I've tried nothing and I'm all out of ideas!

With the increasing popularity of the Mac, whether it’s from Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads or Microsoft’s own failings, there’s been a whole new cottage industry developing.

The Macalope is talking, of course, about the faux switcher.

What’s a faux switcher, you ask? (You’re always so helpful when the Macalope wants to engage in exposition! Thanks!)

A faux switcher is someone who has absolutely no intention of switching but writes a piece pretending to have considered it and lists their extremely lame and/or lazy excuses for not.

You may remember that lawyer fellow a few weeks back, but this week’s entrant into the Faux Switcher Olympics is one Matt Hartley at OSWeekly.

Why Apple Lost Me As A Potential User.

I’d like to go on record and say that I really don’t have anything against Apple whatsoever.

Sure you don’t, Matt. Why would we think that?

My better half is a Mac fan times twenty and uses it with great joy each day. She uses a Mini and PowerBook of the PowerPC variety.

Well, the Macalope hopes it’s of the PowerPC variety, otherwise she’s using a laptop that’s over ten years old.

Now, it seems Matt was all set to buy a Mac (sure, Matt) until a friend asked for some help installing the trial version of Office on his new MacBook.

Wait, what?

My task was to get the trial version of MS Office installed so that my friend could get caught up on a few things before finally buying a copy of Office a few days later.

Wait, Matt…

What a nightmare that was!

Stop. Stop.

First off, Matt, a nightmare is being chased by dead relatives reanimated as killer zombies, not failure to complete a simple drag-and-drop operation, exclamation marks not withstanding.

Second, the Macalope feels compelled to point out that the MacBook comes with a trial version of Office already installed.

This is not starting well, Matt.

Firefox and software installations, talk about a walk on the wild side!

Again with the exclamation marks! What! Is! Up! With! That?!

This dragging of an application to the dock and then to the applications folder is not something that I found to be all that intuitive.



Really? Because…


Actually, the instructions you link to show that it’s the other way around — drag it to the Applications folder and then to the dock — so maybe it’s a reading comprehension problem.

Have you tried Hooked on Phonics?

To be honest, I’m surprised that more converts over the Mac don’t find this a little bit strange. Perhaps it’s just me?

Yes. It’s just you.

So, Matt, you say you had a couple of problems even you admit are probably not Apple’s fault and then can’t get over the idea of dragging and dropping an application to install it.

Is the Macalope clear on that?

Is your wife there? Can you put her on the phone? Because… damn, woman.

Macs: Great for Those Who Prefer the UI.

Not so great for those who prefer to have their temperature taken rectally.

Or something. Frankly, the Macalope’s still not sure what his real complaint is other than that he’s just never used a Mac before.

And there’s not much Apple can do about that, now, is there?

As for me, you couldn’t get me to use one again if you paid me.

Hey, fine with us, Matt. If you prefer to stay ignorant of the simplest of tasks and would rather click through an extensive installation process than doing a drag and drop, that’s your choice.

We do ask, however, that you stop writing about the Mac.


…”demand” is probably a better word.


Just knock it off.

Fans of the Simpsons will recognize the title.

  • reinharden:

    Perhaps if the Mac had a Wizard to guide him through the drag-the-application-into-the-Applications-folder process?


  • Mark U.:

    Ha, that’s great. My previous favorite I’m-faux-switching story came from The Houston Chronicle’s Dwight Silverman (see here: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/tech/weekly/3153193.html) who gave his Mac mini all of 10 days before going back to Windows because he was “used to” it, and wanted to play Doom 3.

  • A devastating and largely justified critique. However, though an Apple-watcher, even I found that installing applications, and the relationship between the applications folder and the dock, took a while to understand. It’s very simple once you know the logic of course, but it’s one thing on Mac OS X that I would say isn’t all that intuitive. Nor, as reinharden points out, is there normally a wizard. I’ve had to spend a fair bit of time with others I’ve introduced to Macs explaining the installation procedure and I’m convinced Apple could make it simpler. Macalope, when you stand back, can you see that that is a justified criticism?

  • Where’s Apple Guide when you need it? Opening windows for you and circling critical elements with a red translucent marker is a perfect fit for the intellectual level of people like Matt.

    I imagine him seeing the Office trial folder on the drive, then proceeding to the System Preferences and desperately searching for the “Software” control panel that would allow him to install it.

    About Windows users in a mental rut: I can remember an avid Windows user seeing me *gulp* drag and drop! something to the trash to delete it and going into a fit. This was in the OS 8 days, btw.
    Then, years later, he told me with a smug grin that he read “the Mac browser” will crash if it encounters a comment in a javascript file and he pulled this face that seemed to say “I bet NOW you feel stupid for using a Mac, eh?”
    I was physically unable to answer for a minute as my brain raced to solve all the things that were wrong about the situation and the world.

    They’re everywhere!

  • Re: my comments above, a case in point tonight on MacRumors forums

  • Flanders parents!

    But seriously, wow, just wow. The whole dragging to the Dock then to the Applications folder. Wow. There is no hope for humanity, is there?

  • Hillarious post!

    @ Jon:
    I fail to see what part of “Drag this folder to your Applications folder” has to be explained.
    I you’re talking about the “Double click the installer icon” kind, it doesn’t seem that hard to me neither.

    Now, how to *uninstall* apps could be better.

  • Jon: installing (most) Apps on Mac OS (X) is one of those things that is so straightforward that it is scary for (a) people afraid that doing anything on a computer will delete all their files, (b) people used to fixed procedures for things like installing.
    In fact, the Applications folder is really just an organizational scheme, you can actually put them pretty much anywhere (in most cases), Hell, in Mac OS Classic, the only fixed folder was the System Folder and you could do whatever you liked with the rest of your disk (9.x introduced some others, but that was just to ease the transition to X, you could ignore them completely for the most part.)

    The Dock is foreign to Windows users as it is in the same spot as the task bar, but it works in a completely different way, esp. with regards to apps. Since you don’t install apps, they don’t automatically appear in the Dock. It’s a favorites list and an active application list in one. Some people don’t like it, I kinda like it, It’s certainly not perfect, but neither is the task bar.

    But really, the main problem is a philosophy shift. Mac OS X and Windows do the same types of tasks, but all the fundamental stuff is really different. When I first used Windows I had to completely relearn how to effectively use a computer, but I now can appreciate the strengths of both approaches and use each OS as “intended”. The Macalope’s point is that Matt and other blowhards didn’t even try (or are unable to.)

    I’ve seen the same thing with the Wii Remote: people who never touched a 10-button controller will find that swinging the remote to swing a racket is intuitive, while hardened gamers first have to rewire their brain that really wants them to: “hit a damn button, why are you moving around? moving is BAAAAAAAD”


  • Matt, Put the computer in the box it came in and take it back to the store that sold it to you. Get your money back. You’re too stupid to have a Mac.

  • Matt:

    Quote from you:
    Well, the Macalope hopes it’s of the PowerPC variety, otherwise she’s using a laptop that’s over ten years old.

    My notes:
    I would like to point out that the term “PowerBook” was simply to point out the differences between the PowerBook and the often misunderstood MacBook Pro.

    Now before you start off with the statement that most people know the difference between the two, let me tell you that it’s not as clear as you might suspect amongst non-geeks. And considering some readers of osweekly are not hip to apple’s lingo, I have to address this by coming accross as overly obvious with some of my explanations.

    As for it “just being me” with regard to my take on the mac, you might want to research what the hell you are talking about before diving too deep into this area.



    As a *Linux* user, I was rather shocked by your approach at trying to reach a valid point. I wrote the article in such a way as to get people going with some valid feedback and alternative options to look into so I would not “give up”. Most understood this, you apparently were not reading between the lines.

    But hey, I would like to thank you for your brilliant input. You have just reinforced the mac user stereotype even further.

    Enjoy the Kool-aid, bucko. 😉

  • FredB and Arthur:

    Heh… perhaps I’m just in the ‘stupid’ camp. Along with many others I’ve come across. 🙂 But even though I’ve been on Macs for a few years, have practically forgotten how Windows works, and rave about the finer points of Mac OS X until my friends and family are bored etc, let me play along here.

    What tells me, as a day one switcher, that where this curious Applications folder of which you speak is located? What then distinguishes this folder from the dock with the identical icons on it? Surely you’re not telling me that they behave … differently? And these instructions you mention – what if the application I’m installing didn’t have instructions? Why not have a process whereby you just double-click and enter your password to install? Or a consistent wizard for Apple and non-Apple applications that takes you through the process and explains what you are doing at each step?

    Ok, you rumbled me – I’m playing devil’s advocate. But hopefully you get my drift: how to make an already logical system, easier to understand and even more intuitive to use? Where next on the innovation curve (new Finder perhaps – I’m not the only one calling for that)?

    That’s all I’m wondering.

  • Yuda:

    Jon, I realize you’re playing Devil’s Advocate, but I don’t know how you can get much easier than “drag this to the place you want it”.

    Anything more complicated than that is, well… more complicated.

  • Watts:

    I will note — from watching my mom, who is still rather technophobic and is of the sort who really isn’t *quite* clear on the distinction between hard drives and memory (and there’s a lot of people out there like that, lest you think she’s that unusual a case!) — that there’s nothing particularly intuitive about installing applications in the Application Folder. I know, I know, you’re thinking “Dude, what’s the freakin’ NAME of the folder?”… but there are applications mom hasn’t ever seen because they didn’t start life in the Dock and she just doesn’t understand where else they might be. Arthur’s comment about “people afraid that doing anything on a computer will delete all their files” is right on the money: a lot of people just don’t explore their computers because they’re afraid terrible things might happen.

    I think it’s very easy for people used to a specific way of doing things to forget that they had to learn it. This is most prominent in the Linux Blind Spot: those Linux users who tell you how absolutely easy Linux is to use as a desktop environment and anyone who says otherwise just doesn’t know what they’re talking about aren’t lying, because they’ve gotten very used to their system and it’s really easy *for them.* Most of them have forgotten the days (or weeks) they spent a few years ago getting the system to the point where it’s so butter smooth for ’em.

  • Stephen:


    “Arthur’s comment about ‘people afraid that doing anything on a computer will delete all their files’ is right on the money: a lot of people just don’t explore their computers because they’re afraid terrible things might happen.”

    Who might we blame for that? Starts with “M” and rhymes with “soft.”

  • Ummmm, can anybody direct me to the Crazy Apple Rumor Site? It appears that I took a bad turn back there. Thanks. I must say though, this place is eerily familiar in a Dark Shadows sort of way.


  • Gosh. Matt seems cranky. I guess that happens when you spend too much time rebooting Windows.

    Kool Aid, anyone?

  • Matt,

    The Macalope has many fine things to say about Linux and can certainly understand why someone would want to use it over the Mac. Open standards, customizability, affordability and being able to run it on hardware from multiple vendors all leap to mind.

    Only one of which you mention in passing.

    The problem with your piece is that it doesn’t look beyond your extremely small sample set of experience with the Mac. If you had written a piece that addressed issues beyond your two hour (how long was it?) experience, you could have put together at least a defendable argument. For example, the Macalope doesn’t agree with Cory Doctorow’s reasoning, but he can recognize why it’s right for Doctorow and why that same reasoning might be right for others.

    After reading your piece, he has no idea why you’ve dicounted the Mac other than that it doesn’t work like what you’re used to and you ran into a couple of rare and bizarre problems (the Macalope has used OO for years with no conflicts with X11).

    The Mac doesn’t have to be for everyone. If you love Linux, that’s great. Frankly, the Macalope thinks Linux will probably be around longer than OS X.

    But your dramatic griping about the brief period of time you spent using a Mac really just isn’t very valuable.

  • Hey Macalope, did you see the “ad” at the end of the article? And I quote:

    Buy Mac OS X 10.3 Tiger for $520.00 NOW!

    So, OSWeekly, a site devoted to OS’s?, has no clue what version Tiger is. Tsk, tsk.

  • Frederico:

    Here’s the bit that gets me about Matt, and the entire point that The Macalope makes here today, is that he ADMITS HE IS A TROLL!

    >”I wrote the article in such a way as to get people going […] so I would not “give up”.”

    IOW, he knew he would get ample feedback from his “tales of woe”, as he also knew he *never* had any intention of switching, or to not “give up”. And that his poor attempt to “write between the lines” is misperceived by us is somehow our fault.

    He baits, he fails, he blames us. And Apple.

    What a dick.

    Hey, Matt, here’s a thought: Want to be a journalist? Try a little journalistic integrity.

    Next time you want to pretend to have an issue in order to illustrate what you perceive to be a problem for the general public, or a subset of potential Linux/Windows switchers, if not for you, personally, “worthy” of a “featured article”, why not just outline what you perceive as the problems, based on your alleged misadventures (I still don’t believe for a second they really happened the way you claim, if at all) and ask, openly and honestly, for some feedback on how things could be made more simple, or other illustrations that would be helpful to learn up front before buying a Mac, so that you could share these ideas from your bully pulpit.

    Oh, wait, that would just help the Mac and Apple, not to mention the users (read: traitors) who might switch from your favored camps. And you clearly don’t want that, now do you.

    All that said, I will give you this much: The current Firefox “installer” DMG *IS* exceptionally obtuse for anyone not familiar with a Mac, and even still confusing for many a long time Mac user, as well. Lacking even a basic ReadMe file, this is a good example of excellence in simplicity taken to its obverse extreme, resulting in a failure to succeed in what should be a trivial task. I can’t begin to count the number of *experienced* users who call me wondering why they have to keep re-downloading Firefox over and over, because, “…it won’t stay installed.” If the makers had at least put a symbolic link (alias/shortcut) to the Applications folder there, as many other apps do, it *might* alleviate a large number of those issues, but even better still, a simple line of text, visible in the DMG window, saying, “Simply copy or drag the Firefox application icon above to your ‘Applications folder to install, then launch from there.”, would be an amazing leap forward in elegant “Winzardry” [sic], and would probably delight any number of switchers, rather than frustrate them.

    Digging the Kool-aid, and ready to help pour it for those not even knowing they thirst, like any good Bucko,



  • Man… Matt makes me a little bit ashamed to be part of the Linux community and a Mac user. I feel sort of dirty, stupid, and like a tech-bigot all at the same time. Gosh, it makes me want to wipe Ubuntu off of my ThinkPad so that I won’t be associated with lunatics and throw away my iBook G4 so that I don’t run the risk of inadvertently mentioning the PPC architecture to a “non-geek.”

    I’ve only been doing this Mac thing for a couple of years though, so maybe I just haven’t seen the horrible limitations yet or something. Geez Matt, I can even use the command line on my iBook if I really want to. It is one of the nixes after all.

    I really like Linux, but I really dislike insufferable Linux fanboys.

  • Jon: you are completely right of course. While any current graphical UI of complex OSs like Mac OS X, Windows and Linux is relatively easy to find your way around in if you’re already used to a different UI on a different OS, all of them are hard for any user new to desktop UIs.

    Like Watts mentioned, many, many people will never understand what the difference is between memory and drive space and why they need to “save changes”. And they shouldn’t need to know. With Virtual memory, memory chips are now simply a way to make your computer run faster and I usually explain it like this to non-tech people. Put in the chip and your apps will run faster, easy. This counts for both Windows and Mac OS X, btw. WHY this happens is irrelevant.

    Same goes for interfaces, the Finder/Dock and Explorer/Taskbar are complex. My mother, for example, never uses file views. She doesn’t need to even, when she’s not on the web, she uses the built-in file handling facilities of her photo app, her mail, etc.
    I’ve assisted quite a few people with their computer problems and hardly any of them ever do any file management tasks because it quickly gets too hairy for them.

    Of course, for experienced users of Linux/Windows this shouldn’t be a problem, but they do need to know how things work differently from their original platform. I just checked, if you choose Mac Help from the Help menu in the Finder there is quite a large section devoted to switching from Windows, but .. using Help when you “already know how to use a computer” is a mental leap few make.

  • Yuda, my point is ‘it’s easy when you know how’. Trouble is, many or most first time users DON’T know how and my experience helping them leads me to believe that it’s not explained clearly enough. I’m just trying to put myself in their shoes.

    The difference between a .dmg file and a mounted image (hope I’ve got the terminology right?) is not obvious to non-geeks. Once those are on both your desktop, it’s quite natural (intuitive?) to attempt to drag one of them straight onto your dock, especially if you have not been given clear instructions to head for your applications folder. Confusingly for a first time user, dragging and dropping either of those to the dock will not install the application.

    Correct me if I’m wrong on this, but wouldn’t many switchers be looking for a ‘programs’ folder rather than an ‘applications’ one too?

    Anyhow, on that point (and, I hasten to add, only this point), I find myself in the astonishing position of being *slightly* more in agreement with Matt than with you all.

  • Jon, good point. The Finder does do this with widgets, screen savers, control panels et al. (i.e. if you open them you are asked to preview / install them) and in the classic Finder, if you dropped something on the System Folder, it would be placed in the appropriate folder inside (e.g. extensions, control panels). The Finder should detect if someone is trying to add an application or folder on a mounted image to the dock and offer to place the files in the Applications folder (and add a ref to the dock as well).
    Of course, this is harder than it sounds to implement as there are always hard-to-detect cases, exceptions, edge cases, etc., but it should be possible.

    The point still stands, however, that trying to use a new OS for short period of time, not immediately understanding how things work, then blogging about how hard it was and that you’ll never touch it again makes you a jackass, to use a Gruber term.

  • Hans:

    > Is your wife there? Can you put her on the phone? Because… damn, woman.

    I nearly spit tea all over my keyboard reading this.

    That is all.

  • blip:

    I have to admit, as a switcher of the past few years I did make the schoolboy error of dragging a file from the mounted image to the dock, and then spending 20 minutes trying to dump the image in the trashcan… I think this is fairly common thing.

    The only difference between myself and Matt (apart from usage of the word “Bucko”) is that I did realise that using a new OS might entail some kind of “learning”.

    I guess if you write for OS Weekly then you don’t have to put in that much effort.

  • Ken:

    Yeah, it’s not so much a matter of the action being easy (which it is, especially when you compare to installing something non-compiled on a Linux box), it’s a matter of taking the time to find out how to do it. Certainly, third parties could be better at giving those instructions, but a little bit of poking around online, maybe in the help files, and you should be good to go.

    As for Office Trial…. well…. learn a little bit about the OS before bashing it, mmkay? Here, I was expecting the usual rant about how you have to remove the Office Trial before installing Office, otherwise you can’t save docs, etc, etc, but geez…

  • i agree: this matt dude is a troll. not looking in the apps folder to see an already installed app? installing OO when neo office would fit the bill? and this killed me: only one browser open at a time?

    then there’s the childish retort (“you guys are snobs!” yeah. yeah.), quoting other’s somewhat valid complaints about os x. someone should tell the dude in the first link that you can, indeed, turn off almost everything on the desktop (mounted servers, drives, etc). for the _very_ few items that are on my desktop, i’ve made the icons tiny. long sigh.

  • If anything, too many OS X applications require installers. The fact that Office:mac, as big and complicated as it is, can be installed with a copy operation feels almost like a throwback. Doesn’t iWork require an installer? Apple should get on the ball here, and do the opposite of Hartley’s uninformed advice.

  • rahrens:

    It amazes me how supposedly intelligent folks can just ignore the obvious.

    If you are using the machine for the first time, and you look at the menu bar, you’ll see a great big item called – wait for it – drum roll, please – HELP! and a cool app opens that will allow you to look up just about any issue your pea-pickin’ little heart desires.

    Jeeze, I’m a geek, and even I occasionally look things up. (Yeah, yeah, I know the geek cops will be here any moment to pull my geek license and cut off my balls…)

    Besides, did it not occur to him that he could have – ahem, pardon the sacrilege here – “asked his wife”??? Since she’s a Mac fan times twenty, maybe she could have helped – maybe without rolling her eyes.

  • Frederico:

    >>”Besides, did it not occur to him that he could have – ahem, pardon the sacrilege here – “asked his wife”??? Since she’s a Mac fan times twenty, maybe she could have helped – maybe without rolling her eyes.”

  • Frederico:

    [edit] post guidelines for forbidden and allowed characters need defining; sorry for the double post due to technical error in upload.

    ~ “Besides, did it not occur to him that he could have – ahem, pardon the sacrilege here – “asked his wife”??? Since she’s a Mac fan times twenty, maybe she could have helped – maybe without rolling her eyes.” ~

    ROFL! I missed that point altogether; but something tells me Matt insists on wearing pants at all times, even though this article has proved, at least to us, what a beeotch he really is. It would be priceless to see Uber-Linux-Matt grabbed firmly by the short ones by wifey over a simple Firefox install.

    “Now, who’s too busy with the latest Ubuntu recompile and OO update install to take out the trash… hmmm… IT Master?”

  • Donn:


    Yes. Perfect example, last night. I’m a new switcher (longtime drooler after Macs), and I set up my new iMac last night. I followed Rui Carmo’s advice of setting up an Admin account and separate user accounts. Fine, simple. Still being a stranger to the environment, I had no idea how to do this “Fast User Switching” I’d heard so much about. What did I do? Searched Help. Duh! Of course, it was right there in front of my face, but spending a long time in Windows turns off the part of your brain that likes to do things intuitively.

    I also have a hard time believing that readers of a geek rag like OSWeekly – lackluster as it is IMO – wouldn’t have heard the difference between a PowerBook and a MacBook by now.

    And for those interested, I went to the article, and that Buy Tiger for $520 is a link to buy OS X Server. Not that the link said so, because that would be… you know, intuitive.

  • errol:

    here’s the thing guys. and here’s why matt’s argument is lame:


    that’s all. all systems (windows, mac os x, linux, minix, solaris, blah blah blah) do a lot of the same things but they do them differently, and you might (wince) have to spend some time learning how to do some things when you use a system you’re not familiar with. oh dear.

    the thing is, the drag and drop thing might be confusing for someone who’s never used a mac before, because that’s not at all how it works on other systems. the first time i used linux sudo apt-get was sort of confusing and foreign. something about a repository and typing things into a command line. but i learned about the way it works and then it was easy.

    if you’re used to wizards and clicking and clicking to install software, dragging and dropping to install feels foreign. like you’re missing something. so i can see how it would be confusing. that’s no problem. but to just dismiss it because it doesn’t conform to your standards is ridiculous.

    once you learn how to install using wizards on windows and using drag and drop on mac os x, drag and drop is indeed easier. it’s faster, smoother, requires less clicking, reading, etc…

    but you do still have to learn to do something new and different, even though it is easier than what you’ve been doing all along. besides, you know what they say about old dogs.

  • DERF:

    Do these people realize that the dock’s icons are shortcuts?

    I kind of understand Matt’s mental lapse(s). When I first switched (Jaguar), it took me 2 hours to figure out how to delete a contact from address book. I finally figured out you just hit the delete key. Windows guys are just not used to thinking so simplistic!

    At the same time, I didn’t write a blog about it thereby making myself the laughing stock of the entire mac community. Douche.

  • errol:

    also, regarding intuitiveness…

    things are only intuitive inasfar as they can be intuitive based on your experience as a human being (or whatever you are). if your brain has been configured around a windows system, using another system that is similar to windows will feel intuitive, even if it’s not windows. but using something that looks and works differently won’t be at all intuitive. to you something might be intuitive, because you’re used to it. but i’d posit that ‘intuitive’ is less important than ‘easy,’ or ‘learnable.’ and coming from zero experience, i’d guess that drag and drop to install and installation via wizards are similarly learnable, but once you’ve learned, drag and drop is probably ‘easier,’ as in, a less cumbersome process to go though everytime you want to install something.

  • Matt,
    An OS interface completely intuitive to every human being is like the holy grail: it’d be nice to have but you’ll probably never get to experience one in your lifetime so just deal with it. And you can deal with it thusly:

    1) Realize that for any OS in order to DO something (play a game, send an email, see a web page, …) you must have a basic understanding of the OS’s logical architecture. OS X has a certain architecture of logic. I’ve been using a Mac since I was 3 years old so I have this logic pretty much nailed down by now. People unfamiliar with this sort of logic obviously need a crash course in it before they can expect to efficiently use the OS.

    (“This is called an ‘icon’…”, “This is what a ‘file’ is…”, “Files are stored on this thing called a ‘hard drive’…”, “This is what an application is…”, “Here is where we store the applications…”)

    2) Realize when someone is given a repetitive procedure to complete a certain task (no matter how complicated or ill-conceived) they will tend to be confused (hopefully only at first) by any deviation from that course (no matter how simple or seemingly intuitive).

    (“Well… that icon sure LOOKS like a disk, but….. maybe firefox just changed their icon for no imaginable reason…..wait, wait, so I can just drag this little picture of what is clearly the application, and not a disk, to the place where I keep the REST of my applications?…..I don’t get it”)

    3) Realize that there are a) some people for whom the movement and manipulation of symbols is not intuitive b) some people who seem to want an experience that transcends such movement and manipulation of symbols and c) some people who can move and manipulate symbols just fine, thank you, and pray to God they never, ever, ever have to type “apt-get install digikam digikamimageplugins kipi-plugins” in order to interact with their computer…ever.

  • Cam:

    I find quite a few Mac users who have no concept of disk images. They download Firefox open the disk image and then put the application icon from the image into the dock. Everytime they launch Firefox, MOSX automagically mounts the diskimage (typically they don’t delete it).

    Most of these users have one major thing in common.

    1. They aren’t interested in learning how to use the OS.

    They’re also the type of user that doesn’t read the README file.

  • Cam:

    @ JonHarris

    At somepoint, a user going to a new platform has to bite the bullet and actually learn how to use the platform. If you refuse to read README files, or even the developer’s installation instructions you’re just plain *silly*. You can’t complain.

    If the developer provides piss-poor installation instructions, then that is on the developer.

    This is a two way street. Users have to be willing to learn how to use their computer.

  • Gary Patterson:

    I *want* to write a witty, sarcastic comment on this guy’s failure to do such a simple task, but his article speaks for itself. Ah, what the Hell…

    A Linux user who didn’t spend the time to learn his new system. The ironing is delicious.

  • Emily:

    I want Matt to come back and explain why he didn’t bother to use help files or read instructions. I’m honestly curious.

    (I haven’t used Linux extensively, and have never had my own Linux-based anything box, but I would probably read up on it before I tried to start installing things.)

  • Splashman:

    Emily, don’t hold your breath waiting for Matt, because there *isn’t* a good explanation. If he did show his face again, I’d expect him to snark some variation of the following: “You Koolaid-drinking Apple fanboys are always saying Macs are so easy to use, and now you telll me I should have RTFM? LMAO, bucko!”

    He’s actually making fanboys look pretty good in comparison.

  • It’s always good to hear from Mac-haters in Mac forums. It’s fun to watch the little veins in their foreheads pop out when their faces get all red.

    What’s really fun is when they write contrived negative columns – wherein the Mac didn’t write a novel for them, change the cat litter, scan pictures directly via the monitor, or a dozen other things that no other computer does.

    If the Macintosh was truly intuitive, it would have said, “Good Morning, Matt” started a pot of coffee, and remembered to prepare the eggs over-medium with a spot of Tabasco.

  • GadgetGav:

    Never mind what Matt is actually trying to achieve with that article, trolling or not. As I read it, it just seemed badly written, especially considering he claims to be writing in a way non-geeks would understand (though how many non geeks does he think read OSWeekly?)

    His conclusion that it’s about the UI not the OS seems to be semantics too. How can you separate the UI from the OS? I know he’s a Linux guy, so I suppose an OS that has no UI unless you add it separately counts, but really, if you’re making the case that dragging an application to the Applications folder to install it is too complicated, how can you make the case that building your own Linux is better?

    You can’t expect to switch OSes and have everything operate in exactly the same way. That’s why it’s called switching. If there weren’t differences, there wouldn’t be choice. Choice is good and he’s right that Macs are for people who prefer the UI. The thing is that outside of the command line Linux geek crowd, most people who spend time with the Mac UI do prefer it. Most time, if you don’t know how to do something, your intuitive best guess will work. Last time I interacted with Linux, that certainly wasn’t the case!

  • Eli:

    Why didn’t you ask your wife for advice Matt? Your machismo get in the way? You can’t expect to know everything about the OS as soon as you sit down at the Mac just because you have Linux/Windows experience. I would have thought that somebody writing for a website called OSWeekly would relish the chance to get to grips with and experiment on a new OS but obviously not.

    By the way nobody should be subjected to X11 and OpenOffice on Mac, it’s a horrible port. Try NeoOffice instead: http://www.neooffice.org/

    It’s the first result you get in Google if you type in “mac openoffice”…

  • I don’t know about you, Rip Ragged, but MY Mac brews my coffee in the morning, makes me eggs (no Tabasco, thank you), and walks my dog.

    I don’t even need a mouse to interact with it, it senses what tasks I want to accomplish by pure ESP. It even pleasures my wife for me when I’m too tired to. Although now she does seem to be spending a lot more time in the study…

  • At least your mac is kind to you, badgerandi. I tell my Mac to do something, it just ignores me and keeps on typing.

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