I recently had to switch to using a Mac (MacBook Pro) and some of the details surprised me. Some of the stuff is just muscle memory and you can get used to the new status quo eventually (like the fact that the close window ‘x’ is on the left side rather than the right side of the window title bar), but some are actually big inconveniences. Some of these things are not right or wrong, it’s just that if you are used to one way, the other way stinks.
I decided to jot things down as I experience them, and I’m posting them hear as a “buyer beware” for people who are contemplating switching to a Mac.
[li]No PageDown or PageUp key (at least on MacBook Pro)[/li][LIST]
[li]Need Fn+DownArrow for PageDown and Fn+UpArrow for PageUP, which is a hassle[/li][/ul]
[li]In Finder, selecting a file and pressing the Enter key renames the file instead of opening it[/li][ul]
[li]Need Command+DownArrow to open file on Mac[/li][/ul]
[li] There is no way to delete a file in Finder by using a key press which then prompts for confirmation (basically, what the ‘delete’ button does in Windows)[/li][ul]
[li]You can delete without confirmation by pressing Command+Delete (basically, what Shift+Delete does in Windows)[/li][/ul]
[li]The green “Maximize” button on a window does not maximize like it does in Windows. It does not fill the whole screen. It increases the size to what it thinks is the max that is best for that application.[/li][ul]
[li]Double-clicking on the title bar of a window does not maximize it[/li][li]There are no docking stations for Macbooks!!! (The exclamation marks are there because this was very surprising, as it is very unelegant, and thus un-Apple-like, to have to manually connect the monitor, power, keyboard, mouse and speakers every time)[/li][ul]
[li]The closest you can get, I believe, is by buying an Apple monitor, in which case you have to plug three cables every time you connect, and disconnect them every time you disconnect. Compare that to my ThinkPad, which I just plop down onto the docking station and have everything ready to use.[/li][/ul]
[li]When you close the last window of an application (e.g. Safari), the application does not exit. [/li][ul]
[li]You have to manually tell the application to exit, via mouse or keyboard. That is, if I have three browser windows open and I close them one by one, when the last is closed, Safaris is still running. I have to either press Command-Q, or from the menu select “Safari->Quit Safari”[/li][/ul]
[li]You can’t resize a window by clicking on any edge of the window, only from the lower-right corner [/li][ul]
[li]This is quite unfortunate, since it means that if a window is on the right of the screen, you need to move it left, then enlarge it, which is pretty stupid.[/li][/ul]
[li]There is no equivalent of MS Paint. There is Paintbrush, which you can download for free, but it does not have all the features of MS Paint.[/li][li]A lot of Control-<Key> on Windows become Command-<Key> on Mac[/li][ul]
[li]Command-F to search[/li][li]Command-A to select all[/li][li]Command-C and Command-V to copy and paste, etc[/li][li]The solution I’m using is that I remapped the CapsLock key to become the command key in Mac Keyboard settings. Since the CapsLock key is conveniently placed where the Control key is on UNIX keyboards, I do CapsLock-C for copy, etc, which works for me due to muscle memory.[/li][/ul]
I’m sure long-time Mac users have a plethora of issues when moving to the PC.
I wish computers were more configurable so that one can get the awesomeness of, say, OS X, or Windows 7, but can decide which side of the window the damn ‘x’ goes.
It seems to me that a lot of these things are frosting (i.e. where the ‘x’ goes, whether to close the application when the last window closes, whether pressing Enter on a selected file renames it or opens it, etc). The selling point of an OS should be how stable, reliable and fast it is. There should be configuration utilities allowing much more freedom for configuration than current OS allow. There should be a program that puts a “Windows skin” on a Mac and a “Mac skin” on a PC, not in terms of visual elements, but in terms of what each key does and how things behave.
Can you imagine if cars decided on different places to put the gas, brake, and clutch pedals? Cars put the basic stuff in the same place, and then distinguish themselves on performance and reliability. Why don’t OSs do the same?