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Author Topic: Why Macs Suck  (Read 14366 times)
jgpaiva
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« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2006, 05:58:03 PM »

Thanks mouser, that's a great article, for long time, i've wondered about that apple's one-button-mouse thing. And through that article, i even came to the conclusion that their atitude actually makes some sense! cheesy
I sure am not in the assistance, but i've helped my sister and my cousins through the telefone or im and have had similar problems with transmiting my idea to them.
But although it makes sense in the desktop, there's one thing that doesn't add up in that line of thinking:
How about the notebooks? You can't change it's touchpad unless you have an external mice, so, even if you're an experienced user, you still can't have access to the other options (at least, not with the ease you have in windows or linux)
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mouser
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« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2006, 06:12:09 PM »

i am a right mouse click fanatic - i think the idea of having context sensitive options show up when you right click on something is the best thing since sliced bread.  i also consider the scroll wheel essential now.

another note: for those of you using mice without a side back+forward button, time to upgrade! it makes a huge difference when surfing - highly recommended.
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Edvard
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« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2006, 06:31:16 PM »

Mouser: I am also a fan of right-clicks. I had no idea they existed until two years into Win95. You woulda thought I found a map to the Holy Grail that pointed to my basement. Ditto on the mousewheel. I wish there were a trackball that had 'em.

@f0dder
Quote
GUI: cocoa/nextstep
Aha! please forgive; I had forgotten Apple's acquisition of NeXT.

@jgpaiva: My answer was perhaps a little too short. Please forgive, that's the only thing that popped in my head as that's the only thing besides Kernel Panic that has locked up or killed my system anytime I was on Linux or BSD. From what other people have said, whatever it is that does happen is not at all helpful. (as if BSOD was...)

Ooh, hey, take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_panic
MacOSX Dark Screen Of Death?
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« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2006, 06:40:16 PM »

Quote
From what other people have said, whatever it is that does happen is not at all helpful. (as if BSOD was...)
It *IS* helpful to driver developers smiley
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Edvard
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« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2006, 06:59:02 PM »

Well, Ok, I'll give you that one.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2006, 07:01:46 PM »

To be fair the Mac has right click context menus - you just don't need to right click to get them as they are already at the top of the screen.

OK Unix/Linux/BSD who cares (and what's the difference anyway) - basically they have taken the UNIX route now.

Can't remember who asked but no you can't tell you are on a UNIX box at all - the OSX interface is designed to insulate everyone (and I mean everyone) from the inner workings of the underlying system. The biggest problem with OSX (and all other earlier Mac  OS systems was that when hings work they work great, when they don't you have a MAJOR ... REALLY MAJOR headache on your hands.

There are two trouble shooting scenarios on Macs ...

1) Something doesn't work, no messages, no way to find out why ...

2) You get system bombs (literally a picture of a bomb) with an undocumented number - pretty much like Windows BSODS except that with BSODs you can pretty much guarantee it is your fault and it will be a driver you have installed that hasn't past Windows certification or a recent software installation. BSODS rarely are the fault of Windows these days (certainly very unusual in Windows 200/XP). In all the time I have run Windows 2000 and then XP (5-6 yeras) I have had only one series of BSODS and they all followed installing Outpost Firewall. Since removing it from my system I have not had a single BSOD. OK Win9x/ME were crap and seemed to exist for crashes and BSODS but then ...

During the same period when I managed a Mac network all the machines had daily Bombs - even the Apple engineers (who talked to people in those days) didn't know what the numbers  meant. These wer machines that came with MacOS and software preinstalled by Apple and nothing else - they were purchased with the required package. Most were only used for Word processing, Spreadsheets and Adobe PageMaker and yet the daily grind went on.

I now have a friend using an iMac (and iPod) and I seem to spend nearly as much time troubleshooting her system as mine. Everytime I visit her house either there is a System Bomb, or the machine has to be rebooted to get something to work.

This myth that a closed system (she only has Apple hardware, fitted by Apple dealers) prove much more stable than Doze is just that a myth.

She also uses an iPod and it currently gives her about 2 hours per charge. She could get a new battery but it will cost her about £75 where my Zen Micro has a spare battery and after more than a year I still get 12 hours per battery. Not bad when it cost considerably less ... oo and mine has a radio too (ok its a crap radio but it is there Wink)

By the way iMacs are an executive toy - she proves it - the only reason she won't have a Doze box in the house is because the Mac lloks prettier. Personally I tink it looks like something that wouldn't have been out of place in a hippy commune but she is happy paying 50-60% more for a system considerably less powerful than mine.
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Rover
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« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2006, 10:57:03 PM »

From the article mouse linked:
Quote
Apple wants all developers to follow their interface guidelines. [..] If every application can be expected to work the same way, the learning curve for the user is minimized. Apple has gone through great pains and great expense to study human-computer interaction.

The author goes on to explain all features should be accessable from a menu, which is his main point.  The other thing that struck me, was they want all developers to follow their interface guidelines. 

In other words, we're [Apple] the experts on human/computer interfaces, so you need to do things our way.

Personally, I think the computer industry is still too young and growing to have some barefoot hippie tell us how things ought to be done.  Interfaces change all of the time as developers learn more about what people want and how to deliver it.

Mac users (according to the support theory above) can't deal with a second button on their mouse.  Windoze users can have  3 more with a clickable scroll wheel and use them all.

As long as we don't end up with MS Bob in the end, I think it'll be OK.

@mouser: agreed, "every OS sucks."  Of course you'll notice they didn't mention OS/2 in that song.  And yes, it was alive and very well when the song was written and recorded.
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mouser
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« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2006, 11:02:11 PM »

i have to say, much to the chagrin of many of my friends, i am in favor of enforced standards.  i am generally against skinning and non-standard user interfaces, so in that sense i actually support apple's attempt to standardize interface guidelines and insist on them.. and i do have respect for some of the hci (human computer interface) research.. but if a company decides to go with what to me is an obviously inefficient design (one button mouse) for the benefit of aethetics and easier tech support over the phone, then i know it's not a set of standards i want to be part of.
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Rover
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« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2006, 11:59:54 PM »

[snip] if a company decides to go with what to me is an obviously inefficient design (one button mouse) for the benefit of aethetics and easier tech support over the phone, then i know it's not a set of standards i want to be part of.

Which is the point that I failed to make.  Different users, different skill levels. 

The stereotypical mac user calls tech support to ask where the "any" key is on the keyboard & can't handle the whole right click thing.

Linux users create a new term cap to invent an "any" key.

Windoze users just click on the "any" button.

There is no single interface that is the "best" for everyone and/or the easiest to learn.  Most corp. users live in MS Office all day;  I rarely see it.    It just doesn't make sense that everyone should to things the same way.  Especially when it only has 1 freaking mouse button...

Now if I was in charge, we'd be enforcing standards.   Grin
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2006, 04:47:29 AM »

Actually I agree too - user interface design standardisation should be adhered to - that doesn't mean that all apps have to look like clones- but standard ways of working should be common to all applications. Problems really arise under all OS's when developers go their own way - especially when they take over the whole screen and stop you working with multiple apps, or hog the CPU so much that the system grinds to a halt.

Both Doze and OSX suffer from the same design floor though - fixed place menu access is inefficient, especially if you are doing something keyboard based. In Doze it is worse as the menus are at the top of the current window but below the window title - it is therefore very easy to move the mouse and miss. OSX menus are at the top of the screen but they also suffer from a similar problem - if you move the mouse to the top of the screen you hit a row of dead pixels.

I read an article a while ago where a group of users were studied using cameras and screen capture software to measure eye/hand movement and interface usage, and the common problem with OSs at the present time is that they are all inefficient in their use of menus in terms of forcing care onto users motor skills. They cam to the conclusion that a good design criteria is that over shooting with a mouse should have no consequences to efficiency - ie. on a Mac bash the pointer to the top of the screen however hard you like and menu opens.

The other major criticism they had could be levelled at many developers and especially MS and Adobe for the plethora of small buttons which need to be hit very accurately and the speed cost of using this method.

Shame I can't remember where I saw the article.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2006, 05:11:37 AM »

IMO, standard's can be good. For instance, it would be good if windows and unix had the same filesystem organization, so as i could use linux as well as i use windows.
By now,  the linux supporters reading this, must have already came to the same conclusion i came by reading the post before this one:
standards CAN be good. But the problem is how to define the standards! In my example, i guess unix's filesystem is supposed to be far superior, and so, it should be the right choice.
But imagine the browsers situation. Many of you use firefox, i use opera, and my mother or my sister, use ie. But the question is that some days ago, i tried firefox, and hated it (as happens with all opera users, IMO), and firefox users can't use anything else, and my mother, doesn't even know that there are other browsers, and once i tried to persuade my sister to use opera, and she couldn't use it.
What i mean is that enforcing standards for everyone might not be the right way.
I think exactly the opposite that mouser thinks about standards in windows' explorer. I use another shell because i don't think explorer is flexible enough for me, and what happens is that i do everything about 2 to 3 times faster using bblean than i did when i used explorer for the sole reason that it works exactly as i configured it to work, and so, it's configured to work the way that is perfect for me, but might not be perfect for anyone else.
That is my perspective as user.
As a programmer, i can understand the absolute need for standards, the more people use the standards, the more people can use the product, is as simple as that.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2006, 05:23:25 AM »

I think you misinterpret here what we mean by standards - we aren't talking about everyone using one browser more that whatever browser you use there should be certain standards which are adhered to eg. so that webpages appear the same whatever you use.

Good examples of standards in Windows are CTRL C means copy, CTRL X means cut and CTRL V means paste. These should always be options in the Edit menu of any application and the shortcut keys should always be the same so that no matter what software you use you don't have to learn new versions of these.

These are pretty much standard across 99% of apps but there are still apps out there that don't adhere to this standard.

Another interface design standard within windows is using common icons to do the same job, so the icons around a window should close, maximize, minimize etc. in identical ways and yet you still find loads of software that assume there are better ways to do these tasks and so provide their own methods - this is just confusing to users and completely unneccesary.

One of my pet hates is when designers remove these icons (and the ability to resize windows and remember their positions) - especially on webpages. The number of times people have problems with windows because they want to use a bigger font than standard and then can't see half of the contents, or webdesigners end up with webpages where the edges are clipped by a fixed window size drive me mad. These are totally unnecessary restrictions which break standard design criteria and are a big frustration to users.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2006, 07:36:07 AM »

@ edvard: Ooh, hey, take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_panic eheh.. even the bsod look better in mac Wink

@ Carol:
Yes, i was referring to more concrete examples of standardization, that ctrl+c example is simply great. Then, i change my opinion, i do agree with standards (i can't bare that emacs has such a strange way of doing copy-paste actions tongue ). But still, i remain a bit reserved about applying it to everything, since in the other example you gave, i don't like having the close button at the right, since i right-click in the title bars of my apps to close them (another option inheriant to blackbox Wink ) and so, i don't even have the close button. But if we expand that standard to all apps needing to have a title bar, then i do agree with you, all of them should follow that rule cheesy
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2006, 10:51:54 AM »

since in the other example you gave, i don't like having the close button at the right, since i right-click in the title bars of my apps to close them (another option inheriant to blackbox Wink )

Actually that is standard in Explorer too
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2006, 11:08:25 AM »

Now I'm feeling ignorant...  huh huh That's one of the main reasons that make me use bb...
How can you activate it?
(I mean right-clicking the title bar makes the window close immediately, not choosing it from the unuseful context menu)
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2006, 01:31:53 PM »

Ah, no there is a context menu.

Of course you could try Alt F4
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2006, 01:52:24 PM »

smiley ok.. I was already wondering where could that damn option be.. Wink
Actually, i use alt + space when i am using the computer with keyboard only. When i am using the mouse, i find it much easier to right-click the title bar than the small box on the corner cheesy
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2006, 01:56:07 PM »

Alt SPACE = Find and Run Robot .....
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2006, 01:58:57 PM »

not in my pc...
alt + z = farr
alt + x = typeandrun
( and a whole lot of others that ain't worth mentioning here, i would need too much lines Wink )
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Edvard
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« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2006, 07:37:42 PM »

@Carol:
Quote
Shame I can't remember where I saw the article.
I don't know the article, (maybe this one?) but the set of "rules" that such things fall under is called Fitts' Law
More about it here:http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs5724/g1/
Also, there is a Linux distro called SymphonyOS that tries to incorporate Fitts's Law as fully as possible into their GUI. I've tried it, and it works as advertised, but the distro as a whole seems unfinished. I tried cloning those ideas more or less with my current Litestep setup and it works well.
@jgpaiva: Powerpro. Configuration isn't very intuitive even though it's a tabbed GUI, but it will do any of a million things and one of those is close an app from right-clicking the title bar.
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mouser
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« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2006, 07:29:33 PM »

another anti-mac video inspired by that first one, this time focused on gamer perspective:
http://video.google.com/v...4448784173497&pl=true
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zridling
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« Reply #46 on: April 02, 2006, 06:19:54 AM »

What are you people talking about? I thought Mac stood for "Media Access Control." I could be wrong, but I still think the attraction to Apple products is the "futz factor"; that is, the will to fiddle and toy with a device endlessly, rarely producing anything.
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« Reply #47 on: April 02, 2006, 06:52:22 AM »

the will to fiddle and toy with a device endlessly, rarely producing anything.

that is a remarkably accurate description of the symbiotic life i share with my pc.
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« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2006, 08:15:04 AM »

Well I just bought a new MacBook Pro a couple of weeks ago. I'm really a PC person although till the mid 90s I was much more Mac.  I think most criticisms of either platform is based on what people know and not on any well thought out argument. I would say both platforms are just as capable. In the stability dept. I would give the Mac an edge. This mostly has to do with third party drivers on the PC over which MS has no control And the fact that apple knows what is in those machines and can optimize heavily. I do agree that second mouse button is preferable but the new Apple mouse has that. In general on the Mac you will find that crtl-click (second mouse button) stuff is used much less in favor of selecting things from menus. Given that I am very keyboard centric that suite me just fine. I know that many of my clients are not very computer knowledgable and the concept of right clicking has got to be one of the hardest concepts to get across to somebody that does not live on computers as I do. Given that our world is becoming so much more browser centric I think the Mac has a very bright future. All things being equal I prefer living in the Mac way of doing things. Once your world is browser centric all things do become equal.
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« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2006, 11:20:09 AM »

in case anyone gets the wrong opinion, i'm not a mac hater.  I haven't used OSX much but it seems like a really nice approach.  And you can't help but be impressed with some of the stuff Apple has done.  I do have some issues with the focus on marketing and keeping their systems "closed."

but my main view about operating systems is i hate them all equally smiley  i'm still waiting for a nice clean and elegant new operating system..
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