    And, simply because you come to accept how things are done on a Mac and then eventually come to love this new way of doing things doesn’t mean you’ve joined a cult. It’s just a computer.

    For your uses, iChat would be fine. I only use Adium to talk to those few nutters that don’t use AIM/Jabber.

    With regards to exposé and your apparently ability to activate it at the oddest times, watching you work must be like watching an epileptic stare at a strobe.

    Someday we’ll get you end your ceaseless desire to fullscreen everything. Honestly, do you work in the Terminal fullscreen? Sometimes, most times, it just doesn’t make sense. Just let the damn windows be. Take a breath, you control-freak.

    As always, I look forward to the next three hour tirade via chat on how Apple does this one tiny insignificant thing that no one else cares about differently than you’d like so I can spend two minutes googling a solution for you. That’s what I’m here for. :)

    • Joen says:

      Im quite intrigued by the hidden scroll bars in Lion, my immediate reaction is “Ack no!” but Im hoping Itll work well.

      I have the same reaction. We’ll see. Could be awesome.

      Until you mentioned it again I’d completely forgotten it was something people thought of as being an issue.

      Just because you get used to something, doesn’t mean it’s not essentially bad usability. Sure this selection thing might be an edgecase.

      Never settle. Good enough is not good enough. I work with computers under the assumption that they suck (third law). Why shouldn’t the situation be allowed to be improved? This is part of the reason why I switched to the Mac, for instance.

      And, simply because you come to accept how things are done on a Mac and then eventually come to love this new way of doing things doesn’t mean you’ve joined a cult. It’s just a computer.

      Yes. Phew. Thanks for reminding me.

      For your uses, iChat would be fine. I only use Adium to talk to those few nutters that don’t use AIM/Jabber.

      Okay, now trying iChat.

      With regards to exposé and your apparently ability to activate it at the oddest times, watching you work must be like watching an epileptic stare at a strobe.

      That’s funny and totally offensive and probably pretty spot on. Nonetheless it was not a problem I had on The Windows. Then again, I didn’t have Expose there.

      Someday we’ll get you end your ceaseless desire to fullscreen everything. Honestly, do you work in the Terminal fullscreen? Sometimes, most times, it just doesn’t make sense. Just let the damn windows be. Take a breath, you control-freak.

      I predict once Lion comes with fullscreen, you’ll claim Apple invented it or perfected it or that it’s totally different and if I love Windows so much why don’t I marry them.

      As always, I look forward to the next three hour tirade via chat on how Apple does this one tiny insignificant thing that no one else cares about differently than you’d like so I can spend two minutes googling a solution for you. That’s what I’m here for.

      And I also look forward to it. Riposte!

  10. Chris says:

    That’s funny and totally offensive and probably pretty spot on.

    Fair enough, before anyone flips out, my nephew is epileptic and no, he doesn’t flop around. He just zonks out.

  11. Zeppelin says:

    I don’t know if that’s suitable for a danish keyboard, but if you use the green zoom button a lot (I do), create a new keyboard shortcut for all apps with the menu title “Zoom” and set it to CMD+[whatever key is below the ESC key]. It’s “CMD+§” on the intl english keyboard.

    I hope you’ll find it useful.

    • Joen says:

      Zeppelin,

      Good tip, but I personally find all three stoplight buttons useless. The red button doesn’t actually close the app, just the window. The minimize feature isn’t quite as useful as simply hiding the app with cmd + H, especially if you’re using expose, and the green button is all over the place and doesn’t always maximize. Cinch solves the maximize problem for me.

  12. OMFG MAN!

    THE RED BUTTON IS NOT A CLOSE APP BUTTON IT IS A CLOSE WINDOW BUTTON YOU CANT HIDE A SINGLE WINDOW BUT YOU CAN MINIMIZE IT SO YELLOW IS ALSO GOOD AND GREEN IS NOT A MOTHERFUCKING MAXIMIZE BUTTON!!111

    Ah. Better.

    No, but seriously. Stop applying preconceived notions to OS X and it’ll make much more sense.

    • Joen says:

      No, but seriously. Stop applying preconceived notions to OS X and it’ll make much more sense.

      When was the last time you used your mouse to click either the red, yellow or green button?

      Don’t lie to me.

      I’m Heimdall. I can see you. I’ll know when you’re lying.

      I saw you when you were touching yourself as you wrote this.

  13. I saw you when you were touching yourself as you wrote this.

    That is uncanny…

    I probably did it today at some point. But I mostly use CMD-W and CMD-M for closing and minimizing windows, which I do all the time; it’s the same functionality. Now granted, I use the zoom functionality less, but that’s probably because I use Divvy to resize and move my windows around.

    • Joen says:

      Michael Heilemann,

      I’m frankly surprised you use any of those buttons at all. Really. In none of my use cases do the stoplight buttons appear. I find them less than useless, and so I really think they could be made more useful if the gloves came off and their actions were changed.

  14. Nejt says:

    Why exactly are you using the screensaver? I’ve just been putting the computer to sleep (opt+cmd+eject) whenever I leave. It wakes so fast that by the time I’ve settled down it’s connected to the internet again. I also insist on using a mouse with extra buttons for Exposé and common shortcuts like switching tabs. Using a hotcorner sounds like it’d drive you insane!

    One thing I liked about OS X is that the control key is still usful for certain shortcuts, but it’s things most people don’t use like transposing two characters and deleting to the end of a paragraph.

    The UNIX backend is really nice, though. I installed Ubuntu on my old Windows machine after I got this iMac, since some people were saying it’s better than OS X for web development, but I hardly ever use Ubuntu because I find myself enjoying Mac apps more than what’s available on Linux.

    Either way, once you get used to the fact that it doesn’t behave exactly like Windows, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

  15. You never minimize? You don’t have for instance a browser window open with X tabs that you minimize so you can return to it later? You don’t close windows? That makes no sense, you’re just being silly now.

    • Joen says:

      Nejt,

      Why exactly are you using the screensaver? I’ve just been putting the computer to sleep (opt+cmd+eject) whenever I leave. It wakes so fast that by the time I’ve settled down it’s connected to the internet again.

      My usecase is a bit specific here. I work at a distributed company, which means my presence in a workday is digital only. Which means Skype as well as IRC need to be running. Additionally, I subscribe to some notifications via Jabber, which means Adium has to be running to receive those. The bottomline is that these will keep running even when the screensaver is on, but there’s a modicum of security still.

      Using a hotcorner sounds like it’d drive you insane!

      Well, yeah, but having Expose in the top right corner is valuable enough for me to be able to deal with the accidental activations.

      One thing I liked about OS X is that the control key is still usful for certain shortcuts, but it’s things most people don’t use like transposing two characters and deleting to the end of a paragraph.

      Not sure I got what you meant here.

      The UNIX backend is really nice, though. I installed Ubuntu on my old Windows machine after I got this iMac, since some people were saying it’s better than OS X for web development, but I hardly ever use Ubuntu because I find myself enjoying Mac apps more than what’s available on Linux.

      For the hardcore programming, I’m sure true Linux is indeed way better, but I’m not personally skilled enough in the mystic arts of sudo-fu, so I need the lickable gloss OSX adds. Also, yeah, there are some very nice webdesign apps for The Mac.

      Michael Heilemann,

      You never minimize? You don’t have for instance a browser window open with X tabs that you minimize so you can return to it later? You don’t close windows? That makes no sense, you’re just being silly now.

      I close tabs. CMD + W for that. Sure.

      I minimize windows occasionally. Since getting this thing a couple of weeks ago, I’ve minimized windows less times than I can count on half of my left hand. That means I’ve minimized once or twice. I use CMD + H if I want to access the desktop.

      Minimize a browser window with tabs? As in one tab-set for one type of work, and another tab-set of another type of work? I can see that being useful, alright I’ll grant you that. I don’t do this myself, but sure. I see it.

      But no, I don’t close windows. I quit apps, CMD + Q.

      • Zeppelin says:

        Joen,

        Ctrl+Shift+Eject puts the displays into sleep and requires password to resume work.

      • Joen says:

        Zeppelin,

        Ctrl+Shift+Eject puts the displays into sleep and requires password to resume work.

        Yep, great advice.

        But it does put the thing to sleep, whereas the screensaver doesn’t, which means Skype and IRC can keep running in the background.

      • Zeppelin says:

        Zeppelin,

        Yep, great advice.

        But it does put the thing to sleep, whereas the screensaver doesn’t, which means Skype and IRC can keep running in the background.

        It puts only the displays to sleep, not the whole computer. Think of “System preferences > Energy Saver > Display Sleep”, but manually triggered.

      • Joen says:

        It puts only the displays to sleep, not the whole computer. Think of “System preferences > Energy Saver > Display Sleep”, but manually triggered.

        Interesting! I’m gonna look at that one again then.

  16. I guess it comes down to style, but I’ll often have four-five Chrome windows open, with various groupings of tabs for various things. Some are expendable, some I want to save for later. Minimize does the job.

    How can you not close windows? I don’t even understand how that works… You can’t be telling me that you always only have one window open of any given app? And closing apps? What is this, Windows?

    By the way, if you don’t know, you can CMD-Q and CMD-H while you’re CMD-Tabbing. Very useful.

    • Joen says:

      How can you not close windows? I don’t even understand how that works… You can’t be telling me that you always only have one window open of any given app?

      Hmm. I guess I didn’t count open documents inside apps. I guess an open document in Photoshop does have a stoplight as well. Okay, yeah, I do that. Sure. And now that I think about it, I guess I do it in the Finder as well. And Adium windows.

      Okay, guess I owe you a beer.

      What I was referring to was what happens when you press the red button in single-window, single-purpose apps like iTunes — that is totally counter-intuitive.

      And closing apps? What is this, Windows?

      If I don’t use an app at any one point, quitting it cleans up the CMD + Tab menu.

  17. If I don’t use an app at any one point, quitting it cleans up the CMD + Tab menu.

    True, and I do close apps, but not the ones I use regularly, those I just leave open.

    And all of the above, every single comment, is why I want to marry iOS.

    • matthew says:

      And all of the above, every single comment, is why I want to marry iOS.

      haha, not iOS for ‘desktop’ use surely? thatd drive me mental.

      Would be good if Apple went back to the OS UI drawing board with OS X – threw away the preconceptions liek they did with iOS.

      Maybe theres black ops at Apple doing this, itd be pretty ballsy, but not really unlike Apple, OSX was a pretty big jump from OS9 for seasoned Mac users like myself. The public beta was crazy, Apple logo in the middle of the menu bar for instance (its wasnt a menu though)

  18. Jeff Byrnes says:

    Sounds like, random tibits aside, you’re settling in pretty nicely. Not sure anybody’s mentioned them to you, but the screenshot keyboard shortcuts? Awesome:

    cmd + shift + 3 = fullscreen everything screenshot
    cmd + shift + 4 = selection-based screenshot
    cmd + shift + 4, then tap spacebar = camera-icon, automatically screenshot a window

    There’s loads more fun stuff with just that, but I figured you might dig those. Also, Adium is badass, but if you only use Jabber/gTalk, then iChat is brilliant.

    As for the inconsistency with single-window apps & the close window functionality, I think the inconsistency of some apps only closing the window while others quit the app would be worse. I’ve seen a few apps try this out in the past, it always made me crazy.

  19. Levi Buzolic says:

    Oh what great timing! Would you believe I’m going through the same switch at the moment?

    I started a new job back at the beginning of April at a studio that’s 100% Mac, so I’ve been using a Mac for 8 hours a day and it’s starting to really make sense.

    So now I’m tossing around the idea of putting OSX on my home PC (buying a Mac isn’t really practical because I would have to pay a fortune to match my current PC’s specs) to make going back and forth easier.

  20. Protip: You can assign whatever keyboard shortcuts you want to any menu item an app has in the keyboard preferences. It. Is. Awesome. Allow me to suggest opt-tab for switching between the windows of an app?

    • Chris says:

      Allow me to suggest opt-tab for switching between the windows of an app?

      Cmd-` already does that by default on the U.S. English keyboard. It’s actually modal. Cmd-tab to switch between apps. Once that app switcher is onscreen you can then cycle forward and back through your apps by alternating between cmd-tab and cmd-`. When you’re in an app with multiple windows open cmd-` cycles through that apps windows.

      And this gets to the point I’m always trying to make to Joen. Stop trying to make the OS fit the way you think the world should be. That doesn’t mean surrender yourself to the “Apple Way” but don’t be in such a rush to inflict the screwy Joen way either.

      You’ve been using the Joen way for decades at this point. I’m not trying to convince you the “Joen way” is wrong. I’m trying to convince you that you’re missing out on some things because you keep fighting the OS. You’ve become so indoctrinated to the Windows UI that anything alien is to be fought. And, frankly, you haven’t given OS X a fair shake at all. And don’t deny it. You were collecting UI altering apps before your Macbook arrived.

      Stop the madness. There’s a famous quote, I’m sure, somewhere, about not being expert enough to skip things. For some reason I think it was Stephen King. Some writers get to use adverbs cause they’re so good they can do it without fucking things up.

      You don’t know OS X well enough to be making decisions about what is and is not a horrible user destroying design idiom. You’re a novice, a newb. Soak in it a while before going to your Fitts bible to tell you how wrong everything is. And, seriously, a long while. A week on your lady’s laptop followed by a few hours here and there on your own isn’t enough.

      You still don’t know the keyboard commands I know so well I have to use them to remember what they are. You should reconsider rejiggering everything until you know what should be rejiggered.

      Take Quicksilver. Quicksilver was a revelation for many OS X users. But it was only that because those users that flocked to Quicksilver already knew the boundaries of the OS and could see how that app could change their workflow for the better. You just don’t know the OS well enough to go around breaking it.

      You can’t go from newb to power-user in a week. You shouldn’t try to force it.

      For one week, just trust me here, don’t quit an app. Just leave those fuckers running. Leave the apps running, leave the windows open, learn the keyboard defaults. You don’t like the stoplight? Who cares? I can’t remember the last time I tried to control a window in OS X with the stoplight. And, it’s not because I’ve been using OS X for years and years and know some secret you don’t. I just stopped trying to make OS X work like Windows. For that matter, I stopped trying to make it work like Linux (the OS I was using immediately prior to OS X).

      Final part of my screed. The best way to exercise your brain isn’t to play chess. It’s do something you would normally do one way, in a completely different way. Pick your nose left handed? Try your snot-snatching righty. You’ll build a neuron in the process.

      I’m gonna hate myself for this but… think different.

      • Joen says:

        Jeff Byrnes,

        Not sure anybody’s mentioned them to you, but the screenshot keyboard shortcuts?

        Yeah, those are awesome.

        There’s loads more fun stuff with just that, but I figured you might dig those. Also, Adium is badass, but if you only use Jabber/gTalk, then iChat is brilliant.

        Tried iChat yesterday, don’t like the chatbubbles, switched back to Adium instantly.

        matthew,

        Would be good if Apple went back to the OS UI drawing board with OS X – threw away the preconceptions liek they did with iOS.

        That’s what I’m saying! Do we even need close, minimize and maximize buttons anymore?

        Levi Buzolic,

        So now I’m tossing around the idea of putting OSX on my home PC (buying a Mac isn’t really practical because I would have to pay a fortune to match my current PC’s specs) to make going back and forth easier.

        You mean a hackintosh? I’d be interested to hear how that goes.

        Michael Heilemann,

        Protip: You can assign whatever keyboard shortcuts you want to any menu item an app has in the keyboard preferences. It. Is. Awesome. Allow me to suggest opt-tab for switching between the windows of an app?

        Elaborate!

        Chris,

        And this gets to the point I’m always trying to make to Joen. Stop trying to make the OS fit the way you think the world should be. That doesn’t mean surrender yourself to the “Apple Way” but don’t be in such a rush to inflict the screwy Joen way either.

        No, man. Don’t you get it? Improvement is to be had everywhere. I switched to the Mac because it became an improvement over what I had! But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect! I feel like I’ve walked into a city where everyone drives cars with square wheels, and I’m the only one that dares suggest round wheels instead.

        For one week, just trust me here, don’t quit an app. Just leave those fuckers running. Leave the apps running, leave the windows open, learn the keyboard defaults.

        Okay, you’re on.

        You don’t like the stoplight? Who cares? I can’t remember the last time I tried to control a window in OS X with the stoplight. And, it’s not because I’ve been using OS X for years and years and know some secret you don’t. I just stopped trying to make OS X work like Windows.

        But that’s what I’m saying: I’m happy with the OSX, but I don’t use the stoplight. iOS doesn’t use the stoplight, and that’s arguably a more userfriendly OS. So why is there a stoplight at all? Yeah I know I don’t work for Jobs, but he’s gonna ask the same question eventually I’m sure.

        think different.

        Right back at you :)

      • Rob Mientjes says:

        Tried iChat yesterday, don’t like the chatbubbles, switched back to Adium instantly.

        You can choose between a bunch of styles, actually. I ditched the bubbles aaaages ago.

  21. matthew says:

    Well said Chris ;)

  22. If by elaborate you mean show you how, it’s easy.

    I feel like I’ve walked into a city where everyone drives cars with square wheels, and I’m the only one that dares suggest round wheels instead.

    You may be mistaking our square repulsor lifters for wheels… You think that’s air you’re breathing?

    AGAAAIN!

    • Joen says:

      You may be mistaking our square repulsor lifters for wheels… You think that’s air you’re breathing?

      HAH! Made me laugh. Okay, you win. Everything you guys say is right.

  23. Daniel says:

    Woa, what a discussion! :-) I am so pragmatic / agnostic (/old?) that I can even live with iTunes now. Sure, it could be better, but as it is out of my reach (within reason) to do something about it, I make sure we get along nicely instead. Make love not war. :-)

    Another recommendation: http://www.pixelmator.com/ Very good value for money.

  24. Ah, cool, I didn’t know that. I only knew opt-cmd-eject, which sleeps the computer.

  25. Mark says:

    Has anyone mentioned Alt clicking the desktop hides the open program yet?

  26. Mark says:

    P.S. thanks for your low down… I’m always eager to find out what other people setups are like, its the best way to add to ones own repertoire :)

  27. Joen says:

    Mark,

    Ooh, that’s a good one. Nice trick!

Leave a Reply