Mac OS X, I’m going to kill you!

Farking hell, Mac OS X is really annoying me now. This, in case you hadn’t guessed already, is going to be a vitriolic rant, and is really for my own benefit rather than yours. But please read on anyway…

  1. iTunes keeps skipping tracks half way through. It will suddenly start playing the next track for no obvious reason. Restarting stops this for a while.
  2. The keyboard focus keeps going… elsewhere – into the void – as I type in an X11 window. The one other person I’ve asked about this has the same issue.
  3. Spaces is, well, just a bit crap compared to the multiple-desktop systems that you can find for X (as in X-Windows, or X11).
  4. Window/application focusing and switching are sometimes just wrong. For example, Cmd-Tab switches between the most recently used applications, but Cmd-` (back-tick) cycles through the windows of the current application. Good luck to you if your application has, say, 10 windows open.
  5. Terminal is broken. I gave up on it a long time ago, hence the need for X11.
  6. MacPorts is great, except for port, the package manager, which is actually less useful than, say, tar. Why o why o why did they write yet another package manager? Fink at least had the good sense to use APT, but I don’t use it because I prefer the packages in MacPorts.
  7. Sleep. Specifically safe-sleep. Which doesn’t work on my MacBook Pro. If I use safe-sleep (which is the default), the laptop will take several minutes to go to sleep, several minutes to wake up, and every 3 or 4 times will simply not wake up. Sometimes it will wake up but no login dialog box will appear, which means I have to put it back to sleep (and wait), then wake it up again (and wait and hope), and if the dialog box doesn’t appear, it probably means I need to hard-reboot. It would have been quicker to just pull the battery out. Actually, I disabled safe-sleep on Tiger, so maybe it works now on Leopard, but I’m not in the mood to try.
  8. External monitors. I have a nice 30″ Apple Cinema Display, which is simply great. However, using it with my MBP is a PITA:
    1. For best use, start with MBP switched off (cold, not asleep).
    2. Plug in monitor.
    3. Turn on MBP, and quickly shut the lid.
    4. Don’t open the lid.
    5. Don’t open the lid.
    6. If you open the lid, Mac OS will add the laptop screen to the available display space, then rearrange your windows, backdrops, dock and menu bar. And then, if you close the lid, the MBP will go to sleep, then take 5 minutes to wake up and show the login dialog box on the 30″ display. Then all your windows will be in different places and at different sizes.
    7. Don’t plug/unplug the monitor unless the MBP is switched off. Doing so will work 2 times in 3, the other time it will leave your machine not crashed, but not working either. Hard-reboot required. If you want to take your supposedly mobile laptop computer into the other room, think again.

I am sure there are more things that irk me, but that’s all for now.

There are some things I do like:

  1. Mail. It works better than any MUA I know. I just wish it wasn’t tethered to Mac OS X, highlighted URLs properly (it doesn’t understand ~ in URLs, which is, oh, only in half the URLs I get sent every day), and came with PGP/GnuPG working out of the box.
  2. Time Machine. Fantastic. I love it. It makes me feel so much better. I just hope it actually works when I need it.
  3. iPhone. Okay, I could use MS Windows to work with my iPhone, but… hah, I’m not that bloody stupid. Anyway, this is not really a feature of Mac OS, it’s just a requirement. Which is, actually, somewhat annoying. And the new iPhone 2.0 software is a bit shit too.

I like 2.5 things (the iPhone “feature” gets 0.5). And I’m sure there aren’t any more.

I now realise that I would rather use Linux (again; I used to use Linux all the time on the desktop). But Ubuntu (which is my distro of choice) is a PITA all of its own to install on Apple hardware, so I’m just going to persevere with Mac OS X for now.

That, and because I have an iPhone. Grr, Apple, you now make me feel locked-in to your platform, and I don’t like that.

3 thoughts on “Mac OS X, I’m going to kill you!

  1. Mail.app gets worse. It doesn’t linkify fragments in URLs. For example, if it sees http://example.com/foo#bar, the #bar will not be part of the link. This is quite a regression from Tiger. Do Apple write tests for their code? Do they run the tests? You’ve got to wonder.

  2. As of Intrepid (8.10), Ubuntu installs fine on my MBP and almost everything works well. I’m keeping Mac OS for iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes and my iPhone, but I’m now doing all work and development on Linux, which is blissful. Mac OS may look and feel nice, but I get more work done when using Linux.

  3. As to #2, I no longer have this issue. The “fix” however, is a bit extreme — I bought a new MBP! It came with X11 2.1.5, 480400 (according to version.plist).

    Have you tried upgrading your X11 package?

Comments are closed.