New computers – Mac (operations and video)

The review of the Mac functions in my little book is sometimes annoying in terms of the jargon used: does “go straight to the corresponding window” mean that the window becomes active, or comes to the foreground? Does it open a window if it doesn’t exist? Does it relate to programs, or just folders? You need to work through the material with the book in one hand, and the Mac under the other. (This process is not aided by inconsistencies in the operation of the Mac itself. As I was working through this content I tried to create a new document from within the TextEdit program, and found that I did not have any options to create a file in any of the new folders I had established previously. Later in the chapter there was mention of dragging folders to the Dock, and so I tried that to see whether it would allow me to use that folder. Lo and behold, now I could create files in any of the new folders I had made, not just the one I dragged to the Dock. Handy for my purposes, but not very informative in terms of why it worked that way.)

(More inconsistency: hiding the Finder behaves differently from other applications. And hiding used with Expose can give you some very … interesting effects. So far I have not had the nerve to play with hiding, Expose, and Spaces all at the same time.)

One of the constant claims made by Mac devotees is that the Mac is better at media. Well, over the past couple of weeks we’ve had occasion to try and watch a couple of TV shows over the Internet. (Once we just forgot: once the cable went out in the middle of the show.) Since the current desktop is seven years old, I figured that the Mac should be given a chance to prove its worth and strut its stuff. We watched one show on the desktop, and one on the Mac.

Mac: total FAIL. Choked, gasped, stopped for no apparent reason (no, it wasn’t the net feed dying: it skipped a bunch of the show, and went to the next series of ads), would not respond to commands, and overall a general lack of “good viewing experience.” The old desktop was grinding away with the fan running full out most of the time, but at least it played the show all the way through.

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