Things that annoy me about OS X

To act as a bit of balance against the Apple fanboy posts you may have been reading on this blog lately, here are a few of the things that have disturbed my sense of peace as an OS X user.

  1. Aqua / Metal / what? Running OS X 10.4, I see a mixture of different window styles. A couple of apps like iTunes, Safari and Vienna use the Brushed Metal look (which, by the way, I don’t particularly like). Others like Firefox use Aqua. It is inconsistent and stupid.
  2. Plugging in my USB headset causes a very, very long pause… first time I did it, I actually decided that the Mac had crashed and powered it off. Also, the sound input/output doesn’t switch to automatically use the headset, I have to open System Preferences and change it myself. It makes using Skype and the Second Life voice beta really tiresome.
  3. Oh, and that reminds me: backlevel applications. Skype is at 2.5.x level on OS X, lagging behind 3.x on Windows. Neooffice is a version behind OpenOffice.
  4. Still on the subject of applications, Firefox has a gaping memory leak (mind you, I think this applies to all platforms, not just OS X), and colour management issues. I could be a good Apple user and switch to Safari, but then I’d lose the extensions I want to use, even if I did reach colour-accurate nirvana.
  5. And finally: I can just drag-and-drop new programs to the Applications folder, can I? And drag them to the trash to remove them? Well, it seems I still end up running quite a few installer programs. That wouldn’t be so bad, but then how do I get rid of all of the stuff I presume that they have scattered elsewhere on my disk (i.e. outside of the Applications folder)? Can’t find any uninstallers.

Incidentally, this was posted from Windows, using Windows Live Writer, which is still streets ahead of ecto in terms of ease of use (although I concede that ecto is very nice – maybe I still don’t “get” the Mac way of working).

10 thoughts on “Things that annoy me about OS X”

  1. Andy, you might want to try AppZapper to remove the odd dead bits (

    ultra well behaved apps only put their application onto the mac, and then put some preferences into the preferencesPanes under /system

    AppZapper seems to be a nice way to clean up, just drag the application in question to the GUI and it will list all associated items it put down (never seem to be that many to reasonably well behaved apps) The worst ones seem to be microsoft related.. I removed the Office trial from my macbook and installed my proper officeX copy.. it completely screwed up my auto open associations and left a ton of rubbish around (and that was using their own uninstaller)

  2. In a lot of ways I think Debian has invented the future of software packaging. I remove a package, and it is gone (by default it keeps config files though, but that is easy to force removal of them).
    If all windows apps used a microsoft installer then you would get the same result, the problem is they don’t. Very rarely do I install something that was not built for debian, so installs/uninstalls are a dream.
    Of course debian also control the packages included in the archive (>95% of all I have installed), and any that don’t behave properly are kicked out so that helps

  3. Well Mac OS X actually isn’t too bad about those points. Inconsistent Window Manager? What should I say then, using Linux, when I see a Mac I really envy them, it just feels better.
    Application lag? Well at least you got 2.5, on Linux the newest version you can get is 1.3.53, nice exception to this: we were the first ones to have Flash 9 🙂
    Firefox is quite normal to consume lots and lots of memory (currently 210MB here).
    On the upside I really love the package manager on OpenSuSe, which is built on top of RPM 😛

  4. Well, as I said, this post is more to prove that I’m trying to take a balanced view of my new computing environment, rather than blind worship. These are just irritations.

    I’ll take a look at the AppZapper (latest MacFormat mentioned some alternatives, too)

    The Window Mgr stuff in Fedora with Beryl is pretty nice now. I agree on the Linux application lag… Not sure Linux packaging is really any better though, sorry Anton.

  5. I like Application Wizard for giving me back the lost (with OS9) ability to sub-menu out from an alias of your hard drive. My biggest complaint is having to double click to open window after window to drive down to the level you want. If you view in “columns” it is a poor substitute for the next best thing to the aforementioned sub-menu thingy, which is Explorer. This from a die-hard APPLE USER. (Caps were unintentional just then but seem appropriate nonetheless!)

  6. Oh yeah, for you short timers, the almighty blue apple used to be in the same UL location but rainbow colored (coloured, sorry, al-YOU-min-EE-um breath) and the Alias of your hard drive was made the top thing in Apple Menu Items (by starting the name with a space,) and you could click once and go where you wanted in short time. The fourth dot over in Application Wizard does the same thing… check it.

  7. I agree that the columns view in Finder is not great – I guess I’m too used to tree views in Windows and Linux now. I do find navigating around the filesystem a bit clunky, but I’ve been trying to convince myself that this is the Mac way. I’ll check Application Wizard, thanks for the pointer (although I still haven’t installed AppZapper… lack of time)

  8. […] does work? Well for one thing, the consistent UI is great. I’d previously complained that applications on OS X were a horrible mix of Aqua, Brushed Metal and other styles, and Leopard has unified things nicely – albeit in a fairly grey way, but the look has definitely […]

  9. I don’t know, normally I like to criticize Mac OS X (cause very few people actually do) but some of the points I just can’t agree with.
    Unified UI window styles is fairly well maintained in Mac OS X Leopard and after Firefox 3 update for Leopard came out.
    But yeah, I totally agree about that app installing thing. Mac apps aren’t supposed to need installers and I’m pretty sure the installers install more than just some preference file on your computer :\\\


    Ya 4 Mac Tips

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