macOS

iPeople

iPeopleNot all people with iProducts irritate me, only the pretentious iPeople drive me bat-shit crazy.  There seem to be more pretentious iPeople, than ones who actually make use of their Apple products.  My brief time of owning a Mac proved to me that I’m a Windows person.  I can do more of what I like to do with it, and I can do it for so much less money.  Hell, most of the time I do what I do for free.  I’m a handy person.  I can use Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix.  I do almost daily.

You heard me right.  I am a Windows person.  I know I’ve used the term, “I am a PC” before.  But if you think on it, it’s a dumb term.  Thus, I am not a PC.  PC is short for Personal Computer.  That means a computer that is owned by the average everyday person.  Generally in their home.  Regardless of what operating system (Mac, Windows, one of the hundreds of flavors of Linux and/or Unix and various other types that are floating in the software world.).  Even a tablet (this includes iPads you weenies) is a personal computing device.  Which goes to say that even your smart phone is essentially a personal computing device.  So, literally speaking, everyone is a PC.  Saying all computers other than Macs are PC’s, is like saying all cola is “Coke” and every internet search is a “Google”.  That’s something else that drives me crazy is how people use names of products rather than using the real term.  And not all tissue is “Kleenex”.

What kills me is the reasoning these iCrack addicts use to some how validate their choices.  Granted at the end of the day, it’s their money, they can spend it how they like.  But from my viewpoint, a person who has medical conditions, medical bills to pay, plus lives by myself so there’s no one helping pay the rent, utilities and food.  Who works for real America, and not some corporation owned by profit hungry demons.  Does not make a huge salary.  If I truly wanted too, I could.  Fairly easily.  However the benefits I get are priceless in comparison to a huge salary and my boss allows me to work from home to be with my children in my remaining years.  So it for some reason drives me crazy to be harped on by those with money to spend on items they barely use.  Especially when they come at me with their condescending tone and say things like, “You don’t have a Mac (iPhone or iPad)?”.  As if I’m somehow lesser for not wanting one.  Oh sure, teenagers and young adults are glued to their iPhones and iMacs all day long.  But what do they really do?  Facebook, text, YouTube and email are the top four things.  In that order.  I know this because that’s all they ever call me about when they can’t do one of those.  I hardly ever hear about not being able to complete their thesis on how politicians suck.  Sometimes I get calls when their word processing skills and printing skills go hindered.  So what this is saying to someone like me, is that you spent $800 to $2000 (depending on what iProduct is it) that could have been done on a $99 Android tablet.  Hey, it’s not Windows (if that’s in your reasoning) and certainly more affordable.  If anything, it’s justifiable.

And don’t give me this crap of how your iPhone was only $99.  Unless you bought it used, you have a contract plan with your provider that costs you a lot more than it should.  Basically saying your making payments on the phone.  I think AT&T is the only company that doesn’t hide that fact.

Wireless Plan

My Windows Phone 8 cost me $50 on Amazon, new in retail packaging.  Dropped in my 32GB Micro SD card and now it has nearly all the same features as an iPhone.  My no contract plan is only $40 a month as I hardly use data.  While iOS always brags they are the most innovative mobile operating system, they still don’t have native swipe typing.  Talk about speeding up texting.

To the individuals that actually put those expensive pieces of equipment to real use, I applaud you on your decisions to buy them.  The rest of you should be given a right good kicking for wasting the money you could have donated to a worthier cause like hunger relief or cancer research.  Perhaps a better education for your kids.  I hear college is expensive these days.

I grew up appreciating the value of a dollar.  Which doesn’t go nearly as far as it did when I was a kid.  My kids are just now seeing that the dollar is soon to be even more worthless in the years to come as they progress in their adult lives.  So when I make a purchase, I’m going to try to get the most out of my money.  I could have bought a new iPhone 5s for $800 retail.  I could have bought an iMac for $1500, instead of my Windows computer with comparable hardware for only $650.  But I didn’t.  This allowed me to save money for a nice, professional musical instrument that I play 1-3 hours a day.  Plus I can bet I do more with my Windows Phone than most of you iWeenies out there do with your iPhone, iPad and iComputers combined.

Don’t give me this “I CAN do with my iCrap”.  I’m talking what you actually do.  Yes, you CAN do all the things I can do.  But the majority of you DO NOT DO.  Which pretty much reduces your iDevice to nothing more than bragging rights and a status symbol.  If you want to brag about how much money you spent, great.  I can help you spend more.  I got some bills that need paying.  I’m always happy to help those with too much money to spend.

I’ve already made a huge list of what I do with my computers.  Here’s what I do with my phone besides the obvious of Facebook, texting, YouTube and email (oh and of course Pictures):

  • It’s my GPS (Again saving money on buying another device I don’t need.)
  • My MP3 Player when I walk and exercise
  • Remote support tool  (Friends, Family and Customers can get help from me no matter where I am.)
  • What full length HD movies (Not Netflix, but actual movies I put on the SD card.)
  • Watch Netflix (see 🙂 )
  • Replaces all those damned plastic store cards that were once on my keyring
  • Buy and sell items on Craigslist
  • Explore new music
  • Edit and update my financial files across all my devices (Built-in MS Office suite is sweet!)
  • Keep track of my appointments, bills and medications
  • I never forget my shopping list anymore 🙂
  • Keep tabs on all emergencies in my area
  • I bought my phone, using my son’s Windows Phone via Amazon Mobile 😀
  • See what’s in the area Theaters, watch trailers and purchase tickets on my phone (for supported theaters)
  • Play games
  • Record videos – See Adam singing to Laura.
  • Take credit card payments
  • Pay bills
  • Wireless Hotspot
  • Cortana kicks ass!  (I’ve updated to Windows Phone 8.1 Developer)

OK, so I’m bragging.  But I’m bragging about how many things I actually do with it on a regular basis and still save money doing it.  Not posting stupid stuff on Facebook like a teenager going “I GOT AN IPHONE!!! WOOT!”.  Yay, you got something incredibly expensive.  Whoopty Doo.  You could’ve saved that money for college.  Instead your maybe working part-time at the local convenience store, texting away when you should be taking care of customers.  Yes, I’m talking to you blond girl at the Rite-Aid.

Remember when personal phone calls weren’t allowed at work?  Then again, I remember entire handbooks and rules about hygiene (no Gene, I’m not making a joke about you, so keep your panties straight), hair styles and jewelry.  Standards have really lowered over the years.  But that’s a rant for another day.

The Worship of False Gods

Steve JobsI just finished watching yet another movie on the life of Steve Jobs.  It kills me how this man was practically worshiped like some sort of God, even though they also show how much of an asshole this man was.  The majority of the people I meet that own Apple products, talk as if anyone who doesn’t have an Apple product is somehow a lesser being.  In many cases, they talk down to the non-apple elite.  It drives me crazy.  It’s like they think they are better than everyone else.

Kills me even further that people who own these products, and have had them for years.  Call me up, a person who no longer owns an Apple, and I can fix their problems.  Why is that you suppose?  Further more, most folks who buy these Apple products, spend insane amounts of money on them, just to use them for email or Facebook.  Not only do they not know how to use them, but they are economically challenged apparently.  Of course not all of them are like this.  Just the ones that need to call me.  The rest do amazing things with their Apple products, require little to no help and God bless them for the things they achieve.

But the way these Apple product owners go on and on about how great they are an how Steve Jobs was some sort of icon in their lives.  It’s like he could do no wrong.  The only other entity I see get that much attention is God himself.  When Steve Jobs died, it was like a part of the world itself was in mourning.  I just don’t get it.

No matter how many films or documentaries I’ve seen, or articles I read about this guy.  I don’t buy the bullshit.  As far as I can see, Steve Jobs was a stoner, who whined about being abandoned.  Then denies his own daughter for half of her life.  He was a complete d-bag to most of the people he knew.  Talked a lot of shit and made a religion out of owning devices.  Granted, if it weren’t for him, things wouldn’t be the way they are, but I don’t see it as another opportunity to worship him as a false god.  Another person who is like Steve Jobs?  Try Mark Zuckerberg.

Apple’s millions of obsessed devotees more than support the notion. The company inspires cult-like behavior because of its product’s impeccable designs. Period.
Source: Gods of Advertising

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve owned an Apple computer.  They have made great products.  They have also nearly gone out of business making crap products as well.  But honestly, what you find on the inside of an Apple today, wasn’t made by Apple.  Majority of the parts are openly available.  The rest that aren’t are specifically made for Apple, not by Apple.  Steve Jobs was indeed a great person for taking others ideas and shaping them into his own products.  But honestly if it wasn’t for Steve Wozniak, there would’ve never been an Apple company.  Wozniak was the true brains behind the initial products.

Was Steve Jobs an inventor?  No.

Was Steve Jobs a humanitarian?  No.  That iPhone you love so dearly is made by children who would rather kill themselves, than make the product you have in your pocket.

Then again, perhaps only assholes can be rich and famous.  Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg… Justin Bieber…

Windows 8 vs Mountain Lion vs Ubuntu 12.10

Mostly I’ve debated the world of computing between Microsoft Windows, which is what I use normally.  Against Apple’s Mac and their OS X operating system.  I’ve made references to Linux from time to time, but never made it part of my ideas in whole or in any large part.  Now that Mountain Lion is out, and Windows 8 has graced us with it’s presence like that annoying uncle who thinks he’s overly cool, but no one likes him…. Sorry got off track there…

The question is, “Is it time to reevaluate my beef with Mac?  Or should I consider moving toward an open source horizon?”.

Last year, I actually purchased a MacBook Pro with OS X Snow Leopard, and got a free upgrade to Lion.  While at first I was rather impressed, the more I used it, the more I got frustrated at having to buy replacement software for stuff I use for free on a Windows based computer.  Plus, the fact I paid over 3 times as much for it, when a simple $400 Windows laptop would’ve done just fine.  I sold the MacBook Pro, bought a big screen TV, a laptop and still had $200 I put into the bank and a big comfy smile on my face.

As a tech though, I must keep up with the latest versions of Windows, Mac and I dabble in Linux.  The more I saw of Windows 8, the less I liked it.  I even got really angry with it and it’s forcing Metro down my throat.  It was like removing me from my home and forcing me to live with others who don’t get along with.

So now I actually have Windows 8 installed on my laptop.  It’s OK.  It’s not nearly as sweet as Windows 7 is.  My opinion still is Windows 7 is by far the best OS ever made.  However, unlike Windows XP, it won’t last (or should I say be supported) forever.

If it weren’t for Classic Shell, my life with Windows 8 would be morbid.  Of the various utilities that have been created to alleviate the misery that is Metro and it’s damnation to the desktop, workstation and PC gamer communities, it’s free, open source and works like it should.  A huge thanks the developers who make it.  Is it perfect?  Pretty damned close.  Although, you do get a brief disheartening as you quickly see Metro flash up during boot.  Not a deal breaker by any means.

Then there’s Linux.  Still struggling for a decent share computing world via desktop, laptop, smart phones and all the other wonderful devices it is on.  Closest to world domination is that it is the core of Android phones, but not so much the desktop market.  Mostly because as I’ve mentioned before, they have no standardization.  As nice as Linux is, if you download software, you have to choose which Linux distro you are installing it on.  Or you have to compile it yourself if your distro of choice isn’t on the list.  Or possibly it won’t work at all on your beloved subdivision of Linux.  That makes Linux even more frustrating than Mac in many ways.  However, there are things that it can do that Mac cannot.  By far, the most popular and satisfying variant of Linux is Ubuntu.  It’s layout is unique, easy to use for the most part and has a decently large library of software for just about any need.  You hardly need to go outside of their store to get anything you desire.  Still, it’s not every Joe Computeruser’s cup of coffee.  But it’s getting closer than ever before.

I could drag this article out more by making long comparison lists of what is good and bad about each OS.  Not really feeling up to it.  So I’ll give the short and sweet of it.

Windows 8 vs Ubuntu

Here’s where I could simply take my PC that I built for roughly $1000; that plays all the top games available, it does 3D Blu-ray to my 32 inch TV that I use as a monitor and change it to Ubuntu for the grand total of $0.  Ubuntu is free!  However, there’s no 3D Blu-ray software yet.  I can play regular Blu-ray’s via VLC.  It’s clunky, but it works.  All my games… well those I can get to work via Wine would be alright, a bit buggy perhaps.  Others I would lose out on playing or I’d have to play the handful of visually stunning games that are made for Linux.  Most of them however, are shooters.  Only shooters I play are the old Unreal Tournament games.  Not an Army/Marine kind of guy.  Plus, again, I’d have to find replacements to all the software I use, although most work on Linux too, so that’s actually a half-assed plus.

Ubuntu vs Mac OS X Mountain Lion

As for moving to either of these, I’d have virtually the same exact issues as far as software goes.  Mac, I’ve already purchased some software replacements, and I made sure they all had lifetime upgrades free.  Software is covered really, I’d have to deal with the old frustrations I had before.  Plus, Mac finally got Blu-ray software, but I don’t think it does 3D yet.  You have to buy a USB Blu-ray player, because you can’t buy it when you buy the Mac as an internal drive.  Which is dumb as hell.  Plus, then I’d be paying well over twice as much for the Mac hardware.  Starting at $2499 for something I already have basically is financial suicide.  Sure I could go iMac, but that’s all integrated, and not very user upgradable.  Actually they frown on user upgrades.  If I wanted to have an integrated computer, I’d just keep my laptop.

Mac vs Windows

I’ve already compared Mac’s to PC’s.  Repeatedly.  The horse isn’t moving anymore.

My Conclusion

Though, as disheartened as I am over Windows 8.  I think I’ll wait to jump ship on the Windows based PC for now.  I’ll just hang on to my beloved Windows 7 as long as I can on my desktop and leave the Windows 8 and whatever future holds for Microsoft Windows in general to my poor laptop (or whatever I replace it with in the future).  Who knows, maybe Microsoft will redeem themselves.  However, this time I kind of doubt it.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe it’s time I let go of computers.  I just don’t want too.  They still hold a world of wonder, excitement and creativity to me.  I’m not ready to do that just yet.

Mac Gaming Gaining Ground

This is just my own personal observation.  As I’m hunting for a new game I’d like to play, I started noticing the flood of games with Mac Betas or fully operational Mac versions, where there was none before.

Games such as the new Guild Wars 2, and old favorites such as Lord of the Rings Online are joining the bunch.  I have also seen a few lesser known names joining the push.  I may be wrong, but I kind of doubt it.  Seems they all share the same impression I have about the new Windows 8 Metro bologna that Microsoft is force feeding the general public… (take breath)  Is only going to have faithful computer lovers move to operating systems that don’t suck.  Hence Mac with their overly “pretty” OS X desktop environment.  However, it is boatloads easier and more comprehensive to use than Metro.

As well as with the unbelievable amount of kick-ass games now available for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), such as Order and Chaos Online (Android / iOS) and Dark Legends… Many people will simply give up on PC gaming all together.  If anything was going to kill PC gaming, Microsoft’s new abomination, Windows 8 has certainly started this decline to eventual oblivion.  I for one, do not want a giant ass tablet environment as my “desktop”.  I’ll just use my tablet for that nonsense.

Although, this makes me think that if desktop computers has been more like mobile devices are now, people wouldn’t have such a hard time using them.  Installing and removing apps are a breeze, you can have wonderful moving desktops and smooth operation.  I guess that’s a blog for another day.  I know there is an Android Desktop PC kind of gadget, but I feel it could have so much more potential.

This is also a great opportunity for Linux.  However, this in my thoughts, would require the Linux Community to come together and have one unified Linux distribution.  If they ever want Joe User to come to the dark side, it will take more than cookies to bring them in.  They will need an easy to use, and standardized way of doing things.  As I’ve noticed, if I say I like Ubuntu.  My friends will tell me to try Linux Mint.  If everyone is using different distros, no game developer is going to want to waste time on Linux at all.  It’s aggravating to see install options for Redhat, Ubuntu, and other flavors just to run one application.  Fuck that, unify people!

I digress, but only a little.

As a side note, I am looking for a single player game that plays like an MMO.  Hang on now.  I know what response you want to give me already.  As with everyone else, you will want jump on the acronym of MMO and immediately tell me what an idiot I am.  As MMO’s are community driven blah blah blah.  I want the mechanics of the game to be like an MMO, not to joining parties and go raiding.  I want a game with quests, the ability to explore freely, an inventory, some crafting, but mostly I want skills that I can assign to an action bar.  This is hard to find apparently.  Most games I find, you are stuck with a specific skill set, like it or not.  Which makes everything a text book, figure it out and play.  I’d rather be able to pick and choose my skills, arrange them as I see fit and try different strategies to get through the game.  Maybe run through it two or three times with different builds.  That is what I mean by MMO style.  Any suggestions?  As for MMO’s, I want to get away more form the PC, so I’d rather a game I can play for 10 minutes or so, hit “Save” and quit.

Got a suggestion?  Email Me!

I concur, Windows 8 Sucks!

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  But Michael @ Michael’s Techbox said it as elegantly as it comes.  Windows 8 sucks more now in the Customer Preview even more than it did as the Developer Preview which I reviewed a few months ago.  (My Developer Preview Review)

Just to give you an idea, all the ranting and raving I did over Mac before I owned one, and even my final frustration with Mac is nothing at all compared to what Windows 8 has in store for the general populous of internet loving citizens the world over.  Having played with the Customer Preview myself the past few weeks…  In my opinion, it may very well be the final push needed for Mac to take over top dog in the desktop market with Linux still in 3rd place, but gaining ground quickly thereafter.  It’s enough to make a grown, seasoned tech cry for mercy and question his/her very existence.

Lets take a look at what both Michael and I agree on:

The biggest thing is Metro.  No one without a touch screen is going to bother to upgrade to Windows 8.  The few who might do it not thinking, will quickly revert or learn new curse words.  Or touch their screen a little too hard in frustration.  Metro in the Developer Preview was something you could bypass and regain your start menu and use Windows just fine.  It looked good and ran very well.  It seemed like Metro was just a program that was simply “hooked” into the OS just as a replacement to the start menu.  The Customer Preview, Metro is now heavily integrated into the OS and just shutting the PC down is a multi-step process in agony.

If Microsoft insists on everyone buying new hardware, this is hardly the time to mandate that.  The economy while not completely tanked, isn’t in a position to run and buy new gear.  That alone won’t work in their favor.

If they insist on making the Desktop a Tablet, they need to ease users into it the way Mac is doing.  Mac has a wonderful desktop, but you can get to your applications with a tablet movement on the mousepad or touchpad which can be attached to the computer.  Rather than making all their users run out and buy touchscreens at a much higher price point.  When they did that in Lion, it was a bit of a culture shock, but within a couple of weeks it was no problem.  Having Windows 8 CP the past few weeks.  I have even less love for it than ever.  It’s not a learning curve.  It’s forget all you know and learn again.  Knowing customers love of “upgrades” and learning new things, on average, this is going to be more unwelcome for them as it is for the folks like me who have to help them.

If Microsoft wants to make a tablet OS, then fine.  I’m all for it.  Use it on tablets and phones.  Just like Mac does.

I can see once my Windows 7 is finally ready to die, I may very well become a Mac weenie all over again.  At least their stuff talks to all other devices with Mac OSes of one sort or other.  Although I still think Mac has a ways to go, they may have one hell of a foot up on the desktop market very shortly.

Especially if Microsoft doesn’t give us a way to shut Metro off so that upgraders and power users can have a PC they can still enjoy.  While the rest of the world just gives up and goes to Android and Mac tablets.  MS loyalists can just suck it and live in their pretend world that Windows 8 will be a revolution.  I’ve never been that loyal to MS.  Just enough to say I am a PC.  Though… Looks like that might change.

Infected Apples

Just as I predicted, Apples across the globe are becoming infected by malware at an alarming rate because of the mass mindset that is the Apple owner.  The “My Mac does not need antivirus, it’s a Mac!” syndrome.

As I’ve said, “Security is still something most Mac users take for granted.  They don’t understand that prevention is better than patching a known problem.”.

I also said, “As I’ve said before, Macs have viruses too.  And with the current growth rate, the bullseye is only getting bigger on Apple’s flagship product.  My personal opinion is if you have a Mac and don’t think you need an antivirus software, you’re an idiot.”.

If you think that your Mac laptop/desktop is safe, think again! The (misplaced) confidence of Mac users, about the security of its operating system may backfire, as happened again, recently in the case of the  BackDoor.Flashback.39, also known simply as Flashback Trojan. More than 600,000 Mac machines have been affected and with no appropriate guidelines from Apple on how to counter that or stay safe, the count may be on the rise. It is said that the infection rates are comparable to the Conficker botnet, which infected many Windows machines.

Source and read more @ The Windows Club

This is one of those times when “I told ya so!”, makes me feel so evil and good at the same time 🙂

The mindset Mac owners have will be their undoing {evil laugh}

This is not by far the first virus for Macs and it certainly won’t be the last.  However, I wonder what this will do for Apple’s growth rate on the market.  I’m also curious when the iPads and iPhones will be struck next.  Even though my phone is a Droid, I use antivirus.  Not because there are known issues, but to prevent having issues.  It’s called thinking ahead.

I am a PC!

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.

File Associations

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.

Crap Files

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.

So… What’s so great about Macs?

Now that my “shiny new toy” syndrome has worn off, and have had a solid 6 months to actually learn and use a Mac…  I’m seriously failing to see what is so great about them.  Granted, my budget doesn’t allow me to get an iPhone or an iPad to check out the features you get when you mix them up on the same network or using the AirDrop feature.  Still, I’m not sure that would “wow” me.  Here’s some of the reasons I say this.

Insert, Home, End, DEL, CTRL & Printscreen

As an HTML and PHP person, the Insert, Home, End and CTRL keys are an absolute must for me to get things done efficiently.  They are also very handy for playing Warcraft.  The lack of these keys frustrate me to no end.

There is a CTRL key, why the hell can’t I use it!?!  Well, I can, but it seems only if I Remote into my Windows computer or if I use terminal.  OK sure I use both on a daily basis.  But then I want to copy and paste items or text, I have to use the Command key instead.  Why not just make the CTRL key work for that too?  Seems pointless to have both keys.

The delete key is also very deceiving.  It does not work the same as a Windows machine.  If you expect it to delete, it backspaces instead.  You have to use a FN or function key to make it delete rather than backspace.  Directionally challenged are they at Apple?  Tis backwards and piss me off much it does.  Also, why a FN key?  Kind of confusing against the already present F1, F2.. etc keys.  That… you have to use the FN key to utilize as they too are set to other functions rather than F1, F2.. etc…  My head hurts just thinking about it.

Printscreen!  Dammit I want to printscreen!  Oh wait… no I need to do origami with my fingers and do SHIFT+COMMAND+3 to get a screenshot.  Oh sure, there are apps that make screenshots easier but that means I have to download and install something that is already native to the OS, but it’s causing me to develop arthritis using it.

A Software Comparative

For the most part, I’m able to use my Open Office and other programs much like I do on my Windows PC.  However, there are a few software items (such as my text/code/html editor, my web design software and photo editor) that I use daily that either are not available for Mac or their Mac counterparts are slow and/or suck.  For example, I do miracles with graphics and photos in my free Paint.net for my PC.  On Mac, I’m either faced with a bastardized version of GIMP (and I’ve always hated trying to use GIMP) or I can use Pixelmator which for the most part looks the part and has many similar features, but the learning curve makes me just say “Eff this, I’ll do it later on my PC”.  So I’ve paid $30 for a software I barely use.  Just going back to use my freeware that works wonders.  My only other choices are Pinta (that needs some serious work, but is shooting to be a Paint.net clone), or Adobe Photoshop and I sincerely think only professionals can afford it and I still believe they are bat-shit crazy to pay $700 for graphics software.  Sure it’s the shizznit.  Bring it down to $199 and I’ll jump at it.  But again, it’s like paying $1800 for a Macbook Pro when I did just fine with my $500 Sony Viao before hand.

Games

I’m a PC gamer dammit!  This Macbook Pro has just as good of hardware as I have in my desktop.  (well… save for the graphics card.  but it’s darn close!)  I can play Warcraft and some older games that were recently “ported” to Mac.  But I can’t play my newer games because software developers still aren’t on the Mac bandwagon for the most part.

Although, Mac still may be the way to go over Windows 8

I’m dreading it.  Not only from an end user standpoint but also as a tech.  I’m just waiting for customers to run out and buy a shiny new Windows 8 machine on a ARM processor type of hardware build and find that none of their software will work because they didn’t pay attention or have the knowledge to know that they needed an X86 based processor.  I don’t understand making an OS that can run on two totally different architectures when most of the software won’t.  Which in my mind, will drive more people to Macs when they get frustrated over this.  I don’t think Microsoft realizes not everyone will want to go out and buy all new software that may not even meet their needs.  So when the time comes, Mac may be the way to go.  For them at least.  However, I may be wrong in my assumptions of Windows 8, but from what I’ve gathered…. Yikes…

Patches, Security and Maintenance

After having this Mac for several months now, I don’t see how anyone can complain about Windows patches and security.  The OS and other software get updates and patches just about every week.  I check them everyday.  As I do with my Windows software and what-not.  Patches are patches and are needed to keep things secure and/or running smoothly.  Seems they are running neck and neck for patches.

Security is still something most Mac users take for granted.  They don’t understand that prevention is better than patching a known problem.  Patches only come out after something has been found to be wrong and already exploited on hundreds or even thousands of computers.  Possibly millions if patched too late.  Then that’s even if the end user has bothered to check for updates and patches.  OR if the end user even bothers installing the updates or patches.  Nothing like hearing “every time I run an update something else breaks”.  Sounds like something was already broken, and the update only made it more prevalent.  It’s not like they are pushed every few minutes like a security software would do.  With an antivirus, most use Heuristic scanning techniques and/or Sandboxing.  Heuristics basically means if it smells like a virus, or tastes like a virus or behaves like a virus, it’s a virus until proven innocent.  Sandboxing is let me see what it does virtually before I let it do what it does for real to prove it’s safe to play with.  As I’ve said before, Macs have viruses too.  And with the current growth rate, the bullseye is only getting bigger on Apple’s flagship product.  My personal opinion is if you have a Mac and don’t think you need an antivirus software, you’re an idiot.  As well, like I said previously, my Mac came with the Firewall turned off.  It should be turned on so that any known open exploit in the OS can’t be easily found by some hacker.  A firewall helps keep unwanted outside traffic at bay.  Leaving others who don’t bother to run their firewall software to be a bigger target than you.

Maintenance is something Mac users also take for granted.  I take calls from Mac users just like PC users saying “It’s running so slowly!”.  Macs make all these silly little files for what reason I’m not really sure.  But however, they build up and while I’m not an expert on Mac OS stuff, I do know that there are tools to help folks out with this.  Onyx is a tool to clear up unused silly files that build up on Macs and I can attest that it works like a charm.  I’ve also added a beta of CCleaner, the same thing I use for my PC to clear up junk files as well.  It even comes in handy for uninstalling programs.

So overall, I’m still doing just as much work to use and maintain my Mac as I do my PC’s.  As well as I only use my Macbook Pro half as much as I did my Windows based laptops, and I’m not getting much joy from it either…  So what’s the big deal?  Other than it is nice to look at, and it has solid tech support, it’s still 4x the cost of a PC.  Sure you’ve got brand style.  You probably also drink Starbucks and eat at Bonefish Grill everyday too if you can afford such a thing.  I drink brewed coffee and bring my lunch to work like most folks do.

Macs are not idiot proof…

I just now got proof that Macs are no easier for stupid people than PC’s.  I got a call from a customer just a few minutes ago.  They had lost the Safari Icon from the Dock Bar at the bottom of the screen.

The customer asked, “Is that because the internet is down?”.
I said, “No, it’s just that your Safari has become undocked.”.

The customer then asked, “What does that mean?”, referring to my use of the word “undocked”.

I proceeded to explain that the bottom bar was The Dock, and that they can “dock” icons to it, or removed them from it as they like.  Then I gave to the customer my instructions to put it back on the Dock bar.  The instructions were very clearly to click on Applications (which I had to have them read every icon to find it).  Then find the Safari Icon.  And finally “Click and Drag” the icon to the dock bar, and let it go.

The response I got was “I’m sorry that’s too far over my head.  I don’t speak the language.”  So much for Macs being designed for ease of use.

Come to find out, this customer has had this Mac for a couple of years now.  And still hasn’t figured out what The Dock is.  Or where to find all of their Applications, as the customer has never clicked on that icon before.  This just goes back to my previous post, if you want to do what you want it to do, you need to learn.  Makes me wonder if this customer bothers stopping at red lights as perhaps they’ve never used that pedal on the left before or that it’s called the brake pedal.

Build something to be Idiot Proof, there will undoubtedly be a bigger idiot to use it.

Got my OS X Lion Free!

Mac OS X LionJust out of dumb luck actually.  I had no idea when I bought my MacBook Pro, that they had a new OS coming out for it in 6 more weeks.  Six weeks have come and gone.  I’ve learned loads about OS X and why folks like it so much (or hate it depending on what side of the fence your views stand).

In all my research, I happened across a link that said I might be able to upgrade to OS X Lion for free.  When I first read it, I thought since I work for a computer parts distribution company, I had to apply for the upgrade via the company.  Though since they are not an authorized Apple dealer, that wasn’t going to happen.  After re-reading it a few times, I realized I may be in luck as I registered it on the day I got it, which was 6/8/11.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to try when the time comes.

The time came today, and to my amazement, it was super simple to fill out a quick form and voilà!  I got to download OS X Lion absolutely free!  Just saved $29.  Though as I always rib others for, I could’ve saved $1800 had I not bought it in the first place.  😆  Though then, I’d still be a Mac Hater, instead of someone who is very much impressed with it.

Of course, being a digital download, I wanted to make a hard copy backup of it for “in case” future issues.  Quickly found a nice step by step guide.  Sadly, what they didn’t tell anyone, is that you must do this before installing Lion…  So I learned what not to do the hard way.

The install itself was super simple.  Reading the EULA took an eternity, but “oh so worth it”, so as I don’t go agreeing to having my lips sewn to someone another person’s asshole.

 Lion Upgrade

Lion Upgrade 01

Lion Upgrade 02

Lion Upgrade 03Click for Larger Images

Sadly though, when all was said and done, it looked pretty.  I could ping, do name lookups and everything.  But no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get Safari or Firefox to surf the net.  SO.. here’s my chance to re-download (and back up the Lion Download this time before installing it) and try again.  Hey, so far the trip has been smooth.  First hiccup during an OS major upgrade.  Stuff happens.

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