Vista, the osx wanna be....?

knight885

Registered
Who has the personal preference of an OS always getting in the way, using mushy eyecandy to cover the fact that the UI hasn't really been _improved_ any? (That was rhetorical, but I guess answers will appear nonetheless...)
Here's one - I completely agree with this. Windows is intrusive, counter-intuitive and slows the user down. Everything from unzipping a file to plugging in a USB device is slowed down excessively for no real purpose or benefit. A Wizard to unzip a file? Whoever does MS's user interaction studies needs a new job.

Mine has just popped up another balloon in my face (and I mean in my face - I'm HSP, and stuff like that might as well be the size of the screen) to tell me that Outlook is having trouble reaching the Exchange Server. So f*cking what? Next time I have to switch to Outlook, why not tell me then, instead of interrupting me when I'm busy? Seconds later, ANOTHER ONE appears to tell me, never mind, it's working again. Gee, thanks. Now p*ss off!

I just find OSX completely the opposite, it's there if I need it, and it keeps out of the way if I don't. Imagine if you had an assistant in the office who kept interrupting you to tell you the sun had come out, that's what Windows is like to me.
 

powermac

iMac Dual 2.0 17'
The two operating system are driven from different perspectives. Windows to me is "dumbed down", while Mac is intuitive to use. Having just recently starting to really use XP, I find the experience intrusive. I never feel like I am working with the computer but against it. I plug my USB flash drive in and it takes several minutes to get to my files. Using the Mac, pop it in, shows up on desktop and bam.
Although there are things that Windows is better at than the Mac, but getting to those features is cumbersome. I never seem able to just develop a habit when using XP or Vista. Dragging and dropping on Windows still seems weird. When you get use to spring loaded folder, and having icons in the side bar in a finder window, trying similar task on Windows, I get lost and start all over. I am not sure why sometimes the file I am dragging actually copies or a short-cut is placed?
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
Imagine if you had an assistant in the office who kept interrupting you to tell you the sun had come out, that's what Windows is like to me.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it that way.

On Mac, ejecting a USB memory key:
1. Pick the memory key on the desktop. It will have the icon and name you have selected for it.
2. Choose File -> Eject.

On PC:
1. Right click on the ridiculously tiny grey thing with an arrow icon in the lower right edge of the screen.
2. Click "Safely Remove Hardware". Wait 3-5 seconds while Windows polls every connected USB device.
3. A new window pops up. Identify the device you want to eject by its manufacturer's ID code. Click it, and click Stop.
4. Another new window pops up. Identify the sub-domain of the device you're interested in stopping. Click Stop.
5. A balloon pops up in the lower-right telling you it is safe to remove the device. Click X on the balloon to close it, then...
6. Close the subdomain window.
7. Close the device window.
 

powermac

iMac Dual 2.0 17'
I was in Best Buy last night, and over heard a guy buying his first Mac. After choosing his Macbook and printer he asked the sell person which anti-virsus program he should get. When he replied you don't need one, the customer said, "I am liking the Mac all ready!" With a big smile.:D
 

Tommo

Registered
Symphonix, just left click and select safely remove and it ejects it with no extra prompts. Not much different to the Mac really just a smaller icon.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Left click what, tommo? The "devices" taskbar item? Does that remove _all_ USB hardware, then? Either way: The user interface is "disconnected" here. On the Mac, the device pops up on the Desktop. And it's _there_ that you choose to remove it, not some generic list somewhere entirely different. Those are the little things that matter in interface design.
 

Tommo

Registered
The little icon in the system tray that Symphonix refered to. You can also eject it from within the Explorer window, by right click>eject. It is just a case of getting used to the interface.

I have as many problems with users going from PC to Mac as the other way round. Maybe as I am lucky enough to alternate between operating systems all the time I find both easy to use.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
I've found the explorer's "eject" function _not_ to work with most USB memory sticks, that's why I didn't even mention it. ;)
 

Tommo

Registered
I have not had a problem with the brand we use, but have come across it with others. Ironically the only problem I have with mine is that it has two partitions and on initial plugging into the Mac it only mounts the first one. If I eject it and reinsert it both partitions mount.

On either platform I don't think the are the most reliable technology. Maybe I should just stick to CDs :)
 

knight885

Registered
Symphonix, just left click and select safely remove and it ejects it with no extra prompts. Not much different to the Mac really just a smaller icon.
Not strictly true. Whenever I do this, the drive is almost always still being accessed by Windows, so I get a message to click up in the middle of the screen reporting that fact. So I go all the way up there to click OK just to start again.

Anyone with half a brain who actually USED the O/S for any length of time would put a Retry button on the message. But then that would be intuitive...

The little icon in the system tray that Symphonix refered to. You can also eject it from within the Explorer window, by right click>eject. It is just a case of getting used to the interface.
USB sticks might have that, USB hard disks definitely don't. In fact the fiddly thing in the taskbar is the only way to eject hard disks without using Device Manager.
 

contoursvt

Registered
Its not brain surgery. The little icon shows shows removable storage (USB or Firewire). You click on it and it shows you your one device or multiple devices that are there. You can then put the mouse over the device you want disconnected and click on it.

If the drive was very recently accessed, it may still be writing cached content to it. Might have to wait a few seconds. If its a USB 1.1 device, this part might take a bit longer. If you have a document open from that device, then obviously it will also report that its in use and try later.

...We have numerous XP and a few Vista machines and people here have USB keys and many that have an add on USB 2.0 HD on their desk. No issues with disconnection so I dont know what all the fuss is about.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Not a big fuss. Only that it's kind of exactly *not* what a clean and straight-forward user interface that long-time Mac users have had the priviledge (one that can be bought, not one by birth or anything) of enjoying all these years since 1984 would expect.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
I was really only using that as a day-to-day example of just how fiddly Windows is. Sure, its a no-brainer, but multiply out 1000 stupid GUI design decisions over a whole day's work and Windows can become quite annoying.
 

contoursvt

Registered
No offence but dragging an icon of something that holds my data into the trash to eject or dismount it doesnt seem straight forward to me :) Infact that action is about as far away from what you really want done as can possibly be. No really... LOL Sure its more clean around the edges but it suffers from its fare share of things that make NO sense.

-dragging valuable data partition to the trash to dismount the device (you know what I mean)

-resizing a window from the lower right corner and nowhere else

-no maximize window option. I mean data within a window can actually change so maximizing to the data size in the window means I gotta do it multiple times because the content in the window is now different? Sometimes I dont wanna multitask at all...but want to use every last drop and pixel of my expensive screen for what I want to do and I dont want to spend time dragging windows around and resizing from one corner.

-I install something...I dont want to go looking for its application to make a shortcut into the Dock. IMO start menu is more logical. The application resides in there. If I want to make an even easier way to get to it, I can go into the start menu where it all is accessible and make a shortcut onto the desktop and leave it there or drag the shortcut to the quicklaunch. Just seems more logical especially if someone has a lot of programs. I mean at work we have some people that have literally 40-50 applications they need to use every day or two so they cant put those in the dock unless they want a row of icons all on the bottom.

-The taskbar at a glance shows whats open. No actions needed to switch to any other than just clicking on it. Just seems easier. The dock takes up the bottom of the screen anyway unless you auto hide it so its not like it takes up less room than the task bar which can be auto hidden....just seems like the taskbar and start menu are more flexible.

...anyway dont get me wrong. I think OSX overall looks cleaner and in some respects are more elegant, but those things I mentioned above are some of the things I like in windows more than OSX.


Not a big fuss. Only that it's kind of exactly *not* what a clean and straight-forward user interface that long-time Mac users have had the priviledge (one that can be bought, not one by birth or anything) of enjoying all these years since 1984 would expect.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
You're right about the dragging to trash thing. I never understood that either. But then again: I've been simply using Cmd-Y (in early versions of OS X) and later Cmd-E for ejecting (putting away for Cmd-Y) stuff. I love keyboard shortcuts.

But even _if_ Mac OS has some flaws by itself, don't just hack on OS X here now. Your question was what the big fuss was about. I told you. No big fuss. It's just neither elegant or good to have to search for a device in an entirely different place than the device is already logically represented. On the Mac, you put a flash drive in, it appears right before your eyes on the desktop. And _that's_ where you handle it, its contents - and also where you can put it away again. Imagine this: A friend comes to your house. You let him in, but when you want him to go, you have to go to the cellar and, in a list of your friends, have to select it and hit "deactivate". :p (Okay, that was maybe a poor metaphor, but just goes to show that you have to go a strange and non-intuitive way...)
 

bbloke

Registered
I agree that dragging a volume to the Trash to unmount it seems odd. To be honest, I immediately thought that was a Classic thing, and then remembered OS X does it too. That shows how often I use that approach, then! ;)

Like fryke, I tend to use keyboard shortcuts, or else I right click on the volume and eject it from the contextual menu. While I still agree that it is a counter-intuitive way of doing things, doesn't the Trash icon at least change to an eject icon when you drag the volume over it? (Better than nothing, I guess.)

Also, I have to agree that the Windows way of handling removable volumes, such as USB flash drives, is rather cumbersome compared to the OS X way of doing things. Under OS X, I plug it in, it mounts, I use the drive, and then I use Command-E/Command-Y or right click to eject the device, and then I physically unplug it. Under Windows, I plug it in, Windows often searches/scans the device, then asks me how to handle it (eg. Explorer window, etc.), and I get access to the data. When I'm done with it, I go to a small icon, left click on it, then click on the device to remove, and then unplug it. It's not rocket science, no, but it seems unnecessarily cumbersome, when the comparison is made.

As for resizing a window only from one corner, yes, sometimes it would be nice to resize from other edges. On the other hand, there are times in a Windows environment when I think the opposite way round and think it would be nice to be able to drag windows from edges other than the title bar.

I have to disagree about the Dock vs. the Windows taskbar, though. I think the Start menu is counter-intuitive (for instance, one goes to "Start" to "Shut Down!"), and the taskbar seems cluttered, to me. The taskbar contains the Start menu, the "Quick Launch" icons, and the "notification area" (on the right). So it contains a range of items, some of which are relatively fiddly icons, rather than having a clean theme to it. It also annoys me that I cannot, to my knowledge, easily rearrange items in the taskbar, as sometimes the order is not very convenient for me.

Also, I find it much, much easier to recognize different applications and documents in the Dock than in the taskbar. If I had, I don't know, ten applications open in the Dock, I could easily see them and switch between them. If I tried the same under Windows, the taskbar would become very compressed and the items impossible to read, plus items might move to another level of the taskbar, effectively being "hidden." I also like the way OS X displays a preview of documents in the Dock, it makes it quicker to recognize what one is after. I also prefer the way one can keep applications to hand in the Dock, as a quick method of launching them, when compared to the Quick Launch icons in Windows.

It may just be we are used to different approaches, and so our opinions differ as a result. I think there are some inconsistencies and quirks in OS X, but that it is much, much better thought out overall than Windows, and I feel I am much more efficient using a Mac to do the same tasks.
 

contoursvt

Registered
IMO mounting drive on the desktop is not elegant at all. Ever try to search for a mounted pen drive on someones cluttered desktop where they might have a ton of icons. To make matters worse, the mounted drives can appear anywhere there is free space. This means that if someone had arranged their icons where the drives may normally be (say on the right side) but there is no room, it may appear anywhere there is space...so it may appear in the middle of a pile of icons so then you have to hunt for it. While true that you can ask the finder not to mount to the desktop which is IMO a cleaner option, wouldnt that kind of be similar to the way "My computer" is in windows? At least for a power user this makes sense.

My server has many disks and network shares:

-FTP share (my ftp upload and download folder)
-HTTP share (folder for me have easy access to the website to make changes)
-Music & Video
-Application installers
-Home folder

So I have five network shares. My local machine has 4 physical hard drives as well. HD1 being OS and apps, HD2 being swap, HD3 being games and fun stuff, HD4 being temporary work space. Oh I also have an optical drive and sometimes a pen drive.

So between 4 physical drives and 5 network drives, optical drive and pen drive, in OSX I'd have 11 drives mounted on the desktop. Toss those on a desktop that already have icons scattered on it and it becomes a nightmare.

Anyway maybe its because I was a DOS user going to OS/2 then to Windows and finally to OSX. Also I'm not as proficient in OSX as the others so maybe its just familiarity talking...


You're right about the dragging to trash thing. I never understood that either. But then again: I've been simply using Cmd-Y (in early versions of OS X) and later Cmd-E for ejecting (putting away for Cmd-Y) stuff. I love keyboard shortcuts.

But even _if_ Mac OS has some flaws by itself, don't just hack on OS X here now. Your question was what the big fuss was about. I told you. No big fuss. It's just neither elegant or good to have to search for a device in an entirely different place than the device is already logically represented. On the Mac, you put a flash drive in, it appears right before your eyes on the desktop. And _that's_ where you handle it, its contents - and also where you can put it away again. Imagine this: A friend comes to your house. You let him in, but when you want him to go, you have to go to the cellar and, in a list of your friends, have to select it and hit "deactivate". :p (Okay, that was maybe a poor metaphor, but just goes to show that you have to go a strange and non-intuitive way...)
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
IMO mounting drive on the desktop is not elegant at all. Ever try to search for a mounted pen drive on someones cluttered desktop where they might have a ton of icons. To make matters worse, the mounted drives can appear anywhere there is free space. This means that if someone had arranged their icons where the drives may normally be (say on the right side) but there is no room, it may appear anywhere there is space...so it may appear in the middle of a pile of icons so then you have to hunt for it. While true that you can ask the finder not to mount to the desktop which is IMO a cleaner option, wouldnt that kind of be similar to the way "My computer" is in windows? At least for a power user this makes sense.
Volumes will always appear in "Computer", regardless of whether they're set to appear on the desktop as well.
 

contoursvt

Registered
Hi Mikuro, yes I know that part, I just meant that if you disable it from mounting on the desktop, then its just going to be appearing in the finder which means it will behave more similar to the way "my computer" behaves in windows. Its not alternating mounting between desktop or finder but will always mount in the finder and if selected, mount on the desktop as well.

Just that by default it mounts on the desktop as well and for someone with lots of mounted drives, that will be very cluttered so if I was to use OSX as my main box, I'd select not to mount on the desktop.

Volumes will always appear in "Computer", regardless of whether they're set to appear on the desktop as well.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
I think this rather drawn out conversation only proves something we already knew: both interfaces still have a way to go. I won't argue that the Mac way is right and the Windows way is wrong, only that I personally find the Windows method to be more fiddly.
 
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