Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not Always the Apple of My Eye

Yes, it's true. We are not all blind worshipers at the altar of the Holy Apple. Many of us are (mostly) mature computer users who have learned through experience the benefits of Macintosh ownership. The joy of (mostly) easy maintenance, of bundle-osity (iLife and iWork), of all the third-party programmers bringing great and (mostly) inexpensive shareware to the masses – we saw it, and it was (and still is) good.

But – you knew this was coming – but... there are some things that could be done better, there are some issues that need addressing, there are some problems to be fixed. One annoying problem has been the delay bug found in many of my applications running on my Intel iMac. Example: Open Mail, check mail, fine. Create new message or even reply and it takes upward of 30 seconds or more to open the new window. What's up with that? Scanned the discussion boards and tried a couple of suggestions, but it seems unchanged.

Adobe C3 products are the same. Dreamweaver, Fireworks load and then you have to wait until you can actually open an existing file or create a new one. Even if the Getting Started dialog is turned off in preferences, it still takes a while, which leads me to conclude that it may not be a network issue.

Fonts are another fun topic. After all these years, Apple still hasn't got it right. First one folder in the System folder up to OS 9, then five Font folders strewn about the hard drive. Required system fonts and non-required system fonts, not to mention Type 1, TrueType, OpenType, MyType, YourType, etc. How about one Font folder? How about you hide the critical system fonts from the user? Font management tools have helped out greatly here.

What about navigation? Why is it that we have to buy all these third-party software packages (bless them!) to perform the tasks that the operating system should have to start with, thus adding to the system overhead, consuming memory, potentially causing conflicts and the like? For example, just try navigating the Open and Save dialog boxes without DefaultFolder. I must save hours of time a year not having to select and re-select a current document location or performing Finder operations from within those dialogs.

How about a new way to copy files? To move or copy files from one location to another requires that you open one window, navigate to the folder your files are in then open another window and navigate to the destination then go back to the first window and drag the files from there to the location in the second window. Oh, brother.

What's your beef? Let me know some other things that Apple could do a better job at. We'll get back to the software reviews next time...