After 31 years of not owning an apple computer, I got a Mac. A Macbook Pro, to be precise.
During the past 31 years, I used DOS, Windows 286, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, and XP, then linux’s Gnome, kde, peppermint, lxde, and xfce.
My first impression, like anyone else’s, it seems, was that this is a beautiful desktop, and the display (retina) and the computer itself couldn’t be prettier, but I must also say that in three decades I have never ran into an operating system that so adamantly discourages the use of the keyboard.
I realize that a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don’t know the shortcuts, but unlike most users, the first thing I try to learn is where the keyboard shortcuts are (regardless of how intuitive it is to use the mouse, it’s a waste of time if there’s a shortcut available to do what you want to do), and I’ve found that there aren’t a whole lot of them, and many functions that do have them, have no indication of them in the application menus I’ve come across so far (xCode, finder, etc.).
The finder, which is the mac’s equivalent to Windows’ explorer gives the impression of having been included because it’s necessary, but its design and implementation makes me wonder if apple’s designers made it so poor on purpose, as if to discourage its use – this may very well be true, as many of the problems I’ve had to fix over the years stemmed from users carelessness with Windows’ explorer. But to use the <Return> key to rename files and folders is rather counter-intuitive; especially when the Finder’s Edit and context menus don’t even hint at a function to rename items.
The fun part of all this is that whenever I’ve had to look for an answer online and it happened to be in a forum (doesn’t matter which), there’s always a handful of useful answers followed by 50 messages ranging from moot arguments for and against what was asked to all-out religious wars.
All in all, though, I can’t complain. Considering that OS-X is bsd-based, having 2-years worth of linux experience in my bag has helped tremendously to find my way around the new system, but I’m still a bit daunted, as I have just weeks to learn what could easily be called a new paradigm in usability and be productive creating an app for iPhone/iPad.
Time to go to bed and put my brain to rest…