Things that suck about Mac OS X

I recently bought a Mac, and today was the first day that I only had a Mac on my desk (as I took the Windows PC to use at home). After a week or so of build-up to today, using it more and more, I think I’m turning the corner and whilst I did manage to be productive at least some of the day I’m still finding it hard going at times.

Whilst I, of course, appreciate that there is bound to be a learning curve with a new OS, here’s the list of ‘wrong’ things that are currently really getting on my nerves.

1) Transferring focus between apps requires an additional click. In Windows, if an application has focus, one can still move the mouse to another app and place the mouse over an item and click to execute. There’s some sort of soft-focus going on where the item you’re about to click knows that you are, so when you do the click, the action is executed; imagine that.

With Mac OS X, your app has focus, or it doesn’t. Moving from one to another, you need to give an initial click just to give it focus, then another to actually carry out the action that you require.

2) My mouse is too slow. Even with the mouse pointer speed up to the maximum, the mouse was like a treacle. I had to apply this hack to get it to behave.

3) Home and End key madness. Hmm, there are home and end keys and they are in the right place but they have some magic behaviour which does not to put the cursor at the beginning and end of lines. I had to use this and this hack to get something resembling consistently right behaviour.

A related annoyance is the fact that alt needs to be used instead of ctrl to get the cursor to move over to the next word

4) Only one place to resize windows. ’nuff said.

5) No obvious way of auto-mounting network ‘volumes’. After quite a deal of faffing even to get it to connect to the shares on my Win 2003 server, I’m buggered if I can find a way to keep them there in the finder upon login. I tried a ‘load at login’ option from within the Users page within Settings but that didn’t work. For now I’ve just symlinked /Volumes/share to my desktop.

6) Dumbass renaming method. If you want to rename a file you select it then press enter. You’d think it’d come up under the context-sensitive menu, but no, I had to Google for this one as it seemed crazy to have to fire up a terminal just to mv something.

7) My ‘mighty’ mouse is crap. This is in addition to the slowness mentioned above; it just doesn’t seem accurate. Not sure whether it’s because I bought the Bluetooth one but I’m forever clicking on the wrong thing even though it looks as if the pointer is in the right place.

That’s the main ones for now. I have a few other niggles, but they are probably down to me being so new at this. I also really miss Outlook as I’ve just got used to using the newest version (2007) and I love its main view showing calendar entries, items for follow-up (today, tomorrow, this week), the categories and of course, my email (which I freely admit Outlook has always been rubbish at). Now I’ve got the option of Entourage, which whilst it does have Exchange support – a pre-requisite – it’s just not the same. To get around this I’ve installed Vista in a VMWare fusion instance so I can still have Outlook. There’s a whole extra dimension of suckiness using it this way mainly related to my mouse being even slower in the VM but I digress.

Maybe some of the good things will start to make themselves noticed soon but other than the Expose F9 command and xScope I’m not feeling a lot of love at the moment.


6 responses to “Things that suck about Mac OS X”

  1. Try out QuickSilver ( ). It’s one of those apps that will make you stick using Mac OS X :).

  2. I just read the 10 minute intro and it looks very interesting. I had missed off the “Too much reliance on the mouse” entry in my list and if it’s as good as it sounds then this’ll answer that.


  3. Munan Avatar

    Loyal Mac user of 24 years reporting in.
    I agree with you completely. You’ve managed to do something that very few people can accomplish. You’ve highlighted shortcomings in the OS without going all “Windows Zealot” on us. I appreciate that.
    And as stated, I totally agree with your take…

  4. Auto mount an network volume by dragging the share to your startup pane under System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items.

    Concerning the "soft-click" to gain application focus, what you’re reporting is not the case for all applications. I have 6 applications open, none of which exhibit the issue that you are conveying.

  5. Hey, great post. I agree with a lot of things here. but here’s my two cents anyway:

    1) I prefer this behaviour, simply because in windows when I wanted to move focus to another window, I’d accidently click an OK button somewhere. This is personal preference so not a valid point

    2) I hate that also. and yes it is just the mighty mouse. get a real mouse and it is MUCH MUCH faster. (but who keeps the original mouse even with a dell or HP computer)

    3) This bothered me at first, but i got used to using Cmd+right-arrow/left-arrow. (in os x EVERYTHING is Cmd+something)

    4) agreed. enough said. so much for human-computer interaction studies. this behaviour SUCKS

    5) there is a way to add network volumes to your startup items (i think through a symlink). but this should be more obvious

    6) Once i figured this out i preferred it. Simply because Enter to open items makes no sense. Cmd+down to open an item and Cmd+up to go up a level in a directory makes sense. Cmd+down works on both folders and files so it gives a nice consistency. But it should also be in context menu. a slow double-click also gives you easy renaming, like in windows

    7) Yup. Just yes.

    Blabbered on a bit there — my bad. good post

  6. aztec_god Avatar

    You are all like so narrowed minds. MacosX uses a lot of keyboard shortcuts. At first to me it seemed harsh to work 30 hour straight with my mac without going beserk about fast interaction. I learned about using shortcuts….which is the main difference between windows: Mac loves shortcuts. The key idea is mouse on one hand, the other hand on keyboard. You will work a lot faster than on a windows pc.
    The same happens with all apple exclusive professional software like apperture: once again shortcuts rule.

    The only point you are right about is number 6—about might mouse…

    go to
    and chek it out.

    Remember that requires pratice to use mac when you are a demanding workflow profissional, because we have the windows’ habbits. When you get practice, you will see what i mean.

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