Lovin’ It

I’ve had my new Mac for just over 2 weeks now. Things I really like about it compared to my old Debian box:

  • Drag & drop actually works, and works consistently. You can drag almost anything from anywhere to anywhere. Drag a file to a buddy in iChat to send it. Drag an album cover from Safari to iTunes to add it to the mp3. You can even select some text and drag it to the desktop if you want!
  • The whole thing feels really consistent. Spell-check from practically anywhere (Mail, Safari, iChat) in the same way. Command + comma is always the keyboard shortcut for Preferences, in any app. The app menus are always laid out in the same way.
  • Mail is so fast compared to Thunderbird on Debian. When you drag a mail to a folder, it actually goes to that folder immediately (not 10 seconds later after it’s finished re-downloading from the IMAP server). Searching my entire 400MB mailbox for any word or phrase takes seconds rather than minutes. The UI is really snappy and responsive -probably partly due to having a computer that’s 4 times faster! (There is one bug I’ve found in Mail where IMAP attachments take ages to download. Hope to see this one fixed soon, Apple!)
  • iTunes is lovely. Really easy to organise your music, and it’s nice and responsive too. (If only it had gapless playback!!)
  • It’s true that stuff generally “just works” without requiring loads of configuration and tweaking first. This is what I was hoping for. I’ve had to customise a few settings, but on the whole Mac OS just does what you expect it to, out of the box. The downside to this is that you can’t always tweak things as much as you like. I laughed when I found there are only 2 options for desktop colour schemes – “Blue” and “Graphite” (grey). This reminds me of the old “Both Types of Music! Country and Western” gag…
  • Weird though it was at first, I’ve grown to love the use of the Command key rather than Control for stuff like cut and paste. (e.g. Command+x, Command+v.) It’s much easier on the hand and wrist, and quicker to use too.
  • And I just love the way you install apps by dragging them to the Applications folder. So simple! Debian (and particularly Ubuntu) are a lot nicer in this regard these days, but still there’s something very satisfying about physically dragging an icon into your applications folder to install it (and of course dragging it out again and into the trash to uninstall).

That’s a brief list for now. I’m sure I’ll find lots more to love (and not love) about my new Mac in the next few weeks. If you own a Mac, please let me know what you love or hate about it! 🙂

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