I have been using a Mac Mini to do some OS X development. I have been an avid Linux user for quite sometime now. So it has been a very different experience for me.
I have come to respect maximalism, in more than one ways. I still use my 2003 Dell Inspiron 700m laptop as my primary machine. I prefer my straight forward panel-free desktop to the bling that many modern OSs bring. I prefer quicker ways of doing things than longer versions which might appear easier.
Having said that these thoughts are not constructed, I have jotted them down as my reactions while using OS X.
- The OS X desktop is beautiful, in the sense that the colours and fonts used are appealing to the eyes.
- The uniqueness is quite obvious, especially because of the application-menu-in-the-panel layout. However, I found this a little painful. The application window and the menu get too far away from each other on big or multiple monitors.
- I found the spotlight to be a lot more useful than the dock. The dock became a liability for me as soon as I had more than 8 launchers in there. I spent more time in looking for the right icon than starting the application itself. Spotlight, on the other hand, always gave me what I wanted with 3-4 keystrokes. And considering that it indexes all the disks connected to the computer, it did an excellent job of getting the right things.
- The Finder menu is not accessible when I am working within another application. I found it irritating that I had to click on the desktop to switch away from it and use the Finder menu
- OS X does not have an inherent way of starting applications by keyboard shortcuts. I have to use applications like QuickSilver or iKey to be able to define these shortcuts.
- I thought the dock was useless to me, so I tried removing it. I did not find a way to completely remove it, and it seems some functions need the dock to be present. So I did the next best thing – minimize and hide it.
- I missed keyboard shortcuts to maximize windows vertically and horizontally. But I am sure we can do this through AppleScript.
- Expose is very helpful.
- I found installing applications on OS X a bit weird. I thought dragging the application icon to the Applications folder, or showing the dmg file mounted was unnecessary. MacPorts was a relief.
- OS X makes it really easy to share screen and files.