Are Apple products as good as it's advertised? Read the unbiased opinion.

Intro

I'm an expert PC user, having laid my hands on many hardware (assembly, troubleshooting, support) and software (most of operating systems by Microsoft, Office package, design software by Adobe, Corel and alternatives, games, networking, music, online tools, etc.) aspects of computer application. So, I know what I'm talking about. At least, most of the time.

I started using Apple platform products after coming back from our big trip, nearly on daily basis, as I'm trying to increase productivity. All the patching, troubleshooting and fixing of PCs was part of my hobby in younger years, but now there's no more time for it, nor meaning. Can't say that I listened blindly to all the "It just works!" commercials from Apple, as I carefully asked most of Apple/Mac users that I know, of their experience.

Half a year of Apple usage has passed, and I can start sharing my own thoughts, which may be useful to those considering the switch, or those looking for tips & tricks. The first opinion - Apple is great, but not so good as it comes to certain issues.

There are three categories - General, Apple MacBook Pro and iPod. Will start from "bad", add it up with "good".

 

General

The good

-

The bad

  • Proprietary approach of Apple;
  • "No viruses on Mac" claim vs. antivirus products in Apple shops

 

Apple MacBook Pro and Leopard OS

The good

  • Networking - Mac sees all the devices, while PCs are horrific;
  • Mac with Intel processor can run MacOS, as well as Windows, while PCs run just Windows (and both run Linux)

The bad

  • Integrated keyboard and trackpad stop responding;
  • After idle period, user needs to press spacebar to activate keyboard;
  • .DS_Store trash everywhere Leopard goes;
  • Cluttered workspace in applications, as after launching, for example, Photoshop, the desktop is still seen;
  • Can't close the application with a red X. Stays in memory;
  • Pressing "Enter / Return" renames the file - are you kidding, Apple?
  • Keyboard on MacBook lacks these keys: Delete, Page Up, Page Down, Home, End. Users need to use sophisticated shortcuts instead;
  • No "up a level" button (have to use Command-Up) and nowhere to type in the path in Finder;
  • Not so easy to associate a file type with a chosen application;
  • No way to turn off startup sound once and for all (annoying in public places), unless third party app's used;
  • Infamous "Hang on wake from sleep" bug on some models of MacBook Pro;
  • Window resizing only via bottom right corner;
  • No possibility to sort files in Leopard, so that folders come first (read the fix / hack / workaround below);

My personal preference of viewing files is list view, sorted by type / kind, showing directories first. It's the best, as with one glance (list shows maximum possible items in one window as oposed to other views) I can make a quick and easy overview of how much and what type of files are here (as usually I'm not interested in how many files starting with letter "a" are in the folder - I want to know is it mostly graphic files, text documents or music, etc.), also, what are the following actions (didn't find what I'm looking for? Will continue to subdirectories).

As my folders usually have different name from files, its easy to just start typing the name of the file that I need, and the cursor highlights the needed item. In rare cases, I sort a given directory by a file size or date, find what I need and again sort by kind.

On a Mac, sorting by kind is possible, but the directories are not given any priority, and are not put on top of all files. Meaning, my PC will show all the folders from A to Z, and then show files from A to Z. On a Mac, folder named B will be shown after the file named A. Useless.

Here's the fix on Leopard OS, based on these two sources, in more detail.

  1. On your Mac, which has Leopard installed, go to your Desktop, find your Macintosh HD (or whatever else it's called), double click on it and navigate to System > Library > CoreServices. Find "Finder.app" and click on it while holding alt/option key. Choose "Show package contents", go to Contents > Resources and find the language that you are using. In our example it will be "English.lproj". Double click on it, and find a file called "InfoPlist.strings". Make a backup copy of it.
  2. Navigate to Applications > Utilities. Find Terminal.app and launch it;
  3. Paste the following command (change English.lproj in the command to whatever language file you are using): sudo vi /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/InfoPlist.strings
  4. Enter administrator's password and press Enter;
  5. A text file opens. With arrow keys, navigate to the section /* General kind strings */, and put your cursor on the second capital letter "F" that you'll find in a string "Folder" = "Folder"; Don't do anything with the first word "Folder" as it will probably mess up your system.
  6. Press "i" on your keyboard. Bottom of your Terminal window now will show --INSERT--. Now press spacebar once. The string that was "Folder" = "Folder"; now should look like this: "Folder" = " Folder";
  7. Press Esc once. Type ":w" (without quotes), press Enter.  This saves the document. Now type ":q" (without quotes), and press Enter. This will quit the editor.
  8. Close the Terminal with "Command + Q".
  9. Restart the computer, or better, restart the Finder (=Explorer in PC terms) by finding it on bottom left of your screen, holding alt/option key and right clicking on the Finder (or tapping with two fingers on the trackpad), and choosing "Relaunch".
  10. Now, go to any folder that you like, choose List view and sort it by Kind. Voila, now folders are in front!

 

iPod

The good

The bad

  • Unresponsive when low battery and trying to enter access code, even if connected to power source;

 

Here's a far better and thorough list of differences between Windows OS and Mac OS.