OS X experience: month one

Certain time ago I happened to get an OSX-powered mac mini machine, which has become my first “real mac” (i.e. no emulator involved) experience.

So, as promised, my thoughts by the end of the first month of the machine’s usage…

Pros:

  • OS X is beautiful out of the box. In comparison, XP looks quite pitiful nowadays (Yes, I’ve heard of Vista, but I’m talking about year 2005 OS) with its Luna. Royal makes the difference less annoying, though.
  • All the fancy “genie”, “flip”, “slide”, “cube”, etc effects are parts of design and used when they should, contrary to Windows or Compiz and co effects which are distracting and annoying. I’ll return to this topic later.
  • OS X offers a good set of applications by default and with minimal efforts you may even make QuickTime play DivX encoded AVI movies. No “bare” system by default.
  • If you ever thought that QuickTime or iTunes are just bloated pieces of crap, try their OS X versions which are, in contrast, quite good applications. Still don’t like to run them in Windows, though 😉 Even a mac version of VLC looks more “noble”, probably because of its brushed metal skin and some polishes.
  • Installing applications is as easy as dragging them out of mounted drive images (double-click DMG file to mount) to Applications folder. Installers are rare and are usually used for “system” stuff.
  • Application usually look to the end user as a single file which can be freely moved to another location.
  • Shortcuts are updated by the system on moving files (hello to Windows).
  • Expose is a wonder. Very handy window switcher.
  • Build-in instant search in the face of Spotlight rocks. I find it even more useful than Google Desktop.
  • Changing application’s icon is as easy as copy-paste in file properties dialog (imagine that in Windows).
  • Lots of interesting applications like Adium, Shiira (just to name two) are free while having highest quality (in contrast to Linux stuff).
  • You have a good Linux Unix-powered machine out of the box: terminal is already in, Apache is pre-installed.
  • Preferences pane is easy and clean: no Windows (or KDE)-like configuration hell. If you need more power, you may tweak a bit more from within terminal. Even better is that system has very good default configuration, so you’re unlikely have a strong need to use it anyway. Even Microsoft mouse drivers look better in OSX than in Window. I’m serious…
  • Graphics acceleration really works and makes work easier instead of making your system slower 🙂

Cons:

  • Apple keyboard is designed by an idiot. Freaky key setup and GOST Russian keyboardlayout (while Windows one is superior and is a de-facto standard).
  • Keyboard layout is switched by CMD+Space. That’s OK, but I’dliked to have a chance to bind it to Ctrl+Shift (Windows-style) or Caps Lock (BeOS one).
  • Finder sucks when it comes to file management. GNOME Nautilus and Windows explorer are far superior to it.
  • Finder hotkeys are freaky: “Enter” for rename and “cmd+up” for level up is something definitely from underworld…
  • It still relies on file extension when it comes to file type guessing. Linux has made a step further in this area.
  • Default mouse drivers/settings suck. Feel myself more comfortable with third-party ones (never had such problems in Windows/Linux)
  • The system still relies on one-button mouse button although you may use any modern mices with it. Apple must have been hit hard for what they’ve done to a mouse. In fact, zooming, horizontal scrolling etc worked fine with Logitech or MS mouse drivers installed.
  • 16×16 icons look fugly (hey, guys, isn’t it a right time to redraw them?)
  • Dock is nice, but has many problems “by design”.

Overall, not much to complain about.

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