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  • Tiger > Leopard – disappointed at lack of PC flexibility still

     Jason Milligan updated 13 years, 7 months ago 8 Members · 21 Posts
  • Mark Palmos

    November 17, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    Hello guys,
    Im pretty new to Mac, and jumped because of FCP. There are several basic things which I had taken for granted on a PC, but now they are missing on OSX, its frustrating to deal with long tedious work arounds. Sadly Leopard has addressed none of them.

    To be specific:

    1/ in windows, any File Open or Save As dialogue box has the same power as Windows Explorer, ie if you want to you can click on an item, rename, delete, move, copy, change the file extention, see the size etc etc, stuff you cannot do on Mac. Even better, on a PC you can RH mouse click on any of these files/folders and choose to Explore, which means Windows Explorer will immediately open and display the same directory should you need to do something there. I LOVE THAT.

    2/ in windows, if you are browsing files in Windows Explorer, and see something you want to open in some programme, you can go to the text path above every window, copy it. Then when you are at a Save As or Open File dialogue, you paste that path in the file name field and press enter, windows immediately takes you to that directory. There you can see stuff by file name, size, thumbnail etc etc.

    3/ spotlight. A few months back i was so disappointed by this lame search engine, i had assumed Leopard HAD to at least fix this poorly conceived app… Gosh. but no. Search a file name, and you get lots of stuff quickly (excellent!) Then you want to sort results by file extention type, oops, cannot do. So what if I want to find all JPEG files with the word “flower” it seems this is impossible? Things are annoyingly grouped in EZ dummy cutsie mode and the nuts and bolts power of the windows interface, ugly as XP is by comparison, is far more intuitive and powerful in this regard.

    There are plenty more things, but these are ones that affect me daily and things i had hoped Leopard would address, sigh…

    catcha later
    BTW i get a macbook pro on monday, soon to have two Macs, not bad for someone who doesnt like em! 😉

  • Jeff Carpenter

    November 18, 2007 at 6:45 am

    1) I don’t have a solution for this. Your the first person I’ve ever heard of who uses save boxes this way, so I’m not hopeful you’ll ever see it changed.

    2) On a Mac, if I’m in a Finder window and see a file I want to open, I drag the file onto that program on the Dock. I don’t see how copying it and then going to “Open” and pasting it there is anything but a waste of time.

    As for the “Save As” trick you have, I suggest just using Spotlight. For example, let’s say you’re looking at your “New York Trip” folder in Finder and you want to save a website there. Rather than copying anything, just go into the save dialog box in Safari and type “New York Trip” into the built-in Spotlight that’s inside the Save window. It’s different, yes, but it seems just as effective to me.

    3) Type ‘Flower’ in Spotlight and then pick “Show All” right underneath it. You get a Finder window with your search inside it. In the upper right you see a ‘+’ button. This gives you more ways to narrow the search. Pick “Kind Is” and then “Image” and then “JPEG.”

    Then hit ‘+’ again and add a date range or whatever else you want. You can even save your search from there as a Smart Folder which will be constantly updated as your computer changes. Smart Folders are reason alone to use a Mac. If you’re not using them yet, spend some time learning them and they’ll make your life easier.

    So that’s 2 out of 3. You say you’ve got more. Don’t hold back, we’re here to help!

  • Mark Palmos

    November 18, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for your patience and good reply jeff.

    i guess i had 3 points, but some contained more than one point – so i should be more specific…

    1/ cannot see file size in file open or save as requesters

    2/ cannot open a finder to go to the directory you see in file open/save as (which one may want to do if there is a problem or orgainisational change one wants to make

    3/ copy and pasting a path is extremely useful, say you drag and drop your one file to the dock icon, close Finder and return to Final Cut. You are working away and want more. XP would allow you to press CTRL-O, paste the path, and go to the directory immediately. Or you open an application which is NOT in your dock and do the paste path trick. It really is very useful.

    4/ change names in file open or save as requester is very useful if you happen to see you named something incorrectly, or you want to import something but would like to alter its name without having to first navigate manually in finder first… so here again a RHmouse click to show in finder would be very handy.

    5/ when i get to work i will try the finder + thing, thanks, but its pretty annoyingly dumbed down before you do any mousing around. Pity a preference isnt avail to have all the details there in collumns as in windows.

    new ones:
    6/ no cut and paste of files to manage. In 15 years of pc use, ive never lost a file by cutting and pasting to a new location. I really dislike the way osx treats users like dummies, so you have to copy files, navigate to paste them, navigate back to delete the originals… messy and irritating.

    7/ shrink a window by clicking on the little button then alt-tab does not bring it back. Consistently annoying behaviour, when you shrink a window in xp, then alt tab to it, it immediately pops up as it should! why else would you be alt-tabbing to it if not to see it!

    8/ windows within programmes cannot be alt-tabbed to. Often at work i use entourage to do emails. When writing an email, a separate window pops up and i write. Then I need to reference something in FCP, so i alt tab to FCP. The alt tab back to entourage and what do you know, the new message window is gone. Alt tab some more, still gone! It is not gone, but hidden behind the application. In xp you can alt tab separately to the app and the new message window in the app. Also can alt tab to separate iterations of, say, microsoft word, or adobe acrobat etc.

    9/ osx seems to only have one level of undo!? ouch!

    10/ in writing any text in windows, pressing CTRL-Right arrow takes you to the start of the next word. For some very strange reason, mac have assigned the opt key to do ths same thing. Problem is the opt key is not right next to the arrow keys, so you have to look down from your typing to find the opt key… not what a touch typer wants. I’d LOVE to hack/change this one.

    11/ one menu bar for all applicatons – if you have dual screens and different apps on different screens in different positions, having to rotate your head so far, and move your mouse huge distances on screen to simply access the menu bar is really one of the most awful things about mac. If you click on the desktop by mistake you have to then go back to the app you had selected, select it, then navigate back to the menu bar. Really not good. When working on a window, i want all my buttons, tools, menu items, everything i need as close as possible so i can work as quickly as possible… seems pretty obvious.

    12/ one of the things i really dislike about Vista (a complete failure of an OS, IMO) is is the way it asks you for a password each time you want to install something or perform some tasks. I think once i have logged on as administrator, i should be able to do anything i want… and dont want to be protected from myself. It reminds me of the morons who run London who have removed the beautiful old double decker red busses because they have a platform and no door at the back,and people might leap off into oncoming traffic. Hell if they are that thick, perhaps they should leap! Having said that, i managed to render my system unuseable by toggling all the disk permissions the wrong way and when i rebooted, no OS was available to me – had to get IT dept to sort it… there was no warning about the gravity of what i was doing, and no indication whether dark or light buttons were selected.

    13/ slow. i know im comparing apples and adobes, but running premier pro on a quad core pc with no capture card accelleration, i get a lot more snappiness and real time than fcp on my 8 core… but that might be fcp being sluggish, not osx.

    i do like osx, its stable and ver pretty, and is a whole LOT better than VISTA.

    i bought PathFinder – at least one can copy paths, and has a more powerful intrface than Finder (though leopard’s quick view is bloody gorgeous)

    peace out…

  • Mark Palmos

    November 18, 2007 at 11:12 am

    14/ i like the way in xp you can rh mouse click on the desktop or in any folder and make a text file or another type of file, and you can customise what shows up on the RH mouse click.

    15/ i havent found the osx way to choose which application opens what file type… but im sure this must be possible?

    Now its sunday and im off to the office to restore my system image to Tiger – too many problems on Leopard with FCP… despite no warning from Apple about the major problems.

    thanks again for the input Jeff,
    all the best

  • Mark Palmos

    November 18, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    [Jeff Carpenter] “2) On a Mac, if I’m in a Finder window and see a file I want to open, I drag the file onto that program on the Dock. I don’t see how copying it and then going to “Open” and pasting it there is anything but a waste of time. “

    I have just gone to finder, dragged a jpeg image to the dock icon for FCP (which is open), and nothing happens… so this work around might work in some circumstances, for some applications, but it is far from a viable alternative as it does not work in FCP.

    [Jeff Carpenter] “3) Type ‘Flower’ in Spotlight and then pick “Show All” right underneath it. You get a Finder window with your search inside it. In the upper right you see a ‘+’ button. This gives you more ways to narrow the search. Pick “Kind Is” and then “Image” and then “JPEG.” “

    I just changed back to Tiger because leopard is making Motion crash all the time (known issue) but in tiger there is no + sign in spotlight, and no way to sort by image type.

    Also once you have gone to an app from the spotlight finder thing, you cannot cmd-tab back to it, it does not show up as an icon to alt tab back to…


  • John Davidson

    November 19, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    1. I can see how that feature might be useful, in a roundabout way (especially a ‘reveal in finder’ option), however I don’t recall ever having the need for either of those. However, say if I was rendering out a tiff sequence, maybe it would be useful to open up a finder window to show me all the files. There are ways around this. I use the sidebar for highly trafficked folder, and now TUAW I believe posted an article this weekend about adding a ‘recent items’ type folder to the dock. Can’t get more recent than freshly saved!

    2. Again, sidebar. I’m pretty sure it’s the same number of steps to drag a folder into the sidebar for a few minutes if you plan on popping back into (or saving to) a folder.

    3. Just realized the spotlight thing. It’s not my favorite thing – but I find it pretty useful.

    The 2nd #1:

    1. Use column view to see file sizes of types of files that can be opened with the program you’re using.

    2. Remember that Chris Rock joke about don’t dress like a hooker if you don’t want to be called one? Sounds like you’re falling for the ‘it looks and acts like finder’ so it must be finder!’. The unified look of the interface makes everything look like finder, which actually looks like itunes from tiger. I think these options wouldn’t be that much to ask for, but it’s always good to use one tool for it’s purpose. ‘Save as’ typically has a limited look until you click the black down arrow and then it becomes more finder-ish, but it might help you to not think of it as finder.

    3. If you drag a file into final cut, don’t close the finder window. It’ll still be there when you apple-tab back to finder from final cut. Or, if you closed it after importing a file, just right click on the file you imported, within FCP, and select ‘show in finder’. Boom, your folder opens up. Another issue is that all this cutting and pasting of paths is preventing you from cutting and pasting clips, sfx, etc. that one would theoretically be using in various programs.

    4. See #2. She’s not a prostitute, she’s just dressed like one.

    5. I agree – it is an annoying extra step. I bet it gets fixed in an update soon. I’d like to make a column that is for “size”.

    6. With 1 finder window, click the file you want, drag it, and by holding/hovering over your hard drives or folders in the sidebar they will open after a second delay. One you’ve hovered/navigated to the folder you want, hold down the command key right before you drop it. That changes your ‘copy’ drag to a ‘move’ drag. With two finder windows, just drag from one to the other with the command key held. You’ll know it’s working when the green + disappears. Lastly, if you’re within I think two folder levels of the original file, a drag drop works like a move (especially from the desktop) instead of a copy.

    7. Stop clicking the shrink button. Click CMD-H (hide). Tabbing back will make it appear again. Spaces also alleviates this. Since you’re already alt-tabbing on the keyboard, a cmd-h quick key should make it faster for you than clicking the difficult to hit “-” icon in a program window.

    8. Press F10 on a macbook and F5 (I think, I don’t feel like getting up to look) on a desktop. This splits all open windows evenly for you to pick from. Fast – and it looks pimp to use in front of the ladies.

    9. Would be a great feature request to have more levels of undo. Sometimes it’s nice to undo your undo though, so maybe what you really want is enhanced undo AND a redo option. Send it in to apple! Squeaky wheel gets the oil!

    10. You can hack the ‘next word’ feature in the System Preferences, Keyboard and Mouse, and then select Keyboard Shortcuts. There you can add and edit all the shortcuts in any application all you want.

    11. In virtually every program on a mac, you can memorize quick keys of almost every command in any of the menus. If you can’t, automator will learn it for you, as will keyboard prefs. Print out a list of your most used quick keys and memorize them. Typically, they’re pretty common sensical.

    12. uhhh….I guess you learned not to mess with disk permissions. I guess not everything they build is designed for the dummies :-). A warning of interference with startup disks would have been nice, but perhaps you had to click a few padlocks to get through and make those changes? Think of those as warnings….

    13. Your speed is going to be directly related to your drives as much as your processor. 4 drives striped together as a RAID will provide far more realtime than one 7200 rpm drive. Without knowing your setup, I’m going to assume you don’t have a RAID or at least a FW800 drive. We also don’t know codecs that you’re trying to playback, data rates, etc. Far more to it than just CPU.

    14. I just tested this. Go to automator. make a new automation called ‘new text’ and as many new whatever types of files you’d like (each with it’s own automation, not all in one). Save the automation as a plugin. Then, you right click on desktop, select ‘more’, and then select automator, and your processes will be there as however you named them in a list. Better yet, you can select as many automations as you’d like with allot more intricacies than you’d expect. Automator is the BOMB!
    Be sure you enable assistive devices under system preferences/universal access.

    15. This is possible when you encounter a file type that osx is unsure of. It lets you select from a list, or guess. Otherwise, preview will try to do it.

    Did you install the studio updates and leopard updates from last week? Solved almost all of my issues, especially sharing on a network.

    I love OSX too! Leopard has made my life so much easier now that ichat lets me share screens and control screens. No more painful time consuming descriptions to granny on the phone, just gimme 2 seconds and I’ll show you how it’s done. It seems like many of your concerns are related to learning the OS and it’s intricacies. I moved from Avid/PC to FCP/Mac and it was painful at first. However, I am so clearly a macfanatic, right down to my jailbroken iphone. Mac’s ain’t perfect, but they sure to make my life better than Windows did. Think about it like learning a new language, you won’t learn it until you THINK in that language.

    Good luck!


    John Davidson____ writer | producer | director____

  • Scott Bush

    November 20, 2007 at 5:27 am

    “windows within programmes cannot be alt-tabbed to. Often at work i use entourage to do emails. When writing an email, a separate window pops up and i write. Then I need to reference something in FCP, so i alt tab to FCP. The alt tab back to entourage and what do you know, the new message window is gone. Alt tab some more, still gone! It is not gone, but hidden behind the application. In xp you can alt tab separately to the app and the new message window in the app. Also can alt tab to separate iterations of, say, microsoft word, or adobe acrobat etc.”

    There is a separate shortcut for this – I believe it is cmd-~ (or maybe opt-~) — this will switch between windows in the current application. Also as mentioned above you can use expose – f10 to bring up allwindows in current app, F9 to bring up ALL windows in all apps, and F11 to move all windows out of the way to work on the desktop.

  • Alan Okey

    November 20, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Some general observations:

    Regarding permissions, it’s important to realize that OS X is built on UNIX, and as such, behaves like UNIX. UNIX was designed during a time when computers were still large and expensive, so many users had to share time on a mainframe or mini. The Super User, or root account, was the administrative account for the system. User accounts by design had limited access, permissions and capabilities.

    OS X still retains a root account, but even an OS X Administrator account does not automatically grant root access. Therefore, Administrator is not root – it’s more like a very privileged user. OS X is kind of a weird hybrid in that it has an underlying UNIX core that Apple has tried to disguise and hide from the user as much as possible in order to retain the simplicity that is the hallmark of the Mac OS.

    As you discovered, messing around with disk permissions on the system drive is a BAD thing. UNIX permissions are not the same thing as file permissions in Windows, and should not be thought of as analogous. Leopard has added access control lists, which are more like what Windows uses.

    Much of the way in which OS X behaves is dictated by 40+ years of UNIX evolution, so don’t expect the underlying structure to change in any significant way to become more like Windows – it won’t happen.

    As for the Finder, as someone else pointed out, File Open/Save dialog boxes in OS X are application-specific, and it’s up to the application developer to decide how they work. In other words, File dialogs within an app are not the Finder, and may or may not behave like the Finder.

    I worked with Silicon Grphics workstations before working with Windows PCs or Macs. SGI’s IRIX had some great features (UI and otherwise) that aren’t present in either Windows or OS X, but I don’t expect them to be there. Each OS has its own set of quirks and conventions, and it’s a bit silly to criticize one for being different from another simply because it’s unfamiliar territory. You simply need to become adaptable and accept each for what it is. Posting to forums like the Cow is a great way to get tips and tricks for working with an unfamiliar OS. Be careful how you phrase questions though – you may come off as being a bit of a troll if you frame everything in terms of “Windows does things like THIS. Why can’t OS X do it that way too?”

    Try to learn about and practice using OS X-specific features like Expose and Spaces, and explore various hotkey options for faster navigation. In the example you gave of a two-monitor situation where clicking off of the app onto the desktop requires you to reselect the app, you can simply use option/tab to reselect the app with no mouse movement required. The single menu bar position for all apps regardless of on which monitor the app is running is a common complaint, however.

    OS X may never be enough like Windows to meet your complete satisfaction, but if you can adapt to a different way of doing things, it will become second nature. I still use IRIX along with Windows and OS X, and I feel completely comfortable getting around quickly on any of them.

    Good luck!

  • Mark Palmos

    November 21, 2007 at 10:06 am

    thanks very much guys, john, im in a hotel in scotland at the moment, so will read your juicy reply on the plane back…
    thanks again.

    btw, i am working on my macbook pro, very nice, but no DELETE KEY??? so i cannot delete the letter in front of the cursor. Also no Right Hand OPT key so i can quickly move to the start of the next/previous word when typing fast and making changes… I wonder why Apple chose NOT to use the CMD-arrow keys to do this, its so fast and useful.

    catch you later
    thanks again

  • Mark Palmos

    November 21, 2007 at 10:19 am

    well thanks for the input.
    a lot of what you say, ie its just what i am used to… is a very common reply.

    i could scratch my back by getting off this chair, walking outside to a tree, removing my shirt and rubbing my back against the tree… and if one did not have arms, that might be a common way of doing it! Im sure osx does potentially have these arms (seems to have plenty of power in some regards that windows does not) but mac users, having got used to doing without those particular arms, will usually say, its just what you are used to! 😉
    I will reply specifically to john’s detailed reply in a while… so thanks again for the response.

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