Sunday, September 14, 2008

Things I Like about the Macintosh

One little anecdote about why I like a Macintosh... I was working on a Windows laptop the other day (and I've had this exact same experience many times over the last month or so) and reached down to the trackpad to work on the computer and I'll either try tapping with two-fingers, or a two-finger scroll and it just doesn't work!

This is because on a Macintosh track pad a tap with two fingers brings up the 'right-click' - It too about 10 seconds to learn this gesture. Now it is so much more intuitive than the right button on the track pad that I get a bit frustrated on a Windows machine when this doesn't work.
The second is the Macintosh two-finger swipe/scroll gesture on the track pad. Just slide up or down (left and right works just as well) with two fingers on the track pad and whatever application you happen to be in will scroll up or down appropriately. I also like using a scroll-wheel on mice to do the same thing, but then you are without a mouse and just using the track pad this is a fantastic addition to screen navigation.

Good design is just good design - well done Mac team!

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But I did have to learn to re-use the Apple's 'Command' and 'Option' keys instead of the Windows old standbys.
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Another good thing about the Macintosh experience is changing from the Task list manager of Microsoft Outlook, over to OmniFocus. This software tool is specifically designed as a 'stand-alone' task manager. That's all it does. But it does it so very well.
It allows for 'Getting Things Done' type work (see GTD information elsewhere) including my favorite or 'context' for a todo item.

So before running out to do errands, you can get a list of all the things that need to be accomplished while out of the house... or when you have a moment by your computer, a list of all the things that need a computer to be completed... phone access the same way.
And the best... it also syncs between computers and the iPhone. So your tasks are always with you. And now with the iPhone 3G it can even use the built-in GPS to let me know how close I am to the various errands.
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Apple iCal Calendar program... it allows for color-coded calendars AND the ability to sync those colors to the iPhone (via MobileMe) as well as share them with other folks. So Jill and I can share the same 'Birthdays' calendar or the 'Jill Work' calendar or the 'Keith Travel' calendar.
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Built-in indexing and fast searching within the Apple Mail program is fantastic. I now just have two mail folders. One for things to work on, and the other the Mail Archive folder. If I have a question about something that was in an e-mail, even years ago, I simply search the Mail Archive folder and instantaneously I have the e-mail I was looking for at my fingertips. (this required an extra indexing program on Outlook - I used 'Lookeen' there)


3 comments:

Gram said...

Excellent post and I even understood a lot of it. Thanks for your help with the MacBooks for us.

Anonymous said...

For indexing Outlook you could use Lookout or ParadiSearch which are free, unlike Lookeen (Lookout requires some tweaking to work on Outlook 2007).

Daniel J. said...

yes lookout and paradiSearach are for free, but lookout doesnt work on vista and ParadiSearch isn´t that good than lookeen!I tried both of them bevor i worked with lookeen and ParadiSearch doesnt bring accurate results and it isn´t that fast than lookeen. I am very satisfied with it and just can adivise it to erverybody, there is even a 15 day free version for testing...just try it.. http://www.lookeen.com