Lion – 10.7: What I want to see

Soo… new OS X.. 10.7 and all, and continuing with the big cats theme they’ve named it Lion, surely it’s time to go to 11, there aren’t too many big cats left! And it would make sense to finish on the “king of the jungle”.

Having switched from Windows to OS X this year, there are a few things that I like in Windows 7 that I wish OS X would incorporate. Note: I still use Windows on my desktop machine to do serious work like video converting, photo editing (big screen) etc.

Anyways… my list… and I think that they’re reasonable! In no particular order, but as they come to me….

  • Ability to just pull drives without having to eject and get that stupid warning
  • Stop Spotlight automatically indexing removable drives unless I tell it to instead of having to tell it to NOT index drives
  • Better management of network drives, particularly Windows shares… gotta learn to live in both worlds Apple!
  • Moving files from the context menu, ie: offer a CUT and PASTE instead of just COPY. Damn Apple… you’d think this was obvious? My workaround is to just drag the files from folder to folder and hold down the Command key to move. Works, but harder
  • Automatically arrange folders. If you start extracting the contents of zip folders you get files jumbled up everywhere. You then have to right click and Arrange things to make Finder clean. Take a left from Explorer… If I say organise by name, I want you to keep that folder organised by name
  • Have a “Bring to front” option for the dock so that it shows itself (not automatically hides) on the desktop but if an application takes up the full screen, it gets sent to the bottom. You can then call it to the front my mousing down. Showing the dock all the time looks nice on the desktop but it takes up valuable space, especially on a 13″ screen. Do something like RocketDock.
  • Better file properties management. Like if I select 5 items in a folder, Explorer will say how big those files are all together. Or if I selected 4 folders out of 10, I can right click, hit properties and see how big those four folders are combined. I’ve made the mistake of selecting quite a few photos and hitting Command+I thinking it would do what Windows does only to have hundreds of inspector windows pop up… not cool. If you can’t do that, at least change the xxxGB free at the bottom of Finder, I don’t really need to see how much space I have free in EVERY SINGLE WINDOW, I can see that by looking at my desktop.
  • What’s with renaming items by pressing return and opening using Command+O? I would have though that Return would be a more logical open command? And give rename a separate shortcut. That’s a very Windows way of looking at things I guess, I’ll learn eventually.
  • Have a way of showing the path to files. I know that there’s the path bar but compared to the breadcrumb navigation on Windows 7 it’s pretty weak.
  • Get rid of the millions of .DS_STORE and other 1KB . files… what the hell do they do anyway!
  • More of a hardware point for the next line of MB’s, but seriously, have a clicky system for the SD card, don’t let it stick out, it makes it look so less “Pro”. And sometimes I like leaving the SD card in the computer when I put it in a bag and having it stick out is just awkward.

I admit that OS X is NOT Windows and that’s one of the reasons that I decided to buy a Mac to start with. But there are lots of cool little Windows features that OS X could learn from.

Having ranted above… and yes, some of those points are being really picky, there are lots of cool things I like, being and not limited to:

  • Quick look is just AWESOME, way better than the crappy Windows preview pane that takes up space and doesn’t really do a great job of displaying stuff like documents as it tries to cram everything into such a small space. The ability to go fullscreen (big Mac thing I’m finding out) it pretty cool.
  • Stacks. Some people don’t like this, but I find that it’s a really neat way of displaying a limited amount of files and applications quickly and very nicely it must be said. For loads of files it’s probably better to just open FInder. But there’s no real equivalent on Windows… maybe jumplists and libraries?
  • Expose. I find this really really cool and probably better than Flip3D for moving around windows, I haven’t tried it with loads of Windows open, it might be a little impractical but you can then open up task switcher inside the window preview thingy to focus on one app.
  • Spaces. Having multiple desktops is a Linux thing that I’ve just found out I can do on my Mac! Catch up Windows! You’re lagging. Although I admit I see no point in having multiple desktops on a 24″ screen but on a 13″ laptop – very handy!
  • Menu apps! Those little apps that sit in your menu, really cool. And they are a really efficient way of displaying updates to stuff – like Echofon or something.
  • Growl. Having a standard system for pop up alerts is way better than the jumble of mess on Windows, I get alerts top right for WLM, bottom right for MediaMonkey and bottom left for Digsby – they all look different as well. Top left is saved for the Start button.
  • Multitouch is just awesome, I can no longer use other laptops without trying to two-finger swipe to scroll and two-finger tap to right click. And it looks awkward in front of other people who have no idea what I’m going on about.

Hail and Shine

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’ve been having some seriously weird weather out my way.

I went into town at around about 10:30, perfectly sunny day. After doing all the usual crap you do in town… spending $60 on prescriptions I had to get for dad etc, I came home at around about 12pm and it seemed that it was a bit dark and cloudy but you could see it breaking not too far off into the distance.

As soon as I go inside this:

starts happening! Followed by huge amounts of thunder and lightning. This was accompanied by myself rushing inside and unplugging my precious MBP from the power (The Dell’s blow up on me twice in thunder already, third time means I get a new computer :P) and this was followed my mum yelling that there was “fire” coming from the cordless phone. Turns out the surge had blow it up, leaving us without any phone until I managed to find the old touch tone thing.

After about 30 minutes, it cleared and the rest of day was nice and sunny. I wonder if it’s fair to blame all of this on global warming! Haha, after all, it DID snow the other day :S

Swallow: Not An OSX Mail App

Continuing on with the bird theme that now seems to be running, there’s been a huge number of birds hanging around my place now… obviously it’s spring and all (well.. I might do a post about that too!) but I haven’t seen these numbers of birds for a while.

There’s a family of swallows that have been using the same nest generation after generation for about 3-4 years now. It’s in a far off corner of out verandah where not too many people go. Usually there’s two birds – mummy and daddy until their eggs hatch and they have lots of little birds! And then one of those usually returns to the nest and reuses it again. But this year, Mum noted that there were FOUR all using the same nest… I’m not sure how that works really.

See!! See what I mean! You must excuse my camera… low light, high ISO, high zoom = grainy images 🙁 Unfortunately, I’ve outgrown this camera, it’s given me a good 4 years of service but I think it’s time I got me a DSLR.

To further prove my point… Mum found this bird inside our laundry (we have an outside laundry… don’t ask why). She was showing it to me and managed to let it go… inside my room. It took a while to get it out.

And because I have this little window above my bedroom door that leads onto the verandah, the bird thought this was the way out and slammed right into. I’m guessing he was confused for a while cause he just sat there and did nothing.

Which is how I got so close to it! My camera actually does fairly well in strong, natural light with a low ISO. I like the photos that it takes… but only in those conditions.

And a random parrot flying off… with grain.. again! Blergh

Sparrow: An OSX Mail App

I’ve recently been looking for a new mail app that works with my two Google Apps accounts. I was using Apple’s but I found that it was doing weird weird things with my labels, creating new labels for “sent mail” instead of using the sent folder in Gmail and other weird behaviours.

I was looking for an app that had a nice minimalist interface and supported more “gmail like” features like threaded email view etc.

While reading one of the tech blogs, Engadget maybe? Or AppStorm, I came across Sparrow. It’s very heavily inspired by Tweetie for Mac and makes good use of drawers. The main interface is just the list of emails (shown on the left), you can then either double click them to open it in a new window or slide out the draw to preview it.

Currently, it’s in beta and only supports Gmail/Google Apps accounts which is still pretty awesome. I don’t use any other form of email anyway. It has a very nice UI and even works with Growl to pop up little notifications. It displays an unread email account in the menu (which was one of the features I was after).

I’d recommend it… try it out, see how you like it. It’s not my default reader yet but I’m thinking that it soon will be.

Holy Snow!

Well who would believe it? The middle of October and it SNOWED IN MUDGEE!!! Snowed during spring in a town in the central tablelands. This sort of event doesn’t happen that much and in the 15 odd years I’ve lived in this place, has only happened ONCE before, unfortunately, I wasn’t home at that time to see it but I have photos!

However, this time, I was home, studying actually. And this time I did see it. I wouldn’t really call it “snow” in the traditional, ground being covered in white sense but it gets close enough considering my location.

This photo, was taken about 8:50 today, Sunday the 17th October 2010 from outside my bedroom door.

And this photo was taken yesterday, at about 8:45am, Saturday the 16th of October 2010. Obviously it was a close up shot but I was standing in basically the same spot.

Admittedly you can’t see THAT much but it’s enough to demonstrate the point. I would have liked to have spent more time outside getting photos but a) it wasn’t cold enough that the snow would remain in its icy form when it hit the ground – it would just melt b) IT WAS FREAKING COLD – I was still in my pyjamas (and dressing gown :P) c) I really, really had to study for Hamlet….

English Paper 1!!

Well folks! That’s it! First HSC exam over and done with for me! Generally pretty happy with it, it was a nice, generic exam, very straightforward which I liked. I even managed to pull my creative writing off (I hope) without too much trouble and I got 6 writing booklets used up, maybe 14-15 pages?


They left us this on our tables 🙂 Isn’t that noice!

How’s everyone else go?