In this post, I’m going beyond all the things I’ve already covered repeatedly in my previous posts about Macs vs PCs. Such as for $1800 it should come with something more than the goofy iMovie, Garage Band and iPhoto. Like they could’ve tossed in some rip off of Office or their Pages crap at least to make it productive. Not going to go into how I get more for less with a PC, or how much easier it is to find good freeware and open source software. This post is going to be about the things I’ve had to deal with in the past six months that piss me off about Macs. In so much as I’ve concluded that I will only keep my Mac around for reference and education, but I won’t be using it for day to day use. This way I can actually get something accomplished.
When Windows doesn’t know what to do with a file you’ve downloaded, however you know that it can be opened by a program you have installed; you can associate the file by it’s extension. You simply right click it and choose “open” or “open with”. Then browse to the appropriate program, put a check mark in “always use this program to open this kind of file”. Bam, all files with that extension will open with the program in question in the future.
My example is a Shockwave Flash file ending in *.swf. Normally I simply tell Windows to open the file with Firefox. One time deal and I’m done.
On the Mac, it had a similar function. It even had the check box to say remember this setting. However, apparently Mac goes by file name in general. So when I open one file such as “mymovie.swf” it does what I tell it to do and open in Firefox. However, when I try “myothermovie.swf”, Mac goes stupid and doesn’t know to open it with Firefox. I go back to the first file and it opens fine. Thus telling me, I have to associate each and every file individually. What a pain in the ass.
Just install Windows to play games
This is what I get told, when I complain about the lack of games for Mac. If I wanted to spend another $100 to install Windows just so I can play games… Hey, I got an idea, why not just buy a Windows based gaming laptop and it will not only come with decent productive software, but it can play games too! NO extra cost needed! Plus, I’ll get all those nifty keys I love so much! Like Insert, a proper Delete Key, Backspace, Home and End. And when I get the whim to play said games, I won’t need to reboot. Gee, that works out swell!
Dashboards and Widgets
The dashboard. Just how useless is this thing? So, if I want desktop widgets (or gadgets), I can only have them in this dashboard area. Kind of negates the usefulness of being able to “glance” at the weather. Instead I have to go or “swipe” my way to the dashboard to look at it. The calculator widget. So to the special dashboard to play with the calculator. It’s just as fast to look through the apps menu, or dock it to the dock bar. What Apple’s developers couldn’t figure out how to put them on the desktop like every other OS does? Windows… Linux… I’ve got a swipe motion for the dashboard, it’s my middle finger!
Uninstalling Software does not remove settings
This I’ve found can cause some issues if you want to remove a software by simply removing the app from the applications folder. If you don’t show hidden files and go into the Library and rip out the applications settings, you may find yourself hurting when trying to reinstall the application. I’ve only run into this a couple of times, but still what a hellacious pain the ass that is. Guess there’s something to say about having an uninstaller for every program now isn’t there.
Macs love their crap files. You can’t see them, they are hidden. But if you want to zip up some files and shift them to your windows machine, you get a boatload of stupid files you didn’t see before. Some zip programs for Mac can clean this up for you, but what the hell is all this mess for? I’ve seen “thumbs.db” and “desktop.ini” on Windows, but not a huge mess of “._name of file.whatever”. Plus these things can take a good sized chunk of space up too. On a USB thumb drive, I found as much as 120mb of this nonsense. Space I really needed as the thumb drive is nearly full as it is. No matter how many times you remove them, just popping it in the Mac they all come back like a bad rash.
Cycling through open windows
Maybe there’s a trick I have yet to learn, but this confounds me too. On Windows, if I have my email, my editor, my photo editor and several copies of my browser open, I can cycle through each open window by using ALT+TAB. For me, it’s loads faster than “swiping”. On the Mac, I can do similar with using OPTION+TAB. However if I have several copies of the same program running (like the browser), it only goes the top most window for it and then on to the next program rather than opening up the next window of the browser. If I want to change windows in the browser, I have to click on “window” and the sub-title of that window to get it to come forward.
There are other things that annoy me about the mac, mostly trivial. It’s like a camel carrying straw though. Sure each piece of straw is light and small, but pile enough of them on, and eventually you’ll reach “the straw that broke the camel’s back“.
… The worst part is, I’ve had this damned Mac for over 6 months now, and I’m still paying it off. Good thing I’ve chalked it up to an educational item, or I’d really be pissed off. Wonder if they have a good resale value. Then I could get a new Windows laptop and enough left over to make a decent size deposit in my savings account! Owning a Mac is a lot like a relationship I’ve had. Looks pretty, costs a lot, and if you want it to be productive, you’ll have to spend even more. Then it clutters up your storage with useless crap. Also, others seem to have more fun with it than you do.
Macs are what they are, and fit who feels comfortable with them. Providing they have the pocketbook to afford it. Plus all the extras they’ll need to buy. For me, I am now and always have been a PC.
p.s. Linux lovers, I’ve tried that too, you can go through all my Mac posts, and replace the words Mac, OS X and Apple with Linux and have just about the exact same experience minus the cost. Personally, I think Linspire had something going for ease of use and loads of software with super simple installations, but it apparently wasn’t enough as they got swallowed up and made to go away. In any case, not going there again either.
Now to try out that Windows 8 Developers Preview. See what all the fuss is about there. I’m not getting my hopes up for it, but I can always just learn it and revert back to Windows 7.