Mac annoyances

Now that I've flushed out to Microsoft fanboys by complaining about Vista's interface and anti-open-source tricks, I'll irritate the Mac fanboys just to make things even.

I have a dual-core Intel MacBook Pro, a slick silver $2,000-plus laptop with 2 gigabytes of RAM. So, tell me:

Why am I seeing the beachball when trying to open mail, view a photo, whatever?

Why does it take so long to launch a program? Comparable applications launch in half the time on a three-year-old $600 desktop PC.

Why does it take Spotlight 15 or 20 seconds to search the directory I'm looking at? I can scroll and find filenames manually faster than that.

Why am I running out of memory/file handles/whatever? I have Linux systems that run for years without needing a reboot, but my Mac needs one daily.

The Mac is supposed to be the epitome of user interface engineering, yet I'm constantly tripping over little bits of UI ugliness. Dashboard is pathetic, and Apple should be embarrassed to include it. iTunes is a mess. When you try to save a file, some apps will pop up a minimalistic file selector with no clear way to change directories. If you mix in X11 applications the whole place turns into a zoo. (I suppose I'm supposed to lick Steve Jobs' shoes for his allowing me to run X11 at all.)

Mac zealots generally drool over iPhoto, but it's lame when compared with Picasa, which runs on Linux and Windows but not OS X. Apple Mail has a host of technical issues when used in an IMAP setting, and the system has no way of letting me replace Apple Mail. (I can run Thunderbird, but other apps that want mail services, such as iCalendar, insist on launching Apple Mail.)

And don't get me started on that 1985 "menu bar belongs to the screen, not the window" mistake. Or the poor support for multiple mouse buttons.

Have I offended the Mac crowd yet?

For the record, here's what I touch daily: MacBook Pro at work. HP desktop running XP at home. Sony Vaio dual-core laptop running XP at home. Ancient 300-megahertz Pentium running Ubuntu Linux, Gnome and KDE at home. (The family complains about the speed but loves the built-in games.) And a series of web servers running various Linux versions that never, never need rebooting.


No offense taken by this long time Apple user but some of the comments you've made are as subjective as those used by Apple fanboys to criticize the Windows environment.

I think we've all had enough of that. Those discussions aren't helpful and frankly, most people don't care.

(and since we're sharing computing history, the record, I bought my first Apple in 1985 and haven't looked back at home. At work, I've been in a Windows only environment since Windows 3.1 came out.)

Regarding your application load times or Spotlight , like any computer (Windows, Mac, Linux), there are too many factors to consider and speculating without access to the box would be fruitless.

I can help you with changing mail apps though. That's a simple fix.

Just ask Dave Taylor.

Often Apple fans think issues like the menu bar are just personal preference, but that one in particular is not preference at all -- it's a real practical problem. I have two monitors, including a 21-inch widescreen. Getting the mouse pointer to the danged menu bar is like running a 400-yard dash.

Thanks for the advice about the default mail application, but apparently I already had set it to Thunderbird, so that doesn't fix it. This may actually be an issue with Groupcal (which lets me tie iCalendar together with the Evil Empire Exchange messaging system). It's launching to send replies.

It's not OS X sucks. Its not XP sucks. It's not Vista, or Linux sucks either. It's just - Computers suck.
They suck our time, patience and anything. And if you keep using them long-term, you just have to admit nothing is perfect. Even though I like my MacBook

I got a MacBook Pro in December. It's the first Apple computer I've owned since 1999, when I gave up an ailing PowerBook. It's been all Windows for me ever since then. So I'm still going through the transition, and everything that's different between Mac OS and Windows is still obvious to me.

But I have not had the speed problems you describe. I've been in love with the speed, in fact. Spotlight is instantaneous. Opening ginormous photos in Preview -- fast. Preview is 10 times faster than Adobe Reader for reading PDFs, in my opinion.

Now, opening Photoshop is slow, but it is as least that slow on my souped up Intel Core 2 Duo at work. Same with opening Word -- pokey. (Maybe it's font management? Dunno.)

Very odd. My Spotlight experience has been exactly the opposite -- so I use Google Desktop for finding things whenever possible. It's lightning-fast.

What puzzles me is that this Mac is incredibly fast at some things, especially screen updates, but chronically slow at cold-start launching programs of any type (the ancient 300mHz Linux box loads Firefox faster). Since the Mac doesn't actually close programs when you close their windows, this is less apparent in routine usage than it otherwise might be, but it's still annoying.

I have a MacBook I bought last year that my wife now uses, mainly.

When I started at GHS, I got a MacBookPro with a 17inch screen. Loved it, but it was a lot to lug around on all my travels. So that machine is currently being used by an intern and I have a 15 inch MacBookPro.

In no case have I experienced your slowness issues.

Except, when I had Google Desktop installed. When I uninstalled it, lots of problems were solved.

Spotlight is fine.

The Finder is limited, but I recently discovered, downloaded, installed and paid for Path Finder. It's awesome and I highly recommend it. There's nothing better for navigating directories in either the Mac or Windows world. It's $30 shareware.

Why do people obsess over the launch time of applications?

I mean, when I wake up and stroll into my den for a tough 6 hours of work (I love working from home) I either wake up my MBP - who tends to keep the same hours that i do - or I press the little "ON" button. That is, if I took the effort to turn it off the night before.

I go make a cup of coffee, come back, and all my apps are open...ready for me to silently curse their inability to agree on what the darned "home" and "end" keys are for!!!

The apps could take 3x as long and I wouldn't notice. Is this really such a big deal?
(BTW - Photoshop opens in 7 seconds on my machine... I just timed it. So maybe I'm like the rich guy telling everyone else that money doesn't make you happy. IT CERTAINLY DOES!)

Maybe you should downgrade to an 8086 computer with 64 k of ram if you don't care about application load time. 99.9% of the people do, you're the first person I've run into that doesn't care about application load time. Isn't that the purpose of having a faster processor? More ram? Faster hard drive? Are you ok? I'm glad that photoshop opens in 7 seconds on your mac, it opens on my 5 year old Pentium 4 in the same amount of time, would you like a cookie? The points the guy has here are legit, I work in a service repair store that services macs and pcs. I have a, lets see what this is, A iMAC G4 that i'm at my desk on right now and i've never seen a slower pile of junk in my life. I'd put a pentium II 400 MHZ PC based computer up against this and load applications way faster. What makes it worse is it has a gig of ram, and you'd never tell because it's sooo slow. The computer is so slow that you can't even view gameday on, you know the animations where you can watch baseball scores real time, I know for a fact a PC with windows 2000 can do this with no problem on a 400 mhz pentium II, I know, because I built a machine just to prove this. Is that how it goes? Divide the macs speed by half and that's the equivalent computer for the pc? That's what I found to be true, and I work in a service station. For twice the price you get half the computer, that's how mac should advertise

Look OSX ***is*** inferior. I am not biased one way or the other, I use both OSX and windows. For business purposes, OSX is full of holes totally. Here are examples of why: 1) Save dialog boxes often have no browser function meaning you cant choose where a file is to go!!! WHY!!!! 2) Go to mail. write an email. Bold half a sentence. then select the whole sentence and try to bold it. All options disappear. WHY DO YOU NEED TO MAKE ME WORK SO HARD WITH THIS!!! 3) If i want to highlight text in excel or numbers, the highlight menu is not in easy reach. I have to call up the toolbox (which takes up space) then navigate to shading and borders! WHY MAKE ME DO THIS! 4) Plus when highlighting a second cell the colour in the highlight menu reverts back to the current colour of the cell you are looking to highlight, meaning I have to search for the colour for every cell I want to highlight!! Surely it would be sensible to simply leave the menu set to the same colour that you previously used TRY IT. WHO THE HELL WANTS TO HIGHLIGHT A CELL WITH THE SAME COLOUR IT ALREADY IS! 5) When files go to the desktop they are not put in the same place, leaving me to try to find the latest additional file! 6) Open a new tab in Safari. No home page apears. only blank. Always. There is no way to set a home page for a new tab!!!! WHY!! 7) finder has no up one level button. sure I know you can install one... but who are these people who develop the finder only to leave this off. SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE 8) the APPLE-~ shortcut to switch between the same windows of an application doesnt always work. Why force me to use shortcuts like this anyway . The windows bar at the bottom is much better at choosing windows to select. 9)Talking of short cuts... who in their right mind is going to remember hundreds of the damn thinks . Let alon the complicated ones like apple-ctrl-shift-squiglle-zero-fn-p or whatever. WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE ON. for a company who prides itself in perfecting the GUI with a mouse its fk ironic that there are so many ridiculous shortcuts! 10) You want more - then let me know I got stacks more pissy things that simply seem to be there to make my life miserable at a time when Apple is blowing its trumpt to say how superior its machines are.