The Genie Effect

By Jim Lynch  |  Posted 2005-01-26 Print this article Print

One other thing I noticed that was quite cool was the "genie" effect that happened when you opened or shrank an application. Its slick and was what I was expecting from OS X. I hate to admit it but Id like Linux to be able to do stuff like that sometime. Is it absolutely necessary? No, not really. But its sweet eye candy and...what the heck...why not have it in there? I also noticed that when I booted into my OS X desktop, a window popped up offering to download some software updates. Nice! I was able to choose to have it done daily, weekly or monthly. A convenient feature for a new OS X user.
Loyd: Just wait until you have to pay $129 for MacOS X 10.4!
Installing applications was extremely convenient, you just drag the install file to your Applications folder and thats pretty much it. This didnt throw me because I had heard something about it in one of our forums a while back, so when it came time to install something, I just dragged and dropped it into the Applications folder. Linux distributors should steal this idea from Apple. Linux newbies would love this kind of convenience. Another thing I didnt realize about OS X was that I could easily drop things like my Home directory or Applications folder onto the right hand side of the Dock. This made it easier and faster to get to them than going through the Finder. No doubt veteran OS X users are snickering now, but it perplexed me that I couldnt drop them on the left side of the Dock. And why the hell cant I rename a file or folder thats sitting on my desktop by right-clicking on it? Or even single clicking and holding? How stupid that I have to do it in the Finder or through an application. Good lord, thats just simple file management for Petes sake. Come on Apple, get with the program! I did enjoy how easy it was to turn a folder on my desktop into an archive just by right clicking on it and choosing the option from the menu. Loyd: Heres one of the annoying parts of the monolithic approach to UI. One other thing that irritated me to no end was that I couldnt figure out how to browse thumbnails of graphics in the Finder! Unlike Windows or Linux, there seemed to be no way to browse them to see what each file was, nor could I view a slideshow of them! This really pissed me off, and I was shocked that the Mac—the pinnacle of audio/video/photo excellence—couldnt even display a freaking photo slideshow in its file manager. And no, I was not going to use iPhoto for something like that. It should be built right into the file manager. Apple needs to fix that mistake in its upcoming Tiger version of the OS. The VPN Wizard One thing that I was very happy to see was how easy it was to set up a VPN connection in OS X. Ive been harping about this in my Linux reviews and wondered if Apple would have a VPN wizard type of tool available. Sure enough, it does. All I had to do was go to the Applications folder and click on Internet Connect. From there I clicked the VPN icon, filled in the appropriate information and was able to connect to our corporate network. Nice job, Apple. I would have been shocked if such basic functionality hadnt been included in as slick an operating system as OS X. Continued...

Jim manages the PC Magazine and ExtremeTech forums, and is responsible for building community in the forums on both sites. He started managing PC Mag's forum on ZiffNet on CompuServe many years ago. He then transferred the staff and expertise to the Web. He left ZDNet when it moved to San Francisco and came back to Ziff after the split from ZDNet, right before ExtremeTech launched. You can get more background at his personal site:

His favorite movies include Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Three Musketeers (1973 version), Dune (Sci Fi Channel version), and gobs of others. He can't live without his iPAQ Pocket PC—,he uses it at the gym and everywhere else—,and his DVD collection features more than 200 films. His favorite game is Tribes (PC), which is more than three years old but he still plays it all the time.

Jim likes interacting with the folks in the forum and the content. 'I Love both of 'em,' says Lynch. 'It's what makes the job fun and interesting.'

You're welcome to visit Jim's site for more information about him.


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