Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Apple Annoyances

Apple makes great computers. It's a just pity they are designed by art students and not programmers or engineers. A few things have driven me bonkers since converting, but luckily thanks to the many sages on the interwebs, I've managed to find solutions to most of them so far.

Except the first one, which I swear if apple doesn't fix it in a future version, so help me I will dig up Steve Jobs grave, reanimate him, slap him silly, and then send him back.

Ultimate Peeve #1: Mouse focus sucks 
Why the hell can't apple get this right by default?

Having been using blender a bit lately, this in particular is driving me insane:

When I've been working in another program on the other screen, or another window, then switch back to blender, I'm usually holding the alt key, because it's the "grab" modifier for the awesome but center-click button deprived mouse.

Mac decides it's best to hide the other programs window I'm working on, even though I'm clicking in another applications space. There is simply not enough swear words in the english language to express how idiotic I find that.

Steve Yegge covers this frustration nicely with an essay about this on his blog, and outlines a few of his attempts to rectify this.

There is also this post on trusty old StackOverflow, which highlights a few ways to alleviate the frustration.

Nothing yet has eradicated this evil. Please tell me if you know of some secret voodoo to annihilate this problem.

Peeve #2: Editing keys.
Being a programmer, I kinda use keys like page up/down, home, end, insert, and delete.. quite a lot when I'm editing text.

Apple computers of course are not designed by sensible programmer types, and thought how much shinier it would be without these.

The also put the function key to the left of the control key. Which would be damn near unforgivable if it wasn't for combinations of this key restoring a bit of normality.

Here's a short list of key combos I compiled for my sanity.

fn+Delete deletes forward 
fn+Up     page up
fn+Down   page down
fn+Left   goes to start of document
cmd+Up    goes to start of document (duplicate)
fn+Right  goes to end of document
cmd+Down  goes to end of document (duplicate)
alt+Left  move cursor back one word
alt+Right move cursor forward one word
cmd+Left  move the cursor to start of line
cmd+Right move the cursor to end of line

Thankfully the shift key to block select text works the same as on other platforms.
There does not appear to be insert mode. 

If anyone knows any other neat keyboard editing tricks, please let me know :)

Off topic, but I absolutely love these screen shot key sequences:

cmd+shift+4 then rubber band the area I want with a mouse, letting go of the mouse takes a shot
cmd+shift+4 followed by the space key, then click takes a shot of the active application window.

Both save the result to the desktop.

Peeve #3: The "dashboard" sucks tremendously!

Seriously.. No.. Apple doesn't let you have widgets on your desktop, you've got to have them on this stupid screen dedicated to them, and if you dare bump the top of the incredibly sensitive mouse the wrong way, it jumps there in it's hideous form with no remorse. EVIL!

Whoever invented that crap needs a slap upside the head.

Thankfully it's not hard to kill, as outlined on this awesome MacGasm page.

For those to lazy to click further, open up the Terminal app:

To kill it with fire, type the following:
defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES;killall Dock

If for any bizarre reason you have regrets and want it back:
defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean NO;killall Dock

Future Peeves
I'm sure I'll find plenty more annoying things as I go along, but since Mountain Lion, OSX is a lot nicer than the last time I used a mac, (which was probably Jaguar/Panther)

I certainly welcome tips on any of this kinda of stuff, as I'm still pretty much a noob on this platform.

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