Simple mind

Michael

Registered
Ok, so I have had MacOSX beta for six months. Its very little use to me because I can't print, listen to music or surf the net (doesn't want to connect for some reason). However, I've been getting to know how it works.

It looks great ...but. Here's a simple question from a non technical user.

Exactly what is better about it, for me, than MacOS9?

Yes, yes I have heard about the technical advances. But I've been telling my Windows using freinds for years that the two key advantages of the Mac over Windows are

a) It's a more intuitive system - easier to learn and more flexible in use.

and

b) When it goes wrong, even a complete ignoramus like me can (usually) fix it.

At a stroke, Apple has removed these two key advantages.

It's all very well for you technical types to get off on the technicalities. But if I buy a computer, as a general user, I don't give a damn about any of that. I want to use my computer as a tool, TO DO THINGS WITH. Not as an end in itself.

The 'crunch' is going to come when Apple finally pre-installs OSX
on their hardware as the default operating system.

Because then, rather than the Apple OS being the user-freindly one - it will be Windows that has the advantage.

An example. Apple made a big thing about putting the Apple menu
back in the final release. Except that it hasn't. Unlike all MacOS's up to now you can't keep your key applications there, ready to hand.

Instead, you have either to trawl through the folders and sub-folders to find the application or clutter your desktop with icons (which is messy - and they are usually obscured by the applications you are already running.)

Can you use the dock? Well no - because you have to launch the applications first. All the dock does is act like the drop down menu at the far right of OS9 - and less efficiently because it takes longer for the eye to scan it.

It seems to me that what we have here is symptomatic of our shallow, visually-oriented culture. It looks good. So it is 'cool'. Does it work any better? Well, er, no.

This is a disasterous move for Apple, however good the OS underpinnings are.

 

Pascal

Official visitor
Right now, I believe that everybody agrees that Mac OS X is not perfect, but that it has a promising future...

Many functionalities are still missing in OS X 10.0.0... some bad mouths go as far as to say that this version is "public beta 2". While I would not go as far, I would certainly say that this release is more akin to a "version 0.9" than a "version 1.0".

Since you tried the public beta, you certainly noticed how painful it was to use. I agree with you : there was not really a lot one could do with the PB. But consider all the improvements that have been done in the six months that separate the PB from version 10.0.0 ! My feeling is that in the four months that will lead to July, Apple will finish up most of what is missing (the infamous CD/DVD drivers, the video accelerators, some interface tweaks based on user feedback)... and by then, Mac OS X will be fully usable by the traditional Mac user.

<FONT SIZE=-2>(I hope ! ;) )</FONT>
 

AdmiralAK

Simply Daemonic
I was (and still am) able to isten to music and surf the net from the beta (56k modem).

I still have not gotten OS X final due to the fact that it is "1.0" software and stuff still needs to be added andsoftware needs to be made for it.

Once OS X 1.1 or 1.2 rolls out then you can use it like you use OS 9 now. It will be simple to learn and fix. I have not run into many bombs where my computer froze in pre-x systems and there was nothing other than that I could fix.

In OS X the sad mac-bomb is the kernel panic which you probably wont see that often.

Each OS has its learning curve, (its not like star trek where you speak to it and it does something). OS X probably has the same learning curve as the regular mac. It still has the apple menu, it has the dock, and the desktop is still there to put your files on.


Admiral
 

Michael

Registered
I accept the OS is still in development, but unless Apple restores full functionality to the Apple menu, the finder is going to be a pain in the neck to use. Even Windows doesn't ask you to hunt about on your desktop or in your folders for applications.

Secondly, there is no chance that someone without IT training is going to get to grips with the complexities of UNIX. That may not matter to most of the folk who post on this site - but to the general user, the fact that you have to call in a specialist every time something goes wrong is a big step backwards.

 

AdmiralAK

Simply Daemonic
I seriously dont get what people's fascination with the apple menu is.
I mean its nice to have a little apple there, it adfds to the nice decor, and it is
a fast place to add your control panels, chooser etc for easy access...other than that
I dont see how much of use it is! Why are people using it as a "start menu" ? It makes no sense
to me whatsoever! I have some apps there but 99% of the time I launch them another way,
so he apple menu isnt really utilized.


As for UNIX, people who dont want to use the terminal do not have to. For basic users its
quite simple to use the GUI for everyday use. IF you are an admin, yes you will have to learn
so that you can be all that you can be. If something goes horribly wrong one does not have to be an expert right off the bat. They can just reinstall like I did when I got my first mac and had my first (and second and third and fourth etc) sad face and it wouldnt boot up. Now I know how to get around. People will learn.
 

Pascal

Official visitor
Originally posted by Michael
Secondly, there is no chance that someone without IT training is going to get to grips with the complexities of UNIX. That may not matter to most of the folk who post on this site - but to the general user, the fact that you have to call in a specialist every time something goes wrong is a big step backwards.
You can count me in : I am truly not interested in having to type "sudo" every time I want to change "that" or add "this" to Mac OS X. My belief, however, is that Apple did a pretty good job of shielding the users from the Unix underpinnings without preventing others to tinker in the motor if they wish to do so...

This being said, since the OS is in its infancy :
- many utilities that we were used to have in Classic Mac OS don't work anymore (TechTool, Norton)
- many habits we had in Classic Mac OS don't apply anymore (It crashed ? No : it is not an extension problem !)
- and, in some cases, the unix-to-MacOS have not been build into the system (a way to control and program Cron)
- or a way to change options in the Mac OS per say have not been thought of (a way to change the size of the font in the Finder)

But this should change, I believe, between now and the end of the year...
 

sfish

Fark Lover
<blockquote>
<font face="werdana,arial,helvetica" size="1">quote:</font>
<hr><FONT face="verdana,arial,helvetica" size="2" ><i>Michael said:</i>
<b>"I accept the OS is still in development, but unless Apple restores full functionality to the Apple menu, the finder is going to be a pain in the neck to use. Even Windows doesn't ask you to hunt about on your desktop or in your folders for applications. "</b></font>
<hr>
</blockquote>If you drag your hard drive onto your dock you will have instant access to everything (up to about 5 folders deep) on your hard drive by just control-clicking the hard drive's icon in the dock. This this can be done with any folder on your hard drive as well.
 

Hobeaux

Registered
I, too, don't understand why people wanted to use the apple menu as a launch-point. If you put your hard drive alias into it you would have to navigate several levels before finding what you wanted anyway.

Of course, some folks just put an alias to their Applications directory in the Apple menu -- but Mac OS X has that shortcut built into every window, AND there is a command-key shortcut right to it (command-option-a), AND if you really want to have a browsable 'start menu' then just drag your Applications folder to the Dock -- you can then right-click on the folder to bring up the pop-up scrolling menu to the folder.

Not fast enough? Not direct enough?

Make a folder, give it a custom icon if you like, then drag aliases to all your most-used applications to it. Then drag that folder to the Dock.

BANG

right-click on it (or control-click, or click and hold) and you have instant access to all of those apps.

Hey, you can even break it down into categories if you like -- Internet, General Apps, Games, or whatever.

"But I want my Apple Menu like it was!" Get over it, that was just a kludge anyway. Mac OS X has been completely rethought and laid out more logically:

Apple Menu: System-specific items which can now be accessed from what ever app you are in, without having to click to the Finder first. Recent Items, Force Quit, Sleep, Restart, Shut Down, Logout, etc.

[application]: When an app is launched a menu item with its name appears which contains application-specific items. About this [application], Application Preferences, Services, Hide, Hide Others, Quit.

File: Finally file-specific information is located solely under the File menu, instead of the mix-match of file and application items. Open, Close, Save, Print, Etc.

Notice that items are arranged logically. OS-specific items are in the OS (apple) Menu, Application-specific items are in the Application's menu, and File-specific items are under the File menu.

The mix-matching junk that we all got used to has finally been addressed. Abandon the old way of working, it really didn't make that much sense to begin with.

Oh, by the way -- the Public Beta was interesting, but it sucked. The retail version is far, far better -- missing some features, sure... but overall, a much better experience.
 

Michael

Registered
Thanks for some enlightening and quite helpful replies - but (I am sorry to harp on) most of you propose more complex ways of working, compared to OS 9.

The fact that some people don't want to use the Apple menu in OS 9 underlines my point. Under OS 9 you can CHOOSE the way you work.

It suits me to launch applications from the Apple menu. Maybe not everyone, but I find that the simplest. However, you don't HAVE to do it that way. If you like a desktop cluttered with applications and files, it's up to you.

Hobeaux, incidentally, should know that in OS 9 you don't have to put your hard disk into the Apple menu, just the applications (or aliases if you prefer). The point is, that the Apple menu is there all the time - you don't have to open a window. So whatever you are working on you can open another application immediately.

For example. for my work I need to use Word, ProTools, Outlook Express, Internet Explorer, Acrobat reader, Virtual PC etc., swapping between them, quickly. I haven't found more straightforward way than the Apple menu.

Thank you, though, for the suggestion of putting applications into a folder in the dock. This is, potentially, a neat solution. But will it work each time I boot or do I have to set it up on every occasion?

Finally, it is all very well saying Apple has done a good job of hiding UNIX. Many of the posts on this site suggest otherwise ...

The original Mac OS, as I understand it, was designed so a child could use it. My point is, that Apple have made their OS less intuitive - and harder to fix.

 

sfish

Fark Lover
You asked if the folder/disk alias dropped into the dock will be there next time reboot. The answer is yes. The only things that leave the dock on reboot are applications that are not specifically put there for long-term access.
 

AdmiralAK

Simply Daemonic
Forget the apple menu!
Here is a faster and more efficient way of launching apps:
Assign apps to the F keys. I have ten apps that I use ALL the time, NEtscape, ICQ, Yahoo, OUtlook, VPC, and AIM to name a few that I launch all the time. There is NO simpler way for me to launch em. WHy bother with the mouse when you can just use the keyboard ?



Admiral
 

sfish

Fark Lover
Not that this will be universal (and it's almost completely off the subject), but my keyboard was destroyed when I was transporting my Blue/White G3 Mac and it slipped off the passenger seat and smashed down onto my keyboard. Now I use an older ADB Apple keyboard. It's great except that it doesn't have Function keys. :(

I know that old Power Computing keyboard is around here someplace... :)
 

Pascal

Official visitor
Originally posted by Michael The original Mac OS, as I understand it, was designed so a child could use it. My point is, that Apple have made their OS less intuitive - and harder to fix.
One should be careful here : "the original Mac OS" is not Mac OS 9... it is Mac OS 1.0 ! While Mac OS 9 share the most intimate design limitations of the original Mac OS, one thing we cannot say is that Mac OS 9 retained the simplicity of Mac OS 1.0. Comparing the content of the original "System Folder" and Mac OS 9's easily gets the point across.

Of course, Mac OS 9.1 seems easy to fix for both you and me... We have grown up using Classic Mac OS, so we know this OS through and through, quirks and all.

But now comes Mac OS X. A OS that bears the Mac name because he was adopted. Genetically, however, it is different. We don't know it. We don't know how to pamper it. We don't know how to feed it. So we all feel a little bit lost when we have a problem using OS X.

This does not mean that OS X is hard to use ! It only means that OS X is harder to fix for us right now because most of our previous knowledge barely applies ! In fact, a child can easily use Mac OS X without any difficulties at all. It is a very straightforward OS to install and use...

Let me take a totally different example. Cars are very easy to use. Anyone can learn how to drive them without much difficulty. That does not mean that cars can be repaired by anyone when they break... With our "old car" (Mac), we were used to be "Sunday mechanics". But we now feel powerless when we look at all the electronic fuel injection, the air-bag sensors and all the other devices we suddenly have no idea how to repair in this new car... That does not mean our new car is hard to drive however ! Same thing for our Macs.
 

Pascal

Official visitor
Originally posted by AdmiralAK
Forget the apple menu!
Here is a faster and more efficient way of launching apps:
Assign apps to the F keys. I have ten apps that I use ALL the time, NEtscape, ICQ, Yahoo, OUtlook, VPC, and AIM to name a few that I launch all the time. There is NO simpler way for me to launch em. WHy bother with the mouse when you can just use the keyboard ?
You can do that in OS X also ???
 

AdmiralAK

Simply Daemonic
I was refering to OS 9, but I really hope I can do it in OS X as well. IN the PB you could not do it, in the final I dont know yet. I have not migrated because my apps arent ready yet ;)

Someone clue us in and tell us if this is possible ;)


Admiral
 

sfish

Fark Lover
The word I've heard (no research yet) is that it's not there natively. I thought I saw a 3rd-party utility mentioned last week that would add this functionality. Didn't find it on a quick scan of versiontracker.com, though.
 

Michael

Registered
Well, I haven't given up all hope. I agree familiarity will help.

However, the car analogy is quite a good one. In the days when car engines were simple, you could spend your Saturday afternoon tinkering with them (if you had the time/patience).

Now, you need to buy a machine which diagnoses the faults and tells the engine management chip what to do.

It is crucial to remember that many Mac buyers (especially of iMac's) simply want to plug the thing in, turn it on and have it make the tea for them. They don't have the time or the depth of interest to figure out new ways of doing things.

Imagine an experiment in which a group of people are faced, for the first time, with OS9, OSX or one of those nasty Windows OS's.

Which one would most of them get to grips with quickest? That's not just a test of logic, but usability - which may not be the same thing.

Perhaps there isn't one OS that suits everyone - and I suppose there is no reason why there should be. But, Mac users are in competition with a cleverly marketed and dominant OS which, though not the most efficient in any aspect, has become a de facto world standard.

So any change in the Mac OS has got to be, CLEARLY one for the better. And one your seven year old daughter can understand. (Incidentally mine can manage OS9 but hasn't cracked OSX yet!).
 
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