I originally started this post on Mar 5, 2008, two weeks after I purchased a Mac mini. It’s been almost three years - and now I’m a diehard Mac fan.

With only a few weeks of exposure to OS X, my favorite thing about it was what I called The Little Things.

The Little Things

After two weeks, I can say that OS X is hands down my favorite operating system. Why? The Little Things.

  1. Stuff just works: I love Linux. I really do. I don’t like tracking down dependencies. I haven’t had to spend 3 days getting anything to work correctly on OS X. I spent 2 seconds dragging a program to OS X’s Applications folder. Done.

  2. Goodbye taskbar: Coming from 10 years of Windows, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this at first. I tried it on Linux, and found I needed a taskbar to keep track of what I was doing. OS X’s Dock is simply genius. No more taskbar with 30 windows open. I can see everything open right in the Dock, or with…

  3. Exposé: This was the reason I spent a month trying to get Compiz working last year, and one of my favorite features of OS X. Press F9 (or a button I have mapped on my mouse) and all open windows on the current desktop are shrunk to thumbnails on the screen. Simple mouseover and release on the window you want to use, and it is snapped to the front. Genius - way better than alt+tabbing in Windows or Linux.

  4. Spaces: Multiple Desktops. Apparently this is new for Leopard users. I’ve been using this on Linux for years. OS X did step it up a bit - you can press F8 to show all of your desktops at once, then you can drag a window from desktop to desktop (this is also a compiz-fusion effect for Linux). Nothing too spectacular - but I would have been pissed to come over to Tiger and not have it.

  5. iTunes: I’ve hated iTunes for years. I got an iPod last December for graduation, and I hated iTunes even more when I had to use it. Well… That was on Windows. iTunes is a delight on OS X. It’s fast and responsive. I think they have a code fragment in it similar to this: if ( OS ~= /MS/ ) then $mem_usage = 99.9;

  6. Adobe loves you more if you use a Mac: Don’t believe me? Put a Windows box and an OS X box next to each other and open Photoshop CS3 at the same time. Bring a book or something to read while you wait for the Windows version to finish loading. This isn’t just Photoshop either - Fireworks (my weapon of choice) is a lot faster on OS X than it was on Windows.

[This is where I stopped writing in 2008, but there are a few others I forgot].

  1. Drivers: You probably never need them. It took me a solid week to be able to print on a Dell3130 with Linux. OS X asked me for the IP of the printer, then declared, “Hey baby, I’ll print the pages!”

  2. Security: It’s true that there are viruses, spyware, etc for both Windows and Mac. However, you’ll find that they are vastly less prevalent in the Mac world (I’ve never heard of one for recent OS X versions).

  3. Quick Look: It’s awesome. I use it all the time to take a quick peek at files in Finder (actually Path Finder, but it works in both).