Mac Switching update, Fri 16 Sep

  • Dell sent out a courier with a replacement monitor for my faulty 2005FPW today. Not happy. The replacement is a refurbished monitor rather than a new one. It’s a 1st revision model (rather than the 2rd revision one I had), and as such suffers from a very annoying backlight bleeding. It has one stuck pixel right in the middle of the screen, and one dead pixel close by. (The previous monitor had one stuck subpixel, but it was right at the edge of the screen.) The new monitor also has a bash at the top. Not happy at all. This one is going straight back again on Monday.
  • I’ve ordered the David Pogue Mac OSX book, which will hopefully enlighten me about the hidden corners of Macdom.
  • I’m still not liking the Apple Pro keyboard. I’m a hard typist, striking the keys with a lot of noisy force, and I’m finding that I’m getting a lot of duplicated keystrokes. Or do you think this might be a fault in the keyboard?
  • I’m having a hard time getting used to the altered control/alt key modifiers. Copy and Paste is the worst one: I’m so used to hittting the Ctrl key with my left pinkie, and then picking up C or V with my left forefinger. The Mac keystrokes are [Apple]+C, and [Apple]+V, and the [Apple] key rests under my thumb. Getting my pinkie over there feels unnatural, and using my thumb instead feels unnatural. The whole thing is freaking me out a bit. I suppose I just need to give it more time.
  • Mouse tracking is also causing me some problems. For small mouse movements, the mouse cursor doesn’t accelerate as quickly as it does in Windows. For large mouse movements, no problem. But when moving in small increments, trying to hit smaller targets (like menu options, or &*%$ checkboxes–see below) feels “sticky”. It’s like my mouse has picked up some dirt, and isn’t moving properly.
  • I’m really hating not being able to tab to drop-down lists, checkboxes, or controls other than textboxes. There must be a way that I haven’t found yet. I’m hoping that the Pogue book will hold some clues.

On the positive front, iPhoto is rather nice. And Quicksilver looks like it will add some keyboard lovin’ to the whole system.

More updates soon.

7 Replies to “Mac Switching update, Fri 16 Sep”

  1. It looks like you haven’t found System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts. Take your time to go through all the system preferences and see what you can do.

    Interesting that this is titled ‘Mac switching’ and not ‘Mac as well as’….

  2. The only thing I miss is not being able to Alt-F for the File menu, etc. Everything else is cool.

    Yes, Apple-C is thumb, plus first finger. I hate PCs now… 🙂

  3. Dave – Yes, the term “switching” is interesting… 🙂 What I I’m trying to move towards is a model of using the Mac for “everyday” things (browsing, writing, graphics, music) and unix-based development (Apache, MySQL, PHP, Ruby et al.), and hitting the PC for Windows development and other work-related things. We’ll see if it sticks.

    Mark – I don’t think the keyboard problem is the repeat rate–I’m getting double-keying on both the mac and the PC. I have my system settings tuned for a very short repeat delay, but not that short. I’m also very picky about keyboards in general, and even if this one was working properly, I’m still not happy with the feel of it. I think it’s going back to PC World this afternoon…

  4. There is an option somewhere in System Preferences to allow keyboard access to the menu bar. It’s not quite Alt-F, but it’s close enough. Dave already mentioned the tab solution.

    (You’ll probably find that most applications provide good keyboard shortcuts for the tasks you need to do as a matter of course, so it’s less useful than on Windows.)

    Regarding Cmd versus Ctrl, it took me a short amount of time to switch, and now I have difficulties going back to Windows! My thumb is stronger, and better placed (unless you switch Caps Lock and Ctrl, that is), so I prefer the Cmd shortcuts.

    Mouse acceleration you’ll get used to.

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