Monday, September 10, 2007

It Just Works

It's been a little over a week since I first powered on the iMac and I'm not ready to officially declare Mac OS X the champion but I have to say I am very pleased! I have not had any instances where I have had to boot into Windows and I have not be able to do anything that I used to in Vista. That says a lot for OS X!

Boot Camp installed without any problems and I was very pleased with that. I installed it on a 32gb partition and I think that is overkill now since I'm not having much use for it yet. That might be helpful in the long run. Booting into Windows is as simple as restarting and holding down the option button and a menu comes up allowing you to select which partition you want to boot into. Running Vista was faster than on my older Dell machine and the ability to run the Windows OS natively on the iMac really is impressive. After installing all of the hardware drivers from the CD that boot camp made everything worked automatically.

The funny thing to note though was another difference in how easy things are to setup in OS X as opposed to Vista. It took a bajillion button clicks to get the bluetooth mouse paired up to Vista.

Next up, I installed the trial for the latest version of Parallels. The updated version allows you to connect to the Bootcamp partition you already have installed and prevents you from having to install a second instance of Vista. Parallels is software that runs a virtual computer inside OS X and allows you to be booted into OS X and then have a window that is running Vista at the same time. The benefits of this are being able to get something done in Vista without having to reboot the whole computer. I did notice that there is a performance hit running Vista this way because you aren't able to dedicate the full system resources to VIsta and you are having to run Vista with emulation.

Some Gripes

Ok, so everything isn't just absolutely prefect...I do have some gripes. First up is Finder. While I have learned the nuts and bolts of how OS X installs programs and manages files I was a little flustered by previewing media in it. That is one thing I think Vista does very well. You can see all of the thumbnails of images in a directory and if you open an image you can keep browsing the rest of the images in that folder. 

I did find out how to enable the thumbnail view in finder and adjust the icon sizes but when you click on an image it opens it in software called Preview.  To view a new image, you have to close Preview and click on the next image. I guess maybe they are thinking you should only be viewing photos through iPhoto which works very well but I found this to be extremely clunky.

I did find a clever alternative though: Xee  It is a light-weight and fast image browser that is completely free to download. I set it up to be the default image viewer and you can scroll through images in a folder by flicking the mouse wheel around. It is VERY fast too. I highly recommend it. 

I have been following the updates for Leopard and it looks like Finder is getting the cover flow view that iTunes has that lets you flick through previews of your documents. This will be a nice feature and be fix some of my problems.


MB-switcher said...

Nice post. yeah...I had some trouble with the finder too at first...also love Xee. In my opinion a little viewer every switcher should get when they start up OS X. Regarding the finder I have tried several file browser apps like path finder, but in the end got used to the normal's not that bad after all. A very nice file browser you should check out that I really liked was forklift (has ftp support and amazon s3 support also).

have fun exploring;)


Anonymous said...

It is also possible to hold Shift while consecutively selecting the images you want to view, right click and select Slideshow. Still a few extra steps but it works!

Anonymous said...

You can also open multiple images up in Preview at one time...and there should be a sidebar to the right of Preview that allows you to scroll and select the different images.

Anonymous said...

here is your absolute salvation for previewing images in the finder in osx leopard :p

click on an image and press the SPACEBAR (you'll immediately get the image and with the keyboard arrows you can switch between the other images in the folder and other folders)