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Author Topic: why a mac...or I need a new laptop  (Read 7602 times)
W.T. Jones
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« on: February 05, 2012, 06:04:40 PM »
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It is not my intention to start a mac vs PC war so lets not go there. . So I figure I can get some good info from the Lula forum without a bunch of crap. I am 47 and have been using PC's since the early 90's. So have been through DOS & most versions of windows.  I know very little about Macs.

I am at the point where i need to replace my laptop. I typically only use it for lightroom, quick books, light video editing and email on the road. I have noticed many photographers use Macs and many of my non corporate friends do as well.(Seems Windows is firmly entrenched in the business culture).  They all like them & say they are easy to use and work well. Well so does a windows computer, for the most part anyway.

Why do you mac users love them so? and how about people that have made the switch or use both systems? I am in the midst of revamping my file system as well & I am going to get a Drobo FS and use it as a network drive. That should give me easy to manage cross platform storage. I will still run a windows system for my office. Perhaps if I like the mac I will change later on.

Am I nuts and should I stick with Windows PC's? One thing with windows computers is they tend to slow down after a while. They get bloated with crap or something. I am not sure what happens to them. I try to keep them clean & stay away from questionable sites etc.. Do macs suffer from this slowdown? are they reliable for the most part? I do realize that hardware is subject to failure at any given moment. I can deal with that.

I am looking at a 15" MBP with 8gb ram

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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 08:05:00 PM »
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I made the switch about a year ago, and after a bit of a rough start I'm pretty happy.  Still use Windows laptops for tethered location shooting because I'm still having issues with the MBP's.

I'm still using W7 to run Quickbooks.  I've not heard a single good thing about Quickbooks for Mac.

I have a number of choices for running W7...Parallels on a MBP, a dual boot Hackintosh and a few W7 Laptops.

Parallels is just Ok.  I'll take a native boot instead.  YMMV.

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John.Murray
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 08:33:59 PM »
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Although not my first Mac purchase, at the time I bought my 2010 13" MBP, the alternatives in the Windows world were pretty disappointing (I'm an IT consultant and pretty much see and work with everything out there).  To my mind a well made portable computer should share many of the same hallmarks of a good camera:

1) Solid Construction:
Frankly, nearly all windows laptops are frankly, poorly made.  Cheap materials, assembly/disassembly incredibly difficult.  There are some exceptions - the recent Lenovo's are very nice, the new high end HP offerings are nice... My biggest issue is CRAPWARE - the first thing I do with *any* major manufacturer's box is to do a clean install, followed by device drivers - honestly this takes less time than "de-crapifying" whats there.....  

2) Battery Life:
A portable computer ought to reliably be used all day, or close to it.  Honestly, the only way I've been able to get most Windows laptops to work that way is to change power management to hibernate on Lid close.  Carrying a spare battery is in my mind, a must.  I've been very pleasantly surprised by the power management of the Mac - I rarely run it into deep sleep (hibernation) even though it is *always* on and with me during my workday.

3) Performance:
All current MBP's offer Thunderbolt, a portable interface with PCI-Ex and Displayport capabilities.  Although a bit expensive, there are some impressive offerings out there including Storage, Video Capture, Video Processing, and external PCI-Ex cabinets - effectively turning your purchase into an effective Workstation class machine.  To my knowledge, only 2 Windows based vendors support TB, Sony and Asus (neither shipping - although this will soon change...)

Frankly, I enjoy running both Win7 and OS X - the operating systems have far more similarities than differences.  If you must run Windows apps - a great alternative to Parallels is Oracle's Virtual Box - I have several Virtual Machines on my Mac including Server 2008R2 hosting Active Directory, and Exchange Box and a pair of XP and Win7 machines,  I use these to help support customer's issues. All running quite effectively in 8GB  I also run bootcamp - natively booting into Windows 7, but rarely use it....
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 09:20:05 PM by John.Murray » Logged

Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 09:34:57 PM »
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I have had Mac laptops for 6 years while maintaining PCs for editing. I have not had a stable PC since WXP and am finally totally fed up and will be switching next week. Enough! Macs are not perfect but IME clearly the lesser of two evils.
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jjj
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 09:45:23 PM »
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Yes some PCs are cheap and nasty but if you pay Mac prices for a PC then that buys you a really spiffy PC. And the cheapest version of any Mac is normally a bit pants and rarely worth buying as it is crippled down to a price point, just to pretend that Macs are vaguely affordable. I even had to add memory and a bigger hard drive to my 2000 Mac Pro as it was rather lacking in those areas. And you don't even get a monitor!

I've used Macs for a long time and they are no better than PCs. Just annoying in different ways and much better in other ways. Also they most certainly do not just work. I currently have 4 Apple products in the house, a Mac Pro, a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 4s and a Nano, the only one that hasn't had recurring technical and/or software problems with many visits to Apple Store is the Nano. OSX updates of both Lion and Snow Leopard in the last week has caused terrible problems for many users. And sadly this is not unusual. I've had to roll back OSX updates on several occasions due to issues. This is the main problem with Apple's secrecy, less outside testing, so you should never bother with any Apple product until version 3 or 4 and even then wait a while before updating. In fact an Apple genius said exactly that to me with regard to OSX changes, but it also applies to hardware.
My MacPro currently runs like a badly constructed homemade PC from 1997. And the fact that visiting simply websites that use Flash or Quicksilver can cripple your entire OSX machine is absurd.

I also tend to avoid using any Apple software bar the OS on my Macs as Apple software is not only buggy but usually poorly designed. It is rarely simple to use, rather it is simplistic. Removing features to simplify an interface takes no skill, adding more features without adding complexity does and Apple prefers the former. The Apple programmes that pros do actually use, tend to have been designed elsewhere and then bought by Apple, such as Final Cut or Logic.

Unless you need to change an OS in order to use specific PC only or Mac only software stick with the OS you are used to.
And Macs slow down just like PCs and for mostly the same reasons. Though they are more sensitive to full HDs than PCs, I also find you need to keep Mac HDS a lot emptier % wise than PCs before they start to slow.
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jjj
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 10:30:33 PM »
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An interesting article on brand loyalty and why some people prefer say Macs.
brand-loyalty

Also it should be noted that a facet of human behaviour is that the more someone pays for a products the more defensive they are about its possible failings, for to admit to any flaws says you made a bad choice. And the more you pay the dafter you think you will look.
Hence you would expect Apple users to strongly defend Apple and PC users to more readily admit flaws in their on average much cheaper PCs, even if they both had exactly the same amount of problems/failures.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 10:37:59 PM by jjj » Logged

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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 11:02:20 PM »
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It is not my intention to start a mac vs PC war so lets not go there. .

Oh stop it, my sides are splitting already.. . Cheesy


I look at this a bit differently than most.  Here are some indisputable facts (though I'm sure someone will dispute them anyway)


  • 1.  At the same price point, assuming you did your homework on manufacturers, both systems will be equally as well built at the hardware level.  If anything, you get more PC for your money, especially if you build it yourself, but let's say it's equal.  A draw.

    2.  With the advent of Win7 both OS's are very good.  They have an almost equal number of good and bad points. A draw.

    3.  There are many more programs available for PC's.  Whether you need them or not is besides the point. What is the point is that if you need a program or are required to use a program, chances are you'll find it for a PC before a Mac.  Win for Pc's.

    4.  You have more choices of hardware configuration available with PC's whether it be laptops or custom built workstations.  Win for Pc's.

    5.  A regular guy off the street is more likely to get a quality piece of hardware by going with Mac than with a PC.   Mac does really well policing their hardware quality level.  Win for Mac.

    6.  The biggest investment in time and subsequently money.. that you'll ever have tied up in any type of personal computer.. is your training.   The time you've spent learning either system is worth more than the cost of the newest and best computer.  Walking away from one system to learn another is walking away from money and placing an unnecessary burden on your time and stress threshold.  No compelling reason exists which is large enough to justify going from one system (whichever it may be) to the other.  You might not mind, you might even think it's fun and cool, but it's still more time & money tied up in your training than a system is worth.   Win for whatever system you're currently using.

    7.  The second biggest investment that you'll ever have tied up in any type of personal computer is your software.  Sure, some big names with dual platform software will let you switch over, others will require you to pay to switch.  In any case, it's still more unnecessary money to move to a system where a compelling reason to switch doesn't exist. Even if your software is old and outdated, it probably has upgrade value.   Win for whatever system you're currently using.
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tived
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 12:22:24 AM »
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I work on both Mac and PC's as a retoucher, if I go to a photog place 9 out 10 they use a Mac - 9 out of 10 of those have no idea why they use a Mac other then someone else they knew was using one so ther efore they bought a Mac - or they used one at University so it was what they were familiar with.

Both platforms offer some appealling features, unfortunately we can have all of the good features on one platform.

Each and everytime I am about to upgrade I look at both options - Mac and Windows and then I look at what I am wanting in my computer - I am frustrated that the Mac isn't more upgradable then it is, its very limited in the number of hard drives that can be installed and also limited in the amount of ram, Granted I am currently on at 48GB but expecting to double that in the next quarter.

So its windows based machine for me, mainly because I can get a windows machine that I can configure to how I want it and I can get the most speed from it too, in both CPU and HDD speed, granted these are not your off the shelf builds.

For laptop, I recently opted for a Sony Z-series 1.1Kg, 13in screen 1920x1080screen, 8gb of ram and two stripped SSD's (would have liked them to have been bigger!) it has an external Blue-Ray/DVD player/recorder. i7 CPU 2.8-3.3Ghz the windows Index is 6.8 as its minimum and 7.7 at its max (7.9 is MAX). I bought an add on battery which has added to the weight, but its also given me 9 hours of working on the computer doing PS and related tasks.... so I am not complaining without it, its only 3-4 hours of actual work or 6 hours with light work.

Its not perfect but, it was the best compromise i could find, but its fast and when on the road I use USB-3 devices via hub and it gives me around 100mb/s which is an improvement over USB-2

Again I did look at a Macpro and a MacAir which was in the same weight class, but they are incredibly slow.

I do like the finder on the Mac and that you can color code your files and folders in it - really like it. And the short-cuts are closer on a Mac then on Windows, thats handy sometimes too!!

but if someone gave me a Mac I would be happy to use it, it looks really impressive and are probably the best looking computers - but they are not fast.

All the best and good luck with whatever you buy

Henrik

PS: Ohh, have a look at both Mac and PC hardware forums and there you will see that both sides have just as many problems as the other party has - they myth that Windows crashed all the time is excatly that - Mac users have just as many problems - so therefore use what makes you feel good. I know I do :-)

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W.T. Jones
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 01:07:02 AM »
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Thanks for the answers folks, you have been well behaved. Smiley I don't spend a lot of time in computer forums (It probably shows) so your answers are helpful.
After I posted the opening post I spent some time elsewhere looking & see that nearly every time there is some update to the mac OS there seems to be problems someplace with things. Printers won't work, this or that program has issues. I frankly have not had much trouble with windows over the years in that regard.

Honestly to date most of my issues with computers in general has been hardware related. Dell being the worst offender in the past few years.

I think will  look around some more for a business laptop.I am not in a big hurry. One friend I have, that spent many years in IT at a bank, sent me an email last nigh that said the HP business line of computers can be ordered with no operating system at all of you like and you can avoid Crapware from the start doing your own windows install. And he found them to be very reliable for the most part. He runs linux now, but that is not really an option for me.

I think will stick with the PC for business software. Apparently the sleek looks of the MBP has caught my eye.

However, in the mean time I am going to order a MBP as a photography tool and try one out. If anything it will satisfy my curiosity about them. And it is a good bet I will learn something useful! I will run LR4 beta on it for a month or so & see how that goes.  After all, if I end up hating it, I can always give it to my granddaughter who uses Macs in school. Or better yet, I can always sell it to one of my fanboy Mac friends Roll Eyes

Thanks folks

Edit:  I do fly a few times a year, almost always for pleasure and usually with  photography in mind to some degree. The battery life is aspect is appealing to me. One of the things that my current laptop does not do well at. Two hours maximum, maybe, if not using a processor intense program. Lightroom will run the battery down fast.  
Top speed is not paramount to me, I am not a gamer or anything like that. As long as the file processing speed for Lightroom is reasonable I will be happy.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 01:49:37 AM by W.T. Jones » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 11:21:32 AM »
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you can compare the macbook pro with these two laptop...

- DELL M4600
- Lenovo W520
- HP 8560W

Dell and HP are avaible with IPS panel with full adobe rgb cover Wink , better than Apple lcd panel .
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 12:22:11 PM »
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Given how much time we spend with our computers, doesn't it make sense to, just as with cameras,  go to a store that stocks either or both and work with the machines you are interested in. See which feels best to you. 
We can all natter on about tech specs and psychology, and we are all smart enough to adapt to different ways of working, but as long as either tool does the job you want it to do what matters most is how whether or not you enjoy using it or are subliminally irritated by its quirks or the way it makes you do things.
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 12:32:17 PM »
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Given how much time we spend with our computers, doesn't it make sense to, just as with cameras,  go to a store that stocks either or both and work with the machines you are interested in. See which feels best to you. 
We can all natter on about tech specs and psychology, and we are all smart enough to adapt to different ways of working, but as long as either tool does the job you want it to do what matters most is how whether or not you enjoy using it or are subliminally irritated by its quirks or the way it makes you do things.

+1 on that, been a pc, mac, linux user for some years now, with pc's most of my life, as with everything you won't find the perfect solution, but you can find the one that suits you the most, that's the important part, to have a tool that really makes you feel comfortable using it. All of those have pros and cons, but for the most part is just to get use to the workflow and the UI of the system you use. There are things that windows can provide that maybe macs can't and viceversa, but at the end there's always a workaround.

Check some computers at the store, macs, pc's and see which one calls out your name the most, which one you find more comfortable, another thing is if you already own a bunch of software, maybe some that is expensive and only allow it's use on pc's then there may be your answer, if you don't mind about it, well then you still have two ways to go.

Good luck
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 09:21:26 PM »
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I do like the finder on the Mac and that you can color code your files and folders in it - really like it.
Please tell me you are kidding.  Shocked  Finder is by far the worst programme I have ever used, by a long way. If I wasn't able to bypass it with PathFinder and also use other programmes like ChronoSync and Default Folder X to make up for Finder's lameness, I'd instantly wipe my OSX install and put Windows on my Macs.
Finder's been left to rot and die by Apple [not that it was ever any good] as they really want you to use iPhoto/Itunes etc to handle your files and it has the added advantage [to Apple] of making file tracking/finding when using non-Apple software very clumsy. It is excruciatingly awful in use. Shudder!
I've done file management on my Macs using PCs over the network as it was so much quicker than using Finder natively.

Quote
And the short-cuts are closer on a Mac then on Windows, thats handy sometimes too!!
I used to always wonder why people complained about difficult shortcuts combinations in programmes like PS and then I used a Mac and realised how clumsy they were compared to a PC. Sometimes even needing two hands where one would do on a PC. One of the worst being a two handed action to delete on the laptop or wireless keyboard.
Swapping command and control keys around is really easy to do however and this makes shortcuts on an Apple keyboard far less clumsy.
Though in same part of the keyboard pref pane is one of my favourite Apple features - being able to turn off caps lock. Seems really trivial, but as I don't SHOUT WHEN ONLINE, but do often hit caps lock by mistake it makes my life much easier. 
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 12:14:17 AM »
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Hi JJJ,

regarding the shortcuts on the Mac, they usually use the Apple key (which would be our Alt-key on PC/Windows) its placed much closer then the ctrl key which is usually the one, one has to use for default shortcuts in windows.

What I like about the finder is the column layout, i think thats excellent - and the mentioned color coding, - but its not enough to give up the speed of my PC, which is probably the equivilent to a Mac Pro Workstation.

To the OP,

I don't use my PC for playing games, 95% of it use is for photo-related work, and the speed by which i can do things helps my clients and helps me in my creative process. I have to admit that I didn't really understand your last post - regarding that Mac's have issues with every update, and you haven't had that many with your Windows machine, yet you finish off by saying that you are going to buy a MBP...??

Regardless of your reasoning, I think you will get a lot of good use out of the MBP, they are great little machines - all the best

Henrik
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 12:46:35 AM »
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Please tell me you are kidding.  Shocked  Finder is by far the worst programme I have ever used, by a long way. If I wasn't able to bypass it with PathFinder and also use other programmes like ChronoSync and Default Folder X to make up for Finder's lameness, I'd instantly wipe my OSX install and put Windows on my Macs.
Finder's been left to rot and die by Apple [not that it was ever any good] as they really want you to use iPhoto/Itunes etc to handle your files and it has the added advantage [to Apple] of making file tracking/finding when using non-Apple software very clumsy. It is excruciatingly awful in use. Shudder!
I've done file management on my Macs using PCs over the network as it was so much quicker than using Finder natively.

I know people who use Parallels just so they can use Directory Opus for file management on their Macs (which is a testament both to how amazingly good Directory Opus is and how abysmal Finder is).
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2012, 01:41:12 AM »
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Thank guys I going to give Opus a try ;-)

Man you learn something new everyday ;-) thanks

Henrik
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fredjeang
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2012, 03:46:01 AM »
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One of the very few good and forced reasons to get a Mac today is called: Prores.

Yes you read well, prores...

Not open. Pc can read them, not write them.

It's bad, but they managed to hypnotized a big part of the motion industry in the low-middle-end with marketing bombing so 70% of the people cut in a non professional software called FCP and part of the clients ask for Prores 422 delivery format.

If you plan to motion, you'd need a Mac in a corner despite being the worst and most expensive devide you'd need, because of...prores...

Cleverly done !
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 03:49:31 AM by fredjeang » Logged
W.T. Jones
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2012, 04:38:22 AM »
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Quote
To the OP,

I don't use my PC for playing games, 95% of it use is for photo-related work, and the speed by which i can do things helps my clients and helps me in my creative process. I have to admit that I didn't really understand your last post - regarding that Mac's have issues with every update, and you haven't had that many with your Windows machine, yet you finish off by saying that you are going to buy a MBP...??

Regardless of your reasoning, I think you will get a lot of good use out of the MBP, they are great little machines - all the best

Henrik

Henrik.
I read many posts over at DPR in the printer section mostly, now that I think about it, but some elsewhere.  Someone has a problem when they upgrade the OS. I have no idea if they are early adopters or numbskulls who do not know how to use their computers or what the issue is. I cannot believe that this is a big issue or everyone, including my friends that use macs would be howling. It is something I see from time to time & brought it up.  Usually an driver update fixes hardware things without too much trouble. Perhaps as far as applications go they did not read that their 15 year old program is no longer comparable. Who knows, you almost never get the whole story.

Thanks to those who chimed in the the finder & file management topics. Something I did not consider. I am sure I can work it out now with less head scratching.

I think there are enough good things here about the macs that it is at least worth a try. Even if I only use it for one thing. It'll give me something to do on rainy days.

Now I see why this subject can cause sparks. Can you imagine the responses if I brought this up at DPR? Holy Shit! it would be a flame fest.

Thanks one an all
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2012, 10:02:43 PM »
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I know people who use Parallels just so they can use Directory Opus for file management on their Macs (which is a testament both to how amazingly good Directory Opus is and how abysmal Finder is).
Directory Opus is one of the best designed programmes out there. Very powerful and a huge time saver. It's the Photoshop of File Browsers. The programme I miss most when using my Macs.
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2012, 10:26:14 PM »
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Hi JJJ, regarding the shortcuts on the Mac, they usually use the Apple key (which would be our Alt-key on PC/Windows) its placed much closer then the ctrl key which is usually the one, one has to use for default shortcuts in windows.
I swap the Cmd [which used to be called the Apple Key] + Cntrl keys around on my Macs as it is far more ergonomic that way around. This also makes swapping between Mac and PC much easier.
The Alt key is much the same as the Windows Alt key though it's also confusingly still referred to as the option key by many people despite it not having being called that for many years now.

Quote
What I like about the finder is the column layout, i think thats excellent - and the mentioned color coding, - but its not enough to give up the speed of my PC, which is probably the equivilent to a Mac Pro Workstation.
I very rarely use the column layout as it gets difficult to use with deep folder hierarchies. I prefer a dual pane setup that programmes like Directory Opus or Path Finder allow you to use. And they can both do colour labelling if you want as well.

Colour labels DOpus

Some of the very many ways you can layout DOpus.
[BTW - This is an ancient screen grab demo from a prior version of DOpus on XP]


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