Little adjustments - from Windows to Mac
There are a few little things that four weeks in to my Mac adoption are still presenting me with small challenges. Since I run parallel desktops; both a high powered Windows machine and my now trusty MacBook, I'm constantly battling with them.
Closing ApplicationsOne of the little "gotchas" for me with my Mac has been closing down applications. In the Windows environment when I am done with just about any application I'll save what I've worked on and then click the little X in the upper right hand corner. My youngest daughter even uses that as a verb: "Just X the window..."
On my Mac the little X has moved from the top right to the top left of every window and is now under a little red orb. Much like under Windows, when I'm done with an application I'll find myself simply closing it by clicking on the little red orb. While this closes the window it does not close the application. The menu is still alive - and with it most of the memory for the application - until you actually quit the application (Command-Q).
It took me a little while to really understand this. If you've read my blog you can probably tell that I'm trying out a lot of applications now, seeing what will work best for me on my Mac. Early on I would load up and application, play with it for a little, then close the main window and try out another application. Before long I had so many application still running that when I hit Command-Tab to switch to a different application it looked like an icon party on my desktop.
If you make the move to Mac from Windows it's a good idea to remember how to actually close down an application. Command-Q is your friend!
The keyboards on the machines continue to mess me up. While the secondary key for nearly every action is the same (C = Copy, V = Paste, X = Cut, Z = Undo), the primary key is different. On Windows it's the Control key, on Mac it's the Command key. While I considered remapping the keyboard on one or the other to switch those keys I quickly realized that would be a losing battle. It's just something I've had to suck up.
On Windows I am used to grabbing any edge of a Window and dragging it to a new size. On Mac, the resizing only works in the lower right corner of most windows. That gets me all the time. While it's nice to have the "leaner" windows on Mac because there isn't area dedicated to scrolling, I find on Mac I am constantly grabbing the top part of the window, repositioning it, then grabbing the bottom right corner and resizing it. Seems like extra steps to me.
The other thing I haven't quite figured out is how to maximize a window, at least in Safari. On Windows if I hit the Maximize button, the application takes over the entire screen. Click it again and now you're back to the size it was before. Most Mac applications behave the same way, except for Safari. Click on the Maximize button and it simply make the window as tall as the screen is; it does not effect the width. Not sure about the logic in that decision.
Drag and Drop
While most Windows applications are pretty heavily drag and drop oriented - and there is integration between applications within Windows, drag and drop models on Mac are more elaborate. If you scan through some of my other posts you'll notice I like to throw application logos into things when I talk about them. I do that because it makes the post a little nicer looking and because it's so easy to do on Mac.
See a picture on a web page you like? If it's just an image and not a Flash object just click and drag it to your desktop. No Right Click, Save As, Select Directory, OK. Want to upload an image to a web page? Usually you get a text box and a Choose button on a web form. Just grab the image from your desktop and drag it over the Choose button. So much easier than Click Choose, Navigate to photo, Click OK.
It's little things like that that make Mac cool.
Now I just click the button with my thumb whenever I want to shutdown an app.
Thats what i've gathered from my personal experience.
I agree that you should be able to resize from all sides, but theres nothing we can do about it.
Brad- thats a great idea, but personally i would accidentally hit it too much :)
Also, don't worry so much about memory with 4gb in your Mac. It takes a bit to get used to, but you might as well just leave apps open if you plan on using them again sometime soon. I use a program called Spirited Away (http://drikin.com/spiritedaway/) to auto hide apps I haven't used recently (normally Command-H). Works great at work to keep me focused on what task I'm doing, and not need to manually hide or minimize other apps I'm not currently using.
And you're not supposed to maximize an application. You're supposed to multi-task. ;)
Btw, I'm typing this on my MBP, as I'm a convert on my second year now, and have, during that time, managed to convert two of my colleagues, my mother and my girlfriend. :)
This is because of the basic philosophy that drove the original Mac: The concept of the desktop.
Each window/document is an analogue to a paper on a desk. That's why all windows from all applications are always visible and can be shuffled around each other.
Windows took a different approach and became Application based; meaning, of course, that each Application has a main window and document windows are open inside the main window and windows from other applications never meet them.
But I understand the reason in Windows. In Windows, a window is an application and vice versa. There really isn't the idea of an application that has multiple "regular" windows as part of it. Even apps like Photoshop originally had one big Application=Window and your individual files were all interior child windows. Maximizing is really maximizing an application. And for some reason you tend to need the whole monitor to use applications. They just seem to be designed that way.
I think you'll find yourself more productive after you get used to having windows that are only the size they need to be, instead of huge. (Billg uses an entire 20" monitor just for Outlook. How wasteful is that!?)
Oh and if you DO find a replacement for Microsoft Visual Studio, PLEASE post it immediately, I need such a program too :P Though I would suggest trying XCode, it's the Mac's development platform.
Thanks for the tip!
I use Windows for work and Macs for home use. Windows always irritates me by shutting down the application when I close the last document associated with it, and want start a new document associated with the same application. Further, in Windows the documents open as windows inside the application window and one has to look for the correct "X" button to close the document. The user interface in Windows is very confusing and requires more mental work to perform the correct action.
At a minimum you need to be able to do the same actions on different objects and get results that you expect to have happen. That creates confidence in the user, and both Mac and Windows are pretty consistent at that level.
Where people have trouble and assume the UI is "hard" is where they are used to it performing one way in one environment and then getting a different response when they switch environments.
I'll be the first to agree that it can be frustrating though. My brother has a right hand drive car he imported from Japan that I love to drive, though I can't make a turn in the thing without activating the windshield wipers because they are on the "wrong" side, where the turn indicator should be.
Oh... have you ever looked at Kensington products ? I have been using their "Orbit" trackball 'forever'. Since you like 5 mutton mice, you looked at their PilotMouse (http://us.kensington.com/html/4006.html)