Staff member
Hm. Mac people usually understand 'creativity' as in actually doing creative things with the computer, not _on_ the computer or its system. So, for example, you could do _lots_ of creative things, depending on the applications you have installed. Use iLife to create photo galleries, movies etc. - quite creative stuff. You could write a story or code your own website... Creativity doesn't stop at painting windows and titlebars... But if all you want to do is change Mac OS X' default theme, I don't think that will really challenge creativity... ;)


U.S.D.A. Prime
Right now I am:

1) Keeping an eye on my email inbox (for 7 different POP & IMAP accounts)
2) Surfing the web
3) Coding a MIPS pipeline simulator in C with XCode
4) Uploading some digital photos into iPhoto
5) Updating my iPod and listening to the latest podcasts and music
6) Taking a photo my boss gave me at 72dpi and making it look good at 200dpi with PhotoShop
7) Updating a mySQL database with the latest geographic blockgroup coordinates for the entire United States (>208,000 polygons, each with an average of 200 vertices)
8) Updating some HTML pages over a VPN connection to a Windows 2000 SBS machine @ work
9) Transferring my educational coding projects back to my University's server with SFTP (Transmit)
10) Re-encoding some DV video footage to MPEG4 with QuickTime

..and yes, I had ALL of that going on simultaneously, and remained productive throughout the process. Even on a pokey, 500MHz machine.

Believe me, there isn't a thing one can do on a Windows machine that I can't do on my Macintosh. If it involves some Windows-specific function, I guarantee you I can find a workaround and make it all come together using only my Macintosh.

Perhaps you should explain what exactly you were productive at on your Windows machine, and we can steer you in the right direction for doing the same/similar task under Mac OS X...
I'm designing a mock-up for a DVD menu in Photoshop that I will use in DVD Studio Pro.

that's a lot of balls in the air ElDiabloConCaca!

Not sure exactly what you are stuck on: creativity or applications to fuel your creativity. Either way, tell us what sorts of things you have been doing on your Windows machine, and we can suggest equivallent apps for the Mac (or where to find inspiration).

Interesting that you say Mac's colour scheme is sucking your creativity. I think most designers/photographers/etc would agree that the colour scheme is one of the big selling points of the Mac, because the colours don't clash with the design you're working on (after all, your work is the focal point, not the operating system's). It's hard to guage if your colour scheme is working when you have a big bright blue and green bar running around your screen.


U.S.D.A. Prime
Thank The Cheese said:
that's a lot of balls in the air ElDiabloConCaca!
Heh... yes it is! For as much as I paid for this computer, though, I expect it to work like a horse... and it does. Still amazes me what 500 pokey little MHz will do.

I'm not tooting my own horn here, but it just goes to show you that a true professional is one that can get work done provided with the right tools, and the "right tools" is not always a dual processor G5 with 8GB of RAM. Anyone who says they can't do something on a computer because it's too slow is lying. "Can't" and "don't want to because I'm impatient" are two different things. If I had a dual-G5, I could afford to be a LOT sloppier, because I could try and fail 150 times on a dual-G5 in the time it takes me to think about what I need done, outline, prepare, and do it right the first or second time on a 500MHz machine.

Speed doesn't make anyone any better at anything.


Crotchety UI Nitpicker
To be honest, I've felt the same way ever since I started using OS X, only I'm coming from OS 9 instead of Windows. I'm not sure exactly why I feel that way. (Although one big reason is the lack of any decent painting programs; oh, how I miss Color It!) I'm one of the few people who liked Aqua more before they used it than they did after.

The appearance of an OS definitely affects my creativity. That's one reason I could never use Windows; its UI was downright depressing (although as of XP it's less depressing, but more laughable). I think OS 8 struck a good balance, with neutral grays. Windows was too dark (at that time), and OS X is too bright.

Anyway, to anwer your question, today I'm not doing a whole lot. I've been playing online poker, posting on various forums, editing and laying out some papers for my mother, and doing a little photo work.

The biggest shot to my creativity isn't the OS, though. It's my cable modem. Every time my service gets disconnected, I get so much more productive. *sigh* I have so little discipline....

I've been doing more creative things lately, though (just not today). I've writing programs in XCode, and I'm slowly but surely learning how to use OpenGL.

ElDiabloConCaca said:
Anyone who says they can't do something on a computer because it's too slow is lying.
Speed doesn't make anyone any better at anything.
I dare you to downgrade your machine to 256MB of RAM and say that again. ;) It's painful. I just recently upgraded, though, and now I don't think I'd be any more productive on a G5 dualie (although it would be nice to encode 20 minutes of video in less than 2 hours....). Speed is VERY important, but processor speed does not make nearly as big an impact on "usability" speed as a lot of people like to think.


Old Rhapsody User
Well, I can tell you what I did in the last 24 hours on my systems...
(1) Edited together a 1 hour radio show (including adding in all the commercials in the breaks).
(2) Update two web sites for clients and started two more web sites for new clients.
(3) Reverse engineered plans and dimensions of a studio set (from the 60's) from DVD captures so that a special effects studio can use the plans to recreate the set.
(4) Did some personal things (playing in Photoshop and working on content for my web site).​
And that is not counting the 4 hours I spent on other people's Macs today helping them with their work.

I guess a good question is what do you think a Mac can't do?

I do illustration, image editing, sound editing, video editing, flash, web design, page layout and mathematics on my Macs. I haven't worked with a Windows system since 2002 and haven't had to try to be productive on one since 1998, so I sure don't see them as needed to do things in the computer world.
frozendice said:
Ever since I stoped using windows and started using my mac somehow my creativity has gone right out the window. Maybe its the constant white gradients that are getting on my nerves but all I ever do is surf the web and check my email now...

Just feeling a lack of creativtiy. Care to help me out?
Maybe you should consider the fact that you are not cut out to be a Mac user.

Most of the people I know who use Macs are either creative professionals or artists, and none of them seem to be suffering a lack of creativity using a Mac.

There is no shame in admitting that the Windows environment is where you work best.


Well... you would never catch me saying anything like that, but it should be okay for you. ;)


I am currently iChatting with my friends, surfing, rendering a mosaic I need for an industrial video using MacOSaiX, and... I have After Effects open, because I'm going to use motion graphics on the mosaic.

Now, if you are talking about being creative about customizing your Mac, is a great place.
RacerX is right. much as I love MacOS, I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. All depends on what you're doing with it. If you use computers primarily for games, for example, you'd be a fool to buy a mac.

Originally Posted by ElDiabloConCaca:
Anyone who says they can't do something on a computer because it's too slow is lying.
Speed doesn't make anyone any better at anything.

yes, that is something I thought about when I bought my iMac. I had an eMac 800Mhz and, to quote myself, "needed to upgrade because I can't video edit on the eMac". But the truth is for years before there was such a thing as a 1ghz+ processor, people have been video editing without any problems.

we have a way of convincing ourselves we *have* to have the fastest technology, instantly forgetting that we have gotten on just fine with slower machines in the past.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to do work so I can save up for a faster iBook... :)
Its just lately i've felt kinda out of place with my new mac. Maybe its intimidating me.

Understandable. OS X does take a while to get used to. Hard enough from OS 9 to OS X, let alone WinXP to OS X!

Donno anything about Java (except that I almost died from stress when I was forced to do an intro to java course at uni), but love website design. I found this site the other day that I bookmarked incase a need inspiration:

it's a portal to sites that feature good web designs. Perhaps it will spark something.

I've been using gimp ever since and it's definetly not the same.

I have never used GIMP, but I did happen to come across a site offering a mod for GIMP that apparently makes it function like Photoshop (called GIMPshop). get it here:

43MB download. hope you got broadband!

let us know how you go :)


Scratch & Sniff Committee
Have you got a digital camera? If so, head out on the town and start photographing some urban landscapes.

Do you have a scanner? Photoshop? Maybe even a Wacom tablet? Perhaps you can scan in some sketches and start mucking around with them.

If you want to do something a little more geeky and limited purely to your Mac, then have a look at making some dashboard widgets.


If you're using Gimp on OS X, I can see why you are depressed!! X11 applications should really be a last resort on OS X. They look out of place, act funny (double/triple click syndrome) and just don't integrate well with anything else.

If you want to use something like Gimp, check out Seashore which is based on Gimp, but has a much more usable interface that won't make your eyes bleed.


Registered Penguin
I was exactly the same at the beginning, but I got past it.

Some suggestions, though:

Try setting the theme to Graphite, the background to something either grey or B&W, and go looking around at other great examples of design.

Look at your own work in the Mac environment and see if it inspires you to do other similar work.

Admittedly, it helps substantially when you can afford Photoshop.


If you can't afford Photoshop yet, you could try Photoshop Elements while your saving, or some other option. In my opinion it's still 10 times better than gimp but only 70quid there's also a free 30-day trial version at the adobe site ready to download.

Try just having a play around with the various free app's you got with your mac aswell. Garage band is a great place to start, I've also been having a lot of fun with Blender lately, it's a FREEWARE ! 3d graphics app, still getting to grips with it but it's a lot of fun.

If you're into your web design I'd also recommend downloading a decent html editor, I like the simplicity of Taco but if you prefer something more robust I'm sure there are plenty more shareware and freeware apps around that suit you better, try searching the download section of the Apple website.

EDIT: You should also get World Of Warcraft, as you will become totally addicted and have very little time to even consider being creative. :D


"EDIT: You should also get World Of Warcraft, as you will become totally addicted and have very little time to even consider being creative"

If you dont want to shell out $50 for WoW - you can DL and begin playing Everquest immediately - for FREE - just check out :)


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
I have to thank Viro for the link to SeaShore. It's what GIMP should be on ALL platforms. Thanks brother. :D

For the record, my wife (who is a MAJOR Windows user and prefers it over the Mac) used the iMac G5 we bought this weekend to edit her pictures that she took today within Photoshop 7. With only a little bit of help in the beginning, she was able to do everything that she needed from then on. (Incidentally, it was because of her that I now have the iMac G5...she just fell in love with it. :D)

So much for the Mac being a difficult transition for a Windows user. ;)

But seriously, I do understand how it could be difficult for some Windows users, especially if they aren't that good in using a computer. Once they get used to a certain way, it's hard for them to relearn everything. Then again, I place the blame on Microsoft for this, because it makes people think "if this is somewhat hard to do, how much harder could it be with a Mac since it doesn't use Windows?!"

But as we all know, that's not really the case when you experience the Macintosh. ;)


Recording some of my 700 LPs to my hard disk so that I can burn them to CDs.
Editing photos in Photoshop Elements.

That's on one lightly modified eMac.
My other machines are resting right now.

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
i have 37 windows open. and 19 programs running.

and exposé is sill like a hot knife through butter, the system is not even slowing down much at all.