Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts on moving from Windows to Mac

This past weekend I migrated my laptop world from Windows to Mac OS X. As I'm bring apps and data over I'm discovering things that I didn't expect and having difficulty finding things...

  1. Keyboard navigation - the home, end, and paging (up/down) keys are missing. Paging is the most missed as I do more browsing, reading and searching than I do filling out forms. I suspect that only a subset of PC users actually use these keys - probably those of us who are more technically proficient. This leads to my first observation: applications that automatically select all text in a field (name, address bar, etc.) are appreciated. Firefox and Chrome do this but Safari and "native" Mac programs don't seem to which makes me think it's either a philosophical difference or perhaps there's a shortcut keystroke I haven't discovered.
  2. Menus and system tray along the top. I know that both OSes can be tweaked and customized but I tend to keep the customizations "down". I learned long ago that you can make your whole computing world "just so" only to go to another machine and be lost because it's not your machine. I like the tray in the upper right of the screen as it's more at eye level. I didn't realize this until the Mac when I realized I wasn't crouching over and squinting down in the corner to see the icons and the context menus. Of course, that's also a hazard of age and tired eyesight. I'm still finding that I'm looking for the application menu at the top of the window rather than the top of the screen.


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