I’ve had this article from Computer World sitting in my READ Bookmark folder for a few days. I finally got around to it, and there’s a few items I feel the need to comment upon. They’ve written-up “15 Things Apple Should Change in Mac OS X”, but I feel as if they’ve missed the mark on some of those 15 things.
The thing with Apple is, they build all this functionality into their software, but only reveal so much of it – leaving the rest for accidental discovery or ‘treasure hunters’ to find along the way. Perhaps you’ve missed some of these little things as well. If so, maybe we’ll save you the headaches and time by shedding a little light here. Plus, I’ll feel better about offering my 2 cents worth even though I wasn’t asked…
Starting off with #15, is a complaint about no Date Display in the Menubar. True, this is slightly irksome, and there are shareware apps to get around this. But it should be built into the OS, right? Apple, I suspect, would agree, which is why there’s a way to do so. I don’t recall the link from where I first found this, but Paul has a great write-up and illustration of the method. The short of it is that you customize the format settings under Internationalization within System Preferences. Ok, one item resolved.
True, you still don’t have the calendar readily available, but freely, via the OS, you can view that with a widget on Dashboard – which brings us to our next item.
Number 14 takes issues with the inability to put Dashboard Widgets on the desktop. This is a personal preference thing. I like them out of the way – I like my Desktop clean. So keeping them on the Dashboard is preferable for me. If you’re in agreement with Computer World, then you can use the Dashboard Debug mode through the Terminal. Again, freely available, and part of the Operating System.
The Printer Setup is number 8. It’s been a while since I set my printer up. But if you install the drivers at the OS setup, it seems like it’s pretty easy to me. What’s better, is the Bonjour integration of Network printers. When I hook my MacBook into my office’s network and need to print something, it’s easy as pie. The Print window pops up, I drop the printer selection down, and choose one of the automatically discovered (via Bonjour) network printers and I’m good. Nothing to install, no brain damage.
Then there were a few Reader-submitted Peeves with OS X. Number 2 on this list went off on file renaming. Yes, it can be a bit of a delicate dance with the mouse – click, wait, click to get the editable name. But from the keyboard – which is what it sounds like the user is looking for – all you have to do is click on the file, and hit Return and it’s editable. One of those so simple it’s not obvious things I guess.
Number 3 complains about the lack of a second button on the Apple Notebooks. This is one of those completely preference things, and technically a hardware issue to boot. But I love having that one big button beneath the trackpad. A double finger tap, or a Ctrl-click work great for me. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the two-finger tap on my MacBook, but it’s become something I’m extremely comfortable with.
Otherwise, I really agree with most of the rest of the issues – Fn-Delete issue, Managing window sizing, and inconsistency in application interfaces could all use a bit of work. But hopefully the issues I addressed above help you out if they’ve been cause for some heartburn in the past.