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Bigpics

About 85% satisfied but...

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Much of what I've found has been brilliant and certainly fun, engaging, and more. But while I could spend pages of praise for many of those, and am in the Apple world to stay, I need to get serious production work done and need certain things to just work -- and some of them aren't despite my best attempts.

 

So here's some of my Q's, boo-boos and general complaints..... ...in the hopes that someone will come along with a magic wand and tell me they're solved......

 

1. I know Apple finally relented on thinkilng people were too stupid to use a two button mouse and gave us Mighty M, but is there any chance they'll ever realiize that people can handle BOTH a Delete and Backspace key? This gets my goat everytime I go to edit ANY document. And is just dumb, dumb, dumb after all these years. (Or do both keys work -- as they do in Windows -- on full sized, non-Apple keyboards?)

 

2. Another vexation is missing keyboard ways that work the same in all apps for going to the top and bottom of a document (or a line) you're working on?? The keys even work differently (and not completely) within different parts of some apps (Office 2004 for sure -- but it's not always the same in all of Apple's own dialog boxes either as I recall).

 

3. File sharing between MyDocs and Documents is finally working well (it wasn't THAT simple for me as a 20 year computing vet). However....

 

4. ...Have tried many times to access shared printer on my Win Machine to no avail.

 

The printer blinks and the Mac thinks the doc has printed, but no printing happens. This is my biggest concern to date -- and answers that require loading two or three other programs seem to belie Apple's promise I'd be able to do this. Any suggestions??

 

5. PARTS of Firefox freeze after awhile. That is, the left most tabs just quit working, but the right-most are still active, and I can reload a new window with a new set of working tabs, but THEY freeze after awhile. Still I know the Fox and (to my knowledge) you still can't save SETS of tabs in Safari, and in my unclocked tests, FF certainly seems to me to load pages faster (and has all those wonderful extensions and plug-ins).

 

6. MAIL woes: Entourage and Apple Mail are both a mess for my purposes. Apple Mail won't do Hotmail, and I have many existing business accounts linked to HM. And Apple Mail is SUPPOSED to do GMail OK. But after many combos of settings and trips to the GMail support forums, no way, Jose.

 

Well, part way. I can finally receive, but not send. Well, I CAN send if I use my ISP's outgoing server, but that's an ugly kludge and doesn't work when I'm not on my home network.

 

Entourage is even more of a mess. I can neither send nor receive GMail, and it now insists on sucking my HotMail off the server, placing it in my Main inBox (which the Ent. Help system says it WILL not do) so that I can't access it on my Win machine -- even from the HM webpage, let alone in Outlook Express.....

 

....So I removed and and then readded the HM account and it CONTINUED to do the same thing, with one change: Entourage now freezes after about 10 minutes. Not a happy mail camper (but like the nifty customized google.com/ig home page I set up as a stopgap, BTW). Some cached material on MacFixit.com helped me stop the freezing, but not solve any of the rest....

 

7. More along the lines of MS products on the Mac, I must say that Word for Mac still sucks, but at least sucks less than Word for PC!! Except it won't open any of my 20,000 WordPerfect files and PC Word will. So I will continue to do my serious word processing on my PC in WP (still the world's best W.Processor by a country mile) (and be forced to save copies in .doc format).

 

8. FEATURES that are BUGS: I also solved the problem of horizontal trackpad scrolling sending my Firefox pages into a tizzy of going back and forth between pages I'd visited (and losing many email drafts and half filled in forms) with two changes in about:config, but these should have been the default -- not having the slightest bit of horizontal scrolling doing what you don't expect or want....

 

...but we'll put that one on Mozilla's, not Apple's plate, and now I've been able to re-enable H. Scrolling, and really don't feel the need for a mouse anymore with my iBook.

 

9. And I find some things stiill strangely primitive: the inconsistent (and almost never as good as Windows) behavior of CMD-Home, CMD-END, etc. It seems so obvious as mentioned above that people need quick ways to get to the top and bottom of draft docs or docs they're reading.....

 

10. The Stickies app just doesn't work: whenever I click on Services it's always greyed out.

 

11. Also I just find Win to be more configurable -- tho' I have 20 years of experience and know much more about it -- but I fear I'll have to master a Unix interface to ever gain the same degree of control I have from within Windows now.

 

12. And again, the very inconsistent behavior of alternate choices in dialog boxes, i.e., in some you can tab between choices, in others you can't. In some, pressing the first letter makes the alternate choice and in others it doesn't.

 

I thought we were dealing with the world's most advanced OS here.....

 

So there's a dirty dozen for you all....

 

And would MUCH MUCH appreciate some feedback on some of these things!!

 

But I WILL stay with Mac for sure. Particularly once Macintels SHOULD be able to run Virtual PC at native speed (if MS allows it) and one would (WILL?) then be able to have all the benefits (and quirks) of both machines in a single box!!

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1. Hold Fn and press backspace to delete.

 

2. I don’t understand. Sorry.

 

3. I had no issues... Might have been your Windows security making things more complex.

 

4. I have never done this, but that sounds like it might be an error in the data-send. I would check your drivers are up to date on your Windows machine first off. After that, I’d have to find a Windows machine and try to replicate the situation.

 

5. Firstly I would use Safari RSS, I have had much better experience. Also I would say that this is something I have never heard of and a quick trip to the FF forums might serve you well as they know “everything”.

 

6. Mail setup of the Gmail POP3 access has been pretty simple in the 4 accounts on 2 Macs I have done. Make sure you enter your settings as follows:

 

Account type: POP

Description: Gmail

Email Address: username@gmail.com

Full Name: John Doe

Incoming Mail Server: pop.gmail.com

User Name: username@gmail.com

Password: ************

Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): smtp.gmail.com (will later appear as “ smtp.gmail.com:username”)

Server Port: 465

Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): Yes

Authentication: Password

Username: username (no @gmail.com)

Password: ************

And finally make sure POP Access is set in Gmails native (webmail) settings.

As for Hotmail... :(

 

7. Take a look at Pages (part of iWork); that opens *.doc and I *think* TextEdit will also. Both are recommended but highly different to MS Word.

 

8. I have never experienced this problem, it has always worked perfectly for me.

 

9. Try Fn+Home/End

 

10. I uninstalled this due to never being likely to use it.

 

11. Believe me, the tiny amount of effort is worth it. It’s easier if you have less Windows experience, in my experience.

 

12. That’s something I haven’t played with much because I am starting to use the mouse as much as the keyboard (don’t know why)... I will have to get back to you on that.

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Very helpful overall.

 

But believe me, I've tried EVERY configuration suggested by anybody at GMail, and am resigned to learning to live with (and love) my waay cool google.com/ig personalized home page.

 

However, the Fn-Delete hint alone made writing the whole post worth it! I'm ecstatic!

 

Fn+Home/End on the other hand, still gives variable mileage in the document navigation space depending on the program. Works great in GMail editing window though. And in Word, will take you to the top, but even if you're only a few paras into a new doc takes you down into uncharted white space with no insertion point in sight!

 

As for the horizontal scrolling thing in F.Fox, it was happening, and the about:config fix did stop it if anyone else has had this issue write to this topic and I'll look up the changes -- but one thing I think should be recommended to new iBook users is to not enable the tapping on the track pad features as many strange things seemed to happen to me (the tiniest motions were interpreted as instructions to do major things!).

 

Also, since I tried the Entourage freeze fixes from Macfixit.com coincidentally (?) my Firefox semi-freezes also stopped. As for Neooffice/J (Open Office for OS X) as a Word altnerative, I checked and they have several Alpha level efforts to allow the conversion of WPerfect docs, but sound months away from anything a normal user would want to get into.

 

Finally, as for the Stickies App not working, I didn't expect it would be used much, but one expects Apple's own software set up on its own Dock to at least function...... ....as not functioning sends the wrong message.

 

Thanks again for a couple of real improvements in my Mac Life!

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I'm glad I helped somewhat then. I am sorry to hear of your troubles; I have to say though that I have not experianced any such issues at all. That said I only had Office installed for a week and barely ran it; then I found the pleasures of iWork and iLife.

 

Again, I am sorry to hear of your troubles and please keep us updated if you find a fix.

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Point 6: Gmail.

 

The way I have this setup:

 

I have a main account which I pay for, but also like most people have additional free addresses. The free accounts I redirect to my main account. In the case of Gmail

 

Setting --> Forwarding and POP --> Forward a copy of incoming mail to ????@???

 

In the OSX Mail app I only login to my main account (standard POP), but can pull down messages from all accounts.

 

This is my personal preference because I can aggregate all messages to one account, an optionally view them online, when I don't have access to my desktop.

 

Maybe this helps

 

Keep the faith, if you're an experienced Windows person it's probably more of a pain switching, I certainly found that to be the case. You're constantly thinking "I know exactly how I would do this in Windows, how do I do this on the Mac".

 

If you haven't already purchased one, a Mac OS X book helps ease the pain, O'Reilly's "Mac OS X In A Nutshell" worked for me.

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I can download my gmail into my mail app no problem. I don't want to mind you, I far prefer using the online mail browser, but the instructions gmail gives you for the download worked perfectly.

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......

 

1. I know Apple finally relented on thinkilng people were too stupid to use a two button mouse and gave us Mighty M, but is there any chance they'll ever realiize that people can handle BOTH a Delete and Backspace key?  This gets my goat everytime I go to edit ANY document.  And is just dumb, dumb, dumb after all these years.  (Or do both keys work -- as they do in Windows -- on full sized, non-Apple keyboards?)

...

 

I've been in the computer industry full-time now for 27 years. I've had some of the same vexations as you since I switched last May. The good news that I have for you is that you can get Home to take you to the beginning of the current line and you can get End to take you to the end.

 

The open source project DoubleCommand is going to make your day.

http://doublecommand.sourceforge.net/

 

I believe it installs kernel extensions and therefore may require a reboot, but it is highly configurable and lets you do tons of useful things with your keyboard.

 

This one program put me over the top in my switch to OS X. I've been using keyboards for too long to give up my End and Home keys!

 

Now I'm cannibalizing my huge collection of PCs for parts I can use as add-ons for my Macs - like external Firewire thingymabobs, and such.

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I hadn't checked this thread in awhile and just wanted to thank everyone who's made some great suggestions. I'm much more Mac seasoned now and more committed to staying with the platform than ever.

 

However, after 5 months in the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field, I'm still running into some of what I consider RDDD's on Apple's part (Really Dumb Design Decisions) that unnecessarily complicate my computing experiences.

 

Thus I''ve decided to write a freelance article on this topic -- about what Apple needs to address to really make switching more painless --

 

As for why these mostly not very complicated and probably not very hard to fix things haven't been implemented -- if only as options for switchers -- I've decided that the folks in Cupertino think they've ACTUALLY done the making switching painless deed -- but most are such dyed in the wool Mac users that some things (many from pre-OS X days and some waaay back in Mac history) they find intuitive and natural are only that way to them because they've been doing them so long.

 

So my "cause" is getting Apple (and some ISV's and hardware suppliers, e.g., printer manufacturers and the driver software they supply) to pay some attention to polishing their interfaces so that OS X will truly be best of breed in the desktop computing world -- and be much more inviting to those coming from other computing lands.

 

I will certainly incorporate the suggestions you've made (when tested) about workarounds and third party fixes -- but these SHOULDN'T be necessary since many of them serve no useful purpose for current Mac users. And where the solutions already exist in OS X, I would like to see them made more discoverable by switchers and newbies.

 

Case in point where both Apple and ISV's are at fault: In Word, you can drill down to save files in subfolders WITHIN the Documents folder. But even within the Office Suite, MS doesn't offer this option in Excel or Entourage!!

 

And Apple doesn't offer it in TextEdit! What's the harm or "complexification" to any Mac user, newbie or otherwise, in making this functionality available to those who want it??

 

You could always stop at dumping everything Documents, trusting in Spotlight and users don't HAVE to go further after all.

 

But even within the file dialog in Word, there are more vexations: it LOOKS like a Finder Window. But it's not. You can't rename a folder or a file there -- but instead have to make a trip to Finder to open a new window! That's not ease of use. And Ctrl-Clicking is not even enabled in this faux finder window.

 

If there's a point to this programming I certainly don't get it.

 

And I'm compiling a whole compendium of issues like this.....

 

Anyway, I think the article's worth writing. I just haven't figured out the best places to submit it -- and how to get it to Apple's attention.

 

Any suggestions (both re your own switching issues and solutions and how to get the word to someone at One Infinite Loop who's in a position to have action taken) would be appreciated.

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Sorry you are having these problem. All the slight problems i had when i first switched have gone now as i have just got used to it all and nothing seems a problem now. anwyay i do have some help for ya

 

Case in point where both Apple and ISV's are at fault: In Word, you can drill down to save files in subfolders WITHIN the Documents folder. But even within the Office Suite, MS doesn't offer this option in Excel or Entourage!!

 

Ok, I maybe wrong with this as i don't have Office on any of my macs but i maybe be able to help you out. When the dialog pops down, next to the filename box, there should be an arrow pointing downwards, click that and it will expand and show a finder like windows where you can browse to whatever folder you like and save it there. I hope that is what you mean, and if it is I hope it works for ya

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Case in point where both Apple and ISV's are at fault: In Word, you can drill down to save files in subfolders WITHIN the Documents folder. But even within the Office Suite, MS doesn't offer this option in Excel or Entourage!!

 

Ok, I may be wrong with this as i don't have Office on any of my macs but i may be be able to help you out. When the dialog pops down, next to the filename box, there should be an arrow pointing downwards, click that and it will expand and show a finder like windows where you can browse to whatever folder you like and save it there. I hope that is what you mean, and if it is I hope it works for ya

 

Well my stars and garters!!

 

That's not what I would have expected a button next to the filename to expose -- I would have clicked on it long ago if it were next to the folder name (documents) -- like the button next to Manage Bookmarks in Firefox. And yes you can tell me -- and I'll acknowledge -- I should have clicked every button in the dialog box before deciding what it does and doesn't do -- but it was just an unlabeled thing that never caught my eye -- and if it gets past a power user, it'll get past others.

 

So a problem semi-solved. But also worth noting that what gets exposed is still not a real Finder Window and Ctrl-Clicking, folder renaming, etc are all still unavailable. Why not just give us a real Finder Window?? Creaky old Windows lets ISV's expose all the Explorer functions in their save dialogs......

 

And as for intuitive design points?? Still a minus 10 on this feature IMHO.

 

Thanks a ton though.

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