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Matts (1087)

Matts
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I work for MessageLabs [messagelabs.com] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Tuesday July 30, 2002
12:27 PM

OS X Annoyances (take 2)

[ #6770 ]

OK, so lets see if this works now.

I was given an iBook on Friday by someone at OSCon, so as you can guess I've been playing with it a fair bit. Here's some greivances:

1. Alt-tab to switch between apps (which is of course command-tab on apples) goes left to right through the docked applications. Braindead. It's *so* common to go from one application to another back and forth (perhaps cutting and pasting, perhaps just doing one thing while waiting for another), that in order for this to "just work" you need it to flip from one to the next like KDE and Windows do by default.

2. The dock needs to recognise .jars and not treat them like documents (i.e. force them to go next to the trash can). The finder does the right thing when you try and launch one so the dock should too.

3. The track pad is too big.

4. No preview in file open dialogs (probably the thing I'll miss most from KDE).

5. Lack of free software. This is something I'll find hard to get used to. Fink is doing good things, but it's not exactly native OSX apps. For example, what do I use for an IRC client? Does everyone just buy ircle?

OK, enough for now - I do actually like it (mostly), although I am miffed about having to pay for an OS update (Jaguar) given that I've only just got this damn thing, though the new mail client looks worth the price alone.

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  • Some notes (Score:2, Informative)

    1. I use LiteSwitch X [proteron.com] (switcher) to avoid the Dock altogether. It has the behavior you want. I've used it for years in Mac OS (Classic), and it works great in both OSes.
    2. I use DragThing [dragthing.com] (launcher) to avoid the Dock altogether. It has the behavior you want. I've used it for years in Mac OS (Classic), and it works great in both OSes.
    3. And the screen is too small! :-)
    4. Not sure exactly what you want, but preview does work with some docs/apps in file dialogs. It doesn't work as often as you might want it too,
  • 1. Alt-tab to switch between apps

    LiteswitchX [proteron.com]

    The finder does the right thing when you try and launch one so the dock should too.

    I disagree, it recognises them as documents, which is what they war. If you want them in the dock, run them then select "Keep In Dock"

    what do I use for an IRC client?

    Well anything written for *nix portably enough for a start. With OrborousX [sourceforge.net] you can happily run xchat alongside OmniWeb, if xchat is what makes you happy at least. Or there's Fire.app, which I understand is

  • Yes, I'm having culture shock at paying for software too. I've been using Fire for irc and AIM together, but I'm starting to get the shits with it (randomly Enter doesn't send the message, but adds a newline). I know several people who use ircle and reinstall every month.

    I've just installed JediKnight [stuffonfire.com] and it seems okay. Some people are reporting odd ctcp things when I message them, but I can't see it so screw 'em :-).

    #perl reports Snak [snak.com] is possibly the best. I'll try it next.

    --Nat

    • Historically, "enter" (with the numeric keypad) and "return" (with the main qwerty portion of the keypad) were two different keys on the Macintosh. This was quite a shock to me when I migrated from the Apple IIGs, which went to great lengths to emphasize that they were the same. Of course, when I entered college and discovered ASCII terminals, I quit trusting the numeric keypad and anything off the main qwerty area altogether. :)

      I'm guessing this explains your randomness, but I could be wrong.

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • Noooooo C-Enter to send.
      How else can you IM ASCII art?
      --
      Were that I say, pancakes?
  • I find the trackpad too small, but that's just me. You get used to it, regardless. It's hardware, and all hardware sucks, so... :)

    As for an IRC client, I use AthenaIRC. Works reasonably well, and its only downside so far is no logging facilities.

    You might want to make friends with VersionTracker [versiontracker.com]. It's a useful software tracking site.
    • Yeah, athenaIRC looks cool. Using it now. Still sucks compared to xchat, which is really the pinacle of IRC user interfaces, but I'm sure someone will port it eventually (it even runs on windows already).
  • I was chatting with the guy in the terminal room while waiting for 10GB to transfer and he had a lot of good things to say about Jaguar including that the speed difference on the iBook in particular will be very noticeable. Little nits like VPN support and a beefed up 'get info' are on the list too. Most of what you list are little things that we all get used to on our home OS and then grump about when they are different on another. You should hear me rant about Linux when I have to use it for any length o

  • Stock OSX is braindead for alt tab. Just like everyone else, I can't live without LiteSwitchX. $7 well spent.

    As to jars on the doc, I hadn't experienced that, as the only jar I run is jEdit, and I WANT that on the left side to be launched. I've heard good things about DragThing that pudge mentioned.

    The trackpad got in the way until I turned off tap-to-click. I hate all trackpads anyway, and this one didn't annoy me more than any others.

    As to preview, Column mode, learn it, know it, love it. If you cli

    • Fonts are kinda nice in Mac OS X, but yeah, they have certain problems. Sometimes they are just damned hard to read.

      I hate column dialog boxes. Satan invented them. Even if they worked properly -- and they don't, as they are nearly impossible to effectively navigate with the keyboard -- they are just lame. I am waiting for someone to give me back Navigation Services from Carbon/Mac OS 8.1+, as they are God's file dialogs.

      DragThing rules. It is very configurable, so you can make it look however you wa