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A New Mac User Describes Some Problems

Jim Rome writes about Mac drawbacks after switching from the PC. Overall, he likes the Mac, but he has problems with music and the user interface. He also describes how he uses virtual desktop software to manage multiple running applications.

Jim Rome writes about Mac drawbacks after switching from the PC. Overall, he likes the Mac, but he has problems with music and the user interface. He also describes how he uses virtual desktop software to manage multiple running applications.

Jim writes:


I, too, just switched from a PC to a MacPro because I decided Vista was not the way to go. I love my new Mac.

But the biggest problem for me is iTunes, which just sucks for classical music. It is impossible to rip high-quality MP3s, and incredibly tedious to edit the track information.

I loved WinAmp, so put it into my parallels desktop. WinAmp works just fine, but it rips only every other track successfully! The intermediate tracks are blank.

My other problem is that my parallels always launches windows automatically when it starts (even though the checkboxes not to do this are correct). Thus I cannot make adjustments to Parallels unless I start it holding the Command key down.

Finally, I have to start Parallels when I boot up. Otherwise it often cannot allocate its memory (I have 8 GB). They told me to reduce the Mac memory to 6 GB, but this seems wasteful to me.

Rather than use Coherence, I have installed Desktop Manager (free) which lets me run windows on a separate desktop. Even with the 30" monitor, need 5 screens! I tried all the different multidesktop programs, and none of them let me move an app from desktop to desktop (even though they are supposed to). Desktop Manager lets me switch desktops like my Windows VirtuaWin. I can move an app by minimizing it, switching desktops, and maximizing it.

There are a few Mac features I hate:
1) Critically, there is NO acceleration on the Mac mouse driver. It takes 5 swipes on my MightyMouse to move across the desktop. I had to find a hack C program that reprograms the mouse!
2) The lower-right-only resize handle sucks. I often have to move the window to resize it.
3) The top menu bar is awful on a big screen. Lots of mousing, and too many clicks because first you have to activate the app (2 clicks) to get to its menu bar.

I asked Jim what he uses five virtual desktops for. I tried VirtueDesktops, used it for a couple of days, then stopped. I don't find virtual desktops very useful, but many love them. The upcoming version of the Mac OS, Leopard, will have native support for virtual desktops. Jim's favorite virtual desktops tool is Desktop Manager.

He responded:


Well, desktop1 has all the startup stuff -- rapidostart (to edit my frequently used documents), SoftSqueeze, Calendar
Desktop 2 has Seamonkey and chats
Desktop 3 has Parallels
Desktop 4 has NetBeans and my development stuff
Desktop 5 has terminal windows to my Linux machines
Desktop 6 is for anything else.

You also should point out that in spite of the TV ads, my Mac seemed to be loaded with lots of trialware starting from a nagging Office and ending with comic editors. ...

He describes some of his favorite things about the Mac: No registry, meaning you can install apps just by dragging them to the Applications folder and delete them just by dragging them to the Trash. Networking is easier. No need for intrusion protection software, antivirus, or disk defragmenters.

Jim was responding to my recent review of Parallels for the Mac. Thanks for writing in, Jim.

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