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A Newbie Experiences Mac Quirks

A Newbie Experiences Mac Quirks

by , 5:30 PM EDT, March 14th, 2007

Mac OS X is considered elegant and intuitive. Even so, sometimes a Switcher not only trips up, but finds some nonsense on the Mac, according to Tom Yager at InfoWorld on Thursday.

For example, each document on Windows lives inside its own window with an application menu. When a user closes the last open document, the application quits. But on a Mac, windows don't have a dedicated application menu*, and when the last window is closed, the application is still running. This effect continues to confound and amaze Switchers.

Another "feature" of Mac OS X, an Apple concession to interoperability in the Internet/PC era, is that a single document with one file extension on the Mac can have many programs that can open it. This makes a lot of sense for experienced users. But it made no sense for Mr. Yager's Switcher.

Finally, Mac OS X files in the trash are restored by dragging them wherever the user pleases. There is no restore function to put a file back where it first came from.

"As it turns out," Mr. Yager concluded, "the problems that Ive described are nothing compared to the impasse shes hit now. Shes discovering that there are things Windows does that the Mac cannot. This story is far from finished."

Indeed, it will be fun and interesting hear more from Mr. Yager, a huge Apple supporter. However, it will also be interesting to see how Leopard, after a very long gestation period, addresses some of the legacy gotchas that Mac users take for granted but which Switchers really wonder about.

* There is a well known Human Interface issue here with cursor overshoot. PC users don't seem to notice.


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