Ended up switching to Mac for a few months for a new job, and this was a good opportunity to get familiar with this always more pervasive OS.
Many of my geek friends had already switched from Linux to Mac (although the ones that made it through to the Ubuntu era ended up keeping it).
My initial impressions were great, especially with the beautiful MacBook Pro 15″.
You quickly see that the whole package is not as homogeneous as it seems, and some details can be quite annoying.
Although I really like my new Mac, I’ll list some issues/workaround and the corresponding solution if found.
Mouse speed algo
The mouse movement is very annoying, because the “acceleration” percentage is way to high.
If you do short movements, the mouse will be very slow, whereas it becomes fast for larger movements.
As you get closer to your target, you slow down you move, which makes the mouse ever slower, which makes the last millimeters a long process.
Of course there is no way to change this algorithm, and you will have to install an app to fix it.
The one that worked for me is usb overdrive which is a shareware but usable for free.
My wife complained about the exact same problem, and installed MouseFIX which seems to fix external mouse but still fails for the touchpad.
Home, End, Page up, Page down keys
Apple decided to make these keys not work:
- home goes to top of document, end to the end. This means it only works if in a document, and can’t be used to go to beginning/end of a line.
- page up/down goes up/down as it is supposed to, but won’t move the cursor along. That’s nonsense.
There is a way to change the key bindings, that is described here.
It will then be fixed for most apps… but not all.
For example firefox is still broken, you must actually MODIFY the binary app to fix them.
Since I believe this is dangerous business, I’m now with partially working, non-consistent key mapping throughout the OS.
Application bar dissociated from actual windows
Why does the app have a separate toolbar at top of the screen, instead of within the app window itself?
It only makes sense if you need a “global” app with many separate windows.
But guess what, this has been solved long time ago using inner windows or tabs.
Drawbacks are many:
- more toolbars means less usable screen space.
- you close all windows of an app, yet the app is still open, taking OS resources.
- the alt-tab switcher will list actual apps, not their windows, which is confusing. Sometimes you cannot even figure out how to get the inner windows back because they are not under alt-tab, so you have to go to a hot corner and display all windows to find it..
- if using separate workspaces, then you end up with the app in any workspace but the window in a specific one. So you press alt-tab to go to firefox, which is in a different workspace, but the OS wont switch automatically to that workspace and instead just displays the firefox toolbar which is not helpful.
I hope there is sofware around to fix that behavior.