Niall (malenfant) wrote,
Niall
malenfant

Mac Frustration

They use Macs here. They're a pain. What kind of crazy keyboard is designed without 'home' and 'end' keys? Or without an obvious '#' key? And why is there no keyboard shortcut for opening, say, the File menu?

On the other hand, the lack of a right mouse button isn't annoying me as much as I thought it would. Be thankful for small mercies, I guess...
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They use Macs here. They're a pain. What kind of crazy keyboard is designed without 'home' and 'end' keys? Or without an obvious '#' key? And why is there no keyboard shortcut for opening, say, the File menu?

That's just sick and wrong, quite frankly. I live off of keyboard commands and the like. Mouse I'm not horridly bothered with, although living without a scroll wheel is something that annoys the heck out of me whenever I use one that's lacking it.
True, what's your take on trackballs? Some nice designs now...with scroll functions...
True, what's your take on trackballs? Some nice designs now...with scroll functions...

Haven't used then enough to really comment on them. Seemed OK the two or three times I did use the things, but I'm sticking to my 'must...have....wireless....natural....keyboard....desktop' obsession for now.
Try the curly-Q button ... depending on your OS, that should bring up some options.

You usually use that button in conjunction with another to do Ctrl- like functions of the PC.

Anonymous

January 31 2003, 13:53:59 UTC 14 years ago

For #, you probably want alt (or 'option' depending on your keyboard)-3

HTH,
Art
The hash thing isn't generally a big problem, because you hardly ever type hashes. It can be a real pain, for example if you're writing perl (where hash introduces a comment), but it's not like it's a major symbol in normal English text, is it?

-- Tom
It is if you want to join IRC channels. Niall wouldn't be doing this from work by any chance, would he? :)
-Art
"It is if you want to join IRC channels."

Ah, true, i'd forgotten that. In fact, this is something that's always puzzled me about IRC; since all channel names begin with hash, why do all the commands insist it's there? Why not just treat it as a sort of dispensable marker? Now, ISTR that there are some channels with other leading characters, but they are phenomenally rare, i believe.

"Niall wouldn't be doing this from work by any chance, would he?"

At the time he posted it, i don't think he could even run SSH, so i'm guessing not. Of couse, he might just have been planning ahead.

-- Tom
MMmmm.. Actually, I've found you don't need to type in the # when joining channels on IRC.
I do agree that the Mac keyboard is a bit crappy.

On some of the keyboards, the arrow keys are in a row, rather than a T: that's just wrong. Obscure but illuminating historical fact: the first Mac keyboard didn't have arrow keys at all, to force the user to use the mouse, which at the time was a bit of a shocking new invention. I think this reasoning (or at least the focus on the mouse) has continued to some extent, so that good keyboard design and use hasn't been a high priority.

Lack of home and end is also a pain, but in many contexts command-left/right arrow does the same trick. The weird thing about this is that almost all other aspects of the Mac UI are very consistent between different contexts, thanks to Apple's comprehensive design guidelines; it seems they just didn't bother about this.

Macs may not have general-purpose keyboard shortcuts for menu navigation thing, but they do have shortcuts for menu items, and in practice, this is enough.

Also, modern Macs use USB for keyboards, so there's nothing to stop you plugging in a nicer keyboard. I can't say for certain that you wouldn't also need to fiddle about with the settings, but there you go.

Oh, and as a consolation, explore the alternate character set enabled by the 'option' key: wacky symbols galore! Also, at least the mac doesn't have the antediluvian PrtSc/SysRq and Pause/Break keys.

-- Tom
Macs are purdy.

ARGLE!

Anonymous

February 3 2003, 05:47:49 UTC 14 years ago

Well as someone else stuck using a mac at work I sympathise..my mac is very pretty with a nice flat screen and (before my desk became paper overload zone) made my desk look very minimalistic and cool but that does not make up for it's annoyingness...no right mouse button, having to do stupid things for #, symbols generally being in different places, slowness at loading programs...all things that will annoy you in the short to medium term.

Then you will start getting annoyed that all the windows go on top of each other with no little thingy in the bar at the bottom (fantastic description I know..) and it is a PITA to switch to the one you want.. Finally, as you get into your work you will need (shock horror) more than one program running at a time and you will discover that to have a terminal, cellquest and one browser window is just about doable but add a calculator or a second browser window and you are doomed!!! It is at this point that you will rename it 'potato' (well it's round you see)..

Actually, most of the time I am quite used to its 'quirks' and the main thing that gets to me now is the (lack of) speed but it is a Monday and I was using my lovely laptop over the weekend...

--
Angharadxxx